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The Man Who Disappeared Into A Closet


This happened probably in the year 1990-91.

That time I was working as a research officer in one of the prestigious R&D centres in Avadi, Madras (now Chennai), India.

There was a relatively newly built building called a hostel, on the campus, which was part of the official quarters for the officers of the centre. The building had three floors, each floor having 8 apartments. On each floor, 4 apartments were on the right side (as you face the building) and four more on the left, with the stairs to the second and third floors in the centre. Each apartment was fully furnished and was like heaven to bachelors, as there was no necessity to purchase any furniture. I was allotted the last apartment on the third floor, which was very cosy throughout the year but was a bit of a botheration during summer, as all the wooden furniture and bed used to get quite hot.

The apartment itself was thus: As one entered from the front door, there was a wide and lengthy living room on the right, almost reaching the end of the apartment with a door to balcony at the end. On the left side was a kitchen, followed by a bathroom, a small but separate lavatory and at the end was a spacious single bed room. As you enter the bedroom through the door, on the extreme opposite wall one could see a large closet, with wooden doors occupying almost 3/4th length of the wall and the rest of the wall had a huge window, which could bring sufficient light and air into the bedroom. This arrangement was replicated exactly in all the apartments, including the ones on the first and ground floors.

In that last apartment on the third floor, I lived as a bachelor for about 2 years. Post marriage, I continued to live there as it was already furnished and my wife too felt that the apartment was good enough for a small family. It was a couple of months after marriage and my mother-in-law had come for a visit to stay with us for a few days. This was during the summer time and at that time we used to have a lot of electricity shut-down issues. During those times, we used to either sit on the balcony at the back for cool breeze or sit outside the front door in the corridor. One issue of importance is the design of the apartment was such that one could enter only from the front door and if the balcony door is closed, there is no exit at all except the front door again.

On the ground floor apartment directly below us, an army officer, his wife and his young daughter used to live. During that time the family also had 2-3 relatives staying with them, who had come from the north of the country. It so happened that the army officer was to go out of town for a few days on official business. So, in his house, his wife, daughter and their relatives were staying.

In the rest of the apartments, many of my close friends either bachelors or just married couples used to stay and we all used to have frequent visits and small parties from time to time. All in all, it was a small community and a friendly one too, in which each used to help out the others in need.

On that fateful day, there was no power right from evening and at around 9 pm, me, my wife and MIL were sitting on chairs in the corridor on the front of the main door, trying avoid the heat in the house. We had kept the balcony door also open so the cool breeze will make the apartment comfortable enough to sleep, in case power was not restored. Suddenly, out of nowhere we heard a high pitched scream from the ground floor. As I stood up and bent down to watch, the wife of the army officer was shouting and literally screaming that there was a thief in their house and she needs help immediately. The whole family of the army officer were now outside the main door.

Hearing her shout, I just dashed downstairs and called a couple of my bachelor friends from other apartments and we reached ground floor to the army officers apartment in a matter of minutes. Army officer's wife told us that they had all been sitting outside the house due to power shut-down since evening and she had entered inside to bring water to her relatives. As she entered the house, she saw a man in white shirt and white trousers, standing near their bedroom door. This scared her out of her wits and she stood transfixed staring at the man, unable to utter a word due to shock and fear. For a couple of seconds, this man looked at her with a scorn and eyes full of hate and said something to her which she just could not understand and suddenly turned back and walked into the bedroom. Standing where she was, she could see the person walk all along the length of the bedroom and disappear into the closet. She had no idea how he had entered the house since the whole family was sitting in front of the house and the back door to balcony has been closed and a large refrigerator has been placed in front! With heightened fear, she had let out a shrill cry, dashed out of the front door and immediately closed the front door and latched it so that the man could not escape. While recalling her ordeal, we all could feel her shivering with dread, perspiration on her face and uncontrollable high pitch in her voice.

We friends discussed among ourselves what to do in that situation. Since we were all youngsters and quite well built, we decided to enter the apartment and catch that thief, since he had no escape route. We all armed ourselves with sticks and opened the door and entered inside. One of our friends had a torch which he shone inside as we entered the dark house. As we entered, we saw that the refrigerator in front of the rear door had not moved and we were now sure that the intruder was still inside. As we checked the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom and the lavatory, we found they were all empty. The only remaining place in the house was the bedroom. As we shone the torch in to the bedroom, we could see that the room was empty too. We went through the room looking below the cot, behind the chair and everywhere to make sure nobody was there. As a final check, we decided to check the closet. The closet had four full sized doors and each door we opened one by one, calling out to the intruder to surrender or else! When all the four doors of the closet were open and interiors checked thoroughly, it was clear to us that there was no intruder. That was when it dawned on us that the intruder could be a ghost! The army officer's wife was not convinced that there was no one inside their house, so we took her around and crossed checked each and every place of hiding to convince her. Of course, we never told her that the intruder could be a ghost. The lady was so petrified of the experience that she beseeched us to stay with their family in the front of the house until power got restored.

The lady never saw the man again. Days and months later, we all started having doubt whether the lady was completely mistaken in her sighting of the intruder. We convinced ourselves that in the darkened house, her eyes played trick on her and she must have imagined an intruder where there was none.

Diagonally opposite to this apartment and on the third floor, another batchelor friend of ours used to live in an identical quarter. Let me just call him SAJ. He was a well built man and had penchant for bodybuilding. He was clearly proud of his muscles and used to practice regularly at a nearby gym and used to show off his biceps. Clearly not a man who would wilt under fear! He had lived alone in that apartment for almost as long as I had in this building, which was close to 2 years and had not experienced anything out of the ordinary.

A couple of months later to the above incident, one fine night at around 2 AM, SAJ dashed out of his house and started knocking loudly at the door of the adjacent apartment. This was occupied by another friend of us, let me call him BAL, who was still a bachelor too. This friend of ours, was aghast that at that hour of the night SAJ was banging at the door crying for help. As he opened the door, he saw that SAJ was in his night dress, face ashen with fear, trembling and perspiring everywhere. SAJ could not utter a word and looked like he had a cardiac arrest. BAL took him inside and made him to calm down and sleep in his quarters. It was not until the next morning, SAJ could gather enough strength to speak. He said that as he was peacefully asleep on his cot, he was awakened by a strange voice calling out to him. Thinking that this was his dream, he nevertheless opened his eyes and looked around. As his eyes got used to the darkness, he was petrified to see a dark entity standing next to him and watching intently on him. Before he could get up, the entity sat on his chest and began squeezing his throat. The grip of that entity was so great that he could do nothing but to roll out his tongue, widen his eyes and beg silently to the entity to leave him and prepare to die. He felt totally choked and devoid of any air in his lungs, when suddenly the entity released its grip. SAJ does not remember whether he could even think about God and say any prayers. The moment the grip was released, he could jump out of the bed, dash out of the door and reach his neighbours door for help. SAJ was so terrified with this incident, that he took a transfer out of Madras to another R&D Centre near his home state Kerala.

When we all heard SAJ's story the next day, we were left wondering whether the entity the lady saw and the entity which SAJ has experienced were one and the same.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Prasad_R, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Prasad_R (guest)
5 years ago (2019-01-23)
Hi uniquiet!

Thanks for your comments. Excited to know that you liked the story and also the way it was written! In those days when anything paranormal was scoffed at, I observed that SAJ was severely criticized and even laughed at. This kind of ridicule was the order of the day simply because no one else had experienced this and anything not seen in person is assumed to be 'imaginary'. I must confess that I too was once a victim of this approach.

Thank you for taking the time and offering your good words. Thanks again!
unquiet (4 stories) (16 posts)
5 years ago (2019-01-22)
Fascinating story! I find it intriguing (yet deliciously unsettling) when inexplicable events happen to people who are going about their normal day-to-day activities. I'm sorry your friends were so terrified, it sounds horrifying to experience something like that. Thank you for the well-written account!

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