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Grandmother's Legacy


I have been hearing stories of eerie experiences from my maternal grandmother ever since I was little. Theirs was a fairly large family. Grandmother had 7 kids in total - 5 girls and 2 boys. Grandfather was a police officer in Assam in 1940s, 50s and 60s and would be transferred and posted in different parts of the region. Grandmother would travel with grandfather initially when they were a young couple. But as the kids grew older, they were required to be rooted in one place so they can complete their schooling and further studies without much of a break. Grandfather build a house in Guwahati for the family while he travelled around, posted in different districts every couple of years.

Guwahati was thinly populated back then and was more like a sleepy little town. It wouldn't be unusual to find just about 3-4 houses in a 2 km radius. With grandfather gone, grandmother would manage the entire household and the army of 7 kids all on her own. It amazes me to think how she must have managed without any help. My mother, the eldest in the family, tells me that she and all my aunts grew up pretty fast shouldering responsibilities. They all went about their daily chores like a well-oiled team which in turn helped grandmother in managing them.

Now, unbeknownst to her, my grandmother had special skills/powers. She could sense entities. All kinds of entities - good, bad, everything. In most cases, she would brush them off as her mind playing tricks on her. This unwanted skill has been passed down to her daughters like a legacy and now my younger sister seems to have attained it. That's a story for another day. Let's just stay on track with my grandmother's story for now.

So grandmother would experience all kinds of activities in the house. Most times she would forget all about it. But some she remembered.

The house was old-fashioned, meaning, the bathroom and toilet were outside the living quarters and there was a well next to the bathrooms. It was like a wet area, all washing would happen next to the well. If anybody needed to use the loo at night, they would cross the well proceeding to the bathroom or toilet. Also, there was no running water in the toilet/bathroom. One would need to draw water from the well and fill the buckets. Most times these buckets would be filled and ready to use, should one need to go to the toilet in the dead of the night. But on certain nights, someone or something would draw water from the well. My mother recalls hearing the bucket being dropped into the well, the sound of it hitting the surface of water, the creaking of the pulley as it lifts the water filled bucket and even the little overflow of water that happens as you pull the bucket up. All too distinctly. She would think one of her sisters must have gotten up in the night to use the toilet. Upon casually checking with them the next morning, she would be surprised to find that everybody denied going to the toilet the previous night.

The entity would also assume the voice of one of the family members and call out. So when one of my aunts was in the toilet at night, she heard my uncle calling her from outside the toilet door. Three-four times. She thought that my uncle, who was the youngest in the family, needed to use the toilet so she came out as soon as possible only to find nobody outside. She came back to the room and woke up my uncle but he was sleeping soundly up until then and never went out at all.

These were fairly regular occurrences that the family would discuss and then laugh it off. Grandmother would never participate in such discussions. Maybe deep down she knew something was amiss in the house, but she also knew that if she accepts these as facts it would be difficult for the kids to live in the house.

All in all, the house and the well area, especially, was haunted and there are so many minor but strange incidents that occurred, which were conveniently brushed under the carpet just so a mother can single-handedly bring up a family of 7 children. Most parts of the house are now demolished for newer constructions and the well is covered and locked for good. There has not been any incidents so far.

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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, wabisabi, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Rajine (14 stories) (797 posts)
3 years ago (2021-02-26)
*Guwahati, sorry for the misspelling auto correct seems to do its own thing all the time 🙄
Rajine (14 stories) (797 posts)
3 years ago (2021-02-26)
Hi, didn't your gran or her family try to find out exactly what it was or do a cleansing? I'm glad everything turned out well for them though

On another note Assam us quite a lovely place I've always wanted to visit the kamakhya temple in guhawati
MrsRamsay (guest)
3 years ago (2020-12-09)
Hi Wabisabi,
Your story is so interesting and one thing struck me most: the fact that your mother only sometimes remembered when things happened. Of all the things I would consider "strange" that have happened to or around me, I would say many of them are fuzzy. Some I forgot about for years but then would be talking with someone who was there and remember. My theory is that we are not supposed to be able to see or hear from the other "side" and when we do... We might only sometimes remember or note them. Thanks for sharing your story. Best to you!
wabisabi (1 stories) (1 posts)
3 years ago (2020-11-28)
Thank you lady-glow. Glad to be here.

My mother and second aunt did inherit to an extent as they would go on to experience a couple of minor incidents later on in life. But my youngest aunt, who was the youngest girl in the family, would suffer the most. So much so that she was hospitalised and was on the verge of psychiatric treatment. The entire family has gone through major ordeals.

But the one who takes the cake is my younger sister. Forget the dead, even the living souls are attracted to her. She is a magnet for all things suffering. The latest incident was kind of severe which happened during a vacation in Goa, and let's just say the ministry of two states in India got involved to have her back home safely.

With regards to your second question, no object would be moved. It was only the sound. Things would be exactly where they were left the previous night. Also, there would be stomping on the timber-framed roof late in the nights - this I missed mentioning earlier. Those sounds were attributed to monkeys. As you can see, the family was hell bent on finding a logical explanation/reason to every incident that occured.

I remember the house being cleansed several times over the years. This was done much later though. I was probably in my late childhood by then, but I don't recall it vividly. By then it was an established fact that the place is haunted and everybody accepted it. From what I remember, that entire hillside was a burial ground for WW2 soldiers etc., hence those activities. The well was said to be the epicentre of all activities in the house.
Not sure about it being malignant but the family never prospered. Money was always a shortage. Though they were all well-educated with degrees, they remained underachievers. As long as they were in the house, they were affected physically, psychologically, emotionally. They would not have enough, there was always a shortage somehow.
Agree about parents opening up. My mother now is open with my sister about all these experiences and supports her in every way possible. I would reckon back in the day, my grandmother thought that if she doesn't talk about it, she can miraculously shield her children. Or put them out of harm's way just by choosing to ignore the presence. Funnily enough, grandma would hesitate to tell me these stories even when I was older. I would probe and ask her so many questions just to pull these stories out of her. She had passed away a couple of years ago and will forever remain an enigma to me.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
3 years ago (2020-11-28)
Hello wabisabi.

Welcome to YGS.
Your Grandmother was a strong an courageous woman. I imagine she had little time and energy to deal with spirits trying to get her attention.

Do you know how many of her children inherited her sensitivity? I imagine that her house was a magnet for spirits in need of help if they knew more than one person in that household was able to sense them.

The nights your mother heard someone getting water from the well, - would they find the buckets full of water the next morning or was only the sound of someone operating the well but without actually doing it? Have you considered the possibility of an elemental spirit of water causing the activity? This disturbances, in my opinion, though unnerving don't look malignant.

I'm not sure if not discussing the strange occurrences with her children was the best thing to do, perhaps working like a family would have helped to set some boundaries to what the spirits were allowed to do. Though nothing can be changed about the past, a lesson should be learned from it, perhaps being more open about these family abilities with the new generations would make them easier for them to deal with them.

Thanks for sharing this fascinating story with us, I hope to hear more from you.

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