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Narrow Escape From A Malevolent Entity In Rural Kerala

 

This incident took place in my life almost 20 years ago. Over the last couple of decades, the passage of time had pushed it to the back of my mind. Or may be it was my sub-conscious mind, rather than the passage of time, which didn't want my mind to deal with it.

Funnily enough, a dream (or to term it more appropriately, a nightmare) that I had a couple of nights back brought the incident to the fore once again. In my dream, I was once again walking at the edge of the woods with a shadowy figure keeping pace with me.

I woke up rattled and after sufficiently calming down, decided to write down all that I can remember of the incident which my dream had dredged up from the recesses of my memories.

I was in my mid-20s, fresh out of college and overly enthusiastic. Job offers were aplenty and I wanted to explore new locations. That prompted me to take up a job offer in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. I was allocated a temporary free accommodation in an empty apartment at the outskirts of the city, while my work-place was in the city center.

Though it involved a 9 kms bus-trip to and fro every day, I was pretty OK with it. That is because the building was in the middle of a secluded, wooded area filled with verdant greenery. After getting down from the bus on the highway, there was a pleasant walk of almost a kilometre to get to my residence. The isolated leafy lanes were lined on both sides with banana groves.

The apartment itself was in a building which was under some legal dispute, so only 3-4 families lived in it. There were several row-houses around; but most of them were empty, as the owners were working in the middle-east countries. As to why they didn't rent out the houses and instead chose to keep them empty, it has to do with the communist government that ruled the state and their rules with regards to tenants. I will not get into that, as I don't want to diverge from the subject at hand.

Now power cuts were a norm in rural southern India in the early 2000s and were pretty much crippling during the nights. Rather than sweating in my bed trying to sleep, I would take long walks in the vicinity of my accommodation.

One of my favourite routes ran through the edge of some woods, merging with a country road later. Although I loved the woods, I wasn't too keen about them at night. The forest was darker in those days and you never knew if it was a bird you were hearing or something more sinister. The country road was an unpaved dirt road passing from between not one, but two cemeteries. One apparently was a cremation ground for Hindus and the other a burial ground for Muslims. This road led to the main highway where I would go for my groceries and other provisions. The entire place had a strange aura at night and was, in a word, avoidable.

It was one of those nights, when the power failed and I kept tossing and turning in my bed in vain. Though it was not particularly hot, I just could not relax and hence I decided to go for a walk. According to the phosphorous hands on my watch, it was 2 in the morning. A light rain had fallen on the previous evening and the place looked surreal. The leaves on trees were heavily laden with moisture, the air smelled of fresh earth and it was invigorating to the senses. Tendrils of light mist swirled around my feet, and I was lulled in a lazy sense of complacency.

No birds called from the trees and even the insects seemed to be silent that night. In retrospect, these should have set off the alarm bells ringing; but my mind seemed to be operating in lower gear. I had almost reached the two cemeteries when I decided to head back.

I was about to turn around when I saw a lantern bobbing up and down, headed my way from the highway. I paused for a few seconds and could soon behold an old local man walking towards me. He hailed me in Malayalam and I returned the greeting, allowing him to fall in step with me. From the corner of my eye, I could see that he was dressed in the local garb of a coloured but faded lungi, discoloured shirt and slippers. He was muttering something in the south Indian language and I strained my ears to catch a few words. He had switched off his lantern as I had my flashlight with me; although the batteries seemed to be on the verge of giving up the ghost and the dull yellow light that it cast did little to dispel the gloom.

The further we moved from the cemeteries, the more incongruous the entire scenario stuck me. Who was this strange guy and why was he outside at this odd hour? Why was his voice starting to fade in and out like a badly tuned radio? I turned towards him to perceive him properly and in the dim light I could see his outlines slightly blurred, less solid then when we had met.

Fear crept up my spine like a tendril and I fumbled in my pocket for the pack of cigarettes and match-box that I always carried with me. A reflex action whenever I feel nervous or stressed out. With shaking fingers I stuck a match, lit a cigarette and resumed walking. But the staccato sound of his flip-flops hitting the dirt road had ceased. A gravelly voice arose from behind me and fluttered to my ears "you have escaped narrowly". My feet reacted before my brain could unscramble those spoken words and I took off running. I reached my house sweating heavily and threw myself in bed without bothering to take off my clothes. The power was back on but I didn't bother to switch off the lights. Sleep didn't come to give any relief to my overwrought brain and I waited for the day to break.

The next day, I shared my experience with some of my co-workers who were locals and they drew my attention to the fact that it had been a new moon night. Probably a restless, malevolent spirit from one of those cemeteries had been attracted towards the sound of my footsteps. The thing would have been almost poised to make its move when the lighting of the match saved me. Fire is said to be a deterrent for evil spirits. Well, smoking did probably save my life that day.

Within a week, I had shifted to a rented apartment in the city itself and for once, I felt glad to be living in a well-populated place. I spent a couple of years there before returning back to Mumbai. The passage of time faded the incident from my memory. I would sometimes vaguely recollect it, but somehow it always felt surrealistic as if it were a dream. Until an actual dream brought it back to the fore of my mind and compelled me to write this account.

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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 yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, discerninguser, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

discerninguser (7 stories) (73 posts)
 
3 days ago (2022-11-24)
Hello DreamBird

Thanks for the compliment. Yes, one of the very few times that smoking saved a life.
DreamBird (3 stories) (13 posts)
 
3 days ago (2022-11-23)
Wow! Thanks for this story. You are an amazing writer as well. That sounds truly terrifying! Glad you were unharmed.

-DreamBird
BelieverDude11 (10 posts)
 
6 days ago (2022-11-20)
Srinivas 108, thanks for sharing. Interesting indeed! I had been involved in yogi meditations for decades, n hatha yoga practice but not into cultural hindu practice.
Srinivas108 (3 stories) (23 posts)
 
7 days ago (2022-11-20)
Hello believerdude11, actually I have read and listened to similar kind of stories where fire saved many lives... Even I submitted a story of my grandfather who was saved by fire while lighting cigar (beedi).
BelieverDude11 (10 posts)
 
7 days ago (2022-11-20)
Thank you, Lady Glow. For responding to my question. However what Wikipedia says regarding 29. 53 days is confusing. Oh you meant 29. 5 days. I thought you meant 29, 53 days. I get it now.
BelieverDude11 (10 posts)
 
7 days ago (2022-11-19)
Thanks dear fellow discerninguser for your honest desire to enlighten. I guess the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar would be FULL MOON. May God bless you, Brother in humanity. ❤ ❤
discerninguser (7 stories) (73 posts)
 
1 week ago (2022-11-19)
Hello BelieverDude11,

You are welcome.

As far as Ekadashi is concerned, it is the 11th day of each of the lunar phases (waxing and waning of the moon). These days are considered as holy because they are the favourite of the God Krishna, who is the incarnation of the almighty God Vishnu on earth. Devout Hindus go to temples, pray, keep fasts etc on those days.

With regards to your second question, I am a bit confused. When you ask whether new moon starts at beginning of month, which calendar are you talking about? Are you referring to the Gregorian calendar? If so, then I don't think so, because the Gregorian calendar is not made as per lunar cycles.

In Hinduism, we have two calendars - based on lunar and solar cycles. However I don't have much knowledge about either, because almost all Indians follow the Gregorian calendar for all practical purposes. The Hindu calendars are only used to find out auspicious dates for some religious functions or rituals etc; and that is done by a scholar who is trained in such things. The average Hindu will not have much knowledge about such things.

Hope that helps. Thanks.
lady-glow (13 stories) (2953 posts)
+2
1 week ago (2022-11-18)
BeleverDude11.

First of all, welcome to YGS. Secondly, and not meaning to answer for the OP to whom you addressed your inquiry, but your question made me curious. So according to Wikipedia:

"The time interval between a full moon and the next repetition of the same phase, a synodic month, averages about 29. 53 days. Therefore, in those lunar calendars in which each month begins on the day of the new moon, the full moon falls on either the 14th or 15th day of the lunar month."

Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon#:~:text=The%20time%20interval%20between%20a,day%20of%20the%20lunar%20month.
BelieverDude11 (10 posts)
 
1 week ago (2022-11-17)
Dear discerninguser sorry to ask you another question. So, difference of 15 days. I am an ethnic Chinese in Malaysia. My late Papa used to make 1st n 15th day of Chinese calendar vegetarian days as a Buddhist. So is new moon day at start of month n full Moon in middle of month? Or vice versa? Thanks ❤
BelieverDude11 (10 posts)
 
1 week ago (2022-11-17)
Dear discerninguser, thanks for explanation. Now I understand the difference of terms. N the word Poornima. Seen it but did not know the meaning. What is Ekadashi? Sorry to trouble you but I don't have a Sanskrit English dictionary
discerninguser (7 stories) (73 posts)
 
1 week ago (2022-11-17)
Hello BeliverDude11,

A new moon night is when there is no moon in the sky at all. It is called as Amavasya in Sanskrit language. As per Hindu beliefs, ghosts and other spirits are extra powerful on such nights, as it is very dark

A full moon night is when the moon is at its biggest size in the sky and there is lots of light. It is called as Pournima/Poornima in Sanskrit language. As per Hindu beliefs, such nights are holy and sometimes we have festivals as well.

New moon night is opposite of Full moon night and there is gap of 15 days between both.
BelieverDude11 (10 posts)
+2
1 week ago (2022-11-16)
Thanks, discerninguser for your explanation. However, shouldnt a new moon night be brighter as it has full moon light reflection? Please enlighten me? Thank you.
discerninguser (7 stories) (73 posts)
+2
1 week ago (2022-11-16)
Hello BelieverDude11,

In Hindu religion, fire is considered holy. It repels negative or malevolent spirits.

The fire god Agni is invoked and propitiated in Yagnas, which are Hindu rituals done in front of a sacred fire. Hindu marriages are solemnised around a fire.

People also are not supposed to lie if they have fire in their hands (a burning matchstick, lit cigarette, flaming torch etc).

I cannot comment on candles being used in black magic rituals in other religions, as I can only speak for my own.
discerninguser (7 stories) (73 posts)
+2
1 week ago (2022-11-16)
Hello Rajine,

Yes, that is exactly the reason why I did not cross the cremation ground/cemetery that night. Like I have mentioned in my account, I turned back before I reached that point. 😁

However on a daily basis, I would have to cross that point after getting down from my bus on the highway. And 90% of the time, it would be dark at that point of time, as I always left my work-place well after the sun set. But there was no option, as that was the only road for me to reach my residence.

Normally, it is said that if you are carrying some sort of meat (cooked or uncooked) or food which contains meat in the night and you happen to pass through such spots, then malevolent spirits get attracted to the meat/blood and follow you back home. Fortunately I am a vegetarian, so I never did that.

Secondly, even if a malevolent spirit does get attracted to you for some other reasons and follows you home, it cannot cross the threshold; because I had the Holy Basil plant in my house as well as a small framed portrait of the Hindu God Hanuman above my door-frame.

It is a belief among Hindus that no malevolent spirits can harm you or enter your house, if it has these things.
discerninguser (7 stories) (73 posts)
+2
1 week ago (2022-11-16)
Hello lady-glow,

Thanks for your comment.

1) In India as well as other parts of Asia, a new moon night is known as a time for increased paranormal activity as it is darker than usual.

2) No, none of my co-workers lived in that vicinity as it is so far away from the office. They lived in a radius of 3-4 kms from the work-place and even that distance was a big deal for them. However I am originally from Mumbai and for me a 9 kms distance is no big deal at all. In Mumbai, working professionals are used to travelling for 4-5 hours every day in extremely crowded commuter trains and buses; which is not the case in Kerala.
BelieverDude11 (10 posts)
+2
2 weeks ago (2022-11-15)
Evil spirit driven away by match fire? But candles are used in black magic rituals.
Rajine (14 stories) (510 posts)
+2
2 weeks ago (2022-11-15)
Hi discerninguser

I for one would never travel past any sort of cemetery/cremation ground 😅, but I noticed that we have the same beliefs regarding fire being a deterrent for all sorts of spirits and the phases of the moon and supernatural activity.
lady-glow (13 stories) (2953 posts)
+2
2 weeks ago (2022-11-13)
" some of my co-workers who were locals and they drew my attention to the fact that it had been a new moon night."

I'm more familiar with the belief that paranormal activity increases when the Moon is full, as explained by the following link:

Https://www.higgypop.com/news/does-a-full-moon-increase-paranormal-activity/

Did any of your coworkers mention about any reports of encounters with this particular old man?

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