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Sathyamangalam Forests


This happened to my and a close friend back in 1987. We were at college in Bangalore city, on Karnataka district of India. We are both from the Kerala Dist and were staying at the college hostel. One late night my friend's father who at that time was working in Kuwait telephoned him and asked if he could handover his passport to his brother before his departure to Kuwait early next morning.

Bangalore is around 850 kilometers from Trivandrum Airport so getting there within that time with the available transport was not possible. My friend came to me and asked if we should go by using my bike to Trivandrum and I agreed. The next morning we started out to Trivandrum. The way to Trivandrum covers some remote places and forest regions such as sathyamangalam forests in Tamilnadu district, however we passed those places without any trouble since it was daytime and we reached Trivandrum around 9p.m. We handed over my friend's passport to his brother and decided to start back to Bangalore early morning the next day since our exams were not until next week. With the long journey in a two wheeler, we were very tired and needed to sleep so we decided to make our return journey after noon the next day.

The journey back was not a smooth one. We were both still tired and had to make several stops on the way. We eventually reached a place called Salem around midnight; we decided to continue the journey knowing it was very dangerous to travel through Sathyamangalam Forest

Now I'll explain why Sathyamangalam Forests are dangerous at that time. There was a cruel bandit named Veerappan. He was an elephant hunter and sandalwood smuggler. He use to make money by selling the sandalwood and elephant trunks. Records show he killed almost 140 people. He even troubled the Indian army for almost 15 years. He killed several commandos and high ranked police officials. He never stayed in one place and would travel through the forest day and night only stopping to make food. The uneducated villagers near the forest region even consider him as a God, and have had a temple built after him now. His wife Muthulekshmi even fought assembly elections; He was shot by a commando operation 5 to 6 years back. 1987 period was his golden time.

We were very tired and sleepy when we started our journey from Salem. We kept talking so we would not fall asleep. We talked about different subjects and at one point our conversation came to the topic of Veerappan, his cruelty, our commando's inefficiency etc. We had almost reached mid way of forest. By now we were both very frightened even though we were both looking brave. Our conversation turned into an argument of who is braver and finally we decided to stop and have some coffee which we had in a flask with us along with a cigar. It was only we stopped we realized how dark it was. We couldn't see each other, we could not have a coffee as we could not see where we were pouring but did not dismiss the having the cigar and we both lit one.

We had parked the bike on left side of the road, beside a huge tree. We had just had three or four puffs from the cigar when we saw 10 meters in front of us on the right side of the road a huge light of fire appeared behind something very dark but solid (we did later establish that the dark thing was in fact a huge rock on right side of the road) on the road it was only 4 to 5 meters wide, from behind that huge rock in a row six lanterns came out and we both muttered with fear its Veerappan, the whole area lit up. It was then we realised that the light was not from the lanterns but what appeared to be lanterns. We held our hands tight as there was nobody there and the lantern like fire was hovering just above ground level at about one meter and moving at a walking speed and then slowly hovered across the road to the left side, halted for few seconds and combined into a single light and very slowly vanished.

We couldn't move, we were paralyzed for at least for 15 minutes. My friend suddenly jumped on to the bike I followed him and we speed away at the speed a 100cc Yamaha bike can have.

We reached next town and stopped at a small tea shop where there was some factory workers having tea after their last shift and waited there until the sun rose. We are both very certain that what we saw was very real and upon arriving at the hostel we told everybody what we saw. Nobody believed us they all assumed we had fallen asleep and dreamt it up. We are certain, as two people can't have the same dream while smoking.

After a week or so our canteen manager happened to have heard what we experienced he said he had heard the same story from someone else. There was an accident of a family of six members who died on spot while they were returning from a pilgrimage. The lanterns lights may be the ghosts of those six family members who died in that accident.

I am very sure that we will not ever forget our experience in this life time.

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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, PSN, has the following expectation about your feedback: I won't be reading the comments.

Pranavayatrika777 (1 posts)
6 years ago (2019-01-03)
Full of Horror, Suspence, Thrilling Comedy... Very nice. Kya toh bhi hai bhai, Mazak tha bhai mazak tha... Good.
durai44 (3 posts)
8 years ago (2016-05-02)
hi,this is very frightened one sathyamangalam forest is most haunted place in tamilnadu.

I know veerapan story, he died on that forest in the year 2004; about 12 years
The place is still haunted by him.

The tv show which named"NIJAM"said that

One of that villager found a cave in the forest, the cave is a veerapan's money stored area, he tried to pick up the money something attacked him than he leave the place with fear.

Once anybody go there you'll get safe.

Thanks for sharing with us.
krissy_moon (1 stories) (12 posts)
9 years ago (2015-03-03)
This story was posted long ago, but I can't help but comment. My grandfather was a police officer who has seen many strange things at ungodly hours while on duty. One such incident that has been told by him to his children, then passed on to his grandchildren and great grand children is the story of the floating "fireballs". During his time people used to use those handmade torches from wood and twigs to show the way during night. One day my granddad was walking home from work so early in the morning that it was still dark out with only the moonlight showing the way. At that point of time in Kerala, there were huge fields of paddy and wheat and neighbors were located miles away from each other. When he was crossing a paddy field, on man made interlinked mud bridges or "varambu" as we call it, he saw a couple of these fire balls, blazing with light, bobbing their way towards him on the same path. He thought it was people carrying these handmade torches. But as they got near, my granddad noticed that these fireballs were not attached to anything and they were just floating along. Surprising thing is he called out, "who's there?"and he heard a distinct male voice saying "move out of the path and don't look back". Now my grandfather is a brave man, had won several awards for bravery during his stint in the police force, but he was shaken up and so did as he was told and walked straight home.
My granddad was a man of great integrity so I know for a fact that he wouldn't fabricate what he saw and experienced that day. I think you saw something similar.
Singha2014 (1 stories) (28 posts)
10 years ago (2014-12-05)
I believe your story as I have heard this many many time from villagers. You can call its a orb.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
10 years ago (2014-09-28)
850km is about 530 miles (528 and some change). At 75 mph it takes about 7-8 hours to cover this distance, add in gas/restroom stops and it could be done in 9-10 hours.

This experience is older but it sounds like something here in Texas... We call them the Marfa Lights... Lots of people have seen them... Lights from the highway have been ruled out and they still happen today. No is is sure WHAT they are, Methan gas... Electrostatic discharges... No one is sure.

The drive is explainable... The lights... Not so much.


Triskaideka (2 stories) (388 posts)
10 years ago (2014-09-28)
If I can make it from Orange County, CA to Kittitas County, WA in a single day, I'm inclined to believe someone can make half that distance in a single day.

And as it just so happens, my first car was a Mercury Sable '87.

People with great doubt in the validity of this poster's travel time have never attempted to travel long distances in as short a time as possible. Yes, you need bathroom breaks. Yes, you're going to be exhausted. But it can be done.

And given just how exhausting that sort of trip can be, I wouldn't be surprised if someone forgets some details!

PSN, I am inclined to agree with the others that you most likely saw methane gas. But it most definitely would have been eerie to see, especially when all alone in nearly pitch black darkness!

I'd be very curious to hear more about the family who perished during their pilgrimage. If you can find out more about that story, please let us know!
parth_jagada (1 posts)
10 years ago (2014-09-28)
Totally fake and bakwas. It is impossible to ride bike for 850 kms and that to a bike in 1987. 😕
Denice_engti (5 posts)
10 years ago (2014-04-15)
Bakwas.Covering 850 kms in a 100cc bike is impossible! Anyways its a good fiction.
zombie_killer_of_india (35 posts)
11 years ago (2013-02-14)
[at]bluerose19-its impossible for methane to occur in such a forest as it is tropical decidious forest whereas methane is found in mangrove forests i.e. Sunderbans of bengal.
Wyvern77 (guest)
12 years ago (2013-01-13)
Brother I'm from Shillong situated in the North-Eastern part of India. I've gone through the Sathyamangalam Forests a few years back while having a South Tour with my family, and I've even heard about the ghost apparitions seen and experienced on that area. I've heard about the lantern thing which you mentioned in your story, and even heard that screams are heard by people deep inside the forest, and honestly I'm going to believe in the story. But it seemed that you made many mistakes while writing it, maybe you're confused or the other. Anyways, great story.
Bluerose19 (3 stories) (164 posts)
12 years ago (2012-11-15)
The balls of light that you and your friend saw, I supposedly assume that they were balls of marsh gas (methane) that tends to hover above ground in marshy areas. They are there during daytime also, but they are visible as such only during night-time,as they glow. Such balls of fire are often mistaken to be ghosts/unnatural elements by many people, as they 'float' over surface! In your case also, most probably they were methane balls. I am sorry, but that's what appears to me, knowing about 'balls of fire' seen in forests/marshy areas at night.
Bbrave (1 stories) (131 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-09)
Your story is more confusing than anything. I mean near the end you say "It was then we realised that the light was not from the lanterns but what appeared to be lanterns". While I admit you might be telling the truth I have to say I find a story so full of errors unbelievable
discerninguser (6 stories) (82 posts)
12 years ago (2012-04-04)
There are so many inconsistencies in your story... Or maybe you were confused while writing it down...

You said that your brother wanted the passport for his flight early next morning. Since you also said that Trivandrum Airport is 850 kms from Bangalore, even if you were travelling at a speed of 85 kms per hour, you will need to drive the bike continuously for 10 hours, which is not possible.

Also if flight was early next morning, that means that you would have needed to start previous day night itself ie., on day when request was made (around 8 PM or so). Then you will reach Trivandrum around 7 AM (including 1 hour for rest).

Still it is not possible for any person to drive on motorcycle continuously for 10 hours. Why you did not consider option of train or bus (where you can also rest while travelling) is beyond my understanding!

You also said that you left next morning and travelled in day time and reached Trivandrum by 9 PM. But your brother was supposed to have left that same day early morning!

In addition, you said you were looking very brave. I am really not able to understand how does a person "look brave"!

Finally, you said that there was a huge light of fire behind the rock... Then you said that you saw 6 lanterns...?

Your story is really confusing...
sanjeevgeorge (guest)
12 years ago (2012-03-26)
You definitely are lucky that the ghosts did not catch you.

But you are even LUCKIER that Veerappan did not attack you!

Good story
naveen9885 (25 posts)
15 years ago (2009-11-27)
Its really a great and scaring experience. I believe and I to heard the story like this about that forest.
kiran5070 (2 stories) (35 posts)
16 years ago (2009-01-15)
a very good airy fairy tail of you I know veerapan since iam an indian but what is this experience?

God bless you,
Tonith (1136 posts)
16 years ago (2009-01-14)
While it could have been spirits it may have been a natural phenomenon known as collective gasses that produce light. It's not uncommon. Balls of light have been known to manifest by static electricity and dust particles coming together too. On the other hand it may have been the spirits of those that were killed there as well. I hate to think of spirits caught in an inbetween state and unable to move forward to the Light. There is a place in the USA that has a haunted railroad track and a lantern type light has also been seen there many times. It is said to be the spirit of a railroad worker that died by decapitation when he was trying to connect rail cars and something went wrong. I think this ball of light also separated and then came back into one ball of light. Hard to say what you saw but as you said, I'm sure you will never forget it. If it was me that had seen this I would be going back to that spot again (with friends) just to see if it would happen again. Thanks for sharing.
TORRES9LFC (9 posts)
16 years ago (2009-01-14)
Nice story, see if you can find out more with regards to the family who died and post if for us please. I don't know what I would've done at that moment, lol! God bless...
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
16 years ago (2009-01-13)
Thank you for sharing your story! I'm not sure what I would have done in your circumstances, but it probably would've involved hauling tail out of there really fast too!


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