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Ghost stories

11 November 2010

Time for a different travel story.

Indians are totally obsessed with ghosts and fora good reason. It’s reality here as many people experience ghostly presences around them and skeptics are hard to find. It’s heavily reflected in the entertainment culture as ghost movies are show on tv daily and there are even game shows on several channels (like MTV India) where teenagers explore haunted palaces and haveli courtyard houses. The setup of these shows is that the contestants have to walk alone into these haunted places with a camera helmet and a light torch with the idea to do assignments in certain *special* paranormal active rooms. Strange noises, voices, things moving by themselves and their own imagination playing tricks, it’s all there to be seen and heard. One skeptic girl had an encounter with an angry ghost trying to get into her –and her voice drifting between different tones into shouting religious hindu mantra’s- while the other girls elsewhere in the house were scaring each other with their distant cries whenever they saw a bed move or cupboard that fell sideways. Whether it was cleverly acted, staged or real, it’s perhaps a mix of everything.

It got more freaky when they used a professional hypnotherapy woman who guided the contestants to make contact with the elderly lady ghost of the palace. One girl got stuck in her hypnosis but made good contact with the spirit who she said was softly stroking her hair and saying kind things to her before taking possession of her body a few times to chant Hindu mantra’s. (What is it with these Hindu ghosts, did they forget about reincarnation?) The hypnotist couldn’t snap her out of it and it took a while before she finally managed. Afterwards the girl couldn’t remember much what had happened. What a bizarre concept for a game show, you just couldn’t imagine the same working in our western part of the world (or perhaps I don’t watch enough tv?). At the end of the show, each contestant got a new i-phone. Consumerism and paranormal activity goes hand in hand here as a game, what a trick for the fearfully/less minded.

Actually to tell our own ghostly tale, we also experienced some minor paranormal feelings on our first night in Jharkhand in the garden guesthouse at Stephan’s place. This was before Stephan told us about ghosts being active in the area of his compound and around. Nothing really happened, nor did we see anything strange, but we both just felt a presence of something in the room, like watching, and it wasn’t a mouse or some other animal. One of his Munda employees had once spent the night in our room and Stephan had found him shivering in the corner the next morning, allegedly having fought with a ghost.

Nightmare, delusion, or for real? Not so strange if you are a tribal like the Munda, who strongly believe in ghosts, either of their ancestors or evil wrong-doers and it’s part of their culture. I guess that if you’re not part of the Munda culture, you don’t have much to fear from these ghosts since your mindset will be tuned on another level. In Stephan’s case, he hasn’t experienced anything paranormal in his time there while most (if not all) his Munda employees have their share of stories. At the under construction CPTC centre in one of the Munda villages there are ghosts who are pestering Samuel, the local Munda caretaker. He has to deal with them almost nightly; one night they could make noise, dance on the roof or worse, come closer and injure him as it has happened a few times already. Logical western sense won’t help here and the Munda have their own skilled *black magic* doctors who can get rid of ghosts. Hopefully something can be done to give poor Samuel’s nerves back.

By now we should be on our way to the remote Malkangiri mountain region for the Malyeabanta tribal folk festival. Once again, it’s one of those remote places that everyone is advising to stay away from (even folks from so-called dangerous Koraput), as it’s also Maoist/Naxalite rebel area. But we’re without fear as backpacking tourists. By luck, we’ve already been invited by someone we met on the bus from Navrangpur to Koraput who happened to live in Malkangiri town. I’m convinced by now; coincidences do not exist in India, it’s all about tapping into the right energy levels and you get what you need when you need it. We probably will only be online again after the weekend.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 November 2010 00:24

    “At the end of the show, each contestant got a new i-phone. ” Hehehe …
    Superverhalen, jullie reis lijkt echt hardstikke megainteressant!
    Ik vertrek dinsdag, voor een standaard toeristisch tripje … 😉

  2. 15 November 2010 18:17

    ha Nil, tof dat je het volgt. en oh, we hebben de misthi doi nog gegeten op onze laatste dag inb Kolkata. nu zitten we in het verre Malkangiri bij een Bangladeshi familie (immigranten in orissa) even terug in halve bengaalse eetsferen 🙂 de tribale heuvels hier zijn fantastisch, een natuurlijk paradijs van wilde natuur en geen toerist of fabriek te vinden. ook geen gevaar van de naxalieten dusver, ook dat zijn maar simpele mensen (en hebben er al wat ontmoet)
    morgenochtend op weg naar Andra Pradesh voor p;aar daagjes. wanneer vertrek jij?

  3. 18 February 2012 12:04

    hai decan iam from malkangiri we know u guees who am i ,so please give ur face book contact

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