A ghost fell in love with me and tried to kill my girlfriend
This happened to my girlfriend and I when we went to Pondicherry for a romantic getaway. What we thought would be a nice, quiet holiday like many before this trip, turned out to be our worst nightmare.
My girlfriend works in India for a well known MNC whereas I am in the United States for my Grad School. So, we get to meet every few months when our schedules permit. And whenever we meet, we take vacations where it’s just the two of us. This time, after several discussions, we settled on Pondicherry.
“Where are we going this time?” she demanded.
I being like my usual adventurous self, suggested that we go somewhere remote. “How about the North-east?” I asked.
“It’ll take forever to travel there” she whined. “Let’s go somewhere we don’t have to spend too much time travelling to.”
“Well then, how about we go to Pondicherry? You’ve always wanted to go there,” I suggested.
I could see the twinkle in her eyes, her wide-eyed smile did it for me. “We are going to Pondy!” she exclaimed giving me a kiss on the cheek whilst doing so. This is the fastest we’ve agreed on anything.
Pondicherry is a quaint little town near Tamil Nadu, in the southern part of India. It’s well known for its many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, are heavily influenced by French architectural styles, its French ambiance a remnant of its colonial past. It’s the perfect place for a pretty young couple such as ourselves or like my girlfriend says, “We’ll be young forever, boo.” She’s cute when she says things like that, it melts my heart.
We took a 2 hour flight to Chennai from her hometown city, Mumbai, which she is madly in love with. I’ll never understand why. From Chennai, we rented a car and drove on the East Coast Road (ECR) that runs along the Bay of Bengal coastline, a very picturesque road, my favorite memory from the trip. You’ll understand why when you read further.
The road-trip to Pondy was mesmerising and at the same time, uneventful. We relied on Google Maps to guide us to our location, and it did its job until we hit the city limits. I continued driving, and as soon as we got near the city, it led us to a very remote locale, overgrown with creepers and what not.
My girlfriend, in her excitement, something to do with her childhood fantasy, had booked an old colonial bungalow on Airbnb, insisting that it would give us a more “authentic” experience.
“Babe, are you sure this is it?” I looked at her uneasily.
“You have arrived at your destination,” said the good old google lady.
I got a creepy vibe from the place. “Are you sure this is the right place?”, I asked her, my voice rather shaky. The “hotel” looked like something straight out of an old horror movie. It was clearly neglected and about to crumble any minute. I don’t mean to exaggerate, but I’m pretty sure I spotted a couple of cobwebs from what I could see.
“This is what the map says, doesn’t it?” she said, adding “Don’t be such a wuss.”
All I could say at that point was, “Okay.” I didn’t want to ruin her mood as we don’t get to meet that often.
“I swear it looked different in the pictures!” she said, defensively. “Let’s check in at least.” Gathering whatever courage I had, I followed her in. I might look big but she’s more ballsy than I am.
There seemed to be no one at the reception. “Hello?” I called out. “Is anyone here?”
Secretly, I hoped no-one would turn up. That way, we wouldn’t have to stay at this monstrosity of a place and we could move to a decent, civilized hotel. I looked at my girlfriend, who was impatiently tapping her foot and tapping away on her phone. I have gotten used to this habit of hers which I find very cute. She called the number on the site and started ranting.
“Hello, I had booked your bungalow for the week. We’re here but there seems to be no one at the reception.” She has a short fuse for someone who seems to be so nice and sweet.
I pretended to look inside the hallways. “There’s no one here. Let’s just check in to another hotel,” I was practically running to the car at this point, bag and baggage in tow, begging her to follow me.
“I’ve already paid for this!” she looked outraged. “I’m not going to be swindled of my money by some random cheats. The guy on the phone says there is a whole team sitting here, that stupid liar,”
As it was getting darker outside, I started getting more antsy. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a wizened figure slowly slid towards us, clad in an old smelly blanket. It was an old man holding a lantern. Though I was panicky, my instincts kicked in and I stood in between the man and my girlfriend, shielding her. The whole thing seemed off.
He said something undecipherable. Luckily for us, my girlfriend understood basic Tamil.
“He’s the caretaker here, he says. He’ll lead us to our room,” she explained. “Come, follow me.” And follow her I did, keeping my thought to myself.
I wanted to run as fast as my legs would take me, but I reluctantly followed her. The hallways smelled musty, and I swear I could see a thick layer of dust on the walls. I was tempted to write something on it. As we made our way through the sinister looking corridor, I thought I saw a figure move through its walls. I dismissed all this thinking that my mind is playing tricks on me. Also, seeing my gutsy girlfriend, I mustered up enough courage to walk beside her. Sensing my nervousness, she held my hand which calmed me down, as it always does.
The old man opened the door to the room, his hands shaking. The door creaked open rather noisily to a view of the room. The room looked like it hadn’t been occupied in years. I cleared my throat, and asked the old man to leave.
“Saapad?” he croaked. I looked at my girlfriend quizzically.
“He’s asking if we want to eat anything,” she explained.
“No thanks, I don’t want spiders and worms for dinner,” I said, explaining my reservations once again.
She said something to him in Tamil, using a mix of gestures and expressions, and the old man slunk away, nodding.
That room was a dilapidated mess. There was no fan, no lights and certainly no AC. I wondered if I could leave in the middle of the night, carrying my sleeping girlfriend.
As soon as the old man left, I let out a huge sigh, “I’m tired. Let’s order some food.”
Although I always made fun of my girlfriend for her snackboxes, they were the saviors that day. She had packed some ready-to eat meals as she always does because she gets hungry every two hours or so.
I looked at the things she got along. Pasta was one of the few things she got. “You got only vegetarian food!” I complained. She glared at me.
“Thanks to my genius, we won’t be going hungry to bed,” she snapped.
Seeing as I had little choice, I heated the box in a water bath. “What hotel doesn’t have a microwave? This is 2017,” I said reminding her about how much I disliked our current state of arrangements.
She ignored me, and went into the bathroom. “I’m getting ready for bed,” she announced.
“Okay, I’ll unpack and change,” I said while keeping an eye on the water bath.
I unpacked my night clothes, with no intention of fully unpacking. I wasn’t going to stay in this Addams Family bungalow for the rest of our holiday. I rehearsed my outraged speech in my head.
I suddenly heard her shriek. My first reaction was that it might be a spider. But then she called out to me, “Hey! Get in here.” The tone of her voice set me off and I immediately ran in to check on her. As soon as I got in, there was some strange blackish-green liquid, goey in texture, all around her. I got her a towel and helped her remove some of it. Once I wiped her down, I got her some clean water to clean herself.
“Oh my god, let’s get out of here,” she looked scared for the first time since we’d come. Happy realization, I thought to myself.
“Where will we go at this hour? It’s late. No hotel is going to let us in,” I reasoned.
Knowing how hyper and panicky she gets, I tried to calm her down. “Let’s just eat something, go to bed, and in the morning we’ll figure something out. Here, I have your favorite movie on my laptop!” I exclaimed. Hearing that, the smile that I fell in love with returned. She calmed down considerably.
We ate our pasta in silence while watching the movie. She fell asleep watching the movie. I covered her with a blanket and moved to the sofa to catch up on some news before hitting the bed.
It must have been pretty late into the night or pretty early as some of us might prefer when I was rudely awoken to the noise of my girlfriend screaming her lungs out.
“Get off me!” she said in a very muffled voice like someone was strangling her.
“What’s happening? Are you alright, babe?” was all I could say in my half asleep state.
“There’s something sitting on top of me,” she wailed. Her limbs thrashed about as if she was being attacked. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head.
“The fuck are you on about? I can’t see anyone,” trying my best to calm her down and thinking about what to do in that situation.
“I can’t breathe!” she gasped. I could see her turning pale. I had to act fast.
“Fuck it! I’m taking you out,” I shouted as I gathered her to carry her in my arms. While getting out of there, I disconnected my phone from the charger to take it along with me just in case I need it. I picked her up in my arms and tried to kick open the door like a moron in a bout of adrenaline rush. After failing the first time, I got a hold of my senses and unlocked the door to the hallway.
The hallway was pitch-dark as if it was the dark-ages. I heard a strange guttural voice in the hallway, calling out to me…