Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Language and Literature > Ghost Stories from the Raj
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Ghost Stories from the Raj
Pages from the book
Ghost Stories from the Raj
Look Inside the Book
Description
Back of the Book

‘Ghosts don't require passports. They can turn up without pa pers in the most unexpected places!’

Over the years, Ruskin Bond’s interest in the supernatural has led him to collect ghost stories from all over the world. In this collection, he presents a picture of a 'haunted India', as seen and described by British writers, officials and travellers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some ghosts are scary, some sad and some funny, but all of them are entertaining. Including tales by Rudyard Kipling, Alice Perrin, C.A. Kincaid and John Eyton, this is a wonderful collection of tales that will delight readers, young and old alike.

 

About the Author

Ruskin Bond has been writing for over sixty years, and has now over 120 titles in print-novels, collections of stories, poetry, essays, anthologies and books for children. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, received the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys award in 1957. He has also received the Padma Shri, and two awards from the Sahitya Akademi- one for his short stories and another for his writings for children. In 2012, the Delhi government gave him its Lifetime Achievement award.

Born in 1934, Ruskin Bond grew up in Jamnagar, Shimla, New Delhi and Dehradun. Apart from three years in the UK, he has spent all his life in India, and now lives in Mussoorie with his adopted family.

A shy person, Ruskin says he likes being a writer because 'When I'm writing there's nobody watching me. Today, it's hard to find a profession where you're not being watched!'

 

Introduction

The Raison D'etre for Telling a Ghost Story Was probably best summed up by the Fat Boy in pickwick Papers, when he said: "I want to make your flesh creep!"

But it isn't always as simple as that, and not all ghosts are frightening.

The other night I woke up around midnight with bright moonlight streaming in at the window and lighting up the bedroom. Someone, or something-a vague, nebulous figure-was standing beside my bed, looking down at me. It could only have been a ghost. I waited for the spectre to say something but it remained silent; nor did it move away.

"Hello," I said. "And what can I do for you?"

No answer. Not even a gesture, either of goodwill or ill-will. A most ineffective ghost.

"Do you have a message for me?" I asked. "Anything you'd like me to do for you?"

No response. It just stood there, shimmering in the Moonlight "Well," I said, "I've got better things to do than just lie here holding a one-sided conversation." And I turned over and went to sleep again.

The ghosts in this collection are far more alarming. Most of them were observed, experienced or imagined by British writers during the period 1840 to 1940: a century of ghosts! The British are a phlegmatic people, not given to displaying much emotion or excitement, with the result that their supernatural experiences are quite convincing when put down on paper. When C.A. Kincaid of the Indian Civil Service described people who turned into panthers (or vice-versa), and mischievous spirits who entered the bodies of straitlaced Englishmen, we have to believe him. As we believe those who found themselves in haunted dak bungalows, graveyards, villages, forests, forts…Haunted India, in fact! For the British, coming from a land where haunted houses and castles were the norm, were fascinated by the wonderful variety of supernatural manifestations that they found in India: churails (the ghosts of wayward women, whose feet always faced backwards), bhoots who took up residence in peepal trees, or mischievous prets (Indian poltergeists) who sometimes entered the homes of living people and created havoc in their lives. When I was a boy, one such prêt took up residence in my grandfather's house and made life hell for everyone-throwing dishes around, knocking pictures off walls, pulling the cat by the tail, and tying knots in my Uncle Ken's pyjamas-so much so, that we had to move to another house for a time. But the prêt followed us and would not leave until it had been propitiated with the help of a wandering mendicant. He taught me the following useful mantra :

Bhut, prêt, pisach, dana,
Shiv ka kehna, sab nikal jana!

(Ghosts ad spirits in house or tree,
In Shiv's great name we bid thee flee!)

Amongst the writers represented here, two were keen observers of Indian customs and folklore Lt. Col. Sleeman, an administrator who, in the mid-nineteenth century helped eliminate the menace of the Thugs, a sect who waylaid and murdered innocent travelers; and C.A. Kincaid, one of the more enlightened of British officials, who wrote sympathetic books and essays on Shivaji, the Rani of Jhansi, and other heroic figures. Kipling, poet of Empire, wrote the occasional ghost story; as did Alice Perrin, wife of an Indian official; her stories were quite popular in the 1920s. In Caulfield's Crime, she reveals the more arrogant, cruel aspect of the colonial official. In The Summoning of Arnold she demonstrates that the spirits of the dead recognize no frontiers. Ghosts require no passports. They are truly universal beings! Kincaid brings a touch of humour to his stories but this does not lessen their dramatic impact. The stories of this period tell us something about colonial attitudes-ranging from the paternalistic to the cynically indifferent-but we must remember that they were written purely to entertain, to enliven a dull railway journey, a sleepless night rainy day in the hills, a long sea voyage, or a period of recuperation from a tiring illness. Ghost stories are meant to frighten you, but at the back of your mind you know it's all a nightmare from which you are going to wake. In other words, it's a "safe" fear and you can enjoy the process of being frightened.

Doctor Johnson once said of the supernatural: "All argument is against it, but all belief is for it." Those of us who enjoy reading ghost stories are the people who half believe or want to believe. Those who are already convinced of the existence of ghosts usually look for 'factual' accounts rather than fiction. Unfortunately these factual accounts are usually very dull and consist of "sightings" of unusual phenomena, rather like the sightings of UFOs, unidentified flying objects, whose reconnoitrings are singularly without interest or purpose.

The human imagination is a wonderful things and I shall conclude this brief introduction with a 'factual' experience of my own, which was certainly hair-raising.

Some years ago, a neighbour of mine, an old English lady who lived alone, died of heart failure and was laid out on her bed for the night, as it was too late for the funeral. A friend and I decided that we would take turns at her beside, and at about midnight I sat down on an easy chair in the bedroom to undertake my part of the vigil. There had been the usual power failure, but we had lit candles and I could see the features of the corpse quite clearly.

For some reason I couldn't take my eyes off her face. Her eyes were closed, but after a while I was sure I could make out a slight smile on her lips. This smile gradually grew wider until it became a rather menacing grin. I was frightened out of my wits. Was I about to see her rising from the dead? As the grin grew even wider, I got up from my chair, ready to flee the room. Just then there was a loud report, like a pop-gun going off, and her false teeth short out of her mouth and rolled off the bed.

WE had forgotten to remove her false teeth. Rigor mortis having set in, the rigidity of her jaws had forced her mouth into that terrifying grin, ejecting the teeth with considerable force. Not a ghost story, but a ghostly one all the same Happy hauntings!

 

Contents

 

  Introduction by Ruskin Bond ix
1 The Wondrous Narrative of John Cambell Gunfounder to the Mogul Emperors, (1669-70) 1
2 The Men-Tigers 15
  Lt. Col. W. H. Sleeman (1844)  
3 Haunted Villages 21
  Lt. Col. W. H. Sleeman (1844)  
4 The Return of Imray 29
  Rudyard Kipling (1891)  
5 The Summoning of Arnold 45
  Alice Perrin (1926)  
6 Chunia, Ayah 53
  Alice Perrin (1926)  
7 Caulfield's Crime 62
  Alice Perrin (1926)  
8 A Ghost in Burma 74
  Gerald T. Tait (1928)  
9 'There are more things-' 85
  A Tale of the Malabar Jungles  
  H. W. Dennys (1930)  
10 The Aryan Smiles 105
  J. Warton and N. Blenman (1933)  
11 Panther People 117
  C.A. Kincaid (1936)  
12 The Old Graveyard at Sirur 135
  C. A. Kincaid (1936)  
13 The Munjia 145
  C. A. Kincaid (1936)  
14 The Pool 165
  John Eyton (1922)  

 

Sample Pages


Ghost Stories from the Raj

Item Code:
IDK431
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
8171679927
Size:
8.0" X 5.4"
Pages:
183
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 175 gms
Price:
$9.00   Shipping Free
Look Inside the Book
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Ghost Stories from the Raj

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 11564 times since 24th Jun, 2018
Back of the Book

‘Ghosts don't require passports. They can turn up without pa pers in the most unexpected places!’

Over the years, Ruskin Bond’s interest in the supernatural has led him to collect ghost stories from all over the world. In this collection, he presents a picture of a 'haunted India', as seen and described by British writers, officials and travellers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some ghosts are scary, some sad and some funny, but all of them are entertaining. Including tales by Rudyard Kipling, Alice Perrin, C.A. Kincaid and John Eyton, this is a wonderful collection of tales that will delight readers, young and old alike.

 

About the Author

Ruskin Bond has been writing for over sixty years, and has now over 120 titles in print-novels, collections of stories, poetry, essays, anthologies and books for children. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, received the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys award in 1957. He has also received the Padma Shri, and two awards from the Sahitya Akademi- one for his short stories and another for his writings for children. In 2012, the Delhi government gave him its Lifetime Achievement award.

Born in 1934, Ruskin Bond grew up in Jamnagar, Shimla, New Delhi and Dehradun. Apart from three years in the UK, he has spent all his life in India, and now lives in Mussoorie with his adopted family.

A shy person, Ruskin says he likes being a writer because 'When I'm writing there's nobody watching me. Today, it's hard to find a profession where you're not being watched!'

 

Introduction

The Raison D'etre for Telling a Ghost Story Was probably best summed up by the Fat Boy in pickwick Papers, when he said: "I want to make your flesh creep!"

But it isn't always as simple as that, and not all ghosts are frightening.

The other night I woke up around midnight with bright moonlight streaming in at the window and lighting up the bedroom. Someone, or something-a vague, nebulous figure-was standing beside my bed, looking down at me. It could only have been a ghost. I waited for the spectre to say something but it remained silent; nor did it move away.

"Hello," I said. "And what can I do for you?"

No answer. Not even a gesture, either of goodwill or ill-will. A most ineffective ghost.

"Do you have a message for me?" I asked. "Anything you'd like me to do for you?"

No response. It just stood there, shimmering in the Moonlight "Well," I said, "I've got better things to do than just lie here holding a one-sided conversation." And I turned over and went to sleep again.

The ghosts in this collection are far more alarming. Most of them were observed, experienced or imagined by British writers during the period 1840 to 1940: a century of ghosts! The British are a phlegmatic people, not given to displaying much emotion or excitement, with the result that their supernatural experiences are quite convincing when put down on paper. When C.A. Kincaid of the Indian Civil Service described people who turned into panthers (or vice-versa), and mischievous spirits who entered the bodies of straitlaced Englishmen, we have to believe him. As we believe those who found themselves in haunted dak bungalows, graveyards, villages, forests, forts…Haunted India, in fact! For the British, coming from a land where haunted houses and castles were the norm, were fascinated by the wonderful variety of supernatural manifestations that they found in India: churails (the ghosts of wayward women, whose feet always faced backwards), bhoots who took up residence in peepal trees, or mischievous prets (Indian poltergeists) who sometimes entered the homes of living people and created havoc in their lives. When I was a boy, one such prêt took up residence in my grandfather's house and made life hell for everyone-throwing dishes around, knocking pictures off walls, pulling the cat by the tail, and tying knots in my Uncle Ken's pyjamas-so much so, that we had to move to another house for a time. But the prêt followed us and would not leave until it had been propitiated with the help of a wandering mendicant. He taught me the following useful mantra :

Bhut, prêt, pisach, dana,
Shiv ka kehna, sab nikal jana!

(Ghosts ad spirits in house or tree,
In Shiv's great name we bid thee flee!)

Amongst the writers represented here, two were keen observers of Indian customs and folklore Lt. Col. Sleeman, an administrator who, in the mid-nineteenth century helped eliminate the menace of the Thugs, a sect who waylaid and murdered innocent travelers; and C.A. Kincaid, one of the more enlightened of British officials, who wrote sympathetic books and essays on Shivaji, the Rani of Jhansi, and other heroic figures. Kipling, poet of Empire, wrote the occasional ghost story; as did Alice Perrin, wife of an Indian official; her stories were quite popular in the 1920s. In Caulfield's Crime, she reveals the more arrogant, cruel aspect of the colonial official. In The Summoning of Arnold she demonstrates that the spirits of the dead recognize no frontiers. Ghosts require no passports. They are truly universal beings! Kincaid brings a touch of humour to his stories but this does not lessen their dramatic impact. The stories of this period tell us something about colonial attitudes-ranging from the paternalistic to the cynically indifferent-but we must remember that they were written purely to entertain, to enliven a dull railway journey, a sleepless night rainy day in the hills, a long sea voyage, or a period of recuperation from a tiring illness. Ghost stories are meant to frighten you, but at the back of your mind you know it's all a nightmare from which you are going to wake. In other words, it's a "safe" fear and you can enjoy the process of being frightened.

Doctor Johnson once said of the supernatural: "All argument is against it, but all belief is for it." Those of us who enjoy reading ghost stories are the people who half believe or want to believe. Those who are already convinced of the existence of ghosts usually look for 'factual' accounts rather than fiction. Unfortunately these factual accounts are usually very dull and consist of "sightings" of unusual phenomena, rather like the sightings of UFOs, unidentified flying objects, whose reconnoitrings are singularly without interest or purpose.

The human imagination is a wonderful things and I shall conclude this brief introduction with a 'factual' experience of my own, which was certainly hair-raising.

Some years ago, a neighbour of mine, an old English lady who lived alone, died of heart failure and was laid out on her bed for the night, as it was too late for the funeral. A friend and I decided that we would take turns at her beside, and at about midnight I sat down on an easy chair in the bedroom to undertake my part of the vigil. There had been the usual power failure, but we had lit candles and I could see the features of the corpse quite clearly.

For some reason I couldn't take my eyes off her face. Her eyes were closed, but after a while I was sure I could make out a slight smile on her lips. This smile gradually grew wider until it became a rather menacing grin. I was frightened out of my wits. Was I about to see her rising from the dead? As the grin grew even wider, I got up from my chair, ready to flee the room. Just then there was a loud report, like a pop-gun going off, and her false teeth short out of her mouth and rolled off the bed.

WE had forgotten to remove her false teeth. Rigor mortis having set in, the rigidity of her jaws had forced her mouth into that terrifying grin, ejecting the teeth with considerable force. Not a ghost story, but a ghostly one all the same Happy hauntings!

 

Contents

 

  Introduction by Ruskin Bond ix
1 The Wondrous Narrative of John Cambell Gunfounder to the Mogul Emperors, (1669-70) 1
2 The Men-Tigers 15
  Lt. Col. W. H. Sleeman (1844)  
3 Haunted Villages 21
  Lt. Col. W. H. Sleeman (1844)  
4 The Return of Imray 29
  Rudyard Kipling (1891)  
5 The Summoning of Arnold 45
  Alice Perrin (1926)  
6 Chunia, Ayah 53
  Alice Perrin (1926)  
7 Caulfield's Crime 62
  Alice Perrin (1926)  
8 A Ghost in Burma 74
  Gerald T. Tait (1928)  
9 'There are more things-' 85
  A Tale of the Malabar Jungles  
  H. W. Dennys (1930)  
10 The Aryan Smiles 105
  J. Warton and N. Blenman (1933)  
11 Panther People 117
  C.A. Kincaid (1936)  
12 The Old Graveyard at Sirur 135
  C. A. Kincaid (1936)  
13 The Munjia 145
  C. A. Kincaid (1936)  
14 The Pool 165
  John Eyton (1922)  

 

Sample Pages


Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Ghost Stories from the Raj (Language and Literature | Books)

The Penguin Book of Indian Ghost Stories
Deal 20% Off
by Ruskin Bond
Paperback (Edition: 2010)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAF254
$17.50$14.00
You save: $3.50 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Afterlife (Ghost Stories from Goa)
by Jessica Faleiro
Paperback (Edition: 2012)
Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAF008
$11.50
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Royal Ghosts: Stories of Contemporary Nepal
Deal 20% Off
by SAMRAT UPADHYAY
Paperback (Edition: 2006)
Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDF701
$17.00$13.60
You save: $3.40 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Of Ghosts and Other Perils
Item Code: NAJ283
$35.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
VIKRAMADITYA-VEITAL TALES OR THE TALES RIDDLES
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IDF982
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Tales and Legends from India
by Ruskin Bond
Paperback (Edition: 1990)
Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAF338
$10.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
First There Was Women Other Stories (Folk tales of the Dungri Garasiya Bhils)
by Marija Sres
Paperback (Edition: 2007)
Zubaan Publications
Item Code: NAF854
$18.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Hauntings (The Darksome Dozen: 13 Stories Form Bangla’s Master storytellers!)
by Suchitra Samanta
Paperback (Edition: 2000)
Katha
Item Code: NAG620
$18.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Cursed at Kedarnath and Other Stories
by Deepta Roy Chakraverti
Paperback (Edition: 2017)
Life Positive Pvt. Ltd
Item Code: NAN803
$25.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Penguin Book of Indian Railway Stories
by Ruskin Bond
Paperback (Edition: 1994)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAF444
$12.50
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Modern Goan Short Stories
by Luis S. Rita Vas
Paperback (Edition: 2002)
A Publishing House, Mumbai
Item Code: IDH280
$20.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Vermillion Clouds (A Century of  Women’s Stories from Bengal)
Deal 20% Off
by Radha Chakravarty
Paperback (Edition: 2010)
Kali for Women
Item Code: NAD110
$30.00$24.00
You save: $6.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
I received the Green Tara Thangka described below right on schedule. Thank you a million times for that. My teacher loved it and was extremely moved by it. Although I have seen a lot of Green Tara thangkas, and have looked at other Green Tara Thangkas you offer and found them all to be wonderful, the one I purchased is by far the most beautiful I have ever seen -- or at least it is the one that most speaks to me.
John, USA
Your website store is a really great place to find the most wonderful books and artifacts from beautiful India. I have been traveling to India over the last 4 years and spend 3 months there each time staying with two Bengali families that I have adopted and they have taken me in with love and generosity. I love India. Thanks for doing the business that you do. I am an artist and, well, I got through I think the first 6 pages of the book store on your site and ordered almost 500 dollars in books... I'm in trouble so I don't go there too often.. haha.. Hari Om and Hare Krishna and Jai.. Thanks a lot for doing what you do.. Great !
Steven, USA
Great Website! fast, easy and interesting!
Elaine, Australia
I have purchased from you before. Excellent service. Fast shipping. Great communication.
Pauline, Australia
Have greatly enjoyed the items on your site; very good selection! Thank you!
Kulwant, USA
I received my order yesterday. Thank you very much for the fast service and quality item. I’ll be ordering from you again very soon.
Brian, USA
ALMIGHTY GOD I BLESS EXOTIC INDIA AND ALL WHO WORK THERE!!!!!
Lord Grace, Switzerland
I have enjoyed the many sanskrit boks I purchased from you, especially the books by the honorable Prof. Pushpa Dixit.
K Sarma, USA
Namaste, You are doing a great service. Namah Shivay
Bikash, Denmark
The piece i ordered is beyond beautiful!!!!! I'm very well satisfied.
Richard, USA
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2019 © Exotic India