An Ex TV producer's diary excerpts on her true experiences with the paranormal.
Entry 1: The First Shoot
Entry 2: Coming face to face with true darkness creeping in the ruins of a jail from the British Raj.
2nd Sept 2011
It’s been 2 days since that night and for the first time in my life, I’m happy about having to sleep crouched in an Innova – at least this way I’m around people.
I need to empty my mind and focus on our next location - a haunted jail abandoned for about 70 odd years now. It was a special jail for the British Raj – one where all the convicts on death row were held. After one incident, it was not just the noose that waited for them.
The jail was spread out over a large area and because of the brutal nature of crimes committed, there were many solitary confinement units – “Andha Kuas” for those who had crossed the boundaries of humanity. One such case was of a psycho bastard who horribly mutilated his own family. It’s straight out of Hannibal or something equally twisted - he bound and gagged his wife and cut off her breasts; she bled to death. He gauged out his daughter’s eyes and tongue and left her to sleep peacefully on her bed. But what he did to his son was a lot worse than either of these grotesque acts – he cut off each of his fingers and toes into little pieces – one cut at each joint. He then stuffed them down the child’s throat and let him choke on his own flesh. A man like that was made for solitary confinement in this jail.
The first night itself, the jailer heard the man screaming to get out – but that was only normal. After all, even 6 hours felt like a lifetime inside that dank windowless unit. The inmates in there got disoriented, depressed, psychotic even. The jailer let him be – it was seen as sort of divine justice. But the weird thing was that his screams went on – he kept yelling for his wife and kids to leave him alone. He was sorry, they should kill him, but not do this, for God’s sake.
On the 5th morning, they realised that his screams had stopped. Curious, they opened the cell and found him. His finger and toe nails were scattered all over the cell floor. They were ripped off from trying to claw through the wall. His jaw was unhinged from trying to bite his own chest – a few of his teeth were still embedded in there. His throat was bulging and they soon found out why – it was stuffed with his fingers.
The solitary unit was shut down after three more gruesome “suicides” one after the other. Even in other parts of the jail, inmates and jailers were pushed, pulled, strangled and accosted. The jail was soon shut down and remains so till this day.
The locked entry we should never have opened
3rd Sept 2011
Walking around in the abandoned jail was like nothing I’d done before. It was so big – not jail-like at all. Maybe this whole ghost business was some sneaky Rajasthani Realtor’s plan to swallow up this massive property. Surprisingly, most of the structures had withstood the haunting of time.
Inside the solitary unit, I saw deep gashes cut into the walls – surely this could not be done by someone’s fingers? I moved on before I could dwell on it. There was a well nearby - about 20 feet away from the solitary units. As much as I wanted to peep in, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I asked the local line producer - our erstwhile guide - if there was still any water in there. He gave me a strange look, then told me that it was filled up to the brim with sand. He had heard that this step was taken after the bodies of four policemen were found stuck to the sides on the inside. His last words made the hair on the back of my neck stand – the bodies were pierced through with human femur bone that were lodged into crevices inside the well.
The solitary unit where it all began
4th Sept 2011
I’m pretty certain I’m losing my mind.
Last night was one of the worst nights of my life. Either I’m so stressed that I’m beginning to see things or I’m beginning to see things that are not meant to be seen. I really don’t know which is worse.
It was around 2:30 am that I stepped out of the PCR – I needed to stretch my muscles and I was a little tired of hearing the girls scream each time they thought they saw a ghost. I was also quite proud of myself for handling this better than I expected…I wasn’t nearly as freaked out as I was in the afternoon. I was chatting with the sound recordist as I waited for some piping hot chai to wake me up… About 100 metres ahead of us to the right was the well behind which stood the “most haunted” solitary unit. We picked up our cups and ambled towards the well as the sound recordist droned on…apparently, one of the girls was praying to Jesus even though she was Punjabi and he thought it was so funny that when fear takes over, any God who comes to your rescue is the God for you. I laughed on cue as I turned to smile at him, mainly because I wanted him to keep talking...but the breath got stuck in my throat. This has never happened to me before – it was like being frozen – no part of my body was under my command, but each and every fibre of my being was aware that this shit I was looking at was not right. I saw the well. But there was someone crouched in it, bracing his arms on the boundary and looking at us. He was completely shrouded in darkness, but I could make out his long scraggy hair, his arms bent at the elbow and his minute head movements – following our steps. I could only see the head, arms and shoulders, but I instinctively knew that this is not a man – it’s something else. I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t tear my gaze away from that THING. I could feel tears pricking my eyes, but I couldn’t blink. Somehow, I managed to turn away and head back wordlessly to the PCR. I wanted to scream, to shout, to cry and physically run away. But all I could do was sit quietly behind the director as he gave instructions to the crew. There was a sickening pain in the pit of my stomach – like something was eating me from within. I think that’s what extreme panic feels like. I stared unseeingly at the monitors and the personal hell each contestant was in…it was not worse than mine. I saw him. And I truly believe he saw me. I’m so afraid that I can’t bring myself to talk about it to anyone. I just can’t do it. Whether my eyes are open or closed – I can still only see him waiting to slither out and pull me in.
It’s one in the afternoon. I have thrown up at least 3 times and am running a fever. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep and I’m terrified of the night – I can’t bear the thought of darkness because I know he is lurking, waiting to crawl up to me and into me. I want out of this, but I don’t think that’s an option anymore.
He saw me.
By Rachna Mahadevan