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A Supernatural Phenomenon

Sir, It may probably interest your readers to read the account of a
supernatural phenomenon that occurred, a few days ago, in the house
of B. Rasiklal Mitra, B.A., district surveyor, Hamirpur. He has been
living with his family in a bungalow for about a year. It is a good
small bungalow, with two central and several side rooms. There is a
verandah on the south and an enclosure, which serves the purpose of
a court-yard for the ladies, on the north. On the eastern side of
this enclosure is the kitchen and on the western, the privy. It has
a big compound all round, on the south-west corner of which there is
a tomb of some Shahid, known as the tomb of Phulan Shahid.

At about 5 o'clock in the evening on 26th June, 1913, when Mr.
Mitra was out in office, it was suddenly noticed that the southern
portion of the privy was on fire. People ran for rescue and by
their timely assistance it was possible to completely extinguish
the fire by means of water which they managed to get at the moment,
before the fire could do any real damage. On learning of the fire,
the ladies and children, all bewildered, collected in a room, ready
to quit the building in case the fire was not checked or took a
serious turn. About a square foot of the thatch was burnt. Shortly
after this another corner of the house was seen burning. This was
in the kitchen. It was not a continuation of the former fire as the
latter had been completely extinguished. Not even smoke or a spark
was left to kindle. The two places are completely separated from
each other being divided by an open court-yard of 30 yards in
length and there is no connection between them at all.

There was no fire at the time in the kitchen even, and there were
no outsiders besides the ladies and children who were shut up in a
room. This too was extinguished without any damage having been
done. By this time Mr. Mitra and his several friends turned up on
getting the news of the fire in his house. I was one of them. In
short the fire broke out in the house at seven different places
within an hour or an hour and a half; all these places situated so
apart from one another that one was astonished to find how it broke
out one after the other without any visible sign of the possibility
of a fire from outside. We were all at a loss to account for the
breaking out of the fire. To all appearance it broke out each time
spontaneously and mysteriously. The fact that fire broke out so
often as seven times within the short space of about an hour and a
half, each time at a different place without doing any perceptible
damage to the thatching of the bungalow or to any other article of
the occupant of the house, is a mystery which remains to be solved.
After the last breaking out, it was decided that the house must be
vacated at once. Mr. Mitra and his family consequently removed to
another house of Padri Ahmad Shah about 200 yards distant
therefrom. To the great astonishment of all nothing happened after
the 'vacation' of the house for the whole night. Next morning Mr.
Mitra came with his sister to have his morning meals prepared
there, thinking that there was no fire during the night. To his
great curiosity he found that the house was ablaze within 10 or 15
minutes of his arrival. They removed at once and everything was
again all right. A day or two after he removed to a pucca house
within the town, not easy to catch fire. After settling his family
in the new house Mr. Mitra went to a town (Moudha) some 21 miles
from the head quarters. During the night following his departure, a
daughter of Mr. Mitra aged about 10 years saw in dream a boy who
called himself Shahid Baba. The girl enquired of him about the
reason of the fire breaking in her last residence and was told by
him that she would witness curious scenes next morning, after which
she would be told the remedy. Morning came and it was not long
before fire broke out in the second storey of the new house. This
was extinguished as easily as the previous ones and it did not
cause any damage. Next came the turn of a dhoti of the girl
mentioned above which was hanging in the house. Half of it was
completely burnt down before the fire could be extinguished. In
succession, the pillow wrapped in a bedding, a sheet of another
bedding and lastly the dhoti which the girl was wearing caught fire
and were extinguished after they were nearly half destroyed. Mr.
Mitra's son aged about 4 months was lying on a cot: as soon as he
was lifted up--a portion of the bed on which he was lying was seen
burning. Although the pillow was burnt down there was no mark of
fire on the bedding. Neither the girl nor the boy received any
injury. Most curious of all, the papers enclosed in a box were
burnt although the box remained closed. B. Ganesh Prasad, munsif,
and the post master hearing of this, went to the house and in their
presence a mirzai of the girl which was spread over a cot in the
court-yard caught fire spontaneously and was seen burning.

Now the girl went to sleep again. It was now about noon. She again
saw the same boy in the dream. She was told this time that if the
tomb was whitewashed and a promise to repair it within three months
made, the trouble would cease. They were also ordained to return to
the house which they had left. This command was soon obeyed by the
troubled family which removed immediately after the tomb was
whitewashed to the bungalow in which they are now peacefully living
without the least disturbance or annoyance of any sort. I leave to
your readers to draw their own conclusions according to their own
experience of life and to form such opinion as they like.

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