The Boy Possessed
I think it was in 1906 that in one of the principle cities in India the
son of a rich man became ill. He had high fever and delirium and in his
insensible state he was constantly talking in a language which was some
kind of English but which the relatives could not understand.
This boy was reading in one of the lower classes of a school and hardly
knew the English language.
When the fever would not abate for 24 hours a doctor was sent for.
The doctor arrived, and went in to see the patient in the sick-room.
The boy was lying on the bed with his eyes closed. It was nearly
As soon as the doctor entered the sick-room the boy shouted "Doctor--I
am very hungry, order some food for me."
Of course, the doctor thought that the boy was in his senses. He did not
know that the boy had not sufficient knowledge of the English language
to express his ideas in that tongue. So the doctor asked his relations
when he had taken food last. He was informed that the patient had had
nothing to eat for the last 8 or 10 hours.
"What will you like to have?" asked the doctor.
"Roast mutton and plenty of vegetables" said the boy.
By this time the doctor had approached the bed-side, but it was too dark
to see whether the eyes of the patient were open or not.
"But you are ill--roast mutton will do you harm" said the doctor.
"No it won't--I know what is good for me" said the patient. At this
stage the doctor was informed that the patient did not really know much
English and that he was probably in delirium. A suggestion was also made
that probably he was possessed by a ghost.
The doctor who had been educated at the Calcutta Medical College did not
quite believe the ghost theory. He, however, asked the patient who he
In India, I do not know whether this is so in European countries too,
lots of people are possessed by ghosts and the ghost speaks through his
victim. So generally a question like this is asked by the exorcist "Who
are you and why are you troubling the poor patient?" The answer, I am
told, is at once given and the ghost says what he wants. Of course, I
personally, have never heard a ghost talk. I know a case in which a
report was made to me that the wife of a groom of mine had become
possessed by a ghost. On being asked what ghost it was the woman was
reported to have said "the big ghost of the house across the drain." I
ran to the out-houses to find out how much was true but when I reached
the stables the woman I was told was not talking. I found her in
To return to our story; the doctor asked the patient who he was.
"I am General ----" said the boy.
"Why are you here" asked the doctor.
"I shall tell you that after I have had my roast mutton and the
vegetables--" said the boy or rather the ghost.
"But how can we be convinced that you are General ----" asked the doctor.
"Call Captain X---- of the XI Brahmans and he will know," said the
ghost, "in the meantime get me the food or I shall kill the patient."
The father of the patient at once began to shout that he would get the
mutton and the vegetables. The Doctor in the meantime rushed out to
procure some more medical assistance as well as to fetch Captain X of
the XI Brahmans.
The few big European officers of the station were also informed and
within a couple of hours the sick-room was full of sensible educated
gentle men. The mutton was in the meantime ready.
"The mutton is ready" said the doctor.
"Lower it into the well in the compound" said the ghost.
A basket was procured and the mutton and the vegetables were lowered
into the well.
But scarcely had the basket gone down 5 yards (the well was 40 feet
deep) when somebody from inside the well shouted.
"Take it away--take it away--there is no salt in it."
Those that were responsible for the preparation had to admit their
The basket was pulled out, some salt was put in, and the basket was
lowered down again.
But as the basket went in about 5 or 6 yards somebody from inside the
well pulled it down with such force that the man who was lowering it
narrowly escaped being dragged in; fortunately he let the rope slip
through his hands with the result that though he did not fall into the
well his hands were bleeding profusely.
Nothing happened after that and everybody returned to the patient.
After a few minutes silence the patient said:--
"Take away the rope and the basket, why did you not tie the end of the
rope to the post."
"Why did you pull it so hard" said one of the persons present.
"I was hungry and in a hurry" said the ghost.
They asked several persons to go down into the well but nobody would. At
last a fishing hook was lowered down. The basket, which had at first
completely disappeared, was now floating on the surface of the water. It
was brought up, quite empty.
Captain X in the meantime had arrived and was taken to the patient. Two
high officials of Government (both Europeans) had also arrived.
As soon as the Captain stepped into the sick room the patient (we shall
now call him the Ghost) said. "Good evening Captain X, these people will
not believe that I am General--and I want to convince them."
The Captain was as surprised as the others had been before.
"You may ask me anything you like Captain X, and I shall try to convince
you" said the Ghost.
The Captain stood staring.
"Speak, Captain X,--are you dumb?" said the Ghost.
"I don't understand anything" stammered the Captain.
He was told everything by those present. After hearing it the Captain
formulated a question from one of the Military books.
A correct reply was immediately given. Then followed a number of
questions by the Captain, the replies to all of which were promptly
given by the Ghost.
After this the Ghost said, "If you are all convinced, you may go now,
and see me again to-morrow morning."
Everybody quietly withdrew.
The next morning there was a large gathering in the sick room. A number
of European officers who had heard the story at the club on the previous
evening dropped in. "Introduce each of these new comers to me" said the
Captain X introduced each person in solemn form.
"If anybody is curious to know anything I shall tell him" said the
A few questions about England--position of buildings,--shops,--streets
in London, were asked and correctly answered.
After all the questions the Indian Doctor who had been in attendance
asked "Now, General, that we are convinced you are so and so why are you
troubling this poor boy?"
"His father is rich" said the Ghost.
"Not very," said the doctor "but what do you want him to do?"
"My tomb at ----pur has been destroyed by a branch of a tree falling
upon it, I want that to be properly repaired" said the Ghost.
"I shall get that done immediately" said the father of the patient.
"If you do that within a week I shall trouble your boy no longer" said
The monument was repaired and the boy has been never ill since.
This is the whole story; a portion of it appeared in the papers; and
there were several respectable witnesses, though the whole thing is too
Inexplicable as it is--it appears that dead persons are a bit jealous of
the sanctity of their tombs.
I have heard a story of a boy troubled by a Ghost who had inscribed his
name on the tomb of a Mahommedan fakir.
His father had to repair the tomb and had to put an ornamental iron
railing round it.
Somehow or other the thing looks like a fairy tale. The readers may have
heard stories like this themselves and thought them as mere idle gossip.
I, therefore, reproduce here the whole of a letter as it appeared in
"The Leader" of Allahabad, India--on the 15th July, 1913.
The letter is written by a man, who, I think, understands quite well
what he is saying.
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