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Dancing Down an Indian Hallway in Darkness

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My cousin recently moved here from Secunderabad, India. On a recent road trip exploring America, we were shootin' the shit, exchanging ghost stories, and laughing at similarities and differences between American ghost stories and Indian ghost stories when I asked her if she’s ever experienced anything supernatural. Her eyes widened as she averted her eyes to the window. Just when the silence was about to be too much for me, she softly responded, “Yes. A few. One is troubling.”

“When I was a second year in college, I stayed at in an all-girl hostel [dorm]. I made many friends. We were all very happy to be in school away from our conservative parents. The hostel was so much fun, but it was a very very old building. Electricity was only put in the rooms.

"Sometimes, candles were placed along the windows if a watchman was present, but normally once you left the rooms, you were faced with complete darkness. It’s common to wake up someone if you needed to walk down to the restroom at the end of the hall. We all had a childish fear of being alone in the dark.

"One night, I had to use the restroom. It was about 4 a.m. I went to my friend’s bed and tapped her on the arm. She immediately opened her eyes as soon as I touched her. I apologized for bothering her, and told her I needed to pee.

"She smiled at me and hopped out of bed. All the way down the hallway, she laughed and danced. I could not see her at all, but her bangles clanked together loudly and the bells on her anklets jingled softly. It was very calming. I laughed and sashayed my hips down the hallway with her, too tired to match elaborate arm movements. She said nothing to me, though occasionally I heard her hum one of our favorite Bollywood songs. The same thing happened on our return. I fell back asleep easily.

"I awoke fairly late the next morning to the sound of men in our room. They surrounded her bed. I bolted from my bed, prepared to protect my friend, when I realized they were administrators of the college. I peered over closer. My friend’s lifeless eyes were fixated on my bed; the same smile on her face. Suicide. Her time of death was 11:30 p.m, almost five hours before I woke her.”

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