While studying in Khaling as a small boy, I had heard about so-called Sondreys, the living ghosts that are believed to evolve from some women. I was told by senior friends that the souls of some women temporarily leave their physical bodies when they are asleep and wander around as balls of strange fires. Many people used to share their experiences of seeing such mysterious fires at night, which keeps on glowing into one big single flame and then spread away into smaller ones. Even my youngest sister-in-law claims to have seen such a thing when she was a little girl in the village. When I was in school, some of my senior friends who were partially sighted used to claim seeing such fires at a distance and would explain it to us. It was very scary at the time. I was once sick for a couple of days with intense pain on my chest and after the drugs prescribed by Basic Health Unit did not relieve me of the pain, some people wondered if I was attacked by such a living ghost or Sondrey as it is locally called. Subsequently when the pain subsided, people told me that the scratched marks were visible on my chest, which they claimed was that of the Sondrey.
I was also told that sometimes such Sondreys can even attack us physically by throwing stones at us and if the stone hits us, we could be fatally sick. I still don’t know if it was really that mysterious stoning but what happened on that night to me and my friend on the way while returning to our hostel from Khaling market is still a mystery. My friend Sangay Tshering who is currently a lecturer at Samtse College of Education is partially sighted and we two were coming back to our hostel at Muenselling Institute after doing some shopping in Khaling market. It was about 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night and we were walking down the road when we first heard some murmurs at a short distance from the path that came from the nearby village, Daozor. It was totally dark as it was close to winter season. My friend then spotted some faint lights as we passed the junction down towards to Muenselling Institute. We didn’t make any indication that we noticed their presence. But suddenly the murmurs stopped and they started throwing stones and pebbles at us indiscriminately. We begged them not to do so but the stones never stopped. We ran down as fast as we could to escape to safety, screaming for help and pleading with them to spare us. What was strange about this incident was that the stones always spared us by an inch. When we ran fast, the stone would land just in front of us and when we slow down thinking that we might get hit, the stone would then land just behind us. So, this continued until we reached our school gate which was indeed quite a long distance but throughout this attack, we could not notice even the slightest physical movement of our mysterious attackers and the stones kept flying in without even a second of pause as though they had a huge stock of stones with them. The stoning stopped only after we entered our school gate. Fortunately, we didn’t get hit by any of the stones and we breathed a huge sigh of relief as we entered our hostel room. That was the most unusual attack I have ever been through and even to this day, I feel it’s a mystery.
However, it’s quite convincing to know that the mysterious fires seen around the graveyards are found to be the lights produced when phosphorus which is present in human bones comes in contact with oxygen. But strange actions by the unknown like this one certainly requires more in-depth research by paranormal scientists. It’s unlikely to think that I and my friend were attacked by real human beings on that night because firstly, we did not have any enemy and secondly, the pattern of the attack was unique and unusual. No matter who attacked us, I should say that we were very lucky on that night because God truly saved us.