Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the fact is that it’s tough not to get freaked out when you experience something that cannot be explained. The shadowy figures and strange voices that go bump at night are still a great mystery to those who encounter them. But although ghosts cannot be proved to exist, the stories of ghosts and spirits have persisted throughout the human history. Even in Bhutan the history books talk so much about our great Buddhist masters like Guru Padma Sambhava and great Lamas sighting and subduing wrathful demons and evil spirits. So we are culturally brought up to believe that ghosts do not only exist in books and movies. Having personally been exposed to mysterious experiences a couple of times in my life, I am compelled to believe that there are at least some strange forces acting on us, if not ghosts. Consistent with the extensive research done by paranormal scientists around the world, it seems there are many people who believe in ghosts. For instance, the 2012 poll in the United States showed that 45 percent of Americans believed in paranormal phenomenon. This certainly shows that there are still many unsolved mysteries in the world. The following are some of the creepiest experiences I ever had in my life which baffle me even to this day. Honestly, I still don’t have any psychological or logical explanation for those mysterious encounters. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, these stories might force you to wonder with me what else they could have been if they were not paranormal activities.
It was a Sunday evening in Muenselling Institute in Khaling. I was studying in grade 9. Since the exams were approaching, I had started my revision studies. After dinner, I decided to go to the study-room to do some reading. Since it was Sunday, we did not have regular study-hours. So the academic building was empty. There were about 30 of us in the whole Institute and none of them agreed to come with me to study. So I headed to the study-room alone. The academic building had two entrances: one from the lower end and the other one from the upper end. At the end of the lower floor, there were six stairs to climb up to the upper floor. I entered the building from the lower entrance and as soon as I rushed through the corridor, I heard someone coming down the stairs on slippers from the upper floor. “Oi!” I called out wondering who could have outrun me to the building because I thought I was the first person to walk out of the dining hall. There was a pin-drop silence. Out of six stairs, I could hear only about 3 footsteps. Since it was a narrow corridor, I stretched out my arms to catch if anybody was trying to play a prank on me. With my arms fully stretched, I could touch the walls on either side of the corridor. So there was no chance for anybody to escape. Thinking that it could be one of my friends hiding at a corner and waiting to scare the shit out of me, I slowly pushed myself forward waving my hands around me. Finally I reached the top of the stairs but I could not find anybody. If it was somebody, he or she could have been just around the middle of the stairs because out of six stairs, the person had moved down only a few steps. In the weird silence, my head blew out of proportion. I was scared to the core. I ran to the upper entrance and escaped into the open air. With silent prayers in mind, I walked towards the hostel where I found all of my friends preparing to go to sleep. When I told them my story, they too freaked out. Thereafter, I never went to study alone at night.
A heavy sigh
In the hostel in Muenselling Institute, we were divided into groups. I was in Group B with 7 other roommates. I was studying in grade 7 at the time. The night study-hour was over and we had returned to the hostel to sleep. We all had got under the blankets when we overheard one of our teachers quarrelling with his wife in his house which was a few meters away. In absolute silence, we were all paying full attention to the teacher, trying to figure out what could have caused the misunderstanding. Then from the corner right below my bed, somebody let go a very heavy sigh, as though he was very tired. It was very clear and audible. We knew there was no bed in that direction and there nobody else in the room. I knew exactly from where the mysterious sigh came and I instantly pulled my blankets over my head. All my roommates got up and checked if there was anybody around the corner. The low-vision friends could not see anything. We all curled up in fear and forcefully went to sleep.
In the middle of a night, I was woken up by a group of women laughing at the top of their lungs. I was in the hostel at Muenselling Institute in Khaling and I was studying in grade 7. Without lifting up my head, I kept listening to the laughter. It was coming from between my hostel-room and a teacher’s quarter above. In between the laughter, I could hear a heavy male voice murmuring something. The male voice kept mumbling something while the women kept laughing their belly out without saying even a word. I listened carefully, paying full attention to the male voice trying to understand what he was saying, but I could not make any sense at all. Then when I raised my head from the pillow for closer examination, they started fading away into the distance as though they flew away laughing and talking. The mumbling of the male voice and the laughter of those women could still be heard in the far distance until they completely faded out. When I shared this story with my friends in the morning, they told me I might have encountered Shaza Khandros, the living spirits of some human beings who wander at night.
It was in 2012. I was in Australia pursuing my Masters degree. Beside my bed was my reading table where I had kept my laptop. My laptop has a special software called JAWS “Job Access With Speech” which is a screenreading program that reads everything on the screen. This is the software that enables us the visually impaired people to access computer and internet. At around 1 o’clock in the morning, I woke up to go to toilet. After coming back, I crept into the bed beside my wife who was fast asleep. As I was trying to go back to sleep, I clearly heard my laptop saying “JAWS for Windows Ready” which is a normal prompt after the computer finishes loading this special software. But what caught me by surprise was that the laptop was still shut down when I woke up to check it. There was no way that my JAWS could have talked without the laptop being switched on. Although I could not believe it was a paranormal activity, I could not figure out what else could it have been.
A human foot
I think it was in the year 2001. My wife was my girl-friend then. Since her brother was my schoolmate, we were close friends. I was living with them in Langjo Phakha in Thimphu. One evening after dinner, we sat around the electrical heater chatting over a cup of hot water. After taking a few sips, I had kept my cup in front of me. When I reached down to my cup for another sip, I was shocked to find a human foot hovering over my cup. What instantly ran through my mind was that my brother-in-law who is visually impaired was tossing his foot across the face of the heater to warm it up. Out of shock, I screamed “Your foot is over my cup” and that surprised everybody in the house. I immediately learned that my brother-in-law had his legs crossed over and my wife testified she could not see anything like that. But I can clearly remember landing my fingers on a somewhat rough heel of a human foot right above the surface of my hot-water cup. The moment I screamed at my brother-in-law, the heel disappeared.