At nine years old my imagination was beginning to get more active by the minute. Full moons and neighbourhood gossip from the aunties, the guards, the house help, etc. meant that there were plenty of stories around about witches and ghosts and other creepy things that nights were supposed to be made up of. It was meant to deter children from being extra nosy or venturing out at night by themsleves but of course at nine one is gullible and believes most things.

My much older cousin sister who was studying in Kolkata had come over with friends to stay over for a couple of days. They were in their late teens or early twenties I think. To accommodate all of them, I was put in a bedroom with my siblings – all four of us huddled together while my cousin and her friends slept in the living room. From the bedroom, one could see the dining room quite clearly. We went to bed quite early that night after a really fun day! Some time past midnight, my sleep broke. I think I might’ve been thirsty. I opened my eyes groggily and suddenly caught sight of something that made my blood run cold!

A headless white figure in a white dress stood by the dining table in the dining room! I was so terrified that I immediately shut my eyes and started praying like my life depended on it. I could feel my extremities go numb and the thought of opening my eyes and seeing the apparition again made me want to whimper. But then some strange sense of courage came upon me. I really got worried for my cousins and her friends. What if the headless ghost attacks them or scares them! Yikes! I had to do something I thought. So I mustered whatever little courage I had, I opened my eyes and turned my gaze towards the dining room.

What I saw next was quite unexpected indeed and a sight that came as a surprise. There was no ghost there! No weird mystical aura of any sort either. Just the moonlight reflected on the wall creating a silhouette with the curtains. I felt so silly and so relieved too. With a giggle, I went right back to sleep. Next morning I had a lot to share with my cousin, her friends and my family. 

What a night it had been! I was hoodwinked by moonlight and curtains.