Posted by: Mojo Jojo | August 18, 2008

The ghosts of MCC

The ageing buildings of the present Madras Christian College, the place that lent direction to the aimless soul that I was ten years ago, was born in 1937. Okay, the institution did exist before that – somewhere in the heart of the city – but that’s another story. I am talking about the buildings of the Tambaram MCC here. The ones with the yellow walls and creaky doors that seem to come alive once the moon rises onto a dark blue heaven.
Well… what do the movies tell you about old structures like these, which have felt millions of feet walk past its dusty corridors and witnessed people die in its midst every passing decade? That they have unhappy spirits which take form everytime somebody stupid draws out the Ouija Board? That the strangers you see passing through them only to disappear into the shadows of the nearest tree may not be actual people at all, but grotesque reminders of the ones who had breathed their last on its country roads twenty years ago?
If you have seen MCC at night, in the dull moonlight and near-total absence of streetlights on untarred roads that wind through its heavily-wooded campus,  you might actually believe them. Beautiful as my alma mater was in all its dark green glory, it could also get very very spooky if it wanted to.
And, as expected, many a ghost story lived in its midst, told by one student to another over candlelight booze parties and packets of potato chips from Penguin Bakes. Some were mediocre, some were scary. Others, they insist, were true.
They may have been, they may not have been – but I loved the shiver they sent up my spine on those sultry Madras nights.

Heber’s room no. 148

Or was it 147, or 143? Can’t say I remember, but I sure know that no student had lived there in more than five years.  In time, after realising that nobody was ever going to use the room, the college chaplain had it attached to his house and converted into a storeroom for books and old clothes.
It is haunted, they say.
Haunted by the ghost of a student who hanged himself from the ceiling fan after breaking up with his girlfriend. Which explains why I had to make do with a small table fan when I joined the Hall ten years later – they did not want to see any more corpses hanging from the ceiling.
But people kill themselves, don’t they, I asked the senior who was telling me this story, That doesn’t mean they always have to haunt the place they die in…
The guy just chuckled and replied, But you haven’t heard the whole story yet, have you? There’s more…
Then he went on to explain how the room was given to another kid the following year. The first two nights went okay, but on the third one, he reportedly woke up at 2:00 am to find a pale young person, naked from the waist up, sharing his bed. When he screamed, his neighbours came running only to realise that the whole thing was apparently just a figment of the occupant’s imagination.
Or maybe not.  The night after that, he saw something written on one of the walls of his room. In blood.  The words spelt, ‘Y…O…U    A…R…E    N…E…X…T!’
He packed his bags and left the hostel that morning (by when the letters had mysteriously vanished), and nobody ever stayed in Room no. 148 (or 147, 143 … whatever!) again.  So, do ghosts exist? Can’t say for sure – but that empty room in Heber sure has to mean something…

The question

I found the next story spookier, probably because it happened at a time when I was a resident of the Hall. More than just a resident, in fact. Its Library and Reading Secretary.
Well, I heard from credible sources that a particular resident athlete would probably be staying away from the annual Sports Day. The news was a complete downer, considering that we were counting on him to go get a couple of laurels for our Hall.
What happened to him, I asked A-Block Kovilpatti, who was quite close to the guy.  Kovilpatti was sitting in his room (periliously close to his matka soundbox) and listening to Nirvana’s Rape Me for the thousandth time, smoking a small joint. The air, quite obviously, stank of pot.
And even as he began replying, his glazed eyes staring into mine, I realised that in our very hostel lived a storyteller who could put Stephen King to shame. And give me the shivers like even The Exorcist couldn’t.
Okay, so this athlete (shall we call him Raju? I can’t remember his real name) used to live on the ground floor of Heber’s D-Block along with some of his sportsperson friends. But on that that fateful Friday, Raju decided to crash in a friend’s room on the first floor – little expecting the horror that awaited him later that night.
It was at around 3 am that he got up from his sleep to take a leak. Still half-dazed from sleep, Raju stumbled through the dark hostel corridor, entered the bathroom and relieved himself of the agony of a full bladder. Then he turned.
A man stood outside the bathroom window (which faced the great dark outsides), sporting a dirty white shirt and particularly unkempt hair. Hello, he asked, Could you tell me who lives in Room no. 57?
Raju didn’t know, or wouldn’t care. He shook his head and proceeded to the exit and on to the corridor again. But hardly had he taken ten  steps in the direction of his friend’s room that realisation struck. He had gone to the first floor bathroom and there was no way a man could have been standing outside its window asking questions unless… unless…. he was STANDING ON THIN AIR!
Panicked, he let out a meek cry and started running towards his room. But halfway down the corridor, he stumbled and fell, hit his head against the cold concrete floor, and lost consciousness. For five days after that, he was confined to a room in the Hindu Mission Hospital with a very high temperature.
And the actual occupant of Room no. 57 also decided to find someplace else to sleep for a couple of months,  in the hope that the ghost may start looking elsewhere by then.

Kovalpatti wasn’t the most credible of sources, but I had to admit that his story was rather interesting.

The Zoology wing

They have always said that the college’s zoology wing is its Amityville mansion, and strange noises can be heard coming from it at unearthly hours. But, despite so much promise, repeated after-dark (Old Monk-fuelled) investigations in this regard by my friends and I went in vain.
Maybe it was just a rumour. Or, probably, the Zoology ghosts don’t like to be in the company of drunk people.

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Responses

  1. ohhhhhhhhhhh..memories..memories…
    remember, u once freaked out when i told you about the guy who hanged himself on a tree somewhere near the lake? and of course, the story of old tige……!!

  2. We even have a resident ghost at Technopark.. Read this
    http://blog.technoparktoday.com/2008/08/ghost-in-technopark-a-real-life-experience-by-technopark-employee/

  3. @ Div: Oh. I don’t remember anything about any guy who hanged himself on a tree near the lake. But ya, remember the Ol’ Tige one… sent a shiver down my spine. Goes to show that you tell stuff better than Jim Reeves himself 🙂

    @ Mattiz: Read the story. But the culprit was a guy the “height of 2 persons mounted on each other and was fatter than a normal person”? Sounds curiously like the abominable snowman!

  4. Your blog has been felicitated!!! 🙂

  5. Thank goodness I was in a newly constructed hostel when i did my college. So no spooky tales.. the only ghosts were the live ones.

    But as the college was ontop of a hill, the hill was said to be haunted and there was rumors spread by the watchman that he saw yekshi (female ghost) once.

    So a couple of my friends and myself spent a night at the college in the blistering cold for 4 hours (like the eminem song) and found nothing. Later we came to know that the watchman was helping some theifs to steal cement from the campus (for new constructions going on) So this was his idea to keep the students away from college during nights as he know most of them will be drunk and would be roaming around.

  6. I don’t believe in ghost, but yeah I do believe in spirits.. They have let me be till now. In case they turn up someday I would thank the spirit for giving me a topic to blog about 😛

    Lot of people are complaining about my almost inactive blog you see….

    PS: These incidents are spookier when you write, than when you narrate :-/

  7. I’m awake now 😛

  8. @ Aparna: Hey, thnks a lot! I’m loving it already!! 🙂

    @ xylene: He cooked up that yekshi story to help somebody steal cement? That was one smart watchman, I should say! 😉

    @ Balu: Ah, aren’t spirits ghosts? And ghosts spirits? Well, anyways, can’t wait to see a spook story on your blog! 🙂

    @ Creepy Suzie: Finally!

  9. love those ghost stories…

  10. @Mojo Jojo – I know! Its a great feeling, isnt it? Congratulations!!! Now, here’s the deal:

    a.) Write a post about it
    b.) Mention my name
    c.) Pass it on 8 more deserving candidates
    d.) Leave a comment in their blog, and let them know! 🙂

    Seriously.. No Award? I am not the only one? Maybe this award will keep you blogging for some more time!

    Write on!!! 🙂

  11. Jimmy Jacob!?
    Oh my god!!

    How the fuck are you dude!? Still in BM?? 😀

  12. @ Cats: Thanks, Cats! 🙂

    @ Aparna: Yeah, it’s time to share the booty, na? 🙂 Will post about it very soon!

    @ Nikhil: 🙂 Yeah, you got the Jacob right. I quit BM a month ago, am working with DNA now. What’s happening in your life, man? And how’s the book doing?

  13. @Mojo
    Spirits and ghosts are the same? No ways
    Ghost is the spirit of a dead person
    While spirits are spirits.. I don’t believe spirits turn evil after they are dead and blah that why I don’t believe in ghosts

  14. oh i once got lost in those woods on a december night.. last year for the heber carol service… i was late… and running from th tambaram station… and in all the hurry (i consider a concert wasted if u miss the first ‘o come all ye faithfull’) i took th right turn before th heber hall one… and then after walking down a while, i thought they had jus forgotten to switch on the lights, and walked into what ought to have been the front of the hall….
    only i thing i walked straight into a thick forest!

    and yeah, i saw that u did th tag that day itself… but i really lack internet time.. so couldn comment on it…

    ab

  15. jimmy, you devil
    you have mde it impossible for me to sleep peacefully in my room x-(

  16. new hostel room i mean

  17. @Creepy Suzie: Yea Yea. Succeeded in my noble endeavour, didn’t I? So, how’s US treating you? Checkin’ under your bed for monsters, I hope?

  18. You kind of captured the typical spooky stories that make the rounds in old hostels. But I guess that’s just a part of life away from home, in a hostel crowded by many other residents… so whats the fear?
    Stumbled upon your blog… liked it and so leaving a trace of my presence in your domain [:)]

  19. Hi!
    Stumbled upon this blog and I am glad I did. Spooky stuff is endlessly alluring, isn’t it? Loved the read! 🙂

  20. Hi!
    Stumbled upon this blog and I am glad I did. Spooky stuff is endlessly alluring, isn’t it? Loved the read! 🙂

  21. Hi ,

  22. Hi,
    i witnessed couple of times . when i was studying there,

  23. Joe, a server on the Heber mess, hung himself near the lake one night in the ’50’s. I was there.

    • Really!!!😝😜😛

  24. Nice story….it would win at least 2oscar awards if transformed into movie


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