A face in the Dark and other Hauntings – Ruskin Bond

The name is Bond. Ruskin Bond.

I don’t exactly remember when I picked up my first Ruskin Bond, but I’ve always loved reading his books. Having lived in the hills for quite some time in the hills in my childhood, I can easily picture his words. It’s almost as if the story is being enacted in front of me; I’m the spectator standing on the side, observing everything. And what better, sometimes I’m even part of those stories :).

Often I imagine his cottage; on one of the hilltops in Mussourie, isolated from most dwellings. I imagine it to have a tall hedge around for privacy and I see myself walking around it. I see myself trying to find an entrance, peeping inquisitively through the hedge to catch a glimpse of the writer who has been with me since childhood.

Coming back to the book, I am the kind who can’t stand horror. As a kid (and sometimes even now) I used to be dead scared of going to the bathroom at night… I would go only when it is absolutely necessary and used to keep chanting “there are no ghosts.. there are no ghosts” all the way. This is the first time I picked up an horror stories collection, and the only reason why I picked it was because it was by Ruskin Bond.

I was all alone in the house. Sikander was travelling on work. I had finished reading the book I was reading and when I went to the book rack, I couldn’t find anything else more interesting than this one. I started the book with some apprehension (the fear from the fact that I knew it was supposed to be scary!). But the introduction of the book put me at ease and I read on. I finished ‘A face in the dark’ and boy was I scared because as if it was planned, the electricity went off right after I finished reading it. I closed the book and didn’t open it again until Sikander was back and I was no longer sleeping alone. Once my personal ghost buster was back, I continued with the book. I was actually enjoying those stories… most of the stories didn’t scare but left me with a desire to actually meet such a ghost myself. Especially the ones with a funny side :). In some stories there is no actual ghost but just the hint of a ghost… winds whistling, tree branches moving to give an illusion of someone waving from behind the trees… I actually had to stop myself from reading more than one story a night else the book would get over too quickly :).

I know when I next go to the hills, I will be wary of taking a stroll in the night alone for fear that I might come across the ghost of Hamida or Rose or Gulabi… Or I just might, for I do want to meet the fairies that live underground on the pari tippa!

Categories: around us, Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “A face in the Dark and other Hauntings – Ruskin Bond

  1. Reblogged this on BookRepublic.

  2. Thank you akinbowle! Good Luck with Book Republic! 🙂


  3. Hey, I didn’t know you had lived in hills in childhood…I thought it was more recently…Where did you live btw (in childhood) ?

    • Hello Richa!

      How are you? My dad used to live in lucknow for 6 months and jaipur for 6 months, so we spent every summer vacation for almost 7 years roaming around the hill stations of the then UP – nainital, saat-tal, bheemtal, naukuchiatal, ranikhet, almora, pithoragarh.. lots of places for 2 months every year.. The best part is that each hill station’s name has a story behind it 🙂 Like bheem-tal is so called because it is believed that Bheem had struck his gada over there, which created a depression on a mountain hill; naukuchital has a lake with 9 corner points, naital has a lake which looks like an eye from the sky etc etc.. 🙂


      • Very interesting! Seems like a fun way to spend the summer vacation :-)…You might be surprised, I haven’t visited any of these hill stations yet…but one day I guess I will!

      • Ashima

        you should, you should! now that the travel bug has bit you, you should find time to go there! more so as it has very nice photo opportunities 🙂

  4. nice .
    congratulations, you are on the first google search page for “ruskin bond horror stories”

    • Hello Abhishek!

      Wow! Didn’t know that 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.


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