Sir Lawley’s Ghost Lawleys Boarding school had two types of residents- boys and ghosts. Not surprising, considering that this hundred and fifty-year old school had all the features that made it a paradise for ghosts. The dormitories were dingy and full of eerie shadows. The campus grounds were thickly wooded. What made Lawley’s most appealing , from a ghost’s point of view that is, was the choice of five hundred boys who could be frightened at any time of the day or night…….
That’s why, when Arjun, a skinny twelve-year old, joined the school and scornfully declared, “I don’t believe in ghosts,” the entire school thought he was quite crazy. “ Surely, you don’t expect me to believe these silly stories about headless ghosts.” Or this ridiculous tale about the invisible ghost which walks around with a pillow.”……….
“I wouldn’t say such things if I were you, Arjun,” warned a solemn voice. It was Rustom, the prefect-in-charge of the dorm. “Haven’t you heard”, Rustom went on in sinister whisper, “ that when ghosts hear you say that you don’t believe in them, they consider it an invitation- a challenge almost to show themselves to you. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sir Lawley’s ghost decided to teach you a lesson appearing in front of you one of these days…………
Sir Lawley’s, after whom the school was named, had once lived in the enormous mansion which had been converted into a boarding school after a tragic death. He had been murdered by a greedy cousin. b Since then, his ghost was said to roam the campus carrying a bloodstained pillow. “How can I possibly believe such nonsense,” Arjun continued……..
r ran g e fo r Sir La wley’s g h o st t o v Rustom grinned gleefully in the dark. He was already busy planning how would arrange for Sir Lawleys ghost to ‘visit’ Arjun . He decided to use his own pillow and managed to get hold of a long-handled broom, the kind used to clean cobwebs. In order to make the broom invisible in the dark, he smeared the bamboo handle with ashes. When no one was around , he practised how the pillow, would appear to float into the dormitory by being attached to the broomstick. He let the other boys into the his secret…… h i
On the night of Ghostly visit . On the night of Ghostly visit, Rustom woke up with a start and realized he had overslept. He felt under his bed. Yes, the pillow he had prepared was there and it was still dark. He was about to tiptoe out of bed when a familiar grating sound warned him that the dormitory door was being opened. Was it the housemaster? Whom did the soft footsteps belong to???
Discovering the cause of footsteps. When he discovered the cause of the footsteps, icy prickles of fear crept down his spine. For, advancing slowly into the dorminatory was a bloodstained pillow! Holding it was a hideous pair of ghostly white hands made more terrifying by the fact that they weren’t attached to any figure!
Sight after seeing a bloodstainedpillow Rustom’s blood turned cold, “Was he actually seeing a ghost,” he wondered. “Ghost!” Fear had turned Rustom’s voice into a feeble squeak. “ There’s a ghost!” he tried again and this time a few sleepyheads stirred awake.Seeing the bloody pillow, the boys assumed Rustom’s plan was working. Some of them even giggled. There was so much confusion. No one noticed that Rustom was sitting rigid and horror-struck in his bed, instead of being outside the dormitory.
Boys noticed Arjun The screams continued for a long time even after the pillow had retreated from the dormitory. That was when boys finally turned their attention to Arjun . His eyes saucer shaped with horror! They thought that Rustom’s acting was simply superb! He actually had goosebumps on his arms and his teeth didn’t stop chattering till the next morning. How were they to know that their prefect wasn’t acting and that his fright was totally genuine? Poor Rustom. He was haunted by the memory of dreadful vision he had seen. That spooky pair of hand! He shivered at the thought.
Some days later….. washed Rustom went to the kit room where all the clothes and uniforms were stored. As he was picking up a clean shirt, he overheard the matron scolding the school’s washerman for not washing the clothes properly. “There are muddy streaks on these sheets and this pillowcase has huge stains on it!” the matron complained . “What can I do , madam?” the washerman defended his washing, “that pillowcase had huge patches of red ink on it! You know how difficult is it to wash off red ink!”
The conversion between washerman & matron shocked Rustom Red ink on a pillowcase! Rustom froze. Was this the pillowcase that had been ‘bloodied’ with red ink to become the ghostly pillow? Every student at Lawley’s was expected to mark his name on all items of clothing so it wouldn’t be difficult to trace the pillowcase’s owner.the matron seemed to have same idea for she snatched the pillowcase from the washerman and examined it.
Who’s name was on the pillow??? “Arjun!” she exclaimed angrily, seeing the new boy’s name marked on the pillowcase. “this boy is getting worse and worse. Last week there was a complaint that he had taken a pair of white gloves from the band room and stuffed them with clay from the sculpture room. The clay had dried in the gloves to make it look like a pair of white hands.” Suddenly she noticed the prefect standing there, absolutely still and palefaced, and asked, “what’s the matter, Rustom?” you look like you’ve seen a ghost. Rustom was actually having some very un-prefect-like thoughts. That cheeky rascal. . . . . . . . Arjun ! But he just shook his head as he mumbled, “SEEN A GHOST? OH NO, MA”AM. IN FACT, I’M VERY GLAD THAT I HAVEN’T.”