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Have you ever heard your name being called in moments of peaceful solitude, only to discover that there was no one around or did you see a flash of movement in your peripheral vision, discovering upon investigation that there was no one there? Many years ago, the ‘chowkidar’ detailed to take care of my under construction home rang me up well past midnight and in a voice quaking with fear told me that he was quitting effective that very moment. When questioned, he said that the construction site was in all probability haunted, since he had repeatedly heard a male voice calling out his name, but a detailed search of the premises had revealed no one. He added that he had initially considered the possibility that some member of the labor working there, had pulled a prank, but the entire work force had proceeded to their native villages for Eid. I somehow managed to convince the man to stay on and went back to bed with memories of similar occurrences in our old house at Lahore. My parents once told me that when they initially encountered this activity, they had attributed it to a figment of their imagination, until a visitor from a university abroad, who was perhaps a pioneer in parapsychological research, had asked them specifically if they had ever experienced such phenomenon, which was a sign of Extra Sensory Perception or ESP.

 

It is now an established fact that some animals and birds have the ability to sense natural disasters such as earthquakes. My grandmother often said that howling dogs indicated an imminent tragedy. The motion picture industry latched onto this notion, adding sound effects of baying canines to enhance the effects of horror movies. I have however, seen felines behaving in an agitating manner seconds before earth tremors, while elsewhere, bird lovers claim that ‘super sensitive birds’ like canaries, also display a change in behavior before calamities or pre cognition of natural calamities.

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Category: Weird Desk