Ghosts In Our Backyard – By Alisha ‘Priti’ Kirpalani

I found this book extremely entertaining. Having grown up in watching Ramsay horror movies with the ‘chudails’ and ‘pishach’ chasing me in my nightmares, a book written by the descendant of the Ramsay family really intrigued me. Each story in this has some takeaway – some might not scare you right away, but leave you thinking about The Other Side.

I’ve not read previous books by the author, but her simple writing style is what is most haunting. There’s the quintessential lady-in-white haunting staircases and some eerie premonitions leading to really spooky events included in the story. The author says these have been experienced first hand by the family that produced horror movies that defined a whole era in Indian cinema. Some stories may not be as believable, but surely give a good scare and are thoroughly amusing.

My particular favourite in Kirpalani’s collection of these stories is the chronicles of the Bungalow. I am a believer of how the ability to see past the veil of our dimension gets passed on from generation to generation. Being a Mumbaikar I am really curious to know what bungalow it is as Google searches did not yield much details. Perhaps I’d like to ask the author in confidence, perhaps not. Because the way those stories are described, it feels like it may as well be the best kept secret.

Among the stand-alone stories, there is one about how one of the Ramsay brothers was sent away from the city, because his mother knew how her death would affect him, and she died that night. It was heartbreaking for sure to know how these things are sensed by people and the things they do for love even after passing away.

I’d have liked the book to be longer, perhaps describing in detail about either more incidents, or make some others more believable than graphic. There’s always the benefit of the doubt, but perhaps I may have grown immune to some particular kinds of horror stories to be as spooked by it as the author may have intended. I love how there’s a family tree map to make understanding easier, and how we dive right into the meaty stuff without really adding a long prelude as there is in a lot of horror books. That is a massive buzz kill.

All in all, if there’s a sequel to this one, I’d certainly have my hands on it.

3.5/5

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