The interviewer’s comments are denoted through initials GM, while the interiewee’s responses are denoted by a VA.
GM: Has anything happened to you or your family that you found strange and inexplicable?
VA: Like, a supernatural presence?
GM: Yes, anything along the lines of that. Can you tell me about a certain such incident?
VA: Okay, this isn’t really like a ghost story, but I still can’t think of scientific reasoning for it so I’ll tell you it. In 7th grade, my parents decided to buy a house in Gurgaon, just outside of New Delhi. The house was at a very good location at a very good price. The only reason the house hadn’t been sold yet because of the direction it faced. Really silly stuff for people outside of India to hear that, but it’s a very common thing in India to make sure your house faces north and east.
GM: Why do you think that is?
VA: Generally, it has to do with the sun. Since the sun rises in the east, and north is generally synonymous with “up” and “good”, both those directions are preferred. Having the sun rise in front of your house is considered a good omen, bringing positive energy in. This house, however, faced directly Southeast. Most of our relatives and friends strongly advised against buying the house because of the stereotype I just mentioned. However, my family, generally not religious, thought that it was a silly idea to only buy houses that faced a certain as all directions could be peaceful if the people inside remained happy. So, my parents went ahead and bought the house. Within a couple of months, we moved in, and initially everything seemed fine. Now, I don’t know if this was because of the paranoia stemming from our social pressures, but somehow strange things started happening in the house after a few weeks. The first night that something strange happened, my parents were awoken by loud sounds coming from the kitchen. I was young and deep sleepers so I assumed my parents were just being paranoid. However, more weird things started happening over the course of the next year. I found myself having weird nightmares. Sometimes, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and my bed would be covered in sweat. My parents at the didn’t feel comfortable: it didn’t feel like the type of house anyone wants to come back home from work every day.
VA: You see, the people inside the house weren’t happy: there was no positive energy. Whether this was because of influences from others, or whether there was a genuine lack of positive energy in that house, I’ll never know. Despite the fact that my parents didn’t believe in the directional theory earlier, we were eventually convinced that there was some truth to this idea. So, the next year we moved to another house, strictly facing East, and sold the other one. We lost a lot of money in the process, but my parents have no regrets: today we live in a house that we all feel comfortable coming back to each night.
Conclusion, written by the interviewer:
This story shows the fine line between self-guided perception and the belief of a genuine supernatural force. Had there been no preconceptions going in to the house, this would have been a much more concrete ghost story: but such stories are never concrete in the real world. A “weird experience” is the name given to such events not only as a means to repress them but also to understand them. My interviewee still did not think there was a ghost present, but that they went against nature – a dark energy, in hindsight, was inevitable for him. This story is told by an international student from India, and I especially chose to ask him for a story because I knew that not only would the social views be different, but his reaction to the weird events as well. While loud noises in the US could be attributed to a poltergeist or spirit, he just noted a “lack of positive energy” –nothing more.