My husband was posted to Quetta. We were living in a nice, spacious house. It was probably built in 1935, after the Great Earthquake, in which many people died. It had huge lawns in front, and towards the back were an orchard and a vegetable garden. The orchard had trees full of almonds, walnuts, white cherries ( white cherries, I am told, are very rare) and apples.
Both my children at that time were, nine and eleven. At one end of the house was their bedroom. One wall, facing towards a side of the front of the house, had large windows. My elder brother (an Army officer) came on a short course to Quetta. My children, sort off, looked to him grownup, so he suggested to us, to give them separate rooms. My son got shifted to a smaller room, towards the entrance of the house. My daughter, however remained in the existing room.
I woke up at night to see in the dark, Nola peering at me. I had a fright. “Why are you here?” I asked her. “Mama, I can’t sleep. There is someone in my room. I am frightened.” To which I replied, “How can there be someone? Go back to sleep in your own bed.” She wouldn’t budge and insisted she would sleep with me rather than sleeping in her room alone. So I let her sleep with us. Every night I would sit with her, till she went to sleep. When I was sure she was asleep, I would tip toe to our room. Twenty minutes later, she would be in our room, standing besides my side of the bed, begging to sleep with me. This went on for three days. In the end, my husband decided, that I should sleep with her for a week or so, till she adjusted to being alone in her room, and got over her fright.
The first night, both of us laid in our beds, (my bed was towards the window’s side) Nola was fast asleep within seconds. She probably felt secure in the knowledge, that with her mother beside her no harm could touch her. I had trouble sleeping. This always happens to me when I am sleeping in another bed than my own. Moonlight was streaming inside the bedroom. The minute I closed my eyes, I felt someone sitting beside me, staring at my face. It was such an eerie feeling, I opened my eyes, frightened. There was no one. After a few moments, I closed my eyes again. There was again that person staring at my face. I opened my eyes, there was no one. This went on and in the end, I couldn’t close my eyes. I would dread the moment, that person would sit beside me. Sleep eluded me.
In the morning I told my husband, but he didn’t believe me. I stuck out in that room, along with my child, for a week. I would try to delude myself, that there was no one there, it was a figment of my imagination. The apparition was real. It was there beside me, every night. I couldn’t close my eyes the whole night, and I would remain awake. Finally, we shifted Nola’s bed to our bedroom. I closed the door to that bedroom, till the remaining of our stay there.
Years later, a lady visited me. She had stayed in the same house as ourselves. I mentioned what happened to us. She told me that we were lucky people, as nothing happened to us. She and her family only lasted a month in that house. They were frightened to death, and same was the case with other people.
All of us, said our five prayers regularly. We were spared any frightening experience. We were under the protection of God, that’s why nothing could touch us during our stay of over three years there.