The Legendary Ghosts of Reading -- and my encounter with it ( a real life story that every Penskite, who ever travelled to city of Reading in Pennsylvania will relate to)
By summer of 2005, there was already a large group on our floor, who had returned from Reading,PA after participating in one of the numerous process transitions, happening at that time. But they did not just bring back process maps and sop's, they brought back something else -- tales of eerie experiences, spooky encounters and from their tales were born the Legendary Ghosts of Reading !!
It was roughly around 8:30 pm on 30th May 2005, as I unpacked and prepared to go to bed on my very first night on American soil at 19 Wyoming drive at City of Reading, PA. Umesh with whom I was sharing the duplex 2 bedroom apartment ,was still at work. And I was still experiencing the Adrenaline rush of having travelled to US for the first time in my life.
Unlike the houses in the Indian subcontinent, which are made up of concrete, most American houses are made of plasterboard and wood. It lends them to create noises that most Indians wont be familiar with. Especially creaking sound of the wood boards, when someone walks or the howling sound as the wind blows through the window. It takes time to get used to such noises and for our mind to cancel them out.
So I kept one of the lampshades in the room switched on, just in case !!
I began to drift off in sleep, but all of a sudden, the flush in the bathroom went off !! -- whoosshh !! My pulse shot up, so did my heart beat and I become wide awake. I was alone in the house, so who was operating the flush. Usually after any such encounter, our mind if first frozen with fear , later as it thaws, it starts finding a logical explanation for that encounter. Probably Umesh was back from work, so I called out his name, while still seating on my bed, no response !! My mind tried desperately to come with any probable explanation for the flush operating on its own, that too, exactly at an hour, when I was about to fall asleep, while I was all alone in the apartment ,on my
very first night in US !! Nothing
After the flush emptied the tank, the ball valve opened letting the water gush in, to fill up the tank --- trrrrrrrrrr , but again whooossshh , the flush went off !! And it kept repeating. I don't know for how long , I sat on my bed, frozen, finding no logical explanation for this phenomenon, all the Ghosts stories of Reading that I had overheard back in India , paid me a complimentary visit. I held a Sai Baba frame close to my chest and summed up enough courage to confront the toilet flushing Ghost !!
With my heart pounding thru my chest, I pushed open the bathroom door, but there was no one inside. Again the flush went off on its own. At least this Ghost is invisible, is what I thought !! With sweaty palms, I opened the cover of the flush tank, there was certainly nothing out of the ordinary inside, but flush kept operating on its own.
Another few minutes went by before my mind calmed down enough to think clearly , the flush in all probability was malfunctioning. Why it decided to malfunction exactly at that appointed hour as it did, remains a mystery till date. By now my fear had given way to anger on the flush tank to have screwed up my sleep. I took a shampoo bottle and jammed it inside the flush tank, below the ball-valve lever, so disabling the mechanism. Thankfully my jugad worked , the flush went silent, after an harrowing ordeal lasting over an hour, I finally felt asleep.
And probably the Ghost of Reading went off to some other apartment, to terrify another unsuspecting individual.