Friday, December 07, 2007

Further Analysis of the Ghostly Realm

Since my post on "Top 10 Must-haves in Horror Serials" was so well received, I thought it was time I give you some more details of my knowledge on the subject. So I thought I should give you a sneak peek into my yet unpublished (indeed, unfinished) thesis on "Ghosts of (and on) Television":

A Rough Classification of Ghosties:

Out of 10 ghosts, on an average, 3 are jilted lovers, 4 are devil worshipers, 4 are convicted criminals (mostly serial killers), while 2 are disciplinarians like jailers and hostel-wardens (my friends tell me there is not much difference between the two), with a shapit aatma (cursed soul) thrown in for good measure.

And no, I am not weak at maths. Some fall in two or more categories.

Now, on to the Part Zwei of the "Must-have's in Horror Serials".

  • Traditions are there to uphold: As I have noted before, even the ghosts of former club-hoppers love traditions. This is amply shown in their deep dislike of modern (especially feminine) clothes, and their choice of habitat (old, mainly abandoned buildings and palaces). But you can also safely bet that given a choice between a cellphone and a disconnected old (or faux-old) phone, the call from "beyond" will come on the later.

  • Idiot Box: But that doesn't mean that spirits don't change with times. Since their old toy of radio is out of fashion now, they have learnt to use TV as a means of communication. (But I still think this is a conspiracy from Parents' Association, to scare away children from watching TV)

  • It's hard to teach dead dogs new tricks: Ghosts, if possible, will try to use the tools of their former trade for killing people. If they don't have access to such things (what is a hostel-warden going to use to kill people he doesn't like? A pen?), then they will make do with anything they can think of. Which is why sometimes there is no connection between their "powers" and how they died.

  • Mein mooh dikhane ke kabil nahi raha: Undear Departed are often considerate enough that they will keep the person they killed facing the other way from others in the room. It is their way of "closing the eyes and covering the face".
    So if you find yourself in a haunted house, and one of your group is sitting in a chair facing away from you, just move on. Because there is a good chance that he has "moved on".

  • Haha, not funny: Ghosts have a sense of humour, but they don't appreciate jokes at their expense. Guess they are not much different from us humans after all. But then, they were (almost) human earlier.

  • KISS (or Keep it selectively stupid): It is well-documented fact that the brain-cells start dying once the oxygen supply to brain is disconnected at death. Which effectively makes the ghosts selectively stupid, at least when it comes to killing main characters.
    Which should explain why a ghost who was professional joker can think of new and "amusing" ways to kill somebody but does not know the joke we all heard when we were in kindergarten. I mean, we all knew why the frog cannot jump when we break all its legs in pre-school, didn't we?

  • You gotta earn your stripes: I am pretty sure there is some kind of internship period before a dead person gets to be a full-blown ghost.
    Otherwise, wouldn't it be great just once to see the ghosts of the people a ghost killed gang-up and beat their killer? (I promise, I wouldn't comment even if you make a shoddy copy of the graveyard scene in GoF)

The book (which I humbly think will be considered the last word on the subject) is a work of art in progress. Pre-orders will be open soon.

So, got anything to add?

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken


Bennie said...


Methinks you may be a fan of pointless horror movies :)
Seriously, your reference to tv as a means of communication however reminds me of the "Ring." Did you ever see it? Truly spooky. I mean how many times can one dead person waltz through a tv screen to avenge her death?

Wishing you a happy weekend!

Dhanya said...

eeeks u seem to be doing a research on this subject (yeh i know for the book ofcourse ).. But just one question - how do u manage to watch all those or do u also live in those ghost world :P

White Forest said...

lolz...hope you are not hte ghost!

Anonymous said...

hard to teach dead dogs new tricks? lololol
very nicely written.
happy weekend amey-chan!!

Amey said...

@Bennie: Not movies exactly. More like horror TV serials (do read the earlier post I linked, though some of it is in Hindi). I am not sure if Ring started the trend or not, but every other episode (and movie) I see has a ghost coming out of TV or TV going haywire to show a ghostly face.

Ring is really spooky. I am planning to read the books next :)

Happy weekend to you too...

@Dhanya: Do read the earlier post, there you will see more of my reseach. And as I mentioned earlier, I get all of this from watching one or two 40-min episode per week. Not bad, right? ;)

@White Forest: Hmm... can you know that?

@Nikichan: Oh yes, it is hard to teach old dogs, but ghosts are dead, sometimes even old.

Keshi said...


if I die, I'd be a demented ghost.


tulipspeaks said...

i used to love horror movies. now no more. may be i have grown out of it.


Amey said...

@Keshi: Sorry, the title is taken. Try another one ;)

@Tulip: Oh well, I don't know about growing up. Sometimes the suspense and thrills are more fun than romance.