Friday, 6 February 2015


Sonam is a driver by profession. He drives his truck carrying gypsum minerals between Pemagatshel and Samdrup Jongkhar. It is a terrible job but, for an uneducated man, driving is the only profession he is good at. With affluent paternal relations, he could have landed much better job but, he fancied driving right from his childhood. Somehow, he saw drivers who can manipulate a monster trucks as heroes. So after struggling as handy boy for some years, he finally became a driver.

Sonam proved to be a good driver but, he is someone who fears darkness. Even the roaring of truck engines cannot give him the confidence of driving in the dark. It is not merely darkness that he is afraid of but, the spirits and ghost stories he heard from his friends and parents that he is afraid of. To him darkness meant creatures coming out to take place of men in every space. This was the reason he  never travelled alone in the dark or when he did, he had friends in the flanks.

But one fateful day, he had to make the journey all alone. There was no one to accompany him when he started from Deothang after sundown. By the time he reached Morong, it was some hours into the dark night. He could not halt because he had an urgent work back at home but he wasn’t that confident of driving all alone. So he went to a shop and downed a bottle of local brew to embolden him.

Some stretches of the road have reported sightings of spirits and ghost by lonesome drivers and that kept bothering him more and more even as he tried not to think of those stories. He kept pressing the gas paddle as the monster roared on the snaking road. In order to keep himself composed, he never looked beyond the road in front and had his windows shut from Samdrup Jongkhar itself.

He was glad he crossed some of the fearsome stretches when he finally made it to Tshelingore from where the road bifurcated to Pemagatshel and Trashigang. There is one more spot where credible sightings of mysterious human like being had been reported in the past. As he approached the place known as Anim Gonpa, his adrenalin began rushing and he became jittery. His hands became clammy and failed to find adequate grip on the steering wheel.

When he finally reached the spot where sightings had been reported he just zoomed on with his eyes fixated on the road. Little further, he let his guard down and became little relaxed and grateful but the worst was yet to follow. After hours of tense driving he shifted his body a little and even as he did so he felt a tug on his gho. His hair stood on end and his heart seemed to have come to his throat as he felt like suffocating. He prayed to Guru Rimpoche to save him as the worst seemingly befell on him.

But he kept driving faster and faster as the ghost riding with him seems to be closing on him. The tugging seems to increase from time to time but there was no courage in him to look at where the ghost was inside the truck cabin. Finally, he reached Mongling but drove on. Soon he reached Kherigonpa where some shops line either side of the road. Just one hotel was open to his utter relief.

As soon as he reached near the door step of the hotel he stopped the engine, opened the door and tried lurching forward into the hotel. However, he could not move as he was still being held firmly inside. He finally mustered all his courage and slowly turned his face to where the ghost was sitting purportedly. He was both surprised and relieved to find there wasn't any one inside.  He moved again, but he was still being held.

There was no ghost inside but what is holding him back. Finally he tried again and this time he realized that one end of his gho was firmly tangled with the vehicle’s protruding  part. It was a big relief for him to be free at last from the nightmarish experience.

From then on, Sonam became emboldened a bit and today, he is able to drive alone in the nights yet, he fears walking alone in the night. Even today, he says there may be credence to those stories of ghost and spirits and he believes in the stories of their sightings.

Happy Reading

Gyembo Namgyal
February 6, 2015 11:50 PM


  1. I heard many similar stories of ghosts on S/J to Pema Gatshel highway in the past. But now I guess, nothing serious related to ghost happens..

    1. I think there wasn't any substantiated reports although many claim to have encountered the so called ghosts. I traveled many times on this road all alone on bike god forbid, I have not encountered one. I think all those reports are an extensions of similar incidences mentioned in the blog.