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THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 1

Dear Readers and Listeners,


Welcome to a chilling new episode of OBSCURUS, where we explore the eerie realms of paranormal fiction. This week, I am excited to share with you "The Phantom Train," a tale set in the mysterious shadows of Shyamalpur. This story intertwines the ordinary with the extraordinary, weaving a narrative that is as intriguing as it is haunting.


For those of you eager to enhance your language skills, I invite you to join our SPOKEN ENGLISH FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS program. It's a fantastic opportunity to delve deeper into both the English language and gripping storytelling, all available through our resources at biswajitbanerjee.com.


I encourage you not only to listen but to engage actively with our content. Visit our website for more captivating episodes and enriching experiences. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for regular updates and thought-provoking content that I have carefully crafted for your entertainment and intellectual growth.


Please consider supporting our creative endeavors on Patreon and other platforms. Your support helps us continue unraveling the spectral secrets of the paranormal week after week.


Join me, and let your curiosity thrive as we journey through the night and beyond, uncovering stories that are bound to keep you captivated.


Warm regards and thrilling listens,

Biswajit Banerjee

Author, Screenwriter, Podcaster, Musician, Filmmaker, English Communication Trainer and Jurist



The OBSCURUS ARTWORK depicts the countless themes pertaining to the unknown and the mysterious subjects presented in the shape of stories in the podcast OBSCURUS
OBSCURUS ARTWORK

 Listen to the Audio Trailer of OBSCURUS EPISODE 70 - THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 1:



Watch the Video Trailer of OBSCURUS EPISODE 70 - THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 1:





Listen to the full episode of OBSCURUS EPISODE 70 - THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 1:




INTRO 00:00:00


Welcome to OBSCURUS, your weekly dose of paranormal fiction. Every Wednesday OBSCURUS features new short stories and serialized novels written by novelist, screenwriter, and voice-over artist Biswajit Banerjee. The realm of the paranormal stretches far beyond the usual horror story. So, while you will get to listen to lots of ghost stories on this podcast, there will also be many tales of lesser-known paranormal themes. To get us started, here's your host Biswajit Banerjee.


HOST TALK 00:00:47


Welcome to OBSCURUS, your gateway to the unknown. My name is Biswajit Banerjee. Today, we launch into the eerie tale of "The Phantom Train," where the mundane world meets the mysteries of the unseen in Shyamalpur.


For those eager to enhance their language skills, don't forget to join our SPOKEN ENGLISH FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS program. Explore more about us at biswajitbanerjee.com and catch our captivating episodes at obscurus.buzzsprout.com.


Also, do subscribe to my YouTube channel for more intriguing content. And of course do support us on Patreon and other forums. We shall soon be available on these platforms where you can make your contributions. Let's start our journey into the chilling night of Shyamalpur.


THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 1 00:02:11


Written and Performed by Biswajit Banerjee



Shyamalpur is know for its haunted unmanned railway crossing where a phantom train appears at 10.31 p.m or thereabouts
The phantom train arrives at 10.31 p.m


00:02:35


Shyamalpur, 1991 - My name is Prabhu Shekharan, and I am from Bombay. I work in the meteorological Department of the Indian government. A couple of years back, I was posted to a unit of the meteorological Department in the township of Shyamalpur, a place in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Department provided me with accommodation in a locality around twenty-five kilometers from the office. I had been placed on the evening shift. That meant reaching the office at two in the afternoon and leaving it around ten in the evening.

When I started out, I was not too unhappy with the office hours. The work expected of those doing the evening shift was rather simple. All we needed to do was to collect data during the eight hours we stayed in the office. The ones placed on the morning shift had to not only collect weather data but also coordinate with the technical staff at the head office in New Delhi for the analysis of the data of the last twenty-four hours. However, I soon knew the peril of working the evening shift.


The problem was not with the office work but with the journey back home every night. While it was common knowledge that riding a motorcycle in the dark, hilly terrains wasn't safe, I fully trusted my riding skills. The Department provided me with a large-sized motorcycle, the kind you wouldn't find too easily on the roads today, and I was quite happy to use it. Riding it was easy for me. The darkness and absence of traffic on the hilly roads made the ride even more exciting. I had to pass through an unmanned railway crossing the locals called 'Pahari Phatak.' 'Pahari Phatak' can be loosely translated as 'Hilly Railway Crossing' or 'Railway Crossing in the hills.'


During my initial days of stay at Shyamalpur, the crossing was of little concern to me. In fact, I loved riding my bike through it. To the best of my knowledge, no train passed through the junction in the evening or at night, and only a handful crossed during the daytime. Then what was the problem? - you might be thinking. Well, the problem was the crossing being haunted, or at least that's what people said. Yes, indeed, most locals believed it was haunted.


The one who first informed me of its spooky reputation was my neighbor, Mr. Adarsh Kumar. He, too, worked in the same unit but on the morning shift. And then I heard about the hauntings at the crossing fairly regularly from my colleagues and some locals. But who haunted the place? Not the spirits of dead people but a phantom train. The locals believed that the train sometimes made an appearance around 10.31 pm.


Some thought a spirit driver drove it, and the train carried spirit passengers. Others observed that the phantom train itself was something to be frightened of, and whether or not it carried ghost passengers was of little value. The appearances were somewhat erratic - locals reported that sometimes the train appeared every evening, and at other times, it wouldn't be visible for months together. So, no one knew when the train would appear.


Since the time I learned about the phantom train, I always felt uncomfortable passing over the crossing. Usually, I crossed the place about ten or fifteen minutes before the time the train could make an appearance. Yet, the darkness of the place, its deserted look, and the fear of the train's appearance sent chills up my spine every evening as I rode the motorcycle over the unmanned crossing.


00:07:24


During the weekend breaks, my colleagues often gathered at Mr. Kumar's house for tea parties. Interestingly, all of us were bachelors around that time. I hardly remember the phantom train not being mentioned in our exchanges during these meetings.

One Saturday evening, when Mr. Kumar mentioned the haunted crossing again, one of my colleagues from the evening shift, Mr. Prasun Roy, objected to the discussions about the spooky train again. He had come from Calcutta and joined the unit around the same time I reported for duty there.


"Why do we talk about the train at all times?" Mr. Roy said, sipping tea.


"If you feel uncomfortable, we will not discuss it," One of our senior colleagues, Mr. Abhishek Singh, said.


"What makes you think I feel uncomfortable at the mention of the train, Mr. Singh?" Mr. Roy asked.


"Otherwise, why would talking about it make you uncomfortable?"


"I am bored of the talks about the railway crossing and the phantom train. That's why I don't like you all talking about the same thing always."


"But Mr. Roy, I am willing to tell you new things about the train tonight. The locals have given me fresh information about the train." Mr. Adarsh Kumar said.


"No, I am not interested in any new information about the train. I am surprised how you always have some fresh information about it. Are you doing some doctorate research on the spooky stuff? If you guys wish to discuss the hauntings, you must excuse me. I would rather leave." Mr. Roy responded.


"Oh, please, Mr. Roy. You are not going anywhere. Fine, we will not discuss the crossing or the phantom train." Mr. Kumar tenderly pressed Mr. Roy's hand.


After the visitors left late in the evening, I stayed for some time with Mr. Kumar. He offered me another cup of tea, and I readily agreed.


As we sipped tea, I said, "Mr. Roy was quite upset today."


Mr. Kumar smiled and said, "Yes, he was. He thought I would come up with the same old story of the phantom train appearing on the tracks. But today I really had a fresh and interesting piece of information about the train. Would you want me to tell you?"


00:10:20


I wasn't sure if the supposed fresh and interesting piece of information would be comforting to me. Yet, I couldn't hold the force of my curiosity. "Sure," I said.


"About fifteen years back, the phantom train ran over ten people."


"What happened to those people?"


"They died, of course. Their bodies were taken into custody by the police the next morning. The railway authorities did not want this news to spread. So they tried everything they could to hush the matter up. Yet, two of the local newspapers reported the killings. I learned about these killings from the locals yesterday. Earlier, I was under the impression that a ghost train sometimes becomes visible around 10.31 p.m. I had no idea that the ghost train could also kill people by running over them like a real train."


The new piece of information, needless to say, was disconcerting.


"Do you often talk to locals about the phantom train?" I asked.


"The locals of Shyamalpur tell interesting tales. I love listening to true ghost stories."


"Is that why you talk to them often?"


"Yes, indeed."


***


00:11:49


About ten days after I learned that the phantom train could also kill people, I was passing through the unmanned railway crossing around 10.22 pm. That meant I was still about nine minutes away from a possible appearance of the ghost train. Like every evening, I sensed the chilly waves move up my spine. When I was close to the last of the five tracks that moved through the crossing, I heard what sounded like a train whistle. I couldn't tell for sure if it was a whistle, but the sound made my heart beat faster. I accelerated the motorcycle, and the fear almost made me lose control of it. Anyhow, I reached home without a bruise on my body.


I wondered if I should talk to Mr. Kumar about what I heard. But it was quarter to eleven, and I decided not to disturb him at that hour.


In the morning, when I walked up to his apartment to tell him about the whistle, or at least what sounded like a train whistle, I found a large lock on his door. Mr. Kumar had already left for the office.


CONCLUDING REMARKS 00:13:11


Thank you for joining us tonight as we unravel the spectral secrets of "The Phantom Train." What will Prabhu discover next on those haunted tracks? Find out in our upcoming episodes. Visit our series at obscurus.buzzsprout.com and explore biswajitbanerjee.com for more. If you value our work, please support us on Patreon and other forums where we'll soon be available. I would appreciate your subscribing to my YouTube channel for more updates. Until next time, keep your curiosity alive, and may your nights be full of thrilling tales.


THEMATIC MUSIC - GHOSTS ON SANDS, AN AI MUSIC COMPOSITION BY BISWAJIT BANERJEE 00:14:00


OUTRO 00:16:45

 

Thanks for listening to OBSCURUS. If you like what you heard, please subscribe and visit biswajitbanerjee.com for more information about Biswajit's books, movies, documentaries, and other creative pursuits. We shall see you next Wednesday with another episode of OBSCURUS. Till then, take care!

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