Almost all the houses were claimed to be haunted in that little colony of Multan but only one of them became such that everyone rushed past it as quickly as they could. The trees were of average height and the walls looked the same as of its neighbors, if not better. The family living there had taste and resources and they wanted the whole place renovated to the latest design. The only problem was the house didn't want to.
When Shehnaz Aunty told us about it later, she said she had asked multiple molvis to cleanse the house of anything impure living in. But still, each night whenever she'd turn off the dining room light, it'd be glaring back on after an hour's half. This was in the lower portion where the children were allowed to go in the dark. The upper portion was out of bounds for everyone after maghrib, even the adults. Aunty said she could actually feel a heavy presence up there that would sometimes even caress her forehead during fajr namaz. There were also the usual hushed voices and they would often find one of their rabbits had died a gruesome death, but Aunty said the real problem started when they decided to renovate the bathroom upstairs ...
The first carpenter that came to work there fell sick to his stomach before he could even start working— so much so that he had to be hospitalized for two weeks. The second carpenter was sturdy but the tiles of that bathroom were sturdier. He used all the tools he could to remove those tiles but instead ended up nailing his own finger in. By this time, Aunty noticed that her own children had started to fall sick too: unexplained vomiting and flu that would go on for weeks. But Khadim Uncle wasn't one to let a so-called jinn stop his renovation. The third carpenter, even more determined than the former, worked day and night with his blood, sweat, and tears, and finally managed to pry one tile off. Both Uncle and the carpenter were ecstatic. However, their triumph was short-lived as that same night a black scorpion bit Uncle, and the carpenter went home to find his wife had miscarried their unborn child. That night, the jinns banged on all the windows until sunrise, as if to warn anyone from touching the place again.
They left it as it was after that. Shehnaz Aunty said they even warned the next residents coming into the house to not touch that bathroom as they couldn’t bear to spend another night in that house. And rumor has it— the tile still lies there in the dusted corner of the bathroom even today, and no one has dared to touch it since.
Zainab Waseem is an in-house writer at Perspective.