The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: haunted bungalow at Baimho
medium: diaries
person: MillsHuttonBorStonor/ Charles
location: Baimho
date: 19.9.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: As we came along Bill blurted out to me the stories he had heard about the 'haunted bungalow' at Baimho. He hadn't dared (84) to tell me before, but now we were safely away he told me all about it. Philip Mills had told Bill that years ago he and Hutton were sitting together in camp one night in the Konyak country. Suddenly Hutton asked him if he had ever experienced anything queer in any bungalow in the Naga Hills. 'Yes,' said Mills 'at Baimho.' 'So did I' said Hutton, 'What happened?' On hearing this, Mills suggested that they should not say anything, but write to each other separately relating their experiences. They did this and to their amazement found that exactly the same thing had happened to both of them.
text: They had each arrived at the bungalow at the end of the morning and had taken a siesta after lunch in the bedroom. While they were asleep, they had both had an appalling nightmare in which a hideous creature like a baby with an enormous head had crawled slowly into the room from the verandah. It had pursued its sinister progress right across the room and then gone out by a door at the back. They had watched it with fascinated horror aware that if it turned its huge head towards them and gazed at them, they would surely die. While it crossed the room they were in an agony of suspense and had then awoken faint with fear and pouring with sweat. Neither could face a night in the bungalow, but had packed up and made a forced march to the next rest-house.
text: Later on Mills was talking to Bor, a tough forest officer, and he too admitted that he had had such a ghastly dream in the bungalow, that he had decided at 8 p.m. that he could not sleep there and he too pushed on. But he never told Mills all the facts about the dream. On another occasion Mills found that Charles Stonor, an agricultural officer, had had a feeling of fright and deep unease at Baimho. He said that as he sat at the table he kept feeling that he was being observed and kept looking up expecting to see a face at the window. He admitted that by the time he went to bed that night he found himself shivering with fear.
text: Mills had been so fascinated by these experiences that (85) he had made enquiries from the villagers about the bungalow. He found that they too were unhappy about the place as they said it had been built by some Pathan masons, who, not understanding the Semas' protests, had split a spirit stone on the site and used it in the building of the floor. They said the spirit of the stone still moped about the bungalow and inflicted night-mares, or rather bad dreams during the day. Mills went on to say that he had heard from some Burma officers that there was a bungalow in Burma that was notorious for bad dreams. Like the Baimho bungalow it was made from pine-wood. In Burma a priest had been consulted and he had advised removing the knots from the pine-wood and since then no one had had bad dreams. Mills wondered if the knots in the new pine-wood panels exuded resin which in turn became radio-active and affected the brain. He said that in the last fifteen years no one had complained of the bungalow and as all these happenings had occurred before that, perhaps the dreams had stopped because the pine-wood was now seasoned. He had also enquired from spiritualists who had readily identified the creature as what they term 'an elemental'. When we were smitten down with fever four days ago, Bill had begun to wonder whether the bungalow was going to play any fresh tricks on us. He had not felt too comfortable, but perhaps rather wisely he had kept it all to himself.