Ghosts in Bengali Literature
Ghost is one of the most popular genres in Bengali literature. In early days ghosts were only the ingredients of Bengali folk tales and fairy tales. "Thakurmar Jhuli" was one of the most famous collection of Bengali folk tales and fairy tales compiled by "Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder" in 1907. There we can find almost all the above categories of ghost in different stories. Some other comparable books for children in Bengali Literature by the same author are "Thakur Dadar Jhuli" (Grandpa's Sack of Folktales), "Dadamoshayer Tholay" (Maternal-Grandpa's Sack of Folktales) and "Thandidir Tholay" (Maternal-Grandpa's Sack of Folktales).
There are many great writers who have practiced the genre of Ghost Stories. A few of them are Parashuram (Rajshekhar Basu), Sharadindu Bandopadhyay (Baroda Series), Syed Mustafa Siraz (MurariBabu Series), Satyajit Ray, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Gouri De and many more. In past and present many other prominent Bengali writers have tried this genre successfully in their stories and Bengal has a rich collection of ghost stories. Few examples are noted below:
- Rabindranath Tagore: The famous poet and writer Rabindranath also wrote some short stories on ghost like “Konkal”, “Monihara” etc.
- Upendra Kishore Roychowdhury: One of the most talented children story writer of his time and also noted for his ghost stories where the ghosts are very harmless kind of creatures. “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” is probably his most famous ghost story that was later adopted as a famous Bengali film with the same name by his grandson Satyajit Ray. Later Satyajit made a trilogy of this story into film with his own concept.
- Parashuram (Rajshekhar Basu):' Writer of the famous ghost story, “Bhushundir Mathe” which is a comic genre rather than horror. Parashuram wrote many other ghost stories like “Mahesher Mahajatra” and others.
- Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay: Known for his social novels set in rural Bengal, such as "Pather Panchali". "Adarsha Hindu Hotel". "Aranyak", Bibhutibhusan wrote some excellent supernatural stories, such as "Medal", "Rankini Devir Khorgo", the stories of Taranath Tantrik and many others.
- Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay: Another noted writer of Bengal manly famous for his detective series “Byomkesh Bakshi” and historical stories also had a less famous series called “Baroda Series”. Baroda is a Bengalee guy who is very eager to know about ghost. He uses to share his experience of ghost and supernatural incident with his friends.
- Satyajit Ray: Satyajit Ray, the famous Indian film maker was quite popular in Bengal for his short stories. His favorite genre was ghost and supernatural stories. His ghost stories are the milestones of Bengali Literature.
- Syed Mustafa Siraj: Basically known for his famous detective series “Colonel Niladri” an ex-army man. But Siraj is also the creator of another ghost series, “Murari Babu series”. Murari Babu (Mr. Murari) is a very innocent person lives in Kolkata city. His hobby is to collect old furniture from antique shops, but he always get into trouble for his hobby.
- Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay: Very famous writer for children and quite popular in Bengal for his funny ghost stories. The specialty of his ghost stories is that his ghosts are very innocent, kind and funny type of characters who always help the poor and needy and punish the wicked person.
- ENKU - Usually found in Silpara, kolkata area.