Reading books was one of Guddu’s favourite hobbies. He had so many books at home, and he sometimes borrowed books from the school library too. Guddu loved the adventure genre the most; found those exciting and fun to read.

One day, Guddu went to the library to borrow a new book. He was looking through the books on the shelves when a strange book caught his eye. Guddu picked it up and read the title.

“The Haunted House,” he read, “I wonder what it’s about…”

So, he took the book home and started reading it immediately. When he got past chapter two of the book, Guddu began to understand that he was reading a scary story! 

It was about a family who lived in an old house. There was a ghost in the house who kept playing pranks on the family members. It hid under their beds and tables and jumped out to scare them.

“Oh, dear!” Guddu said to himself, “This is a scary story, isn’t it? I better stop reading it. Otherwise, I’ll get nightmares!”

So, he put the book down on his bed and went downstairs to talk with his mother. 

“Mamma, I read a scary story…” he said, “Now I’m feeling a bit scared. What should I do?”

“Oh, Guddu…” his mother said with a sigh, “Why did you borrow such a storybook in the first place?”

“It’s a fascinating story,” Guddu said, “It’s a pity I can’t finish reading it. I’ll return it to the library in the morning.”

Guddu went back to his room, planning to put the book back into his school bag and never open it again. But when he saw it, he wanted to read it. He needed to know what would happen to the family living in the haunted house.

“Would they leave the house, or would they learn to live with the ghost?”

Guddu’s curiosity won in the end, and he decided to finish the story. But he could not do it alone. So, he called his friend Jay to come over. Jay lived next door to Guddu, so he came over within a few minutes. The two friends got together and finished reading the book. When they were done, both were feeling frightened. 

“That was scary!” cried Jay, “I wish I never read that book! Can I please stay here for the night? If I go home, I’ll have to sleep alone. What if a ghost comes!”

“Ghosts aren’t real!” Guddu uttered. He was even more scared than Jay. 

“But what if they are?” Jay cried.

“Alright, you stay back,” Guddu said. He was secretly happy that he, himself, will not be alone tonight.

“Who would like to be alone after reading such a ghost story!”

“Mamma, both friends will be staying together tonight,” he called from the upper floor and told his mother so that Jay’s family can be informed.

That night, Guddu could not fall asleep at all. He kept hearing strange noises just outside his window. In the end, he could not bear it anymore and turned on the light.

“What is it?” Jay asked, waking up from sleep.

“How can you sleep?!” Guddu cried, “There’s a ghost outside the window!”

“No way!” Jay cried, “How can it get into the room!” 

“I’m going to open the curtain,” Guddu said, “You get the flashlight. The ghost in the story was scared of bright lights!”

Jay nodded and grabbed the flashlight. Guddu slowly opened the curtain, and Jay shone the flashlight at the window. It was pretty windy outside, and a tree branch was scraping the glass. That was the creepy sound Guddu had heard!

“It’s just a branch!” Jay said with relief, “Let’s just go back to sleep!”

And so, the two of them went back to their beds. About an hour passed, and Guddu suddenly began to hear strange sounds from under his bed! 

“Oh no!” he thought, sitting up in a panic, “Is there a monster under the bed?!”

He jumped out of bed and woke up Jay.

“What is it this time?” Jay asked, rubbing his eyes. 

“I think there’s a monster under the bed!” Guddu said, “What are we going to do?!”

Just then, another rustling sound was heard from under the bed. 

“Oh my god!” Jay said, “I heard that too! There’s something under the bed! What should we do?!”

“Let’s take a broom and poke at it!” said Guddu.

“Are you crazy?!” Jay cried, “It will anger the ghost!”

“Then, let’s get my parents!” said Guddu, “Wait here, I’ll bring them over!”

“No!” cried Jay, “I don’t want to be alone with the ghost! I’m coming with you!”

So, the two of them ran out of Guddu’s room. Guddu rushed to his parent’s bedroom and began to knock on the door loudly with his fists. Finally, his father opened the door.

“What is it, Guddu?” he asked.

“There’s a monster under my bed!” Guddu cried.

“Okay, okay…” Guddu’s father said, coming out of the room, “Let’s take a look at this monster, shall we?”

And so, the three of them walked into Guddu’s room. Guddu’s father knelt and shone the flashlight under the bed. 

“Aha!” he said, “Here’s your monster!”

He put his hand under the bed and pulled out a little kitten. It was their pet kitten!

Jay began to laugh, and soon Guddu joined in too. They could not believe that the little kitten scared them both so much! 

The following day, Guddu returned the book to the library. He decided not to reread horror stories. At least not until he was older!