Scores of Indian children attending a school located in a graveyard were having recurring nightmares about ghosts and have appealed to authorities to shift them from the site, officials and residents said.
"I have stopped going to school after many dead people walked out of their graves and came into my dreams, ordering me to reach school on time," said six-year-old Raqib Ansari.
This week, hundreds of children at the school in the eastern state of Bihar, accompanied by their parents, marched to the office of a senior district official, asking for the school to be shifted away from the Muslim graveyard.
About 200 children study in the makeshift school set up several years ago after authorities refused to donate land for a school in Kohari village, 125 miles southwest of the state capital, Patna.
Some parents say their children’s sleep and health is being affected by dreams of ghosts.
"They used to play and study together and finish their lunch boxes while sitting on top of concrete graves but now the ghosts have come to haunt them at night and they are falling ill," said one father, Riyazuddin Ansari.
"We have no choice as the nearest other school is at least four hours away," he said by phone from Kohari.
There are more than 100 tombs in the graveyard but dozens of fresh graves — most of them shallow — have been dug in recent months, further crowding the burial ground.
Authorities in densely populated Bihar said they were trying to provide new land for the school.
"Maybe the dead are not enjoying the noise inside the graveyard any more, but we are looking into the matter," said Ram Yash Singh, a village council official.