Horror films have always managed to maintain a niche in the film industry, where romance, action and comedy thrive and drive the public to the cinemas. But a couple of decades ago, the 1980s saw a qualitative change in the type of horror films being made by Bollywood.
With video recorders making Hollywood horror films more accessible to Indian audiences, more and more filmmakers began remaking famous horror films.
In 1980 Padmini Kohlapuri played the possessed child - made famous by Linda Blair in The Exorcist - in the unnerving Gehrayee.
Probably the best of the Exorcist-inspired films, Gehrayee had a number of very eerie sequences. In a similar vein, Reena Roy and Feroz Khan starred in Jaadu Tona as the tormented guardians of baby Pinky who is possessed by a spirit from a nearby Peepal tree.
But it was one family of filmmakers who cornered the low budget market and for decades to come managed to produce horror film after horror film - the Ramsay brothers.
The films were safe bets at the box office, often making their money back in their first week or grossing impressively at the smaller rural centres.
Somewhat unfortunately, though, it did mean that the horror genre never really broke out of that narrow mould and continued to remain stuck in a warp which saw films made on a shoe string budget which had amazingly awful special effects and repeated all the same stars, film after film.
And yet the films had great entertainment value and at least offered something different from the mainstream. The Ramsays had succeeded in defining the Bollywood B-movie genre.
Sadly, since the satellite boom, the Ramsays have turned their attentions to TV with the Zee Horror Show which was shown in the late 1990s.
This left a gap in the horror film market - but things began to change from the year 1992 when a young film maker Ram Gopal Varma ventured out to make his first horror flick Raat, which reinvented the genre once again on the big screen.
Then after a decade, Vikram Bhatt made his horror debut Raaz in 2002, inspired by the Hollywood hit What Lies Beneath.
A year later in 2003, Ram Gopal Varma came up with the scariest horror film to date - Bhoot, the first made without the use of any props, blood or a lady walking in a white saree. The same year he also produced Darna Mana Hai, an anthology horror film which comprised of six supernatural stories which was an instant hit with audiences.
Three years later, 2006 saw yet another anthology titled Darna Zaroori Hai produced by RGV himself which didn't work well but managed to tap into the genre which otherwise no one ventured into as they considered it a risky business.
Come 2008, both Vikram Bhatt and RGV produced one hit each last month which opened the eyes of the producers and directors in India.
Their films 1920 and Phoonk terrified audiences - and delighted distributors worldwide with their takings at the box office. Both the films were instant hits.
When I questioned RGV on why he didn't predict Phoonk to be a huge success, he said: "I still don't know how Phoonk has become a super-hit. Audiences have become very unpredictable, like me I guess."
When I tried to find out why the film wasn't released in the UK after its success in India, he said: "We do want our film to travel worldwide but the distributors don't want to take this risk. The UK audiences prefer well known faces and A-list stars.
"My Phoonk had a black crow as the main protagonist. That wouldn't work in the UK, for sure."
The cute lead actress Adah Sharma, who made her debut with 1920, and scared the living daylights out of people, said: "I wish I knew the reason why films such as 1920 and Phoonk are not being released in the overseas market.
"As far as I know, there is a DVD of 1920 being released which is dubbed in seven different languages."
So why was 1920 declared a hit despite the fact that leads Adah Sharma, Anjori Alagh and Rajneesh Duggal were newcomers?
Adah replied: "When you go and watch a film, there are only five minutes of it when you see your favourite actor and then its the characters who take over.
"Today audiences have got more intelligent and want a better story than an A-list actor."
Realistically both Kidnap and Drona are big budget films and for 1920 to survive against them seemed almost impossible.
So are the actors happy that their horror film has come out victorious in front of such biggies?
The beautiful Anjori Alagh replied: "I'm happy that 1920 is still running and that people are enjoying it. But I'm not happy about the fact that Drona and Kidnap haven't worked.
"I would've liked both the films to work because a lot of effort goes into making a film. For everyone their film is their baby. The more our films run the better it is for our industry."
Does that mean the audiences want something different? I asked Anjori.
"You're right. They want something different day by day. I think they are bored of the same usual stories coming out of Bollywood.
"I wouldn't say that they've become more intelligent, but wiser".
As Vikram Bhatt aptly puts it, directors want to make hits and not films. No wonder almost 70 per cent of Bollywood films released worldwide in the past year are showing a downward graph.
"The UK and the US audiences aren't takers for the Hindi horror genre and go for the cliched song and dance routine", said Vikram.
"I'd love to release my film overseas but that's not possible and now I am dubbing 1920 in seven different languages on the DVD only for the reason that these kind of ghost stories are well accepted in many European countries."
In technical and stylistic terms, these modern horror films seem a long way from the ghost stories of the 1940s or the cheap revenge thrillers made during the 1970s and '80s.
And yet, with their shared preoccupation with reincarnation and rebirth, films such as Bhoot, Phoonk and 1920 are not so different.
Indeed what has changed most in the intervening years is not the films but the potential audience.