Whether you’re a believer or not, there are few things better than a good haunting told well, and the more lurid it can possibly be, the better. From haunted fortresses, vanishing hitchhikers, vengeful ghosts and wailing spirits to grisly tales of suffering and death, its fun to hear them with friends and family, share a quilt and perhaps a hand to squeeze. Fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses of course; and the purpose of ghost stories is meant to intensify fear and not take it away. Fear is how it also makes us feel alive. They offer us a sense of control over terror, something unattainable in real life. Perhaps this is why we hang on to them. We’ve rounded up some of the spookiest places in India where several people have claimed to have encountered the paranormal.
Savoy Hotel, Mussoorie
The beautiful little hill-station of Mussoorie has its fair share of local legends, but the ghost of Lady Garnet Orme takes the cake. She was found dead in one of the rooms of the Savoy hotel under mysterious circumstances and is supposed to haunt it ever since. Some say that she was poisoned and strychnine was discovered in one of her medicine bottles. The incident created quite a sensation and Agatha Christie’s best-seller ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ is supposedly based on this. Hotel attendants and guests often complain of a lady in white walking the hallways and strange noises and disturbances coming from the room where she was murdered.
Vas Villa- St. Marks Road, Bangalore
This place has a tragic and violent past. The place belonged to the Vas family and was occupied by Doice Vas and Vera Vas, the two daughters of the renowned lawyer, Mr Vas. In 2001, Doice was stabbed to death in her own home by an unknown assailant. She was later buried there as well and Vera moved out after some time. The place is in ruins and has been haunted ever since and the spirit of Doice is supposed to still linger in the hallways. Multiple teams scouting for paranormal activities have confirmed the presence of negative energy and disturbances.
The Mansion, Residency Road, Pune
This old and dilapidated ruin of a house is scary enough to look at, leave alone venturing over there. According to the local tales, this place is haunted by an evil old lady. Eerie sounds, manic laughter and blood-curdling screams are often heard late at night. The locals dread the place and advice against going there.
Towers of Silence, Mumbai
It is actually a Parsi cemetery situated near the Malabar Hills. Parsis have the ritual of leaving the bodies of their dead on the rooftop of a tower to be fed by the vultures. Even the imagination of those scenes would bring shivers to your body. It is also believed that the paranormal incidents occurring in Grand Pararri Towers in Mumbai happen due to the spectral forces emanating from this cemetery.
Bombay High Court
A tortured, vengeful soul is believed to haunt every unknown entity in the corridor restricting their entry. This has been happening for the last 30 years whenever a
murder trial takes place.
South Park Cemetery, Kolkata
It’s one of the oldest cemeteries and was built in the year 1767. Many people have reported that they have seen a shadow in a white dress and some even fell ill after visiting this haunted place.
Fernhill Hotel, Ooty
Fernhill Hotel, which is now shut down after re-occurrence of haunting events, gained much name after spooky incidents during the shooting of movie Raaz. “Once Sarojji and her troupe checked in late at night and were kept awake by someone rearranging the furniture in the room above. The dancers who had an early morning shoot tried calling reception but the phone was dead. Desperate for sleep, some went down to complain, only to have the receptionist escort them outside and point upwards to show that there was no floor above”, said Bipasha Basu.
Raj Kiran Hotel, Lonavala, Maharashtra
This haunted hotel in India was reported to be one of the hit zones as far as the “supernatural” is concerned. Residents of one particular room in this hotel claimed
to have their bed sheets pulled over and stayed put in such state long after they’d left the bed in a scare. Some people recount having woken up in the middle of dark
nights with a ray of blue light at their feet. This room is in the corner and on the backside of the reception on the ground floor itself.
Khairatabad Science College, Hyderabad
There is an old inconspicuous Tarapuri Building, just off the Khairtabad flyover which used to be a science college. The building fell to ruin and was abandoned, but the dead bodies in the biology labs were not disposed of properly. People who pass by at night have often sighted walking skeletons, sparks and disturbing noises. A guard was stationed there by the Government but he died mysteriously, adding to the scariness of the place.
D’Souza Chawl in Mahim – Mumbai
D’Souza Chawl, Mahim has acquired the status of being the most haunted place in Mumbai. It is said that a woman fell into the water and died while crying
for help in the well. Probably that’s why most people say that they’ve witnessed a woman lurking around the well and the nearby area.
Vijayshree Kasi, Student
During holidays, when all my cousins come together, we love to talk about the supernatural and say all kinds of horror stories to see whose is the best. One such night, all of us huddled up in the living room and turned off all the lights and slid into the blankets. As the atmosphere got intense, at around 1 am, we heard a knock on the main door. Everyone was home and we didn’t know of anyone who was going to come so late at night. While we tried to figure out who it was, there was a knock again; much louder this time. Trembling with fear, one of my cousins got up to check it out and when he opened the door, there was nobody! I can never forget this night as it’s the creepiest thing to have ever happened to us!
Abdul Wasay, Student
Around two years back, a husband and wife killed themselves in their flat which is on the floor above mine. The reason for the suicide is still not known and it had come as a shock to all the people in the building because they were always happy and greeted everyone cheerfully. Nobody has ever tried to sell the flat because they believe that their spirits haunt the place. People have complained of hearing knocks on the door from inside the flat while crossing it. The wife was a pianist and had a beautiful black piano in the living area. To this day, we hear it playing late at night.