India is known to be the kingdom of illusions, urban legends, and mysteries. Some of which is portrayed by pop culture but can’t attest if much of it is true. If you go into the nitty-gritty of India, you’re going to come across various stories that’ll not only leave you with goosebumps but also enchanted with how rich India’s culture is.
Several stories about haunted palaces and kings, of their treasures and riddles, are attached to countless destinations in India. The ‘supernatural’ has always intrigued many at some level so here we are helping you to explore the unexplored.
1. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan
Bhangarh Fort is known as one of the most haunted places in India. It wasn’t given the moniker ‘the ghost town of Bhangarh’ for nothing. Just being in the premises will give you the scariest, chilling vibes possible. If you don’t believe it, the Archaeological Society of India will assure you that the place is unsafe after sunset.
The premises are flooded with warning signs forbidding tourists to stay after dark. There are two urban legends around the fort but the popular one says that a wizard, Tantrik Singhia fell in love with the Princess Ratnavati and tried to win her over with magic. He switched her perfume with a potion he had created thinking it would attract her to him.
The Princess, aware of this black magic, poured the potion onto a boulder and because of the magic, the boulder rolled down onto the wizard, crushing him. The wizard cursed the fort with destruction while breathing his last. It is believed that several spirits roam the grounds of the fort at night.
2. D’Souza Chawl, Mahim, Mumbai
D’Souza Chawl in Mahim has acquired the label of ‘one of the most haunting places in Mumbai’ and rightfully so. The hustle bustle of the chawl is well witnessed by tourists at daytime but locals will tell you.
Every local will tell you their version but the legend remains that a woman accidentally fell inside a ‘bottomless’ well decades ago and her cries for help still ringing in the chawl. Locals and tourists alike also say that they’ve witnessed a white apparition, who is supposed to be the woman, loitering around the well. The residents assure that the lady is harmless and only walks around the premises. She only appears at night, like most legends. Not many visitors frequent the place.
3. Dumas Beach, Gujarat
The beach was once a Hindu burial ground and according to rituals is a place haunted by tortured souls. Located along the Arabian Sea, southwest of Surat, Dumas beach is a popular tourist destination and is known for its black sand. The mystical attributes are simply a plus for any tourist.
There have been many unexplained incidents like whispers being heard, people disappearing at night and having never been found, etc. Legend has it that the winds bring in whispers of the unknown and it is believed that many have lost their lives here. A midnight stroll on the beach is something you’ll be warned about.
There’s a certain line on the beach that isn’t supposed to cross at any times to avoid the dangers of the ‘unknown’.
4. Shaniwarwada Fort, Pune
A fort built to be known for its historical magnificence and the heroic tales of innumerable victories won but saw nothing but treachery, pain, and betrayal for those who resided in the fort. The tale remains and the fort is known to be the most haunted places of Pune.
The legend of Peshwa Bajirao I defines the fate of the fort. The betrayal of his first wife Kashibai, an incomplete love story and deceit at the hands of his firstborn says a lot about the doom of the fort. Ranveer Singh himself admitted that he felt the presence of Bajirao while filming in Shaniwarwada. But the true supernatural story talks about a young prince, heir to the royal throne, being brutally murdered by one of his relatives in the fort.
The violent shrieks can still be heard inside the walls of the fort and his spirit still haunts the place. Locals claim that during the full moon, the supernatural activities increase. It is preferred to visit the place during the day and people warn tourists to not visit at night. But there are still some locals who sit along the frontiers of the fort to hear the boy’s screams.
5. Kuldhara Village, Rajasthan
The most popular ghost village, Kuldhara has been abandoned since the 1800s. Set about 200 years ago, the legend tells the tale of a community which vanished overnight after having lived there for 7 centuries.
The village was established in 1291 by the Paliwal Brahmins who were known for their business expertise and agriculture but were harassed by a local Samant who was extorting huge amounts of taxes from them. Legend says that the Samant fell in love with one of the girls in the community and asked to be married to her.
He threatened huge taxes if his wish wasn’t to be fulfilled. The villagers decided to abandon the village and migrate. Nobody saw it happen though, they merely vanished. It is also believed that before leaving the villagers cast a spell on the land cursing anyone who tried to reside on it.
6. The Brij Raj Bhavan Palace, Kota, Rajasthan
One of the most ‘ghostly’ places in India, the legend of Brij Raj Bhavan is an interesting one. The old palace was built in the early 19th century and has been converted into a heritage hotel in 1980. In 1857 it was home to Major Charles Burton of 40th Bengal Native Infantry but Major Burton was fired upon in his own home during the revolt of 1857.
The story goes that he and his two sons hid in the upper room hoping the people firing would back off but fate had other ideas. Major Burton was captured along with his sons by the Indian army and dragged to the central hall before being shot dead kneeling down.
He still haunts the premises and is considered as a harmless presence. Yet there have been stories of people being slapped by an invisible hand in the middle of the night.
7. Delhi Cantonment Area, Delhi
It’s inevitable that a place that big wouldn’t have a horror story. One of the scariest stories of India, Delhi Cantt is famous for being haunted by a mysterious woman dressed in white.
The woman hitch-hiking is said to be one of the most dangerous ghosts, have even killed a few people, reportedly. Wrapped in a white saree, she’s been around for decades and waves down passing vehicles for a lift. People who agree to help her have mysteriously vanished, never to be seen again.
If one doesn’t stop, she chases after the car, running alongside it until the end of the Delhi Cantt area and for those who asked her for directions, never found their way. She only comes out at night, like most ghosts. Otherwise, the Delhi Cantt is a beautiful and clean, green space.
8. Tunnel No. 33, Shimla
Source Image: Flickr
On aboard the Kalka-Shimla train, it’s foreseeable that you pass the Tunnel No. 33 on your way to Shimla. Known as one of the most haunted places in Shimla, this tunnel was supposed to be built by Captain Barog, a British engineer but he failed to build it. In return, the British fired and mocked him and Captain Barog shot himself out of humiliation.
It is believed that his spirit still roams the tunnel and has friendly conversations with those who pass by. Residents have also seen a woman running down the tunnel while screaming but then suddenly vanishing and also a man asking for matchsticks to light his cigarette. The legend of the tunnel still remains.
9. National Library, Alipore, Kolkata
The National Library of Kolkata is most famous for its magnificent architecture and astounding book collection but urban legend states that the library is also famous for being cursed and possessed.
With ghost stories galore in the books as well as in the walls, legend tells the tale of Lady Metcalfe’s ghost roaming the corridors of the library. There have been reports of people sensing someone breathing down their necks, quite literally, or simply watching them.
The Archaeological Survey of India found a chamber in 2010 which is rumoured to have served as a torture chamber during the British rule in India. Locals claim that paranormal mishaps increased after 12 labourers died in a freak accident during the renovation of the site.
10. Towers of Silence, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
The name says it all. Originally a Parsi cemetery located near the Malabar Hills, the place is known to be connected with the paranormal.
The Parsi ritual orders that the dead should be left on the rooftop of the tower to be fed upon by vultures and other scavengers. People report an ‘eerie presence’ while crossing the area, and the belief isn’t unfound.
The ritual only fuels a fire to other paranormal anomalies that happen in the precincts of the tower. It is believed that ghostly forces emanate from the cemetery and makes the towers one of the scariest places in Mumbai.
Most of these stories are hard to believe until experienced and urban legends are fuelled by gossip and popular culture. But the ‘eerie presence’ most of these places promise isn’t uncommon and it’ll surely be an experience for you, paranormal or not.