The most haunted places in India — because our political landscape isn't scary enough
A paranormal investigator lifts the veil on the spirited spots worth exploring
“Bhoot ki kahani sunao na, please” – was something most curious kids begged grown-ups for. Mostly because we weren’t allowed free access to ghost stories. With good reason. What followed were scary, mostly absurd tales of bloodied entrails, the woman in the white sari, chudails and even the occasional graveyard haunting. These kids grow up to be adults that experiment with ouija boards, watch spine-chilling horror films knowing they’ll wake up in the middle of the night imagining a ghostly figure grinning down menacingly at them or become fattus.
For those who fall into the former category (and the kind that volunteer to look for the candle in the dark room when there’s a power cut), we’ve curated a list of the most haunted places in India worth exploring. Content writer Meghana Porwal, member of the Indian Paranormal Society moonlights as a paranormal investigator who handles residential cases and public places. The expert suggests her picks of the most haunted places in India. Pay heed to her pro-tips ( keep an open mind, take permission before you enter any premises, try not to be inebriated or you won’t be able to tell fact from fiction and don’t provoke any entities you may stumble upon…)
Mukesh Mills, Mumbai, Maharashtra
You’d think Bombay was too crowded to be a breeding ground for lurking spirits but one of the oldest mills in Mumbai is also allegedly one of the most haunted places in India. Mukesh Textile Mills in Colaba, was established by the East India Company and was shut down after a fire broke out, killing thousands of people. Since then, film crews that frequent it claim to feel a ghostly presence. Feel free to explore but remember don’t depend on Whatsapp for company — you lose all network upon entering the property.
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Lambi Dehar, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
The witch of Lambi Dehar—the Mine of Death—a haunted hill station by any other name is just as horrifying. Mussoorie is as well-known for its undulating hills as it is for the mysterious stories that haunt these hills. Sitting on the outskirts, the conflicting tales of when the Lambi Dehar mines were established and why they shut down add to the aura of mystery — they’re also supposedly haunted by a woman-turned-witch, with a blood-curling scream who has claimed many lives and lived out several of her own. I guess she’s a stranger to the concept of YOLO.
Known as the ‘abandoned and cursed’ ghost village of India, about 20kms from Jaisalmer, the story of Kuldhara sounds like the premise of a Bollywood love story gone horribly wrong. Known for his womanising ways, Salim Singh, the Diwan of Jaisalmer (colloquially known as the PM), wanted to marry one of the girls from the Paliwal Brahmin community and threatened the villagers to make it happen. The villagers fled overnight and cursed Kuldhara to remain forever uninhabited — till date no one knows where the Paliwals settled, and yes, the village remains a ghost town. Lucky for us, our current Prime Minister is a self-confessed eternal bachelor. Kuldhara today is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India as a heritage site.
Lothian Cemetery, Delhi
Unrequited love seems to be the foundation stone for ghost stories. One of the most common stories associated with the Lothian Cemetary is that of English officer Sir Nicholas who fell in love with an Indian woman who rejected him — he shot himself in the head and is still lurking around in the graveyard. The other stories say it was an ancient Muslim burial ground which the Britishers made their own — by digging out the old graves. It’s rumoured that the previous, displaced inhabitants are still making their displeasure known. If you find the beauty in the macabre, add this to your tombstone tourism list.
GP Block, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
Meerut, known as the sasural of ‘Raavan’ had to have a certain evil connotation, right? GP Block which has three to four houses, has been empty and left abandoned for years. There is no evidence that it is haunted but the stories narrated by locals visitors tell us otherwise. Sightings of a woman in a red dress, four young boys chatting and sitting inside the houses have all been reported.
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