A haunted tale often intrigues most of us. The element of something spooky that we may or may not see but can feel its presence is a thought that is both thrilling as well as scary. But things take a different turn when the story gets too real. Haunted tales are fun to hear and great to watch but what if the story is true and something is lurking around and making its presence felt to us in mysterious ways? While some go looking for an experience with the supernatural, others come in contact with them without their will that shake them to the core.
I have compiled a list of the 10 most haunted places in the country that can send a chill down your spine. While these places are sightseeing attractions by day, the night paints a different picture and you hear stories about why you shouldn’t be there after dark. If you are brave enough, read these and visit one or all of these places on your next trip. Here’s our list of the most haunted places in India. Get ready to be spooked!
1. Kuldhara, Rajasthan
Rajasthan is one of India s top tourist destinations for Indians as well as foreigners. While most people come here to admire the royal places and architecture of forts, many are also intrigued by the stories of the supernatural that do the rounds. Befriend a local or pay them a small amount and stories tumble out of the bag. If you have done the royal tour of Rajasthan, visit Jaisalmer this time, to admire the hauntingly beautiful Kuldhara village.
The village that is today maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, Kuldhara s story is quite well known. A quaint village that looks spectacular in the day turns into your worst nightmare at night. The story of why this happened is equally chilling. It is an abandoned village over 200 years old but you can find houses and temples in near-perfect condition even today. What led to this abandonment?
About 200 years ago, on a fateful night, the villagers of Kuldhara who belonged to the Paliwal Brahmins community, fled from their homes, leaving behind their land and property.
If you are wondering what forced an entire village to do so, here s the reason: The story involves a brutal prime minister, Salim Singh, who was rumoured to be even more powerful than the local king he served. Salim Singh (who was also called Zalim Singh for the brutalities he committed) was also infamous for debauchery. His tax collection methods were not fair and citizens were fed up with his ways.
One fine day, the roving eye of Salim Singh fell on the beautiful daughter of Kundhara’s village chief. So mesmerised was he with her beauty that he declared his intentions to marry her! The Paliwal Brahmins were horrified by the proposal but were no match for the powerful prime minister who, by now, had threatened to levy heavier taxes on the villagers. Not having much of a choice, the villagers decided to pack their belongings and leave the village. Overnight!
To this day, no one really knows where the villagers went and settled after fleeing from Kuldhara but the question arises why haven t others come and settled in this already established village? And this is where things get spooky.
According to the legend, the people of Kuldhara cursed the place as they left which prevented anyone from settling here. Since then, the village lies abandoned. To really test if Kuldhara is haunted, some people from Delhi s Paranormal Society stayed here one night geared up with their equipment to record any paranormal activity.
After spending 12 hours here, not only did they record unusual activity on their devices suggesting the presence of spirits in the area, some of them also spotted shadowy figures in the night and were tapped on their shoulders by someone when no one was really around.
Some spirits also revealed their names to the members of the society. This spooky incident just adds to the story of Kuldhara and the village lies abandoned to this very day. Tourists do come here in the day to see the ruins and click photographs but no one dares to stay in this ghost town post-sunset.
2. Bangalore International Airport
Bangalore, the IT hub of the country which is also known for its pleasant climate and the budding start-up companies has some spooky stories to tell as well. The tech town is often visited by many professionals for work and if you have been to Bangalore by flight, this story will send a chill down your spine. Rumour has it that Bangalore International Airport or the Kempegowda International Airport is in fact haunted. The story became such a rage a few years ago that even the local media covered it extensively. While the buzz has died down, the story persists. The airport is one of the busiest places in any city and if that too has a spooky twist, things can go awry right?
The airport is spread over 4,000 acres and is the third busiest airport in the country after Delhi and Mumbai. Established in 2008, the airport at a considerable distance from the main city, in the village of Devanahalli. Even though it is a fairly new airport, stories of it being haunted are already out making it quite an exception as most of the haunted places are usually old or dilapidated buildings.
The stories of the haunting at Bangalore International Airport started one night when one of the pilots of an approaching aircraft saw a woman wearing a white sari standing on the runway. They asked the airport staff to take her away thinking she was lost but as soon as someone got there, she disappeared.
But the pilots are not the only ones to spot this mysterious lady on the runway. Many other employees later reported this woman in other parts of the airport too. The scare of the lady in white grew to such an extent that many workers who were in the cargo department refused to take up night shifts as they often found something eerie in that building which was a bit away from the main airport building. The airport authorities and Air Traffic Control denied the presence of any ghost on the premises but those who saw it had a different story to tell. The matter has died down now but those who know about this story cannot help but wonder if they will get a glimpse of the lady in white on their late-night flight from Bangalore International Airport.
3. Mukesh Mills, Mumbai
Mukesh Mills is a popular location for TV serials and Bollywood films. Located in Mumbai’s tony Colaba area Mukesh Mills takes you back in time with its dilapidated structure and warehouse-like look. But the rundown structure is sure to send shivers down your spine not just with its interiors but because people who have worked here have had some unusual experiences here.
Mukesh Mills was once a thriving mill when it opened its doors in the 1870s. Its location right next to the Arabian Sea made it apt for ships to dock here for loading and unloading of cotton and yarn. The mill, however, went out of business in the 1980s when the workers struck work. The mill was later shut and then an unexplained fire broke out in Mukesh Mills which left it in the condition it now is.
Even though the mill was never restored, its dilapidated look lent Mukesh Mill to be a favourite among Bollywood directors. If you are trying to recall where you might have seen it, the famous Jumma Chumma Dede song from Hum was shot here and the Jee Karda from Badlapur was also shot in Mukesh Mills. Salman Khan’s Wanted is another film that featured these mills among others.
But it seems like Mukesh Mills is as popular among the spirit world as it is in Bollywood. According to crew members and even actors who have worked here, there is something spooky about this location, so much so that shoots wrap up before sunset as no one wants to be here late night. People have allegedly heard strange voices, things are reported lost and on one or two occasions, people suddenly seem to get possessed. These occurrences have been reasons enough to avoid shooting here at night.
Bipasha Basu who shot one of her films here had a rather strange incident to share. During the shoot here, she found it particularly difficult to deliver her dialogues in one part of the mills. However, she was perfectly fine when she was in any other part. It was as if someone was trying to stop her from saying her lines. Freaky right?
Then there is the story of the television actress Kamya Punjabi who swore never to go to Mukesh Mills after she heard a case about one of the crew members getting possessed and talking to the others in a manly voice, asking them to leave the mills.
But if you still want to visit Mukesh Mills, you are in luck because they have now opened their doors to patrons who want to book it for parties, functions, etc. The mill will also undergo some renovation in order to make it more hospitable for guests. If you are here and find something eerie, don t forget to tell us.
4. Malcha Mahal, Delhi
Delhi is home to a number of haunted places like the Sanjay Van, the Cantonment Area, the Agresen ki Baoli and Feroz Shah Kotla among others. But we have chosen to list Malcha Mahal in this list simply for the hauntingly sad tale about this place. Did you know that Malcha Mahal is a restricted area and any person who is seen here can be shot dead? The reason for this is not a ghost but the people who still live in this house. It may be called Malcha Mahal but it is in tatters and no one in their right mind would stay here. But the two people who do never leave it and the reason is just as sad.
Malcha Mahal was given by the government to Princess Wilayat Mahal, a descendant of the royal family of Awadh. But before she occupied it, it was a hunting lodge built by Feroz Shah Tulaq. Princess Wilayat s property was seized by the British and she was homeless with two of her kids. She fought with the Indian Government to get her land back but nothing happened. In her protest, she landed with her kids at a railway station in Delhi and occupied the VIP lounge there. They lived there for nine years before the government decided to sanction her Malcha Mahal.
The princess along with her kids landed at Malcha Mahal only to find how sorry the state of the place was. Infested with insects, dilapidated and rundown, it was completely unfit for any human. One fine day, the princess was so depressed, she committed suicide by eating crushed diamond, leaving behind her two kids, dogs and some of her gold. The young children clung to her body and slept with it for days before it was discovered. It was then cremated near the house itself. The children grew up in the same house without any help from anyone and haven’t left it since then. They continue to live there without interacting with any other living soul. The dogs protect the house from any intruders or thieves who have in the past tried to loot the place.
The eerie story of how these two humans have survived here for so long in a place that does not have any electricity, water supply and is surrounded by trees in a forest is chilling. They wear only black robes and the brother sometimes goes out on his bicycle to buy food and supplies. They talk to no one and there is a board outside Malcha Mahal that clearly states that trespassers will be shot down. Being a restricted area, no one goes here.
5. Shaniwar Wada, Pune
Pune is one city in India that has many youngsters thanks to the numerous colleges and IT firms. It is also a trekker s paradise and has a pleasant climate all year round. With so many things do in and around Pune, it makes for an apt weekend getaway from Mumbai. But did you know Pune has its share of spooky places too? One of them is Shaniwar Wada. Now even if you aren’t a history buff, you may remember it from the movie Bajirao Mastani. The film was based on Peshwa Bajirao s life and Shaniwar Wada was mentioned in it if not shown. The abode of the Peshwas, Shaniwar Wada is as famous for its historic significance as it is for its haunted tale.
Shaniwar Wada was built in 1730 for Bajirao I. It was the seat of Peshwas who became the de facto rulers of the Maratha Empire after Shahu named Balaji Vishwanath as Peshwa. However, in 1828, an unexplained fire broke out in the fort that destroyed a large part of its structure. Today, the part that survived is still open for tourists to see. But the haunted tale of Shaniwar Wada is something that is often whispered by people who live around the attraction.
The story involves Peshwa Narayanrao who was all of 18 years when he came into power. Among those who were jealous of Narayanrao was his aunt Anandibai, wife of the regent Raghunathrao, who wanted to be queen but she couldn’t as long as he was alive. So, she successfully brainwashed Raghunathrao into issuing an arrest warrant against the young Peshwa. In what is a well-documented tale in Maharashtra s popular culture, she blotted out the warrant in a way that it read as an execution order. Armed with the document, the guards attacked the young prince who fled his chambers and ran towards his uncle begging his life to be spared. Unfortunately, before his uncle could save him, Narayanrao was assassinated, by some accounts, right before the eyes of his hapless uncle who till that very moment believed that he had merely issued an arrest warrant against his nephew. It is believed that the spirit of young Narayanrao still haunts the fort and his cries can be heard on a full moon night. His last words, ‘Kaka mala vachva’ or ‘Uncle, save me’ are sometimes heard in the middle of the night by people who work here. Tourists might not find anything spooky during the day, but the night gives Shaniwar Wada an eerie feel
Have you been to any of these places? Have you had any supernatural experience? If yes, do share it with me in the comments sections below. I’d love to hear a real spooky tale from you.