Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A haunted palace in rural Bengal

Two visitors from Calcutta go to the haunted house of an evil zamindar (landlord) in rural Bengal. They come out terrified. But do they manage to survive? 

Midnapore was billed as the ‘dark district’ of West Bengal in the 1970s where no resident at its headquarters, Midnapore town, or villages, had ever known anything other than darkness.

Electric lamps lighting up cities and towns was something they had only heard of from friends.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Spooked at a railway station in Bengal

Two visitors from Rajasthan meet an aggressive evil spirit at a desolate station in Bengal. So, how were they saved?

Begunkodor railway station in Purulia district of West Bengal, which grabbed headlines for its own eerie incidents, has been billed as one of India’s most haunted stations and remained abandoned for years.  

After staying in isolation for decades, the station’s train operations resumed only a few years ago, though with a much lower frequency.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Boy goes back to thank his teacher for IIT gift

What is so spooky in wannabe engineer Luv Kumar’s life?

Luv Kumar’s family had migrated from Bihar to Bengal in the 1980s and his father Hari was working at a jute mill in Howrah, on the outskirts of Calcutta.

Although the jute mill gave Luv’s family a place to stay, it was by no means a home. It was almost like a slum. And, even Hari was paid poorly by the mill and often found it difficult to make ends meet.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Abandoned bungalow in Lonavala

Jaibeer Panwar and family moved to a house near Pune where no one wanted to stay as people felt it was haunted. So, does the rationalist Jaibeer encounter anything paranormal?

In Lonavala near Pune, the Patros family home had grabbed eyeballs for the wrong reasons. It had been abandoned for some years (since 2009) as the current owner of the Patros bungalow was living in the United States and keen to rent it out.

But there were many tales associated with this house, forcing people to shy away from the property.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Mystery story: Boy goes back to his village home for lunch

After an unknown disease strikes, Manas returns home from the city to see his ailing mother. Does he experience anything paranormal in his village, where many were believed to have died?

Rural Bengal, in the 1960s, witnessed many famines and mystery diseases, which killed people by the thousands and this gave the grandmothers an opportunity to rustle up some spicy stories on the paranormal and relate them to their grandchildren. 

Aaturia, in 24 Parganas district, was one such village that hogged the limelight after some contagious mystery disease, which doctors were baffled about, hounded its residents.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Haunting in the Sunderbans

Three friends Rohan, Ratul and Pabindra broke all the rules of the jungle while travelling deep inside the Sunderbans, one of the most dangerous forests in the world, which also has its fair share of horror stories. So, did they live to tell their tale?

Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, is not only known for its majestic Bengal tiger but also has its fair share of paranormal activity tucked deep inside the jungles, especially the core area.

The forests are almost 60 per cent inside Bangladesh and the remaining 40 per cent is in West Bengal (India).

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Lost in a ‘spooky’ by-lane

Jyotsna Ghosh, a government employee in the 1970s, took a shortcut to her uncle’s house in a south Calcutta neighbourhood one evening. So, was she the victim of paranormal activity on a stretch, which people believed was haunted?

In the 1970s, electricity (especially alternating current or AC) was almost a scarce resource in the city of Calcutta, and so, when evening dawned, it turned into a City of Lanterns.

Rather than electric lamps, it was this kerosene lantern that illuminated the city — be it a bustling marketplace, the busy office stretch or even downtown Calcutta.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Dow Hill’s horror story

Labon and wife Chhaya went to pick up their son Soren on going home day or GHD from a boarding school in haunted Dow Hill. So, did they have any paranormal experience in the apparently serene woods?

Haunted Dow Hill in Kurseong, near Darjeeling, is not the place where you witness subtle horror, like a ghost or an apparition walking or seemingly passing by. Dow Hill’s haunting is a story of violence, and that’s why, hardly anyone dares to venture into the woods alone forget at night —  even during the day!

Dow Hill gives the impression of a picture postcard or a fairy land where an innocuous traveller will have no option but to daze at its scenic beauty. But here’s a warning! Don’t be mesmerized by it because behind all this beauty lies a mountain of evil. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Scary story in the backwaters of Kerala

Rishi and family have had a paranormal experience while in the backwaters of Alleppey. And, it came as a bolt from the blue.

Forty-year-old Rishi, wife Alka, who is 10 years younger, and their 10-year-old daughter Mini were going on a vacation to a village in the backwaters of Alleppey in Kerala. It was almost after a year that Rishi got a 10-day leave from his office and was longing for the big day to come.

Well, there was also another reason for Rishi’s excitement — the travel agent, Murli, who is also Rishi’s friend — had told him a very strange story that really excited Rishi.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Uber ghost story

Ravi was an investment banker, who had a paranormal experience at a suburb in Mumbai. Did it change his rationalist way of thinking?

Ravi was an investment banker who graduated from a top business school in India after having completed his engineering from the prestigious IIT.

Right from the time he began working as an investment banker in Delhi with a fancy salary, he was used to the luxuries enjoyed in the corporate world – like a swanky sedan, a three-bedroom apartment at an upmarket location, various attractive perks reserved for pass-outs of sought-after business schools, and of course, a plush corner room in his office.  

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Scary story: India’s own Bloody Mary (Part II)

About three months later… Mita’s spirit was back for bloody revenge, and with vengeance, it petrified the entire village. The spirit had to be tamed as it was getting powerful by the day…
Yes! Mita’s spirit was back seeking bloody revenge and, within a short period of return, it petrified households in the entire village. Whoever looked into the mirror would receive deep scars on their faces. Its rage became more intense as the days passed by.

A tantrik (occultist) in the village had predicted that unless weakened, the spirit would become powerful every day. And, it had to be tamed. Otherwise, it would go out of control and the whole village could face devastation.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Scary story: India’s own Bloody Mary (Part I)

So what does Mita, a girl, do if she is born in a male bastion at a North Indian village and cursed right from birth till death? She would obviously look for bloody revenge … even if it comes after her death.

Deep inside a remote Rajasthan village lived a farmer by the name Jhingru, who was 45 years old. He had two daughters Asha and Lata, who were 10 and 7. Jhingru wanted a third child and longed to have a boy this time.

Villages in rural parts of Northern India like Rajasthan are usually male bastions. And in this region, the birth of a girl is not really a reason to celebrate.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Horror story: The killer hotel room

There was a hotel by the name Hotel Safe Haven on the outskirts of Kolkata. Though the hotel was a decent stay, it was far from being a safe haven. Hotel Safe Haven had an ignominious reputation: Whoever stayed in a particular room on the second floor would be found hanging the next day. A traveller from Kanpur, Bimlesh Trivedi, had arrived at the hotel to stay there for a night. Upon hearing the rumour associated with the room, the fearless Bimlesh tried to unravel the mystery. So, did he live to tell his tale?

Bimlesh Trivedi, a leather merchant from Kanpur, had come to the City of Joy Kolkata for the first time on a business trip. He was to stay for a day in the city and leave for his hometown the next day.

Bimlesh, who was in his early forties, had gone to the outskirts of the city (near his place of business) in search of a hotel and called a friend, who suggested to him a decent and economical place nearby by the name Hotel Safe Haven.

Horror story: Call of the Nishi

This story is about a Nishi bhoot or ghost. So, what is a Nishi bhoot? This is a type of a ghost found mainly in India’s Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar. This ghost will call you at 3 am, sounding like your father, mother, a relative or a friend. If you answer the call or Nishir Daak, you will be hypnotised by the evil spirit and never return to tell your tale. A Nishi can call you only thrice and if you do not answer, the spirit cannot harm you. But if you do so, the Nishi will lure you to a desolate place and you will never ever be found.

Anuj and his sister Mita were city lads going to spend their summer holidays at a small town Memari in West Bengal’s Burdwan district, where their maternal uncle Biraj lived. The fact that Anuj was going to a small town didn’t really excite him. But what did were the rumours associated with it. 

Anuj had heard from his mother Shyama and other relatives about an evil force or a Nishi bhoot (or ghost) that roams around the town at night. It gives a call and if the person responds, he is in for big trouble.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Ghost story: Well of Death (Maut ka Kua)

In this Rajasthan village, if anyone went near this Maut Ka Kua at night, he would never return to tell his tale. City boy Hari also visited the place at night. So, was he also sucked into the well like the others?

In one of his assignments, Hari had to work in a remote village by the name Bandipura, in Alwar district of Rajasthan, on behalf of his NGO. He was in a project to assess the village population and literacy rate.

It was early February 2020 when he arrived at the village in the afternoon and was housed at a modest dak bungalow. In the evening, he took a tour of the village and ventured further into an area which had many dilapidated and abandoned structures and some abandoned houses. But since it was getting dark, he decided to head home.

Man who wanted to marry a 'ghost'

Harish went to meet his aunt Mala, who he had not seen since his childhood, at a village in Uttar Pradesh. He falls in love with a woman there but what stops him from marrying her — was she really human?

Harish, who is in his late 20s, had gone to a remote village by the name Arara at Balia district in Uttar Pradesh to meet his aunt Mala, who he had not seen since his childhood. 

It is one of the nondescript villages in the district, grabbing little attention from the authorities. As a result, the village had stayed still for decades and has seen very little development. In the evening, some areas are dotted with electric lamps but most parts remained in the dark ages, literally. Even Mala stayed in a cottage that had two dimly-lit bulbs.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Weird ghost story: Meeting Meera

Hari has a weird tale to tell after his official visit to Bastar district in Madhya Pradesh, where he meets Meera and her family. But was she actually a spirit?

My friend Hari is an active member at an NGO, which works for the impoverished. His job involves going to villages and small towns to look after and implement development projects. 

In one of his assignments, he happened to be working in a remote village in Madhya Pradesh’s Bastar district, whose name he doesn’t even remember. Well, kind of a village that would be a horror story writer’s paradise.