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. 

So, what happens in Dow Hill? There is a small stretch between Dow Hill and the forest office in Kurseong that has been dubbed ‘Death Road’ by the locals.

According to rumours, the blood-curdling apparition of a headless boy is seen walking on the roads and ultimately vanishing into the darkness and fog of the forest. In fact, locals claim that sightings of this headless boy could even be encountered in broad daylight

Many bravehearts, who dared to venture out into the woods during the day, have talked about an eerie feeling they get as if they are being followed by someone through the forest area. 

There is a majestic boys school in Dow Hill that was established by the British in the early 19th Century where Labon’s son Soren studied. It was November end and the school had closed for winter vacation that spans from November to March.

But there were some children still in school awaiting their parents to pick them up or waiting to catch a flight from Bagdogra (the nearest airport) to their destination the next day.

As usual, Labon, along with Soren’s mother Chhaya, had arrived in Bagdogra a day late. Accompanying them was another couple whose child also studies in the same school.

Without wasting any time, they headed straight for a cab to Kurseong, which is a 50 km drive up the Darjeeling hills and takes about three hours to reach. The charges are pretty steep, that is, Rs 2,000 for a one-way journey.

They started at 1 pm in an SUV and reached Kurseong town around four. From there, the two families had to take a jeep (the old Land Rover) for Rs 500 and arrived at the school, which was near a sharp incline, in 20 minutes.  

Labon quickly went and met the principal, picked up Soren and his friend Babu and they drove downhill to Kurseong town. It was six in the evening when they left and the road was pitch dark.

Just five to seven minutes away, Soren saw another school friend Chetri, who was on the road alone. Chetri was also waiting for his parents, who live in Nepal, to pick him up. Soren asked him, “Hey Chetri, what are you doing in the forest alone at this time?”

Chetri replied, “I was getting bored, and so, I just walked for 10 minutes and suddenly found that it became dark. Thank you for coming, Soren. I was starting to panic.”

Labon told the driver, Raj, “Let’s turn back and drop Chetri first.” Raj turned the car in one go despite the road being narrow and steep. They headed back to school and went straight to the principal’s residence-cum-office to drop the boy.

The principal came out, and astonished, he said, “But… Chetri and his friends just went for dinner. 

Labon, Chhaya, Soren, driver Raj and Babu looked at each other and then outside. Alas! It was actually not Chetri. A headless boy in school uniform, with blood oozing out of his neck, was just leaving the school’s main gate.

The principal’s personal assistant Harka came out of the office and told Labon, “Sir, you are lucky. That is a very harmful spirit. Just a few days ago, it twisted the head of a local man who ventured into the forest during the day. The head was found in a nearby drain a few days later. This way, many heads have rolled in this forest, sir.”

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