If you happen to be one of those people who are believers of the paranormal then why not come to India to explore some of the haunted places India has to offer. India is a nation of believer of gods, demi-gods and at the same breath they are quick to accept that ghosts (called bhoot in Hindi), demons, witches, the possessed and the un-dead exist side by side. Before I tell you some of the most haunted places, here are some of the types of ghosts Indians believe in and you’ll expect to find. They are different to the ones found in the West such goblins, monsters, demons or zombies.
These are very common in the villages of the state of Bihar. When I used to visit my grandparents in the villages as a child, my cousins told stories of these witches. It is said that you’ll find these witches on roof tops and floating near the ceiling. They are believed to be unhappy ghosts of women who died during menstruation, childbirth or someone treated badly by her family. They have reversed feet or backwards pointing feet and no mouth. She would possess a man till the man has been drained of all life or charm a man until he dies prematurely.
My real story
I and my brother were playing on the roof top when I realised that we were being watched by a floating half-bodied women from the head. I clearly remember that pretty face of the woman. As soon as I called out to my brother, she disappeared behind the wall. We never saw her again. As I write this post, I am getting goose bumps. I cannot confirm whether she was a “churel” or some other entity.
The invisible types of ghosts:
What scares me the most is those entities that cannot be seen? If you can see something, it’s possible to fight it off perhaps physically but how do you tackle something that you can’t see. For example, strange knocks on doors, whispers, things moved around etc.
My father’s experience
This is a story that my dad told me. As a young boy, my dad used to live in the villages. In the villages many houses are split amongst the brothers as part of their inheritance. Often these houses would have a common passage or corridor to accommodate both sections of the partitioned house. One such corridor existed between my dad’s parents and dad’s brother. One night he wanted to visit his uncle’s down the corridor. Interesting thing about this corridor was that it was very narrow and had no windows, just the 2 doors at both ends and a roof. One night while he as was walking down the corridor, he felt that something had dropped on his shoulder. He put his hand on his shoulder to realise that it was human faeces. Even today, my dad is puzzled of its source. A corridor with no opening, no windows; how could human faeces get there and drop from the ceiling on his shoulder? Absolutely bizarre and spooky. By the way my dad does not believe in ghosts or god.
Spirits of the dead:
The central dogma of Hinduism is the recycle of birth. Once a body dies, the soul lives on and rebirths in another body till it attains moksha (Nirvana or free from the recycle of birth). So, there are two things that can happen to the departed soul; rebirth in another body or attain moksha. However, some believe that the soul of those who have died a sudden or horrible death might linger on and will torment the living.
Jinns or genies:
Although the concept of Jinn is a Muslim one and is popular in neighbouring Islamic Republic of Pakistan, nonetheless, it does find space in Hindu India as well due to centuries of Islamic rule. Jinns are supernatural spirits that live side by side with humans. Some are just mere spectators while some have evil designs and occasionally inclined to harm humans. Some Islamic holy men of the Sufi order would advice to wear a “taweej” or talisman to provide protection from the jinn.
They are supposed to be mythical characters found in Hindu and Buddhist literature and holy books. They are often depicted as ones who tormented the gods. There were constant battle between the gods and Rakshasa (demons). Is it said that Rakshasa were wicked human beings in their previous lives. Sometimes, criminals are depicted to be rakshasas.
Possession by spirits of the dead:
Some Indians believe that the living can be possessed by the dead. There are certain tell tale signs of the possessed such as sliding eyeballs within the socket, speaking in a strange manner or speaking in the dead person’s voice etc.
My real story
During my visit to my grandparents in the village, I was playing with cousins when we heard our uncle call out to us. We all ran to him to see him and others tying a man to a cot. The man was my granddad’s cow-header. He was speaking in a very strange fashion. When my uncle asked who he was, the cow-header replied that he was a man who lived a few houses away. My uncle thought that he was possessed and did a well known village ritual to get rid of the demon inside this man. The ritual or the brief exorcisms was stuffing some red chillies in the man’s ear, making him drink water from an old shoe and uttering some verses of the holy Lord Hanuman Chalisa. After a while, the man recovered and was unable to recall what had happened. Later that day we learnt that the named man who lived few houses away had passed away. Seems as if the cow-herder was been possessed by the man who had just died. This is a real story and I will never forget it. It’s still scares me.
Note: Some of these experiences are my own and it still frightens me. If you have experienced any paranormal activity through personal experience, feel free to share.
If you are interested in the paranormal or wish to explore haunted sites then here’s a list of the 5 haunted places in India to visit.
Bhangarh fort¸ Rajasthan:
Bhangarh Fort is situated near Jaipur in Rajasthan state of India. The fort is considered to be the ruins of what used to be a fortress of a city. The owner of the fort Madho Singh’ son died a violent death. Legend has it that the fort was cursed by Guru Balu Nath who happens to be buried there. Balu Nath had sanctioned the construction of the fort on a strange condition that “the moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more”. Strangely enough when a prince of the family extended the walls of the palace to a height that casted a shadow on Balu Nath’s forbidden retreat, he cursed the town.
Interesting enough, even the government of India does not allow anyone to enter the forts after dark. The signboard of the government of India has 3 points for those entering the fort. There’s nothing unusual for the second and third points but the first point is rather strange.
(1) Within the compounds of Bhangarh entry before sunrise and after sunset is not allowed.
(2) Those allowing animals to enter the compounds of the ruins may be prosecuted.
(3) The Kewda or Pandanus trees found in Bhangarh area are protected by the Archaelogy Survey of India. It is forbidden to harm these trees.
Dumas Beach, Gujarat:
Situated on the Arabian Sea on the city of Surat in Gujarat, is one of the most haunted places in India. The site also has a cremation ground and locals say that the spirits of some people do not leave and stay in the air. People have reported strange noises and whispers. People have also disappeared from the beach at night. Locals have reported that dogs bark and howl on the site whole night. It is said that dogs have powerful ability of sense and smell beyond human perception. It is thought these dogs are able to see the spirits of the dead when they are near the sea.
Dow Hill, Kurseong, West Bengal:
Kurseong is a hill station situated in Darjeeling state of West Bengal, a popular tourist destination. But hill station has a mysterious association with paranormal activity. There have been numerous murders in the hills of this hill station. Locals have reported strange sightings, footsteps in their homes and mysterious activity. Woodcutters have reported to have seen a headless body of a boy walking on the road and then disappearing in the trees. Locals have also reported to being watched and followed. These strange happenings have been so intense that many have committed suicide.
Raj Kiran Hotel, Lonavala, Maharashtra:
Situated 100 kilometres away from Mumbai is the resort of Lonavala with beautiful landscapes offering trekking and breathtaking views. It is also a home of a haunted guest house called “Raj Kiran Hotel”. Guests have complained of their sheets being pulled during the night. Once a couple visited the hotel and was offered a room on the ground floor which the couple found to be deathly silent. They found the room to be very uncomfortable and asked for a different room. The room is not offered for rent anymore. Address: B Ward, C.S. No.162, Mumbai Pune Road, Lonavala, Pune District, Maharashtra, India
Delhi Cantonment, Delhi:
Many people have reported seeing a ghostly woman in white saree walking around carrying a candle in many parts of Delhi specially the Delhi Cantonment area, sector 9 of Dwarka and near the metro station. It is said that the women was a hitchhiker when she was alive. Now dead, she knocks of the windows of cars asking for lifts. She runs after those who don’t stop. I wonder what she will do if you let her inside the car? I have lived in Delhi and many have spoken about this ghostly lady. We have driven around sector 9 of Dwarka but never saw anything. Another story is that there is a peepal tree near the metro station and the ghost lives under it. The locals have placed images of gods under the tree.
CAUTION: India is a country where folklore, ghostly apparitions, sightings and paranormal activity is common. Therefore any activity that engages ghosts and the unknown is a dangerous activity and not for the faint hearted. Please do so at your own risk.
While we’re on this topic, try this out of body experience
According to my husband, he can actually float out of this body and look down upon himself. To do this, you’ll need to sleep with one hand on your chest. Eventually you’ll float out of your body, and fly to any destination you want and then come back into your body again. The joining of the body and the soul will wake you up. I have tried this experiment and to my amazement, it works.
Finally some questions to answer: Do you believe in ghosts. If yes, could you share of your experiences? Are you tempted to visit some of the haunted places in India?
The movie trailer of the Hindi movie “1920 Evil Returns”. The video sums up the types of ghosts to expect in India. Warning: Do no watch this trailer if you are easily scared.