In India, there are stories which talk about mysterious happenings. Of course, the yesteryear stories of kings, queens and their curious lives too add to it. If you thought only villages have places that can be called haunted, then think again as even the metro cities have spooky places where many fear to tread. Kolkata is one such metro. On one side there are modern developments, but on the other, there are curious places with abundant supernatural stories that will leave a shudder inside you. Welcome the top 10 most haunted places in the city of Joy, Kolkata which will want you to call it the city of fear:
1. South Park Cemetery
Built in 1767, the South Park Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Kolkata. Being a cemetery, it is bound to have some fearful incidents connected to it. But there are many who have reported almost the same experiences of their brush with ghosts that these stories appear to be true. Some have claimed to have seen eerie images or shadows lurking around, while many have claimed to have clicked mysterious images in their camera. It is said that whoever visits this cemetery falls ill suddenly. Forget visiting or wandering near the place, the locals don’t even open the windows facing this side.
2. Writer’s Building
Writer’s building is one of the most famous buildings in Kolkata but at the same time, it is also feared by locals and visitors. Today, a new building has been built. Earlier, there used to be a fort but after it was damaged in a natural calamity, the new building was built within it. Though it is one of the faces of the city, no one dares to work or stay in the building after sunset. The reason is that many claim to have seen a ghost wandering in this huge building. There are several empty rooms which look and sound eerie. It was here that the revolutionaries shot down British Captain Simpson. Locals believe that it is his ghost that keeps roaming in the premises. There are stories of strange voices heard at night. It is definitely one of the scariest places in Kolkata which nobody wants to visit after sunset.
3. National Library
Though National library is one of the prominent libraries in Kolkata, few like to visit it without a company as it is also known to be haunted. There were reports of supernatural activities here even before but the fear factor about the building gained momentum after around 12 workers were killed in a mishap during the renovation work. It is also said that a student who was reading here once at night was found dead the next morning. The place evokes such fear in people that even guards refuse to work here at night. Even librarians have claimed that their chairs were pulled away by some invisible force or books were strewn around, or pages torn away. If you are one of those who have loved ghost stories and like to read, then this is a must-visit place.
4. Putulbari House
Putulbari house is located near Sovabazar Jetty and the name itself gives you a chill. Putulbari means a ‘house of dolls’ and the mere thought of dolls in an eerie, old building is scary enough. Even today, there are some residents in the building, but no one dares venture near the upper stories as it is believed to be haunted. It is said that the wealthy men who lived here sexually exploited young girls and then killed them, and that it is their ghosts which wander asking for justice. People have heard mysterious laughter and sounds of bangles and anklets at night. You can spend a night here to hear them yourself.
5. Hastings House
Hastings house belonged to the British Governor General Warren Hastings once. Today, it houses a Women’s College under Calcutta University. Many students have claimed that they have heard mysterious voices in the building. Some have even see a man riding a horse around the building while some say footsteps can be heard in the place. There is another story that a boy died playing football here and that whoever plays football get grievously injured. It is definitely an eerie place that invokes fear in everyone.
6. Rabindra Sarovar Metro Station
Though a busy station in Kolkata, it is also known to be a place of mystery. Rabindra Sarovar metro station is said that of all the suicides in Kolkata metro, at least 80% have occurred at the metro station. It is infamous as the ‘paradise of suicides’. People believe that the last train at the station is haunted, and report seeing strange shadows and mysterious images wandering around before disappearing. Even train drivers and station staff claim to have encountered strange figures roaming about at the station. People usually do not come to the metro station late at night and no one dares to take the last train. If you are adventurous enough, try taking the last train or at least be at the station when the last train passes by.
7. The Royal Calcutta Turf Club
This place is said to be haunted ironically by the ghost of a horse. Now, that is befitting a turf club. But there is a story to it. It is about George Williams who was crazy for horse races. He loved horses, riding and races so that he almost abandoned his family and work. One of his favorite horses was Pride, the star of the time. She had won many races and thereby brought in a fortune for Williams. But as her age advanced, she became slow and she lost her last race, which is said to be the Annual Calcutta Derby. Williams lost all his money in the race. Alas, the horse was found dead the next day alongside railway track. It is said that even today, the ghost of Pride lurks around the club reminiscing its lost glory and pride and it is said that the horse apparition is visible on Saturdays. If you don’t believe the story, you can visit Royal Calcutta Turf Club on a Saturday night and find it for yourself.
8. The Kolkata Dockyard
It is a bustling place, but locals believe that the place is haunted as many claim to have seen a ghost in the area. Kolkata dockyard is believed that the ghost is that of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah who was once the owner of the dockyard. He was usurped by the British, who set up their home here, which was a favorite place of the Nawab.
9. Wipro Office
Though a modern IT office, it is believed to be haunted. There are grounds for the stories to be true, because it is the educated IT professionals working in the building who have narrated their spooky experiences. The entire Salt lake area was a wetland once, and it is said that there was a graveyard at the spot where the present Wipro building has been built. The third floor of the building remains unoccupied, as people claim to have heard strange voices from the floor. Those who work at night shifts in the building have reported seeing figures and hearing strange voices.
10. Lower Circular Road Cemetery
There is a sad story behind the cemetery. A British Civil Servant, Sir William Hay MacNaghten was brutally killed in Afghanistan during the Anglo-Afghan War. His wife collected his remains and buried it at the Lower Circular road Cemetery. It is said that if his story is narrated near his grave, the tree standing next to the grave starts shivering.
The city of joy houses within itself stories of dark magic, secrets and unexplained incidents. These are not the only haunted places in Kolkata, but merely scarier than others. The imposing buildings, the cemeteries, the spaces which are associated with spooky stories invoke fear even during daylight. As it is with any ghost story, some may believe them, while others may just laugh them off. If you are one among the latter, then you should plan a visit to these haunted places, so that you can find the truth for yourself. Anyway, haunted places are for those who are adventurous and do not run away at the sight of any images, real or supernatural.