Photograph courtesy: Pixabay
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.
Many may dismiss the existence of spirits but those who have experienced it, cannot help but believe that there is, in fact, something beyond the realm of our understanding. India, like every other place, has its fair share of haunted places.
From Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan, where no one allowed to go in after sunset, to Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad where spirits haunt women more than men, from Kuldhara, the abandoned village of Rajasthan, to the royal palace of Shaniwar Wada in Pune, where cries of an assassinated prince are heard at night, all these places have a spooky tale to tell.
Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, these places and their stories make for a fascinating interesting read. People who visit these places often come back with their own experiences of either having witnessed or felt something, or just having an eerie feeling but not really seeing anything.
We 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
Photograph courtesy: Youtube
Rajasthan is one of Indias 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, Kuldharas 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, heres 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 havent 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 Delhis 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.
Where is Kuldhara?
Kuldhara village is in Jaisalmer. If you are planning a visit, it is best to take your own car or hire a taxi. You can take photographs of the village houses and the visiting hours are from 8 am to 6 pm.
2. Bangalore International Airport
Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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.
Where is Kempegowda International Aiport?
The international airport is in Devanahalli village, north of Bangalore city. Flights of airlines like AirAsia, Jet Airways, Air Pegasus and Air India fly here.
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, dont forget to tell us.
Where is Mukesh Mills?
Mukesh Mills is in Colaba on the Narayan A Sawant Road. If you are planning to go here, make sure you visit during the daytime and with a few people in tow instead of going alone.
4. Malcha Mahal, Delhi
Photograph: Shutterstock (Image used for representational purpose only)
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 Wilayats 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.
Where is Malcha Mahal?
Malcha Mahal is on Bistdari Road in New Delhi. But we urge you not to go there for your own safety.
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 trekkers 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 Bajiraos 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 Maharashtras 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.
Where is Shaniwar Wada?
Shaniwar Wada is in Shaniwar Peth in Pune and it is open for tourists from 8 am to 6.30 pm.
6. Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
One of Indias biggest film cities, Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad attracts about a million visitors every year. A place where several movies are shot, Ramoji Rao is not just a film city but also a tourist attraction that draws tourists from all over the country. Movies are not only shot here, but they are also edited and canned. Being a sightseeing attraction, Ramoji Film City is also a place where visitors can stay in the premium hotels in its expansive campus. But apart from drawing tourists, Ramoji Film City also attracts some spirits from the other world and thats what makes it a haunted place.
Several movies have been shot in Ramoji Film City but the crew has a different story to tell. There have been incidents of lights falling off on their own, or lightmen being pushed off by an invisible force from great heights that has left them injured. Not just these, many actresses have felt something supernatural in their green room. Apparently, the spirits here have a thing for women and they have at times ripped their clothes too.
If you thought they only haunted actors and crew members, guests who have stayed in the hotel at the Film City too have had similar experiences. Doors getting locked on their own or half-eaten food in the room if you leave it for some time are also common. Some guests heard whispers and strange voices while others have found Urdu words written on their mirrors. Officials at Ramoji Film City have never confirmed any of these haunted stories but people who have experienced it know what it really was.
The story goes that the film city is built on battlefields of Nizam and the spirits belong to the soldiers who lost their lives but continue to haunt people who come here. If you are planning a visit to Ramoji Film City and are brave enough to find out more, book a stay in one of its hotel rooms. Do share with us if you find anything spooky.
Where is Ramoji Film City?
Ramoji Film City is located in Anaspur Village, near Hayathnagar Mandal in Hyderabad. The tours take place from 9 am to 5.30 pm. There are different accommodation options available within the film city to stay.
7. Raj Kiran Hotel, Lonavala
Photograph: Shutterstock (Image for representational purpose only)
When you think of Lonavala, you probably picture lush greenery, pleasant weather, a hot cup of chai, a plate pakodas and also some lip-smacking chikki. What you dont possibly imagine is a haunted place that can scare the daylights out of you. A pleasant drive from Mumbai and Pune, Lonavala is perfect during the monsoon when the rains paint the hills with greenery. The dhabas around further increase its charm and people often flock here in large numbers on the weekends. Sadly, Mumbais best weekend getaway does have one spooky tale of its own. We are talking about Raj Kiran Hotel that occupies a spot in the main city of Lonavala.
Several guests who’ve stayed there have narrated weird experiences. While all may not be able to place a finger on what they felt, the feeling of being watched and the presence of someone… or something… in the hotel room has kept many awake at night. There is one specific room in Raj Kiran hotel, on the ground floor, next to the reception. This is the room that is believed to be haunted. After several guests complained about it, the hotel staff decided to lock it down and never rent it out to any other patrons unless it was really required.
So what is it that spooked people out in this room? Some say they saw a blue light near their feet at night while some felt someone was watching them even though there was no one in the room. For some guests, it was more extreme when their bedsheets were pulled off at night even though they woke up to find no one around. Those who have stayed in this room have often asked for a change of room.
Once a couple could not get a reservation in any hotel and landed up at Raj Kiran. Being peak season, all their rooms were booked except for that haunted one. The couple did not have any qualms taking that room but realised something was not right when they checked in. After a few hours, they too left it.
What really happened or whose spirit haunts this room is still unknown but the fact that there is something spooky is well known. If you are brave enough to find out more, you can check into Raj Kiran hotel the next time you are in Lonavala.
Where is Raj Kiran Hotel?
The hotel is in the main city of Lonavala and you will find a bustling market in the area. You can find the hotel on the main road itself.
8. Dow Hill, Kurseong
Not many in India may have heard about Dow Hill which is in Kurseong in West Bengal. A hill station not too far away from Darjeeling, Dow Hill boasts of natural beauty including many tea gardens, waterfalls, valleys and botanical gardens. Dow Hill also has a Subhas Chandra Bose museum and it is pleasant all year round.
However, Dow Hill is better known for its haunted tales than as a hill station and a vacation getaway. Dont believe us? A quick Google search will reveal more spooky stories than places to visit. So much so that the locals living here have come to terms with the fact that the place is haunted and share stories or their experiences with those interested.
Indeed, Dow Hill has many spooky stories and each is more haunting than the other. There is one of a headless boy who roams in the forest. And then there is another of a woman who roams around in a sari.
Dow Hill also houses Victoria Boys High School which is over a century old and is believed to be haunted. Locals say that they can hear footsteps and shrieks and laughter of children even when the school is shut during vacations.
They believe the spirits of some children roam in the school. As the sun sets, one can feel the spook in the air. It would be wise to stay indoors or go out with a local if you want to explore the hill station at night. Avoid going into the forest as that is where these things appear often. If you are very intrigued, ask a local to share more stories and we are sure they will come up with something even more chilling for you. How much of it is true, we cant say but those who have experienced the presence of something supernatural cannot really forget about it.
Where is Dow Hill?
Dow Hill is in Kurseong in West Bengal. It is a small hill station which is about 30 km away from Darjeeling.
9. Three Kings Church, Goa
Goa is the party capital of India and is a popular tourist destination for foreigners as well. The smallest state in India is as much known for its wild fun as it is for its beaches and churches. While the Goan landscape is lined with fishing villages, palm trees and beaches, there are some hidden spooky tales here too. The beauty of Goa may leave you mesmerised but these stories will send a chill down your spine. If you havent had a dose of Goan haunted tales yet, heres a chilling one for you.
There are many breathtakingly beautiful churches in Goa that are famed for their architecture but there is one that has a different story to tell. The Three Kings Church in South Goa has a spooky history that keeps people away from going to close to it at night. In a small village of Cansulim, Three Kings Church stands tall with a haunted story keeping its legend alive. The village is not a tourist attraction as such and you may mostly find locals here. Expect for the evenings when people visit the church and the surrounding area to catch the beautiful sunset. But even so, most of them walk away soon before it gets dark in fear. So what is so spooky about the church? Here is what the story is.
The village was ruled by three Portuguese kings back in the day. However, each of them was jealous of the other and wanted to become the sole ruler of the village. They often quarreled about this matter but never found a fitting solution for this problem. When things started to get out of hand, they decided to discuss and resolve the matter once and for all. One of the three kings invited the other two to his home for dinner with the pretext of discussing the matter.
What they did not know was that he had poisoned their meals so that they would die and he would rule the village. And as planned, the other two kings died as soon as they had their meals. The ecstatic king now thought he would rule the entire village alone but soon the news of their death spread and the villagers got to know what really happened. The king was now scared that he will get lynched by the public and so he too decided to have that poison and commit suicide. He did so and when the villagers barged in, they found the bodies of the three kings.
They decided to bury all three of them together in the church itself. It is believed that the spirits of these three haunt the church even today. Even though they havent spotted anything strange as such but the eerie feeling of something supernatural surrounds the church especially at night. This is why people avoid taking this route at night.
Where is the Three Kings Church?
The Three Kings Church is in south Goa in the Cansulim village. You will not find many tourists here and there is usually dead silence in the night.
10. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan
Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Bhangarh is perhaps one of the most haunted places in India. It is in Rajasthan and has been declared an unsafe place to visit at night even by the government. The Archaeological Survey of India or ASI body has even put up a sign outside Bhangarh Fort to warn tourists and locals alike to not enter its premises after sunset and before sunrise. Even though the government may not openly acknowledge the presence of any supernatural power here, the board says it all and is enough proof that there is something that should not be played with.
Bhangarh Fort in its heyday was one of the architectural marvels of the country. It was built in 1573 by Man Singh I for his grandson Madho Singh I. But it was named after his grandfather Bhan Singh, hence the name Bhangarh.
Dotted with temples, havelis and palaces, Bhangarh was a flourishing kingdom. But it soon saw its downfall and since then, it lies in ruins, abandoned with nothing but spirits roaming in the fort.
Tourists who come here cannot help but admire the architecture of whatever is left of it and imagine what it must have been like in earlier days. However, it is the spooky sign that draws their attention and forces them to go back before it gets dark. Why is the sign here and why does the place lie abandoned? There are two stories around this legend.
According to the first story, the reason for the destruction and desolation of Bhangarh Fort is due to the curse of an ascetic. It is believed that one Baba Balanath lived near the fort and he had one condition which was that no building should be higher than his house and cast a shadow on it. If this would happen, he proclaimed, there would be destruction. The local king ignored the ascetics rants and sure enough, the curse came true and led to the present state of Bhangarh Fort.
There is another legend about a wizard who lived in Bhangarh being infatuated with the princess and wanting to have her. He was adept in magic and created a potion that would cast a spell and attract her towards him. One day, he swapped her perfume for this potion. But before she could fall in love with him, she learned of his evil plans.
So she plotted another one to kill him. She poured the potion on a boulder when she saw the wizard and it rolled and crushed him because of the spell on it. But with his dying breath, the wizard cursed Bhangarh and said it will be destructed. Soon, the Mughals invaded the kingdom and destroyed the city.
They may have died but the spirits of these people, including the wizard’s and the princess’ roam the fort’s interiors. They do not let anyone inside and if someone does go in, they don’t come back alive. The spirits are so strong that there is a signboard warning people not to go inside post dark.
Where is Bhangarh Fort?
Bhangarh Fort is in the Alwar district in Rajasthan. You can visit the fort until 6 pm every day.
Have you been to any of these places? Have you had any supernatural experience? If yes, do share it with us in the comments sections below. Wed love to hear a real spooky tale from you.