Uncanny locations throbbing with horrifying tales invariably cast an irresistible pull. And when it comes to the country’s cultural capital, Kolkata – this city, with its exotic historical past secured in its colonial buildings, does not disappoint even a bit. So, grab your essentials to dig into some of the creepiest haunts, also make sure of checking the contemporary uncanny zones. After all, modern ghosts would hardly reside in antique mansions!
National Library, Alipore
While intently studying one of rare books at the library, don’t panic if you feel someone’s heavy breaths over your neck; it’s probably the spirit of the wife of Lord Metcalfe, who lived in this building in the British period. An ardent cleanliness freak, she hovers to remind casual readers to be cautious in handling the books. Her meandering footsteps heard in the creepy silence of nights still make many night guards reluctant to do night shifts.
Other accounts like a Bengali student’s death at the library gates, and the discovery of a secret room on the ground floor, further add to the aura of enchantment that envelops this 250-year-old building.
Rabindra Sarobar Metro Station
According to an incident reported on 9th May, 2015, a motorman suddenly stopped the train much ahead of the approaching station using the emergency brakes. The potent reason? He vehemently claimed of having seen a ghost inside the dark tunnels. Well, with 80% of all suicides committed by jumping in front of a metro occurring at this station alone, spotting an apparition now and then would not sound too baffling. Board the last train if you desire the company of weird disappearing images, bizarre shadows at this “Paradise of Suicide” in south Kolkata.
Wipro Office, Salt Lake
If you ever visit the Wipro building in Salt Lake, you would be told not to enter the third floor of Tower 3; some paranormal activity seems to go on in almost every room. Workers have also reported of seeing strange visions inside lifts or while getting out of the building. According to the residents of Salt Lake and Rajarhat areas, before the Wipro building came into being, the place was a graveyard, and apparently, some of the spirits still remain to haunt.
A few years back, there was an accident on a flyover near the building, where all 6 victims, including the driver, claimed to have seen a lady standing in the middle of the road, and their car turned over in the driver’s attempts to save her. But, nobody was seen nearby after the accident.
South Park Street Cemetery, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road
Built in 1767, this ancient graveyard is enchantingly unnerving in its pristine serenity; the age old graves, stone cupolas, mossy obelisks, all are bound to invigorate you with a pleasant tranquility, but it’s a different story altogether once dusk prevails.
Many visitors claim of having their cameras malfunction without any reason and seeing moving shadows. One of the eeriest is that of a tourist, who, having come to take photographs with his friends, had faced unexplainable breathing problems after capturing a sinister white figure on his camera. The most preposterous thing is that his other friends too had fallen ill.
Hotel Hindustan International
The area, where the lift lands on the fourth floor of this luxurious hotel, has no c.c.tv camera, as if in due respect of the invisible beings that indisputably reign here. A visitor recalls how he had heard sounds of unknown footsteps along with the pressing of the lift buttons, arrival as well as opening and closing of the lift at 3 in the morning.
Hastings House, Alipore
Warren Hastings, British India’s Governor General, who dwelt here, has been seen by many students as riding a horse and entering the campus grounds. Some also claim of having heard his footsteps in the deserted corridors. Currently part of a Women’s College run by Calcutta University, a few girls are even said to have been possessed in these premises.
However, he is not the only apparition in this timeworn haunted mansion; the spirit of an unfortunate boy, who died here after getting injured while playing football, is another visitor. There are reports injuries to other kids who have tried to play football in these grounds.
The Royal Calcutta Turf Club, Maidan
During the 1930s, there was a race maniac, George Williams who loved his white stallion “Pride” more than his family and job. This pearl white horse, hailed as the “Queen of Tracks” had helped him in winning many races. But just as all good things don’t last forever, with the horse’s losing The Annual Derby on a Saturday, Williams lost a great deal of his fortune and astoundingly, the horse was found dead on the tracks the very next day. Even now, its spirit can be seen galloping on the tracks on moonlit Saturday nights.
Writers Building, BBD Bag
This building, proudly recalling the valiant execution of Captain Simpson of East India Company by the revolutionaries, Binoy, Badal, and Dinesh, also houses some bewildering secrets; many caretakers have declined working here beyond one month because of the agonizing shrieks heard especially after 7 pm. There are also huge vacant rooms (not used for decades) from where giggles and whispers can be ascertained.
Nagerbazar Flyover, Telipukur, Motijheel
Within a month of the inauguration of this flyover near Dumdum in May 2012, a biker met with a terrible accident and died due to profuse bleeding. Since then, there have been multiple reports of local people seeing a male figure halting cars late at night. Many even claim that at times the apparition throws stones or water at the houses near the flyover. Government employee Sreetama Bose, who stays nearby, admits that she avoids the bridge even during daytime. “I am really scared,” she confesses.
The Area Under the Howrah Bridge
Half submerged hands in the river desperately crying for help is a regular sight to wrestlers, who practice near the Mullick Ghat flyover market, under the Howrah Bridge. Many believe them to be the souls of people who either committed suicide or got drowned in the Ganges. According to some, once a lady clad in white had even called out to them in a nasal tone.
This list does not include Putulbari (the Dollhouse), located in Shovabazar in North Kolkata, as, despite many websites mentioning it to be haunted by the tortured souls of girls who were exploited by zamindars, the authorities of the building has clearly stated that the place has no ghosts. They have even put up notice boards stating not to enter the premises because it is disturbing to the people inhabiting the place.
Ghosts, many claims do not exist at all; that they are merely musings of an exceedingly romantic mind. Yet, beyond death lies a horizon no living being has ever traversed. Hence, while visiting these vacant places on desolate nights, be watchful if you hear leaves rustling or feel soft gusts of wind – all are signals that they remain.