A land of mythological sagas and untold stories that are often rooted in religion and culture, India is, no wonder, a country of mysteries. And, from these myriad mysteries have sprung stories of spirits, ghosts and paranormal activities.
While the topic of the most haunted place in India might scare the wits out of many people, there are always a few daring souls who love exploring these often-dilapidated spots in search of meeting a ghost or at least watching an eerie occurrence.
If you belong to the latter section, you are at the right place because today we will be talking about the most haunted places in India. Of course, we will dish out the spooky stories behind these places as well because without the back story, a scary house might not seem so scary after all, would it?
So, here these are, places in India with a gho(a)stly reputation…
1. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan – A Rejected Lover’s Revenge
No list of the most haunted places in India begins without a mention of the famous Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan. Located in the Alwar district, this fort is a picturesque location by day and a spooky haunted house by night.
It has been noted that as the night descends, pleading cries of the villagers, who once supposedly resided around the fort, are heard. This is also the reason entry is prohibited after sunset (some say after 5 PM). The stories of paranormal activities have been recorded by villagers and some daring adventure seekers, who don’t believe in abiding by the rules.
Coming to the story and the reason for this fort’s haunted reputation, it is said that the fort was cursed and fell to ruins (still looking beautiful during the day). A tantrik or sinful magician laid his curse as he was unable to win the love of the princess of the fort. He also tried to woo her by mixing a love potion in her drink. However, the princess smelled something fishy and instantly threw the love potion at a boulder nearby.
This boulder tumbled down and crushed the tantric himself. While dying, the tantric laid the curse that the fort and village will fall into ruins and we today have the infamous Bhangarh Fort, as we know it today. So, if you do plan to visit the fort, we recommend visiting it after sunset if you really have the guts to face anything.
P.S: By day, the fort is pretty and has monkeys in huge numbers. Take your camera there to test your photography skills and don’t venture out in the jungle for your own safety.
2. Savoy Hotel, Mussoorie – Murder by Poisoning
Apart from being one of the most haunted places in India, the Savoy Hotel in Mussoorie is also famous among literature stalwarts like Agatha Christie and Ruskin Bond. Why else would they mention this infamous horror house in their stories?
One of the scariest places in India, the Savoy Hotel has a classic haunted story behind it. In the year 1911, the dead body of a British spiritualist by the name of Frances Garnett-Orme was found in one of its rooms; the room was supposedly locked from inside. Later, reports and investigations proved that the Lady was murdered with prussic acid, which was found in her medicine bottle.
The spooky incidences didn’t stop there as it was also reported that the doctor who tended to the woman was also found murdered years later, being poisoned with Strychnine. The circumstances of his death were eerily similar to that of the lady, and the staff who worked here has heard cries of help, supposedly of the lady’s spirit, on several nights.
This infamous story gave the plot to Agatha Christie’s first novel – The Mysterious Affair at Styles published in 1920 and to Ruskin Bond’s story In a Crystal Ball – A Mussoorie Mystery published in the year 2002.
3. Delhi Cantonment, Delhi – Apparition Roaming the Streets in White Saree
One of the most haunted places in Delhi, the clean and green streets of the Delhi Cantonment area seem pretty beautiful during the day. However, as night falls and the time for otherworldly experiences approaches, the area can seem pretty uncanny.
If you are fortunate (or unfortunate), you may spot a woman wearing a white saree, taking a stroll on the streets; this is a story which the locals have recounted. Moreover, this apparition is also believed to have chased cars at unbelievable speeds.
4. Agrasen Ki Baoli, Delhi – Black Water Calls you to Jump
Built in the 14th century, Agrasen Ki Baoli is a beautiful stepwell that is flocked by people year round. Not only foreigners but the locals also visit this place for a session of photo shoot and other activities.
Located on Hailey Road, this stepwell is 60 metres long and 15 metres wide. On a beautiful and pleasant morning, the step well is a popular tourist attraction in Delhi. However, if you dig deeper and believe the words of ghost enthusiasts, things start getting scary and mysterious as you start climbing down its 108 steps. It is said that the unnatural vibrations and chill in the air start getting stronger as you go deeper. Also, people have reported that the water of the step well feels enticing to such a level that many people have felt like jumping in the water and taking their own lives.
5. Malcha Mahal, Delhi – Suicide of a Princess by Drinking Crushed Diamonds
While Delhi has its own list of various spooky corners and streets, none of them come close to the stories behind the horror house that is Malcha Mahal. Dating back to the Tughlaq era, it used to be a hunting lodge.
It is said that the last descendant of the Oudh (Awadh) dynasty, Princess Wilayat Mahal did not get her estate back, as promised, after India’s independence. This led to a ghastly turn as the princess committed suicide by swallowing ground diamonds.
Rumours have it that trying to gain entry inside the fort without permission may lead to your death. The truth behind such claims is yet to be accounted for.
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6. Dumas Beach, Surat – Whispers of Ghosts Pervading the Winds
Having an ominous ring to its name, Dumas Beach is believed to be a haven for spirits and apparitions. After a certain time at night, it is not advisable to visit the beach. It is said that along with the strong gust of winds blowing by the beach, you may also hear innumerable whispers from the souls who have lost their lives here.
The ghost stories associated with the beach say that this place was a burial ground for Hindus. A land of the tortured souls, it has also seen many a lives being lost as a supposed result of suicide.
A stroll after sunset is not for the faint-hearted. So, if you are really up for a spooky adventure, we suggest you visit this beach, but do so at your own risk.
7. D’Souza Chawl, Mumbai – Of a Woman who Fell into a Well to Her Death
While people still reside in the D’Souza Chawl in Mahim, the infamous and uncanny stories of this place are because of a well. This place has made to the list of haunted places in Mumbai because of a well that took the life of a lady.
It is believed that many years ago, when the chawl was in its initial stage of construction, a woman, who was just trying to take out some water, plunged to her death by falling into the well. This happened because the well was unguarded and border-less.
While the spirit of this lady is said to roam the chawl at night, it is not harmful and there are no reported deaths. But, still the ghost of a woman roaming around the streets is bound to fill anyone with a small degree of dread.
8. Shaniwar Wada Fort, Pune – The Brutal Murder of a Prince
Just like Bhangarh Fort, this one is also a popular tourist attraction by day and a site of chilling cries by night. Shaniwar Wada Fort is one of the most haunted places in Pune, if you believe the stories
The fort, which once housed the Maratha royalty, has today become a spot for various paranormal activities. It is said that a prince was murdered in the premises by his own relatives. His spirit roams around the fort by night, and if you have the heart to visit it at night, you might also hear shrills and cries emanating from the fort.
9. Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad – Spirits of a Dead Soldiers still Roam Around
A massive film studio, akin to the Universal Studios, Ramoji Film City has been the shooting location of many popular South Indian movies. However, this big film city-cum-amusement park is supposedly haunted.
Well, not the entire film city, but parts of it are haunted, especially some hotels where certain uncanny activities have been noted.
One of the reasons behind this famous film city in Hyderabad is said to b haunted is that it is built on the battlefields of the Nizams. It is said that the spirits of the deceased soldiers still roam here. Often times, there have been strange scribbling in Urdu found on the mirrors.
Also, one incident states that a staff boy holding the lights for a scene fell down on the actor shooting it. Later, the staff boy said that he felt an immense forceful push from behind, but no one was spotted close to him. Chilling, right? One of the most haunted places in Hyderabad, the film city is open to the public for visits, but we suggest you do the exploration in the day itself.
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10. Vas Villa, Bangalore – Tale of a Sister’s Brutal Murder
Located on St. Marks Road, this house has associated with it one of the spookiest and haunted stories in India.
Once a happy home to a prominent lawyer, Mr Vas, the villa has seen the murder of its residents. A murder, by no justifiable means, was normal, but a truly brutal and ghastly one.
The story is of sisters, Doice and Vera. In the year 2001, Doice Vas was stabbed innumerable times in her own bedroom, leading to the evacuation of the villa, and of course, it getting the reputation of one of the most haunted places in Bangalore.
The investigations done by exorcists and ghost enthusiasts have proved that the villa is inhabited by a certain negative energy, which the locals believe to be the spirit of Doice Vas.
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11. Writer’s Building, Kolkata – In the Fight for Freedom Struggle
Located in BBD Bagh, Writer’s Building in Kolkata is one of the most haunted places in Kolkata, and with good reason. The people who work here have often times heard desperate cries of help from the vacant rooms of the building. Sounds scary? The story behind this mysterious place in India goes back to the era of the freedom struggle.
It is believed that on the night of 8th December 1930, three freedom fighters –Badal Gupta, Benoy Basu and Dinesh Gupta killed the demonic and brutal Inspector General – Colonel NS Simpson.
Since then, the spirit of this particular inspector is said to be roaming the building and the streets of BBD Bagh, which is named after the three young freedom fighters.
12. Fern Hill Palace, Ooty – The Raaz of the Hotel where Raaz was Filmed
There is literally no haunted house in India that scares the wits out of people like this one does. A beautiful hotel till some years back, this one was forced to be shut down because of the horror the guests were subjected to.
This horror hotel shot to fame after the 2002 Bollywood movie Raaz was filmed here. While the hotel itself opened in the year 1844, the paranormal activities started during the filming of the movie; incidentally, Raaz is itself a horror movie…
Reportedly, some crew members, including the famous choreographer Saroj Khan, woke up to the sound of furniture moving around on the floor above theirs. The line was dead when they tried calling the reception for help. Later, to their horror, they found that there is no floor above them in the entire hotel.
It might seem like a publicity stunt to a lot of people, but the hotel was shut down after a series of paranormal activities were reported here.
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13. South Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata – Ghosts of Soldiers of the Past
By far one of the most haunted places in India, this one has all the makings of a horror movie at one place. From a spooky vibe to graves that house the dead bodies of British soldiers and reports of paranormal activities emanating from the cemetery, this is by far the most haunted place in Kolkata.
The cemetery was built in the year 1767, making it one of the oldest Christian graveyards in the country. Located on Park Street, this cemetery is not to be visited after sunset. The first occurrence of paranormal activity was reported when a group of friends stumbled upon the place and went in for a few photographs. However, their plans to have a fun time were soon spoiled, when all of them started feeling sick, breathless and dizzy. The images they clicked even had a brief glimpse of shadows in the background.
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14. Mukesh Mills, Mumbai – Spirits of People who Died in a Fire
Another contender for the most haunted place in Mumbai is Mukesh Mills. Located in Colaba, it was a centre of bustling activity as it was always abuzz with workers.
However, everything went downhill in the year 1982, when due to a strike at the mills, it was soon deserted. After a few months, a fire broke out and the entire building was dilapidated, coming down in rubbles. Till this day, the place invokes fear and scary vibes in people who walk by it. One of the most popular shooting locations for horror movies, many actors have also refused to shoot here owing to inexplicable feelings, and loss of their belongings and possessions, in rare cases. A popular legend goes that once during a shooting, the spirits of the deceased possessed an actress, making her warm the crew to leave the place, supposedly in the voice of a man!
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15. Three Kings Church, Goa – The Murder of Three Kings
A calm and revered place to those who are unaware, this church today stands as one of the most haunted places in Goa. Located in Velsao in South Goa, this church is supposed to be haunted by the spirits of three kings who fought and murdered each other in the bid to gain.
The locals believe that one of the kings invited the other two for supper. He also stated that they should all sit on the matter and come to a resolution. However, the supper was poisoned, and the two kings were murdered.
However, when Karma strikes, you cannot escape, and in the days to follow, the people who supported the two kings plotted to kill the third. Instead of succumbing to a brutal murder at the hands of the villagers, the king took the same poison and killed himself.
Since then, it is believed that their souls roam the church.
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16. Kuldhara, Rajasthan – A Village Abandoned Overnight
Last, but certainly not the least, there is an entire village that is haunted. Yes, you read that right…Kuldhara, about 25 km southwest of Jaisalmer. Put recently on the tourist map, this abandoned village was not known to tourists and people stayed away from it.
However, after an advertisement that glorified this ‘haunted village in Rajasthan’, people started digging and investigating it.
The story that the locals believe is that the village was once prosperous and inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmin community. The reason behind it being haunted is that the Prime Minister of Jaisalmer had eyes for the village chief’s daughter.
The chief refused the hand of his daughter in marriage, after which, the minister threatened to levy heavy taxes on the villagers. In order to save face and his honour, the chief, along with the entire village, packed his bags and fled. No one saw them leaving or has any idea where they went. But this story is as mysterious as it could get. But, before they left, they laid the curse that Kuldhara will stay abandoned for eternity.
Today, you may visit the village by day, but after sundown no one is allowed because voices are heard that will send chills down your spine.
So, if you have always been a fan of spooky stories and ‘horrorland’, India has no dearth of places to satiate your quest for the otherworldly creatures. Of course, if you do plan to camp at any place after sundown, do so at your own caution and discretion.