Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Trident Hotel at Nariman Point -- a victim of triskaidekaphobia.You can’t get to the 13th floor of the Trident Hotel at Nariman Point because there isn’t one.
In fact, it is not uncommon for skyscrapers in Mumbai’s commercial district -- like Hoechst, Maker Chambers and Atlanta -- to exclude 13 when numbering their floors.

However, urban legends and local superstitions in haunted Mumbai go beyond mere triskaidekaphobia.

Stories of ghosts, unexplained serial suicides, abandoned mills, haunted houses and territorial widows in white saris determined to make people’s lives miserable from the afterlife, populate a large unofficial body of local folklore.

Despite the catalog of gruesome urban legends, Mumbai is a city with its head on its shoulders; a city with too much grit to capitulate to ghost stories.
No one will ever stop driving down the winding road from the Tower of Silence that offers one of the best views of the city; and the price of an apartment at Grand Paradi will surely frighten a Mumbaiker before any old story about spiteful spirits.
A spate of suicides here makes the luxurious Grand Paradi apartments one of Mumbai most notorious residential  …

1. Grand Paradi Towers

Arguably the most famous haunted Mumbai house is situated in one of the city’s most affluent areas.

On the eighth floor of the Grand Paradi Towers in Kemps Corner, a series of freakish suicides drew attention to what appeared to be a gruesome pattern of deaths and accidents in the building.

In 2004 an elderly couple jumped out of the window of this apartment. Their children and their grandchild followed suit within the year.

“There was something unacceptable to our rational minds that a whole family, three generations, living in one house should commit suicide in the same way," says a resident who has lived in the building for 30 years. "There have been up to 20 fatal accidents and suicides since the building was constructed in 1976. Many involving children and even a maid who either jumped or fell out of a window."

After the series of unfortunate events the building society began to believe that paranormal forces were at work.
“After the suicides of the family the building society decided to do a puja and a havan (prayer ceremonies) and since then everything has stopped but the flat remains unoccupied," another resident tell us.
You think this gate could keep the phantom hitchhiker out?
2. Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Located on the northern fringes of Mumbai, this large protected area is usually where visitors go in search of wildlife.

There are rumors however, that at night people see a phantom hitchhiker.
Dubious as this sounds, forest guards insist it's true.
For nearly 30 years the derelict Mukesh Mills was used by film and television crews. It's now making way for a …
3. Mukesh Mills
Shut down in 1980, this enormous abandoned mill in Colaba has been the shooting ground for numerous Bollywood films and advertisements.

Deserted and rundown, Mukesh Mills is a ready-made set for horror films and Gothic shows, especially considering the mills are actually considered to be haunted.

Many directors, actors and producers refuse to work here past sunset.

One television actress claimed to have had a particularly bad experience when one of her female co-stars suddenly began speaking in a manly voice, as if she were possessed, telling the crew to leave the premises immediately.

Others say this haunted Mumbai area is jinxed and people are always losing their belongings, wallets and phones.
Mukesh Mills will soon be demolished and replaced by a new high-rise residential and commercial complex and a five-star hotel.
The Tower of Silence, a Parsi temple near Bombay, circa 1955.
4. Tower of Silence

Sounds ominous doesn’t it? The Tower of Silence is actually a Parsi cemetery situated rather picturesquely on Malabar Hill in South Mumbai.

Custom dictates that Parsis leave the bodies of their dead for vultures to feed on.

The graphic images that come to mind lend themselves to all sorts of horrifying stories.

The winding road that leads down the hill is particularly desolate and eerie at night and the place has become recognized as a kind of ghoulish hangout.
The weird happenings at the Grand Paradi Towers for instance, were blamed on spectral forces emanating from this cemetery.





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Bhangarh Investigation by GRIP (Part 2)



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GRIP India TV Investigation-Part 2 



GRIP India TV Investigation-Part 3 



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GRIP- Haunted House Number- 299 PART-2 



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Most Haunted: Alton Towers Resort


The Chained Oak, Alton, Staffordshire


A great deal of mystery surrounds Alton's Chained Oak, it has undoubtedly existed in it's present state for some considerable period of time but you will not find any information about it in any local history book or guide (or web site until now). The only source of information is word of mouth from the locals.
As can be seen from the photograph above. The tree is an oak of some considerable age with branches, for whatever reason, chained up to each other. The chains have been in place for some considerable period of time as the tree, in places, has grown around it. The tree also has a set of stone steps leading up to it. one thing is for sure, and that is, that someone has spent much in the way of time and resources to create what is now something of a mystery.
One story
Probably the most interesting story is one which has also been adopted by nearby Alton towers for one of their new (in 2000) attractions, "The Hex".
During a stormy night in 1821, Charles Thomas Talbot, the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury was making his way, via the baraby gutter, to Alton towers (his ancestral seat) in his carriage and was accosted on the way (at the site of the tree) by a beggar woman asking for money. The Earl refused and ordered his servants to drive on, at this the woman placed a curse on the Earl "for every branch that falls from this tree, a member of your family will die". That night the storm worsened and lightening struck the tree causing a branch to fall. Also that night a member of the Earls family suddenly, and inexplicably, died. The next day the Earl sent his workmen to chain up the remaining branches of the tree so that no more should fall and where the chains remain to this day.
It should be noted that on my last visit to the tree (early 2000) a branch had fallen (note the empty loop of chain in the centre of the picture above). Perhaps a descendant of the Earl has recently shuffled of their mortal coil?
So that's one story, take it or leave it. If you know of any other stories please let me know (e-mail

Earls of Shrewsbury
The park (and indeed enthusiasts) often recall the name of the Earls of Shrewsbury in relation to attractions in the modern park, such as Hex or the Magic Theatre. And indeed the Earls were extremely important to the park we know today, as it was the 15th Earl who first had the thought to create the gothic house and park on the slopes of the Valley.
Here we take a brief look at the history of the Earls from the creation of the Earldom right through to the present day Earl of Shrewsbury.
If you have any information on the earls please email the team.
   1st Creation - Roger De Montgomery and sons

The current line of the Earls of Shrewsbury isn't the first family to be granted the title. The first creation of the title (sometime also styled as the Earls of Shropshire) was for Roger de Montgomery in 1074 and was awarded for prowess in battle by William the Conquoror.
After his death the title was inherited by his son Hugh in 1094. After Hugh's death in 1098 the title passed to his older brother Robert de Montgomery who forfeited the title in 1102 when he rebelled against Henry I.
   2nd Creation - John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1390
Earldom: 1442-1453
John Talbot was well distinguished in battle and is mentioned by Shakespeare in Henry VI as well as the St Crispins day speech of Henry V.
Before he was made Earl of Shrewsbury, he was already Lord Justice and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He faced and was defeated by Joan of Arc, but was later exchanged as a prisoner due to his importance.
At the same time as becoming Earl of Shrewsbury he was also named as Lord High Steward of Ireland and Earl of Waterford.
He had been victorious in 40 battles before he faced the defeat at the age of 63 that saw his death.
   John Talbot, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1413
Earldom: 1453-1460
The second Earl of Shrewsbury shared his father's prowess in battle, taking part in the War of the Roses, fighting on the side of Lancaster. It was after only seven years holding the earldom that he was killed during the war in the Battle of Northampton
   John Talbot, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1448
Earldom: 1460-1473
The third John to take the earldom became the third earl at the tender age of eleven. Like his father, he took part in the war of the Roses fighting in the second battle of St Albans at the age of 12, after which he was knighted.
  George Talbot; 4th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1468
Earldom: 1473-1538
George Talbot carried on the family's connection with Royalty, carrying the sword at the coronation of Henry VII
   Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1500
Earldom: 1538-1560
The fifth Earl served under both Mary I and Elizabeth I, though he died only two years into the reign of the latter. This may have been for the best as his Roman Catholic credentials would not have served him well during this era.
   George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1528
Earldom: 1560-1590
George Talbot was also closely linked to Elizabeth I, continuing the family's close links to royalty. This led to the Earl taking custody of Mary Queen of Scots between 1569 and 1584 and later being present at her execution. He was married to Bess of Hardwick, who built Park Farm, opposite the main gate of Alton Towers, and despite his desire to divorce the queen would not allow it. Bess took control of his wealth using it for her famous building projects.
   Gilbert Talbot, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1552
Earldom: 1590-1616
Gilbert was George's son by his first marriage, though he was married to Bess of Harwick's daughter. After his father's death he refused Bess her inheritance as widow, causing a rift between him and his mother in law.
Both his sons died in childbirth, which mean his brother inherited the title whilst his daughters inherited many of his estates, though they would play an important role later in the line for the title
   Edward Talbot, 8th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1561
Earldom: 1616-1617
The one year earl. Having succeeded his brother he died after only one year in the earldom, leaving no direct heir.
   George Talbot, 9th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1567
Earldom: 1617-1630
Edward's nearest male relative was George, a Roman Catholic priest. As such he too left no direct heir, meaning the title passed on to his nephew.
   John Talbot, 10th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1601
Earldom: 1630-1654
Little is know of John Talbot, the tenth Earl, though he was the first Earl for a few generations to have had a son to pass the Earldom onto.
   Francis Talbot, 11th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1623
Earldom: 1654-1667
Francis Talbot once again linked the Talbot family closely to royalty, and as a Royalist  went into exile with Charles II.
Having returned with the king in 1660, he was killed in a duel with Villiers, Duke of Buckingham with whom his wife was having an affair.
   Charles Talbot, 12th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1660
Earldom: 1667-1717
Charles was the godson of Charles II, after whom he was named. He became the Earl at age 7, and whilst previous earls distinguished themselves in battle he was much more active in politics. He was one of the signatories who invited William and Mary to lead the Glorious Revolution against James II, bring them to the throne in 1688.
He was also active in the reign of Queen Anne and was present at her death. Upon her death he instantly declared George I king, to secure the line for the Elector of Hanover. He was also the builder of Heythrop Hall, the seat of the Earls up until it was moved to Alton Towers.
In 1694 he was also made Duke of Shrewsbury and Marques of Alton, although both of these titles died with the Earl due to his lack of a direct descendant.
   Gilbert Talbot, 13th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1673
Earldom: 1717-1743
The earldom then passed to Charles' cousin Gilbert, yet another Roman Catholic priest. Gilbert's time as Earl of Shrewsbury marked the end of the line's close connection to the royal family. Whilst later earls did still come into contact with royalty, they never again shared the close ties of former generations.

   George Talbot, 14th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1719
Earldom: 1743-1787
Again Gilbert left no direct heir to the line, causing the title to pass on to his nephew George. Carrying on the tradition George also left no heir, instead passing the title to his nephew Charles.
   Charles Talbot, 15th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1753
Earldom: 1787-1827
Charles Talbot is the all important Earl related to Alton Towers. It is he that came to the hunting loge, Alveton Lodge and saw the potential to create an estate befitting the Earls of Shrewsbury.
Work started in 1800 when construction started on the bridge over the river Churnet, that many guests still pass over today. Whilst he enlarged the lodge to create Alton Abbey, Charles is more notable for starting to lay of the spectacular valley gardens.
It was also he that obtained the Enclosure Act that created the park as we know it today, privatising the land and roads, forming many of the paths that guests still move around today.
   John Talbot, 16th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1791
Earldom: 1827-1852
Charles' nephew John took over the estate, and set about creating the Alton Towers we know today from Alton Abbey.
As well as massively expanding the house, John also laid out the formal gardens nearer to the Towers as well as completing the valley gardens , installing the Choragic monument in its current position in memorial to his uncle.
After a fire at Heythrop in 1931, John moved the seat of the earls of Shrewsbury to Alton Towers and was well known as a generous man who supported both schools and churches.
   Bertram Talbot, 17th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1832
Earldom: 1852-56
Upon John's death the title and states passed to the invalid Betram Talbot. The new earl continued the Towers' building programme, adding the Pugin Rooms and continuing the house's decoration.
Betram knew he was not long for this world before he died at the young age of 24. In order to try and avoid the estate passing into protestant hands he named his heir as the infant Lord Edmund Howard.
   Henry Chetwynd-Talbot, 18th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1803
Earldom: 1860-1868
However other members to the Talbot family had other ideas and several others lay claim to the earldom, including the Politician and Naval Commander, Henry Chetwynd-Talbot, Earl Talbot of Ingestre and  descendant of the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury, Gilbert.
He entered into a legal battle with the Duke of Norfolk (on behalf of Lord Edmund), Princess Doria (daughter of John, 16th Earl) and Major Talbot (descendant of William, 4th Earl).
In the end the courts found in favour of Earl Talbot, who took all the hereditary title as well as the estates. Unfortunately this had come at such a great expense that the contents of the house had been sold at auction in 1857 to pay for the trial.
Henry was also the first Earl to open the Gardens to the public in order to raise funds.
   Charles Chetwynd Talbot, 19th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1830
Earldom: 1868-1877
Henry had been known as a generous benefactor and had been a popular recipient of the earldom of Shrewsbury. After his death the title passed on to his son Charles, who went on to run the estate in a much more businesslike way, being both fair but also demanding much from those in his employ.

   Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1860
Earldom: 1877-1921
The 20th earl was very different to the Earls that had gone before, being much more of a businessman, setting up various businesses such as various companies from horse drawn cab companies through to entering into the motor industries and helping create Talbot Cars.
After Ingestre Hall burnt down in 1882, the Earl rebuilt it with electricity running throughout, making it one of the first houses in the UK to be lit entirely by electricity.
He caused scandal by eloping with Ellen Miller-Munday, a married woman. After they later separated he lived at Ingestre whilst she resided at Alton Towers. During this period he allowed the house deteriorate in order to try and drive her out, which landed them in court.
Later he would put in motion the sale of Alton estate, selling off the out-lying estates and putting the house itself up for sale as well.
   John Chetwynd-Talbot, 21st Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1914
Earldom: 1921-1980
After his grandfather died, his grandson John, who inherited the title and who finally sold the house and gardens to a private company in 1924.
He would later go on to also sell Ingestre Hall in 1960, moving the family seat to nearby Wanfield Hall .

   Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 22nd Earl of Shrewsbury
Born: 1952
Earldom: 1980-
The current Earl of Shrewsbury, still sits in the House of Lords today as one of the remaining elected hereditary peers of parliament after the House of Lords Act of 1999.
If you have any information on the Earls of Shrewsbury please email the team.
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 TEL: 0845 201 3994

Eerie Evenings

You never know who might come to dinner...


Alton Towers
Picture Gallery

(Click to Enlarge)
Alton Towers Exterior
Alton Towers Gallery
Alton Towers Corridor
Alton Towers - Another View
Alton Towers Banquetting Hall
Alton Towers Window
Alton Towers Interior
Alton Towers as Depicted in 1880

Hidden away in the grounds of Britain's No. 1 tourist attraction, lies a derelict gothic mansion - the original Alton Towers. Few of the revellers who visit the theme park in their millions every year are aware of the house, or the haunted folklore which surrounds it.
The site itself started life as an Iron Age fort around the year 1000BC. It later became the fortress for the Saxon King Ceolred of Mercia who took over the site in 700AD.  He only ruled for seven years before insanity overtook him, inspiring tales that the ground upon which his fortress stood was cursed.
This notion of a curse was reinforced during the 19th Century according to a famous legend. During the first two decades of this century, Charles Talbot, 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, began the transformation of the building into the one we see today. The story goes that in 1821 Charles was returning to the Towers in his coach when an old beggar woman appeared in the road asking for money. Having had her request refused, the old crone pointed to a nearby oak tree and told Charles that 'for every branch of the tree that falls, a member of your family will die'. Allegedly, later that night there was a great storm and in the morning it was discovered that one of Charles' relatives had died, and upon checking, a branch of the tree had indeed fallen (some versions of the story assert that Charles' son was killed while out riding by a branch falling off the tree). Determined not to have the same fate befall any more of his loved ones, Charles ordered the tree to be chained up, and these chains can still be seen to this day.
The ride 'Hex', housed in the original armoury and picture gallery of the mansion, depicts the story of the chained oak, and it is here that some of the paranormal activity associated with the site occurs. People queuing for the ride have reported seeing children dressed in Victorian clothing as well as being pelted with stones from unseen hands. When Living TV's Most Haunted visited the location, they too were apparently attacked by stones in this area.
However, the ghostly occurrences at Alton Towers are not confined to the Hex ride. The presence of a large man has been witnessed in and around the Music Room, and the disembodied footsteps heard in this vicinity are usually attributed to him. Other footsteps have been heard in the banqueting room but in this instance they are accompanied by a dark shadowy figure. Interestingly, Most Haunted's psychic medium, David Wells, allegedly picked up on an aggressive, hooded male spirit roaming the building.
Perhaps the most commonly seen ghost of Alton Towers is that of a lady in a long black dress, who has been witnessed wandering the corridors on many an occasion. Her apparition is often accompanied by a strong aroma of perfume. One member of staff believed her to be a guest who was still in the park after hours and asked her to leave. This she did, but by slowly fading away, much to the staff member's surprise! David Wells' psychic opinion was that she was a past governess who still believed herself to be in charge of the mansion.
The Most Haunted episode was a particularly notorious one. The team had stones thrown at them throughout filming, and Karl was apparently assaulted by unseen forces on one of the upper floors, leaving him dazed and with a cut to his head. The venue has since become a favourite with ghost-hunters due to the amount and regularity of paranormal activity experienced there.
Once the thousands of people have left for the day, the site takes on an ethereal quality which has to be seen to be believed. As dusk falls and darkness descends on the house, it is quite easy to believe you have stepped into one of Henry James' classic ghost stories, complete with derelict gothic mansion. This location is not for the faint-hearted by any means, but we are confident that an Eerie Evening at Alton Towers will be a unique and unforgettable experience.
"Just to say a big thank you for the lovely night we had last night (May 2nd 2009) at Alton Towers! It was amazing and we had a night to remember forever! ...We can't wait to come to more events!" - C. Maeer

An Eerie Evening at Alton Towers Includes:
~ Welcome Drink of Traditional Mead
~ Platform Readings from our Spiritualist Mediums
~ Walk-around with Mediums
~ Genuine Ghost Hunt & Paranormal Investigation
~ Opportunity to use Ghost-Hunting Equipment
~ Séance and Controlled 'Contact Experiments'
~ Refreshments Throughout
*The event will run from approx. 9pm - 4am*


One of the archeologically important sculptures of the ruins of Bhangarh

Scary ghost