Sunday, August 31, 2014

Haunted Places of Kolkata

Haunted Places of Kolkata

Like every other densely populated old cities of the country, Kolkata has its own share of haunted places. Old buildings and heritage sites that has been in this city for a while and has haunted past, are scattered all over. Some people say its all made up, some believe them from the core of their hearts while some try to find rationality among the widely spread stories.

The National Library – Alipur

This one is probably the most famous of all the haunted spots in the city. There are a few stories around this complex probably due to the mammoth size of the building or the huge piece of land this building acquires. Out of these stories, two are the most famous versions that are listed here. In early nineties, the British Government had ordered a renovation of the old block and construction of a new complex. It was during this renovation that as many as twelve labours lost their lives in an accident at the site. It is said that even to this day, the spirits of those workers lurks inside the new complex during the darker hours. In another version of the story, it is believed that during the same period there was an English grad student of a reputed college of the city who visited the Library in search of study material. He met with an accident and died at the gates of the library after one such visit of his to this great building. During his last days at the library, he was studying some letters of the Victorian era which was stacked in an obscure corner of the main library building. It is believed that the spirit of this young Bengali student visits the library during odd hours to complete his research paper. Some of the people who have noticed such paranormal existence would testify with the details of how they have seen letters all scattered on the desks when the library gates open at 10am in the morning or even how construction issues arise inside the complex and how they are miraculously solved in some moments. There are eyewitnesses who say that they have heard footsteps of former Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, who used to reside in the same building.
The Royal Calcutta Turf Club – The Race Course
This is a story of mid 1930s of a race maniac called George Williams who loved his horses more than his family and his job at the secretariat. He had as many as 5 horses, out of which his most famous and dearest was a pearl white horse called Pride. Pride was rightly named as she won a few tough races, fame and money for her master. Williams used to spend most of his time in his stable at the race course complex and mostly with his piece of pride. With age, came some complications in the health of Pride and she no longer was the queen of the tracks. Her last race was the Annual Calcutta Derby where she lost the race and Williams lost a lot of fortune. She was found dead the next morning on the tracks with bullet injuries. Though the sources close to Williams and the RCTC had reportedly admitted that she was killed as per the traditions of killing a horse when she is aged and not well, there is another version which states that Williams, in a drunken state, had killed the horse out of sheer frustration. Even as the entire Turf racing fraternity mourned the loss of such a beauty on the tracks, the spirit of Pride is still believed to be seen on the green patch during late nights of Saturdays. Some witnesses have said that they have seen a patch of white fog gushing past the tracks giving an impression of Pride. Mystery or myth, Pride remains alive in the stories of her existence, even as today’s Kolkata remembers her as the “William shaheb er shada Ghoda

South Park Street Cemetery – Park Street

Perhaps every Kolkata guy has experienced the night life of Park Street. A few, however, has experienced the late night life there. The primitive name of this famous residential cum office area is Burial Road, primarily because of the existence of South Park Street Cemetery. Many of us
confuse this old address with the Mullick Bazaar Cemetery. But still this old burial place, built in 1767, remains in the shadows of the new age High rise buildings and flashy lights. The entry to this place gives you an eerie experience right from the big iron gates to the marble stone studded lanes that take you through the rows of graves bearing British names. Stories of other-worldly figures lingering inside the campus, has been doing rounds for many years. No specific person could be identified as the spirit. Sources and eyewitnesses confirm white fog of humanly figure has been spotted regularly at the grounds, in the early mornings and late evenings. People residing in the adjacent buildings prefer to keep their cemetery-faced windows closed most of the time.
Rabindra Sarovar Metro Station – Mudiali
The other name in which The Kolkata Metro is famous is “Paradise of Suicide”. It is a commonly known death trap with 4000 Volts of current running in the famed third line (a third rail that runs parallel to the tracks and is a little elevated on de-conductors and is usually covered with a wooden plank). Shockingly, around 70% of all people who have lost their lives in the tracks of Metro have committed suicide at Rabindra Sarovar Metro Station. There are stories of how people, travelling to the station in the last metro which reaches the station at around 10:30pm, found some eerie images of figures vanishing in a fraction of second. There are even rumours of shadows moving on the platform on late evenings.

The Writers Building - BBD Bag

The present Writers' Building in Calcutta was first started as early as 1690. Within the periphery of the old fort, the junior writers or clerks of the East India Company used to stay in mud hovels. So it came to be known as the 'Writers' Building'. On 25th June, 1695, these hovels were destroyed by a tempest. Then, the second Writers' Building was constructed inside the old fort. In 1706, the new one-storeyed brick-built building was built. The other Writers' Building stood at the place where the G.P.O. or Fairly Place stand today.

This building has a haunted past too. It is believed that the spirit of Captain Simpson of British East India Company, who was killed by the famous revolutionaries Binay, Badal & Dinesh, still resides in the building facades. The most notorious part of the mammoth building is probably the fifth block where he was shot. Roadside vendors outside the building have often reported of listening to footsteps and voices from within the building well after the earthly hours. Even the busiest blocks of the power house gets deserted after 7pm.

The Hastings House - Hastings
The old residence of the Governor-General at 20B, Judges Court road has another interesting story to tell.

Stories are that Warren Hastings visits the campus in search of some old papers he had lost. His footsteps could be heard. Also doing the rounds are the story of his infamous wife and children, all of whom had unnatural death within this place, comes often to visit their old residence in horse drawn chariot. Shadowy figures are a common thing that many students of The Women’s College of Calcutta University, which now owns the property, have seen. There are stories about how an young students suffered terrible injuries while playing football. Playing any sorts of sport within the campus has become an unwritten rule for all students now.

The Kolkata Dock – Khidderpur
This place was originally owned by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh. After his kingdom was snatched from him by the East Inda Company in 1856, The Nawab took refuge in the area which now holds the Kolkata docks. There are a few eerie stories about the complex. It is believed that the spirit of the Nawab resides here to take revenge on the British Empire. Since Nawab was a fond follower of music, hair rising stories of how classical music being heard also do the rounds.
The National Museum – Chowranghee
The museum was transferred to it’s current location in 1878 with two galleries. Now the gigantic building holds close to sixty galleries of art inside its premises. The place is a well known haunted location of the city. People have heard a lot of sounds made by the traditional anklets worn by women during dance performances. It is believed that the owner of the properties which lies at the residence guards them from thieves. Directors or the organization, past and present, have refuted all these claims.