Kolkata… forever on the move and glittering like a jewel amidst bright lights. A city with a chequered history of more than 300 years. A city which has seen some of the most decisive movements of our Independence movement. A city which once was called the City of Palaces.
Kolkata iconizes the Victoria Memorial, the Howrah Bridge, the tram lines, Rabindra Sadan, Nandan, the Writers Buildings, Fuchka, Eden Gardens, Durga Pujo, Bangali Khabar and so much more. But that’s the Kolkata most of us know. Did you know that there are touches of eeriness to this vivacious city too?
NO? Let us take you on a brief tour of some of the so-called haunted places of this city.
- The National Library– The National Library, housing rare and significant books and journals have been said to be haunted . It’s the erstwhile Lady Metcalfe, the wife of former Governor General, who haunts this place as she was extremely fond of books and was also a stickler for cleanliness. So beware if you are messing around the books! During restoration, a secret chamber was also found in the premises.
- The High Court– The place of numerous watershed moments, decisions which have had huge ramifications. It’s said that a particular court- court no 13 is still avoided by everyone as blood-smeared footsteps were seen there. It’s also said that people can still hear the shuffling of papers by Warren Hastings, trying to find out ways of impeaching Maharaja Nanda Kumar.
- Nimtala Ghat –This is one of the oldest crematoriums in Kolkata , and here it is believed that the spirits leave the bodies and sets themselves free. Aghoris are rumoured to abound this space and consume half-burnt corpses.
- Hastings House –One of the most haunted places of Kolkata. There’s a rumour that people have seen a gentleman riding horseback in and around this property. Sounds of hoofsteps and the silhouette of a gentleman has been seen by scores of people. There is also a rumour that people have heard the footsteps of Warren Hastings, who come searching for the folder of papers which may have saved him from getting impeached in London.
- The Park Street Cemetery –The oldest graveyard of Kolkata, dating back to 1767. Need we say more? There have been occurrences of seeing hazy shadows or cameras malfunctioning or people feeling unwell. It’s also said that the trees near the grave of Sir William Hay MacNaghten, killed brutally in the Anglo-Afghan war; starts swaying wildly when stories of his traumatic death is recounted.
- Putulbari – Said to be a very spooky place as erstwhile wealthy landlords and owners used to sexually exploit vulnerable young girls and it’s their spirits which still roam and haunt this house.
- Old Radio Station ( Garstin Place ) –It’s said that a Pianist was so attached to this place, that when the Radio Station was moved from here to the Akashvani Bhawan, he was heartbroken. Lot of people in the dead of the night have heard distinct notes of mellifluous piano being played in this now dilapidated house.
Well, we have just tried listing some of the places rumoured to be haunted. Kolkata is a city filled with stories and sagas. We will keep coming back with more such tales.