Thu. Dec 9th, 2021

Mysterious Himachal

Land of God & Faith

The Shimla Hauntings Spirit.

In April 2009, one of the weekends happened to be a long one. I had 3 holidays covering Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So family and friends decided to visit Shimla. The plan was an instant one. I took my own car for the trip. In all, 5 people were going on the trip: my parents, my best friend, and his sister.

We started the drive on Friday morning. The total distance between Delhi-Shimla is approx. 370 km. The drive was smooth, and the highway covering the distance between Delhi-Shimla is smooth. Recently the authorities have completed the construction of the bridges being built on the highway leading to decongestion of the roads.

When we reached Shimla on a Friday night, we had first to find a suitable hotel close to Mall RoadWe did finalise one of the hotels and checked in there. The hotel had a connecting lift to Mall Road. We checked in the 8th-floor room of the hotel.

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It was already night, and the Mall road closes as early as 8 pm, so we decided to rest in the hotel room till morning. But then my friend and I thought of having a walk on the mall road at night just for fun sake. So we both left the room for the walk. From the 8 the floor of our hotel room, we had to further go to 4 floors above. At the top, we had to walk to a connecting building and then take a lift for another 2 floors. Then we had to take some steps to reach the connecting road to Mall Road finally.

Since we were new to the place, both of us had no idea where we were going? But the weather was chilling, and we were wearing our jackets. The crowd was not much then (11:30 pm). So we started moving in the dark corridors of the place. We came across a building which had British architecture and is supposed to be some govt. Building now. The structure looked great at night.

My friend was joking in the night that since Shimla was a British colony at one point in time, so it still has “Ghostly/Spirit Activity”. And that the place still has some mortuaries. We had read stories by the famous author “Ruskin Bond” about “Shimla Hauntings” during our school times. So we were laughing out at each other on the weird talk we were having at midnight, walking amongst the woods of Shimla. Then suddenly, we saw some NOTICES painted onto the walls saying: “SMOKING AND LITTERING ON ALL PUBLIC PLACES IS FORBIDDEN BY LAW. ANY VIOLATION IS PUNISHABLE WITH A FINE up to Rs. 500/- – by order/commissioner M.C. Shimla.”

We thought of clicking some pics at that point as we were enjoying our cigars in the night. But, first, I stood against the wall notice, and my friend clicked my pic with his camera phone. The lighting over us was of a lamppost, so the picture came quite clear.

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Next, my friend decided to stand in the same spot and get a pic clicked in the same pose. So I took his camera phone and clicked his pic in the same pose with the same lighting. But as soon as I clicked the pic, I observed a white cloud in the pic. So I asked my friend not to puff before the pic, but he showed me that he hadn’t taken the puff, and he stood still for the pic. So I asked him to come over and have a look at the pic. He was amazed to see a white cloud-like formation in the foreground of the pic. It was a spooky thing. We then got scared of the spot and discussed how in the movie “Shutter”, the ghost was captured through the photograph clicks and even they appeared as white clouds in it.

We decided to move away from the spot, and as we moved ahead, we saw an old guy walking alone in the night, moving steadily. So I went ahead and asked where Mall road was, and he told us we were heading in the wrong direction and should move in the opposite direction. So we did as he told us and finally, after a 15 min walk, reached Mall Road. The place was good and was almost empty in that hour of the night.

But the spooky event on the night of Shimla made this trip a memorable one for my friend and me. So the line with which I can end this experience is: ” MAANO YA NA MAANO…….. “

Here below, I shall be stating facts from a well-known book named “Ghost stories of Shimla Hills – written by Meenakshi Choudhary.”

Ghosts are timeless. Whether you like it or not. You can never really get rid of them. Minakshi Chaudhry’s book, “Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills” (published by Rupa), is a good read, preferably at night when trees, roads and dim corners of rooms can throw up sinister shadows and diabolical shakes take form in the confused mind. But Minakshi’s ghosts are something more than this. They are the ones who still wouldn’t let go of their beloved Shimla.

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In his Foreword, Ruskin Bond rightly remarks, “Mussoorie is not the only hill station with a generous sprinkling of ghosts. Shimla, it appears, has more than its fair share… (judging from the tales in the book); there are almost as many ghosts as people parading on the Mall or under the deodars… Kipling started it with his Phantom Rickshaw…and since then, there have been several phantoms haunting Shimla’s old schools, hotels, cemeteries and places of entertainment. In 1947, the British departed but left their ghosts behind.

The Forest Road is one spot where British ghosts wander. It was ideal for cavorting teenagers because of its seclusion; there used to be five benches at the top of the spur. Aman resides in the U.S. club, Shimla, and regularly goes for long walks along this road in the morning and evening. This has been his routine for more than two decades. He is an artist, and the walks not only uplift him spiritually and make him physically fit, but they also make him more creative in his work. On one such evening, about a decade back, when he reached the somewhat flat portion of the five benches, he stopped and decided to rest. Admiring the beautiful vistas spread out before him, he was approaching the benches when he felt something coming up from behind. Thinking it was someone else on a walk, he paid no attention but moved forward. Seconds later, he felt someone overtake him. Unlocking his gaze from the mountain ranges, he looked in front and then behind him.

Puzzled, he sat down on a bench and got the shock of his life! He was sitting on someone’s lap! With a shriek, he jumped up, embarrassed. But the bench was empty; there was no one there. Then he felt cold, freezing. Aman did not try to figure out what it was; he literally ran from the five benches. It was only after a few weeks that he could bring himself to cross that area alone again. After that first experience, Aman has felt someone walking alongside him on several occasions when he passes the five benches. Though he has never had the courage to sit on a bench again, he has slowly got used to his eerie companion.

It was around midnight, and Shyam was driving back home. Shyam’s mind was on an important legal case. About 100 metres away from his car, he saw a woman waving her hand, gesturing him to stop. She was clad in a red saree. It flashed through his mind that she must have been attending a wedding because of the way she was dressed. He stopped the car and was about to stop when he saw that the woman was no longer there. He looked ahead. There was she.

About a hundred metres away. Baffled, he drove on, again slowing down as she approached him. She was now waving her hand frantically. Shyam was? not sure what he saw first-her hand or her face-but it made him drive away as fast as he could. Her hands were turned inwards, and her face had been terrifying-big lips with long teeth protruding out. Her howls and screams followed him as he sped past her. From that day, he has never travelled on that road late at night again.

If anyone reading this article has ever experienced any haunting, please put it in the comments section – so that all of us can know more about these paranormal activities.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/64132427 w=400&h=300]