Hotels, supposed to provide a safe home away from home, and a comfortable night’s sleep have been found in plenty of stories to be the exact opposite. To be the dark and mysterious setting to disturbing supernatural events. And guess what, these events aren’t just a thing of stories.
As spooky as these words from Stephen King’s 1408 may have been, we don’t need the movies for our share of spine-chilling scares. There are quite a few ghostly tales of haunted hotels right here in India.
1. Brij Raj Bhavan Palace, Kota
A fort turned into a heritage hotel about 4 decades ago, the Brij Raj Bhavan is believed to house a supernatural guest at night. Major Charles Burton, an employee of the British government, lived here with his family for 13 years. During the Sepoy mutiny of 1857, he was abandoned by his men and he was killed along with his family in the central hall of the building. Apparently, even the Queen of Kota has spoken to journalists claiming to have seen the ghost of dead major Burton roaming the halls of the palace.
2. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai
If rumours are to be believed, after creating blueprints, when French architect W.A. returned back from a trip in 1903 from his country, he found that the design didn’t go as originally planned by him. He was shocked that the frontage of the palace had been constructed in reverse direction. He was so heartbroken that he committed suicide by jumping from the 5th floor of the hotel. Several people, including staff, several people have reportedly witnessed his spirit in the old wing of the building.
3. Hotel Fernhills Palace, Ooty
Built in 1844, it was during the shooting of Bollywood horror thriller Raaz that this haunting took to fame. The story goes that one night on the shoot, choreographer Saroj Khan and a few dancers were awoken by a racket of what sounded like furniture being moved around in the room above them. They tried calling reception but only got a dead line. The next morning, they complained at the reception only to have the receptionist escort them outside pointing upward to show there was no floor above. It is said that the hotel was once shut down due to incidents of haunting.
4. Raj Kiran Hotel, Lonavala
Though not a big and fancy hotel, several paranormal experts confirmed this as one of the top haunted hotels in the country. A room located in a corner behind reception area on the ground floor has been said to be chillingly spooky. Guests who stayed in those rooms have claimed that someone forcefully pulls off the bed sheets when they slept. Some guests felt a ray of blue light when they woke up in the middle of the night. With the increasing reports of such incidents, the hotel stopped renting out this particular room.
5. Morgan House Tourist Lodge, Kalimpong
Originally a residence to a British family, this building was abandoned by George Morgan after the death of his wife, Lady Morgan. Now a tourist lodge, guests often report that someone roams the halls of this establishment, making their presence felt. If the dilapidated state of the Morgan House was not scary enough, the stories of a scorned Mrs. Morgan before she died, and frequent claims of having heard her walking around in high heels will do the trick.
6. Hotels around Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
Claimed to have been built on the battlefield of the Nizam Sultans, the Ramoji Film City has several hotels in and around it that are the centre of incidents of supernatural activity. The area is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the deceased warriors. Spine-chilling stories of lights on top of the hotels falling off, and the light men at film shoots being pushed off. At the hotels here, plates of food left in empty rooms have been found scattered all over the place and writing resembling Urdu has been left on the mirrors.
We hope you’ve taken notes, daredevils out there looking for a supernatural adventure. I believe any of these hotels would be a ‘safe’ bet. ‘Cause they certainly aren’t for the faint-hearted.