Day 4 (D) ~ #BlogchatterA2Z challenge
All art work is copyrighted by Lonely Canopy.
Books often inspire my travel plans and that’s exactly what happened with Kurseong. Shweta Taneja’s detective novel for children, titled ‘THE GHOST HUNTERS OF KURSEONG’ is exactly what 14-year old me would have lapped up. This ‘Three Investigators’ type of novel, set in West Bengal follows the exploits of three kids who are pitted against an Iyer ghost in a small hill station.
Chat up with any of the locals in Kurseong, and soon you may hear a host of ghoulish stories – almost as if the entire town is a haunted one. Victoria Boys High School, on Dow Hill, is the most talked of haunted spot.
Walking up to the boarding school, we experienced a decidedly strange air – the place seemed desolate, sad and overflowing with energies. It has a huge playground overlooking the valley. We spotted a few locals chopping wood on a huge cut tree, which conjured up images of all the horror films, set in such atmosphere. Next to the school is the famous haunted bungalow/chapel.
This 100 year old building, the oldest in Kurseong they say, is now closed. It has all the elements of a classic Haunted House – run down structure, creepy trees around, doors almost falling down, paint peeling off rusted windows and roof, things written and scratched off, and a small chink in the door. I peeped in to see a church kind of hall with plastic chairs and tables set up in a strange manner in front of an altar. Brick in the wall, anyone?
Locals have heard footsteps, echoes, and a spooky laughter when the school is closed or after sunset. Many have also sighted a headless school boy standing by the windows or wandering around the Dow Hill road. The forests of Dow Hill are also haunted. You are warned not to venture after sunset. In these forests, visitors have often felt a spirit watching and following them. It is said that the spirit continues to follow some people home, eventually driving them mad.
Contact ‘Systematic Paranormal Investigation and Research Team,’ a Kolkata-based organisation, for one of their unique Ghost trips to Dow Hill. This team of professionals “explore and study the realm of the anomalous phenomenon systematically and without bias or prejudice to gain an increased knowledge and gather emperical evidence for own interest.”
Are there really spirits cursing this quaint hill station? Or, are these sightings the result of suggestive folklores?
Take a trip to Kurseong and find out for yourself.
Photographs by Lens Dynamic.