In the list of ‘places most likely to be haunted’, hotels fall just below abandoned mental asylums and every boarding school in the history of boarding schools. Whether it’s just a marketing ploy or if ghostly beings are actually frequenting these establishments, we’ll never know. But what we do know is that haunted hotels make for perfect getaways for people who are a little too fond of the Conjuring series or are just thrill seeking cynics who live to prove the believers wrong. In other words, extremely well-adjusted people.
These Indian hotels have gained popularity for their macabre history and supposed hauntings. If you don’t mind dining with an apparition of a long dead British woman or can sleep through the stomping soldier ghosts of the Nizam’s army, then you definitely need to add these hotels to your ‘must-visit list’.
Ramoji Film City hotel, Hyderabad
Haunted by Nizam’s soldiers
Hyderabad’s famous tourist attraction is famous for its popular movie shooting locations and ghosts of old soldiers who apparently hate women.
The film crews who use the hotel in the film city for shooting for time-to-time have reported unexplained accidents on set and heavy lighting equipment falling for no reason. Guests have seen men wearing old-timey military uniforms in the rooms, have illegible messages in Urdu appear mysteriously scratched onto their mirrors and have sometimes returned to their rooms to find their belongings scattered around. The perpetrators, who are supposedly the ghosts of the soldiers who fought for the Nizam on the battleground that is now Ramoji film city, have been known to bother women more than men, for reasons that are best known to the soldiers who just can’t let go.
Brijraj Bhavan Palace hotel, Kota
Haunted by a British army officer
The Rajasthan hotel has been known to be haunted by the ghost of Major Charles Burton, who was brutally murdered along with his two sons, right after the mutiny of 1857 (for the non-history buffs, this is the revolution that was the basis of Aamir Khan’s Mangal Pandey, you know, with the unfortunate facial hair). The old palace has since been converted into a hotel by the government.
According to reports, the guests can feel discomfort and shortness of breath in some rooms of the hotel, but other than that the ghost of Major Burton leaves the guests alone. But the guards bear the brunt of his supernatural angst. Reportedly, he slaps the guards who fall asleep on duty and repeatedly warns them not to smoke in the palace area.
Morgan House Tourist Lodge, Kalimpong
Haunted by the dead wife of the now dead owner
The hotel can also be the perfect setting for a cheesy horror flick that has the heroine breathing heavily and exasperatedly trying to make people around her believe that the house is haunted (basically every Bollywood horror movie starring Bipasha Basu). According to popular lore, the hotel owner’s wife Lady Morgan died of an unexplained illness in 1930, shortly after they moved in their new place. She now roams in the halls sometimes shrieking in agony and even though some guests don’t appreciate being surprised by the appearance of a strange woman in their mirror, no guest has been harmed by the ghost.
Hotel Savoy, Mussoorie
Haunted by the ghost of an old Reverend
If you’re an Agatha Christie fan and oddly obsessed with the macabre then this one should be on top of your list. The haunting that inspired Agatha Christie to write her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, is the same one that draws crowds to this hotel in Mussoorie.
In 1910, Lady Garnet Orme visited the hotel with a friend. A short while later, she was found dead in her hotel room, cause of death being a cyanide based poison. So far so murder-mystery ordinary. But her body was found in a room that had been closed from the inside. The investigation didn’t let up any clue to solving her murder, and the case was closed. But soon after that, more unsolved cases like hers started occurring in the hotel, with the victims’ bodies being found behind doors closed from the inside.
According to the people who believe that this is the work of a ghost and not a deranged serial killer, the hotel is haunted by the ghost of a certain Reverend Maddock. Now the good Reverend, who was allegedly the true owner of the property, was cheated out of his contract by the founder of the hotel Irishman Cecil Lincoln. Whether or not you’ll be mysteriously murdered behind closed doors or not is not a 100% confirmed, nor is it advertised in the hotel’s brochure, but you might see the ghost of the Reverend roaming the halls at night or hear music playing from an unoccupied room.