In 1903, Colonel Barog, a British engineer made a mistake in the building of Tunnel No 33 on the Kalka-Shimla train route. Subsequently he was fined for wasting government money and publicly reprimanded which humiliated him deeply. He rode his horse to the dark entrance of the unfinished tunnel and shot himself in sheer desperation near what now is the state government-run Barog Pine Wood Hotel. He has never left the place since.
He was buried in front of the tunnel, and a signboard giving details about the sad end of Colonel Barog was put up near his grave but that too has now disappeared. As a result, it is now even difficult to locate the whereabouts of his grave. Sightings of the engineer riding his horse from one end to the other, started almost immediately after his death. It is said that he tried to have conversations with those who see him.
Ghost stories similar to this are famous all over India.
To quote Ruskin Bond, "India is full of British ghosts - the ghosts of soldiers, adventurers, engineers, magistrates, memsahibs, their children, even their dogs".
For example, it is believed that Warren Hastings haunts his residence in Kolkata. The ghost of Major Burton, a British officer killed during the 1857 mutiny, still hangs around the Brij Raj Bhavan Palace hotel in Kota.
The British have written numerous stories about ghosts, the most famous ones by Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, BM Crocker, RV Smith to name a few.
Hyderabad, the pen name of Brigadier H.Bullock, wrote several "true" ghost stories. His most famous one revolved around a house in Shimla called Charleville, a beautiful building available at low rent, primarily because a poltergeist haunted it. Several renters complained of a man who walked through the door, threw cold water on the residents and often messed up the dinner service. Finally, a psychic figured out the ghost was that of a British officer who had murdered his wife. Another similar story appears in Lord Halifax's collection of ghost stories about a bungalow in Shimla which was haunted by an old man who had murdered his young wife. One surprising feature of these less known ghost stories is that most of them are based in Shimla, and many of them are about British officers fatally dispatching their wives and then themselves haunting the house.
"Native" curses and ghosts always made a great story. The story of Webster, a British engineer who rented a house near Lucknow, is one such tale. The house in question was haunted by a demon that lived on the tree right outside. The demon had to be placated with food every day; otherwise, he would throw stones at the house. Webster after refusing him food for two days realized his folly, decided to share his meal and lived peacefully for a while. However, his friends at the club mocked Webster about his superstition and it affected the poor man. He decided to cut off the tree. He had to hire woodcutters from a distant village, since no one in the vicinity would agree to do it. Needless to say, chopping down the tree had disastrous consequences. The woodcutters, who were two brothers, went mad and killed their beloved younger brother and spent the rest of their lives in prison. As for Webster, he developed a fever and delirium and died muttering, "The tree devil, the tree devil."
There is another story about a hunter who is sent to kill a man-eating tiger. The tiger had sought refuge in a haunted temple in the village, and no one dared to go near it. The story behind the haunting was very interesting. Once upon a time, there was a clash between the temple high priest and the court jester. The jester was framed by the priest, tried and hanged. Before his death, the jester swore to punish every priest who served the temple. After that, every priest who served the temple ended up committing suicide by jumping into a well located in the temple courtyard. The hunter naturally did not believe the villagers, and decided to step inside the temple. Soon he witnessed a grey smoke coming out of the well, and it filled him with an overwhelming desire to jump into the well. As he was about to follow through with his urge, his trance was broken by a snarl from the man-eating tiger that stood at a distance watching him. The tiger soon disappeared and was never seen again by the villagers. The hunter never went back to the village and the incident haunted him for the rest of his life.
Source - HuffPost
Marlene at Miami Ghost Chronicles is a freelance writer and paranormal researcher.
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