Some believe that a few souls continue to linger on earth, even after death while others are staunchly opposed to the whole idea. We hear stories of ghosts, around the world, where people claim to have seen or heard them or experienced the scary things done by them.
These experiences are naturally subjective and can be accepted or discounted completely, depending on the audience. The skeptics need more proof but the believers are piqued when they hear of such claims. There are many stories of haunted places in Delhi and let us talk about a few of them.
Haunted Places in Delhi (Pre-modern era)
1. Agrasen ki Baoli
First among the haunted places in Delhi ranks Agrasen ki Baoli. This architectural marvel is a protected monument built in 14th Century by Raja Agrasen, and is built in three levels, with 108 steps.
As you go deep into this popular tourist destination in Delhi, you will come upon the well with black waters in it. These waters are supposed to be hypnotic and induced many a visitor to commit suicide. There is hardly any water to be found in the well these days and happily, that has put a stop to the suicides too.
2. Khooni Darwaza
Named Lal Darwaza when first built by Sher Shah Suri in 1540s, this gate earned its current name during the rule of Jahangir, when he had his own step-brothers, the two grandsons of Bairam Khan (who acted as Akbar’s regent) beheaded and left to rot here.
When Aurangzeb also had his brother, Dara Shikoh beheaded and displayed here. Cap. Hudson captured the three heirs of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and shot them dead here, before a protesting crowd. These two sons and grandson of the Emperor are supposed to haunt the place and persecute all Caucasian visitors, but not Indians.
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3. Feroz Shah Kotla
Feroz Shah Kotla is an old fortress built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in the 14th century. William Dalrymple has chronicled the history of this place and wrote of the multitude of the invisible djinns, or fire spirits, which inhabit this place.
This place has local people devotedly lighting incense for the djinns which live here and leave offerings like milk and grain and pen letters to them, every Thursday! The fortress lies in ruins and is extremely lonely and looks abandoned to complete the image of being haunted.
4. Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal
This ruined building was served as a hunting lodge to the rulers of the Tughlaq dynasty in the 14th century. It is reported that sounds emanate from the Mahal at night and people say they hear voices and eerie whispers of men and women too.
Located close to the Hanuman statue near the Jhandewalan Metro, this small palace was supposed to have housed a neglected queen. There’s another story which says a Fakir put a curse on this place. Since visitors are dissuaded from entering the place, there’s no way these claims can be verified.
5. Tower of Thieves
Located in the Hauz Khas village, we have the Chor Minar or Tower of Thieves, where thieves were punished, by being beheaded with spears, in the times of Allauddin Khilji.
Visitors to the tower speak of seeing the same scene enacted again at night, with the heads of the thieves being seen again and coming to life.
6. Malcha Mahal
A hunting lodge from the time of the Tughlaq dynasty, the Mahal is surrounded by forests. Today, it is a lonely monument in the middle of a forest. Those who visit it are not welcomed by spectres in white, but something less tangible.
They talk of a feeling, the presence of something that cannot be touched but is obviously there. A common feeling, for we have all felt this when our parents sent us into the empty store-room alone, but at the Malcha Mahal, it is said to be so strong that it is like a force.
7. Courtyard of the Jamali Kamali Mosque
Jamali-Kamali Masjid, situated within the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, is named after the sufi saints buried here in 1535. People report hearing different sounds and voices, animals growling, people fighting, women laughing from the graves within the tomb.
Some reported being pushed or slapped by some invisible beings. Yet others have reported hearing their name being called again and again. People have reported these experiences and reported a general feeling of being haunted and constantly spied upon, in broad daylight, when they’re here. To visit this tomb at night, you could apply for permission from the Archaeological Survey of India.
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Haunted Places in Delhi (Cemeteries)
8. Lothian Cemetery
Most people avoid cemeteries at night, on the off-chance that they would encounter a remnant of life. Said to be a burial ground for royal Muslims, this cemetery, shaded with huge trees and covered by green grass, is supposedly appropriated by the British for their own use in 1808. They are said to have vandalized the existing graves and removed the bones.
Many people claim to have seen ghosts here, of the Indians whose graves were vandalized fighting to restore their claim on the ground; of a little boy searching for his parents and of the headless Sir Nicholas who died by his own hand when rejected by a woman he loved!
9. Sanjay Van
Sanjay Van is situated in Vasant Kunj in South Delhi and acts as a lung space for the city of Delhi with its greenery. Visitors to this place have described hearing the cries of children, screaming or fighting and the shrill echo of a wailing person occasionally resonates through the thickets and the peepal trees.
Some people have reported seeing a woman, dressed completely in white, here. The mausoleums of Sufi Saints constructed here, where their presence seems to have remained, lends a further air of sinisterness to this park.
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10. Mutiny Memorial
In the Revolt of 1857, several Indians and British soldiers died. This building was constructed in honour of the British soldiers, and some of its modern-day visitors report seeing the spectres of these soldiers. And, their souls are supposed to be just as mutilated as their bodies had been when they were killed.
Some visitors have reported seeing severed limbs crawling around, searching in desperation, to return to their rightful owners. Apologies if that seems to require a huge stretch of anyone’s imagination. But no story of a haunting is ever simple or pleasant.
11. Karbala Graveyard
This is a Shiite graveyard exclusively used for the commemoration of the Prophet’s grandson Hussain Ibn Ali death at Karbala, using the ritual coffins called tazias.
The last burial held here was in 1985 and the place feels extremely eerie and depressing after sunset, though we see a lot of trees and birds here and there are three bustling marketplaces close to this place.
Other Haunted Places in Delhi
12. Delhi Cantonment
There are innumerable accounts from car drivers, who report having seen a woman clad in white, trying to hitch a ride from them on this lonely road. If denied, she chases after them and even overtakes them. Most people believe that she was herself killed in an accident in the area or suffered something very bad in the dense vegetation surrounding it.
All in all, reports of seeing her come in very frequently and here’s probably your golden chance to check out the veracity of such claims, for yourself. Be sure to take a powerful car, which is in good condition.
13. Dwarka (Sector 9) Metro Station
A walk through the Metro Station at Dwarka at night, for some, is to walk past the veil of life. People have seen the figure of a woman, peering at them before disappearing, nothing lingering but the sound of their scream.
Some people have described the force of a push, when leaving the metro station, from nothing but darkness. Perhaps it is a spirit, searching for a body to fill, or maybe just a woman, who once slipped waiting for her train. Who, truly, knows? It is for the intrepid to find out.
14. House Number W-3, Greater Kailash
This address was once written in the letters, and the deliveries meant for an aged couple. They lived in the house there and would have died comfortably in their beds if they weren’t murdered. Now, people report hearing low murmurs, strange voices and even high-pitched laughter from within this empty house which lies empty and desolate without its inhabitants.
The place is reported to feel eerie and the air itself feeling strange and this is all attributed to the paranormal presence here in the petrified neighborhood.
15. Khooni Nadi
All rivers must have had someone or the other use them as their grave. But the Rohini river is supposed to swallow anyone who goes too close to its treacherous waters. The people who ended up dead in its waters were not suicidal or needed to commit suicide, so the mystery behind the deaths can only be explained by attributing sinister powers to the water itself. Myth or fact, this is the reason why this river qualifies as a haunted place.
16. The Ridge
The Ridge is the green lungs of Delhi and full of birds. It also has an inhabitant, who has failed to keep up with the turns of events since 1947. A Colonial Era British man haunts this place, hovering and wandering, his soul tethered. Many people have reported seeing him there, constantly wandering, his figure faint in the air.
When you visit, prepare to have the network fail, reception goes weak, and for your phone to cease working. Visit this place, but prepare to be frightened, not just by the Ridge but the gory history of its neighborhood too.
Delhi has a history replete with stories and not all of them are pleasant. Its prosperity and location both invited a number of marauding invaders. It has also seen ambitious royals who never hesitated to shed blood to further their ambitions.
Whether or not these incidents or spectres truly exist, we will never know until it happens to us. William Dalrymple called Delhi the ‘City of Djinns’ and this historic city dating back to 3500 BCE has definitely not failed to live up to the name and expectations of people in this regard. We hope you enjoyed our list of the 16 most haunted places in Delhi. If you have a story to tell, do let us know in the comments.