India has its fair share of stories that may not have a logical explanation but continue to arouse our curiosity to this day. These are similar to the existence of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland and the Yeti in the Tibetan Himalayas, both of which people have not been able to explain. A few claim to have experienced them, while others think of different theories to justify their existence. Here are some legends that have some Indians convinced that the supernatural works in the most mysterious of ways.
Kuldhara village in Rajasthan was abandoned overnight leaving behind an entire village of crumbling homes and buildings. Legend has it that the ruler of the region took a keen interest in the daughter of the subjugated village chief, and to escape humiliation the entire village of 1500 disappeared overnight. It is said the village chief cursed the abandoned village, in a way that anyone who tried to inhabit it would die. Even today, visiting the village is only something the brave would try and staying the night is at one’s own risk.
Members of the Paranormal Society of Delhi stayed the night and reported supernatural happenings such unexplained moving shadows, footprints, noises and touching of members.
In 2002, the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh were in panic about a strange creature that swept down like a miniature UFO beaming red and green lights. The creature was described as hawk-like, with metal claws that aimed at scratching victim faces, leaving them writhing with pain. Many people were so terrified that temples held sermons to ward away evil spirits while some villagers stayed up all night around bonfires with guns and water canons.
The hype gradually died down when police went all out to convince people that the existence of this creature was a rumour and that the victims who were affected were probably injured by an unexplained force of nature.
3. Monkey Man
Nope, he’s not a superhero, but what Delhi residents described as a hairy creature about 5 feet tall with shining red eyes, and a helmet. It was seen jumping from building to building but was just described as mass hysteria. The film Delhi 6, starring Abhishek Bacchan, centres around the appearance of the creature in Old Delhi.
4. Nale Ba Day
In the ’90s, Bangalore was abuzz with rumours of a witch walking the streets in the dead of the night, knocking on doors and calling out to victims in the voice of their mother. If the door was answered, the person died. The solution, write “Nale ba” on the door which means come tomorrow, this meant the witch would return the next day, see the sign and the cycle would continue.
Being Bangalore, we were not surprised that the ghost was literate and was considerate enough to not disturb the residents after seeing the sign. She probably got sick of coming again and again.
5. The ‘White Lady’ of Sanjay Van
The forested area outside Delhi is known for its old and winding banyan trees. Hikers have reported seeing a woman draped in white walking among the banyan trees before disappearing. Too cliche for a ghostly apparition? Visit Sanjay Van to find out but only if you have insurance.
6. The wolves of Pavagada, Karnataka
In 1983, several girls below the age of five went missing after dark despite being asleep next to their parents. Police claimed it was man eating wolves that snatched the children, after discovering pools of blood and clothes of the girls. However the patterns were all similar. All the children abducted were girls and they were not dragged on the ground. In one case, the “wolves” threw stones at a father while trying to make an escape.
Another theory came up that it was probably the work of tantriks from the Madakshira region who practiced black magic and offered these children as human sacrifices to Goddess Kali. The police were unable to carry out the investigation due to the lack of co-operation from villagers who were too afraid to go against tantriks who could kill with their dark sorcery. The police and the forest department were at loggerheads, but the government backed the wolf theory even as the issue raged on in the Legislative Assembly.
7. The Mystery of Malcha Mahal
Behind the wild grasses in the ridge area outside Delhi lies Malcha Mahal which was built by Nawab Wajid Ali of Oudh. His great granddaughter was embroiled in a legal battle with the Indian government after the British had seized the property several decades ago. She was finally granted custody of the property and moved there with her two children. She later committed suicide and left her children with a legacy of treasure, some dogs and the property which was once a hunting lodge for her ancestors.
It is believed that the descendants of Nawab Wajid Ali still live there having secluded themselves from the outside world with no modern amenities. There is a huge sign stating that all trespassers will be gunned down or have hounds set on them.
The guards of the nearby Earth Centre and forest officials have reported journalists sneaking into the premises, never to return again.