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Ancient city with ancient occupants: Haunted places in Delhi

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The capital of our country has many things to offer to its occupants and visitors alike. It has one of the best roads in the country, it is a food lover’s paradise and a dream come true for the enthusiastic consumer. Amongst it all, it has another thing  to offer. Ghosts! Yes, believe it not, the city houses a large number of haunted places worth visiting (if you are up to it) and also has variety in terms of the supernatural. Being one of the ancient cities of India and the royal seat of the Mughal and British empires, it has a heritage of old buildings, which frankly, make great haunting grounds for ghosts. Let’s take a look at some of them which are infamously famous!

1. The Lothian road cemetery

Graveyards throughout history have always been the ground for superstitious beliefs, the only reason being that it is because people bury their loved ones there. The Lothian cemetery too, like all others, is not without rumors. Built in the year 1808, the British used it to bury their soldiers who died in the  revolt  of 1857 at the hands of Indians. It is the oldest Christian cemetery and the also, one of the most haunted ones. Or so it is believed. There are different stories circulated around this 200 year old graveyard.

The Lothian Road Cemetery, Kashmiri Gate, Delhi | Image Courtesy:


The most common one being the story of a Sir Nicholas. The yarn goes as such. Sir Nicholas fell in love with an Indian, who, he later found out was happily married. Overcome with grief, he shot himself in the head. It is said that he can be seen walking down the Dariya Ganj Road, with his head in his hands and disappearing into the cemetery, where he was presumably buried. Some also claim to have heard Sir Headless Nicholas (Harry Potter anyone?) crying out the name of the woman he loved. Another story is of a small boy who walks around the cemetery in the dark, searching for his parents.

2.The Khooni  Darwaza

This place definitely is the reason enough for white folks to keep out.

Originally known as Lal Daawaza, this 15.5 high gateway was built by Sher Shah Suri in the 1540s. Situated on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, it is one of the thirteen surviving gates of Delhi and has three staircases leading to the different levels of the gate. The story around this archway is a pretty interesting one. the place earned its dressing title after a Captain of the British army shot the three sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar in cold blood and in front of hundreds of people.

Khooni (Lal) Darwaza, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg | Image Courtesy: Wikipedia page of the place.

It is said that the spirits of his sons still roam the ruins and, according to local folklore, are a nuisance to only foreigners (white people) whom they understandably hate.


3.Delhi Cantonment

The Delhi cantonment is the most beautiful and greenest stretch of Delhi. And it is also haunted. Established by the British Indian Army in 1914, it currently houses the Indian Army Headquarters, Delhi area. People claim to have seen a lady clad in a white sari who asks for lifts from motorists. People who do not stop ( and usually people do not) will find her running faster or along the vehicle even if it is running at high speed. The story is that the lady was a hitchhiker who was killed in a car accident. And  if someone does stop, well, no one knows what happens next. The story has been doing the rounds for a while now.

Delhi Cantonment Area | Image Courtesy:

4.House No W-3

House No W-3 is located in one of the posh localities of South Delhi, Greater Kailash. Decades ago this used to be the home of an elderly couple who were brutally murdered. The killer was never caught and their bodies were discovered in the underground water tank. Since then the house has remained deserted. Nearby residents have claimed they could hear cries and sobs emanating from the house. Nobody could verify if the causes were human or supernatural.

House number W-3, GK-1, Delhi|

Supposedly, the property was bought and the house was renovated but after the initial renovation, the owners never occupied the place. Got cold feet maybe? Maybe.  But whether the rumors are true or not, they have certainly intrigued many self-proclaimed ghost busters who have visited it over the years.


5.Firoz Shah Kotla Fort

Have a wish? Need answers to your myraid problems? Write a letter to the Djinns of Firoz Shah Kotla and your wishes might just come true!

Nestled between Delhi’s Ring Road and a cricket stadium by the same name, lie the forgotten ruins of Firoz Shah Kotla. It was built by the great emperor and builder Firoz Shah Tughlaq in the 14th century.  This sprawling fort contains within its walls numerous palace rooms, and mosques which still attracts the faithful. What sets it apart from other haunted areas is the nature of its otherworldly occupants. Djinns. Djinns who grant wishes. Yes, these spirits of fire are said to haunt the ruins and they are the reason why this fort sees such a large number of visitors.

Firoz Shah Kotla fort, Delhi | Image Courtesy:

Every Thursday a large number of believers  flock to the ruins to offer sweets, fruits and even meat to the benevolent spirits and hoping that the Djinns will solve their problems in return. They write their problems on paper and stick those papers or their photocopies in niches and alcoves along the walls, spelling out the exact nature of their problems. It is believed that in the 1970’s a fakir named Laddoo Shah moved into the ruins and since then the practice of writing letters began.

These are only a few examples. There are many more such ‘infamous’ places. Most of them are actually beautiful and have architectures to marvel at, but many are famous only because they have been labeled as haunted.

Arindam Goswami for DU Beat.

Featured Image Courtesy: The Hindu.

Currently in my third year, studying Political Science major at Ramjas College. I love chicken and books and sleeping. If you want to talk, feel free to drop me a mail at [email protected] or you can reach me through Facebook, Arindam Goswami. Kudos!

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