|Bell mount circuit, Kasauli, H.P. house,ghumakkar.com|
Paranormal commonly means anything far beyond normal, something odd, we hardly come across, mostly associated with a sense of uneasiness, anxiety and eerie feeling; the sudden or lingering reaction depends on the mental makeup of the people.
There are many stories across the globe in popular culture and folklore related to purported paranormal phenomena. Invariably, such stories are intertwined with an old building far removed from the urban space or in an isolated place in a semi urban area. The presence of paranormal phenomenon, when it comes to serious discussion, is not based on empirical or factual evidence rather it is based on a legend, a belief or speculation. Though explanations are available, they are outside the purview of established science. Ghost-sighting, life after death, incarnation and even ESP are some examples encompassed within paranormal phenomena. A research study on college students undertaken in the USA concluded that 'those with higher grade do not believe in paranormal phenomenon and the other study came up with the finding that 'psychological "absorption" and "disassociation" are higher among the believers'. Any way, there exits a correlation between irrational thinking and paranormal belief. The subject of ghost-sighting or the presence of spirit appears to be more of subjective in nature rather than objective. Such stories of purported sighting of ghost or haunted houses attract the people with inquisitive mind who who are ready to take care of their anxiety- driven and stressed experience.
|Scary ghosts in Indian folklore. .scoopwhoop.com/|
In India there are many Circuit Houses or Dak Bungalows built by the colonial rulers ad since 1940s the dak bungalows have existed. When there was no such modern transportation, the officials of the English company and later the Raj had to carry on many government assignments to interior places as part of the administrative machinery - such as, land surveys, revenue collection, judicial work, trade, hunting, hiking, etc. Being densely wooded places, it was unsafe safe to travel alone and usually they traveled in convoys. These were places sans any luxury but more suited as a temporary halt for a day or two; far better than a tent in the open. These dak bungalows or houses with a couple of moderate rooms, kitchen, etc., had regular caretakers (maximum three person) would take care of the needs of the tired officials arriving at these houses for a break. They were built very 12 to 15 miles along the major caravan routes routes to provide night halts for the travelers. Though they were primarily for the government officials, civilians could use them for a nominal fee with permission from the official concerned.
As many dak houses or travel bungalows are in isolated areas in the villages close to the jungle at one end., one can not only hear all kinds of strange sounds and noises of animals and birds but also may sight one or two deadly cobras nearby. Such weird surroundings with no people around have provided lots of ghost stories; invariably most of the venues are old poorly maintained buildings with squeaky window doors, etc built centuries ago. Some such isolated places are said to be haunted by the locals. When stories are out and thick in the air, consequently, the media hype has pushed them to be places of tourist attraction.
Many of the dak bungalows with rooms and old pieces of furniture provide a spooky and weird ambiance and are linked to good or bad spirits. . The past stories connected with the people who once lived there are churned out as ghost stories with better presentation and relied more on conjecture rather than on facts. Whether they are figment of imagination or just hallucination, people who have been to such places come up with spine-chilling stories, with no proof whatsoever. Whether such on-the-spot experiences of the people are really true stories or just myth. It can nor be explained.
At district headquarters, the circuit house provided accommodation as well as a make-shift courtroom for the visiting judges or other officers in the colonial time. Across the regions, the Dak houses served as a resting places for the officers and others while on long journey. Larger cities might have still more specialized buildings.
Circuit House, Damoh, M.P.
|Circuit house, Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, indiatvnews.com|
Veraval Circuit House,Junagargh District in Gujarat
The story of the Bungalow is centered around a Nawab This circuit house was once the Mahal of a nawab during the British era. For unknown reasons, it was in this place the nawab's daughter and her child committed suicide together by jumping from the terrace. It is said, their sudden screams will be disturbing otherwise a quiet place and also any passing visitors
The Circuit House, Kasauli
|Kasauli bell Mount Circuit house, HP. wikipedia commons/|
The Circuit House, Kasauli, a nice British era building with old furniture in a secluded area provides an ample scope to get scared. If the visitors hear, on the quiet night, the drops of rain falling on the roof or cracking wooden floors while walking or squeaking window doors inside when a gust of wind enters the room, they become anxious to the point of venting out their fear. With stone foundation and bay window through which one can see the vista of dense greenery around the building, in the late evening visitors may experience a sense of uneasiness accentuated by the spooky ambiance
Rajika Bhandari, a social science researcher has written a about the dangers and delights of Dak bungalows in her book "The Raj on the move''. She had observed: "I had been staying in Dak Bungalows and circuit houses for many years and had always been intrigued by their quirky character," "Some were of course entirely forgettable, but then there were others that clear had a had a fascinating history behind them that was just waiting to be discovered"