Shimla: Winding up an empire in 1947, the British rulers left behind a legacy of ghosts that continue to haunt the former summer capital of British India for a long time, providing rich material to writer Minakshi Chaudhry, whose sequel to ‘Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills’ was released here today.
Speaking to Hill Post after chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had released ‘More Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills’ earlier in the day, Minakshi said, “Ghost stories became so popular that I was asked to bring out another volume for several stories had not yet been told.”
“Generations of Shimla residents have grown up on a spooky cocktail of ghosts, bhoots, chudails and other haunting spirits,” she said.
The sequel to the 2005 Ghost stories book has 16 new stories, all packed with suspense and thrill. The stories based on real life experiences of people have been woven in a fictionalized way.
Dark moonless nights, long lonely stretches, mist engulfing hills and valleys, something howling in the faraway jungle, make Shimla a perfect setting for these supernatural beings; and tales have survived into modern times, says Minakshi.
The second volume of Shimla ghosts includes a story about nurse ghost, wandering about in hospital wards and taking care of the needy.
An Englishman, who was a theatre manager, fell in love with Shimla so much the he did not wish to leave even after he died. His spirit is said to haunt the theater he worked in and on dark, cold and lonely nights is still said to wander around the place.
The collection also has the tale of a forlorn Muslim ghost who came to Shimla after the tragic 1947 India-Pakistan partition.
The ghost stayed back and played innocent pranks on people. With time the ghost aged, lost interest in teasing people and longed to go back but it could never make it to native Lahore.