They say where there is no imagination; there is no horror. We say, all the horror out there is but an eclectic mix of wild perceptions and fears lingering in some corner of our minds. Or better yet, it’s a reality distorted lost to the realms of time. Don’t believe us? What if we prove you wrong, and take you on an adventure trail of paranormal haunts, nestled in God’s Own Country.
That’s right! Kerala, the land of golden sunsets, coconuts and lazy beaches is also home to some twisted, spooky tales and unnatural occurrences. With the ghosts having done a great job in garnering enough controversies through the ages, we can barely set the blame on you for calling yourself a non-believer. But if Kerala is your choice of destination for a stress break, we insist you pep up the adrenaline levels further by paying a visit to Kerala’s most haunted locales. If you are feeling scared already, it's better to read about weekend getaways from Kochi. Still there? Bravado!
You might find a reason to lose your forty winks, but didn’t we warn you before? Here are our favorite picks.
A deciduous rainforest linked to the rest of Kerala via a lonely Hill road, the nearest sign of civilization only five km away; now that’s a description that best suits this bewitching locale. Dotted with alluring meadows, gushing streams and verdant forests, this is the place where you probably would love to head, picnic basket in hand. But the ride to this spot is a whole other story. Ornamented with several mystic tales, unnatural sights, and experiences, this place serves rightly on our list of haunted places in Kerala.
The highest location in the Wayanad district, Lakkidi once served as a secret pathway between the Ghats for the sages crossing the border into this district. Finally, an English engineer took to the task of curbing the illegal practice by finding the route and commercializing it. What followed were the sages being brutally murdered by the engineer, who blinded by folly and a desire to earn recognition for the discovery, committed the gruesome crime. The story, however, was not to end here, with the route being shortly declared haunted by the spirit of Karinthandan, the first martyr.
According to the prevalent theory, the locals, troubled by the unnatural presence, arranged for an exorcism to be performed and a chain was thus tied to the tree to restrain the spirit. Today, that chain remains there as a testimony of its macabre past.
It is believed that it grows along with the tree, a phenomenon that continues to baffle both the locals and travelers.
On the lush green fields of the Bonacaud region of Trivandrum rests the tall and formidable edifice of GB 25 or the haunted Bonacaud Bungalow, as it is known nowadays. The bungalow is a part of the several factories and buildings that were set up in the sprawling tea estate of Bonacaud, during the British era. Once a thriving business, the estate now enjoys abandonment, strewn with the shroud of its rich past. And once the night falls, this past comes alive in various depictions and epiphanies of its gloomy haunt. The question is not if you are a believer or not. The question is, but, what you are actually seeing and what you aren’t. For this possessed mansion, infested with unnatural presence, would make you doubt your own senses.
Legend has it that one fateful night, when the tea business was in full swing, the owner of the mansion lost his kids. While the cause of death remains unknown to this day, the mansion has been haunted by the spirits of the young children since the infamous night. After this incident, the grievous couple had returned to London.
One of the scariest places in Kerala, the Bonacaud bungalow is definitely not the place to be visited alone.
It serves as the favorite spot for the trekkers and campers on a look out for some adventure. But what if the lush green beauty is scared with tales of macabre incidents and unwanted occurrences? The forest not only boosts of some rare flora and fauna is but also a home to its ghostly residents, threatening to scare away the tranquility of this haven.
People visiting here have often encountered the spirit of a young boy who roams around in the area. While at the daytime this spot is bustling with people, nightfall paints the landscape in different colors. Several of these incidents have made the people put together the pieces and conclude that lurking apparition is of a boy aged somewhere between seven to eight years. Though over the years, several people have tried to come up with a theory to justify the cause of the haunting, none of them seems credible enough to be believed and accepted. That what exactly happened to this young boy, remains a mystery to this date. Though there has never been any known occurrence of a physical attack, its presence is enough to freeze the blood in your veins.
Either way, would you be willing to risk it and spend a night here, alone?
Image Credits: Nisarg Lakhmani.
The name is enough to conjure up images of scenic vistas, freshly scented valleys, hills rolling in greenery and the ecstasy of soothing pleasure. One of the most romantic honeymoon spot, Thekkady, is a popular choice among the ghost-hunters and paranormal specialists as well.
If the locals are to be believed, the forests bordering the quiet town are infested with evil forces, lurking deep within its haunts. Many instances of such unnatural events have already been reported. While the cause remains oblivious, the forest is the one thing that the locals choose to avoid in spite of depending on it for their livelihood.
Supporting controversies might be a choice, here, it is an adversary.
Every religion is decorated with its own haunts. In the end, though, we are all willing to celebrate the victory of the Good and the defeat of the Evil. Would you be willing to believe us that this unique temple is the physical manifestation of the very idea, defeating the evil, only literally?
Set against the gorgeous backdrop of the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, this temple gracefully hosts the 100 million devotees that throng its gates every year. The 12th-century temple is dedicated to Sree Ayyappa, who according to the legends defeated an evil spirit at this site. And from this very faith stems various anecdotes that resound through its walls. It is believed that every year the evil spirit tries to enter the temple and is met by a firm resistance of the deity who with his presence and power protects his devotees as well as defeats the monster. Several devotees have reportedly witnesses various unexplained flashes in the sky and heard sounds that mark the great event.
While no one willfully confirms the reality behind such instances, the Faithful do prefer to believe the victory of good over evil. What do you think?
14 kilometer to the north of Thiruvananthapuram lays the haunted campus of Kariavattom. Although a controversial claim, the place reeks of negative vibes and people here prefer to avoid the vicinity after nightfall. The reason behind the haunting is hugely debated too. According to a popular theory, the apparition is of a girl who is said to have committed suicide at the very spot, by drowning herself in a pond. Today, the pond has been renamed after the dead girl, Hymavathi. There also have been numerous instances when people have spotted her spirit walking along the roadside.
While both the claims and instances remain shrouded in mystery, the local community prefers to keep precautions as well as warn the ignorant of the consequences.
Maybe sometimes it’s not all about belief; it is about self-preservation and sensibility.
Lying amid the foothills of the Western Ghats, this sleepy village lays just 45 km away from the Silent Valley, a tropical evergreen rainforest. Unviolated and alienated from the rest of the district, this village is a quiet place that carries its own rustic charm laced with mystic elements and spooky surprises.
The place is infamous for several paranormal sightings and unexplainable occurrences that thrive in its haunt. Popular notion suggests that the lonely path from the village leading up to the rainforest is haunted by fire spirits. While both the authorities and the locals remain polemic regarding the controversial viewpoint, the idea is enough to perk up the attention of adventure seekers and ghost hunters who crowd the place annually, hoping to rectify the claim. Though several of these people remain ignorant, a few have claimed to have experienced bizarre, mind numbing episodes of horror.
But honestly, when it comes to unnatural incidents, you don’t really know the truth till you have experienced it. Isn’t it?
Lying just 42 km away from Munnar, this alluring locale is not only home to a richly scented sandalwood forest cover but also boosts of a rich history that goes as far back as the stone age. The peaceful town is a delight for history buffs with several rock paintings and ancient artifacts on display.
This being acknowledged, Marayur is also the abode of an evil spirit known for its ability to morph into different forms. The many faced spirit hangs menacingly, like a sharp edged sword, over this town threatening to disrupt the peace and ancient charm. Over the decade's numerous cases have been reported involving some paranormal behavior or other.
Legend has it that those who are unfortunate enough to come under the influence of this evil spirit can never return to their world again.
The city of Kochi is known for its widespread network of canals and the Perandoor canal is one such artery. Why is it so famous then, you ask? The answer lies in the infamous incident that has haunted the spot ever since. A long time back, the trail by the canal was the site of all the illegitimate activities of the city’s, then, local ruffian Vaduthala Mathai. When, during one of his usual sessions, he abused a young woman, the news reached the ears of the Raja of Edappally. Angered by the disgraceful behavior, the Raja had sentenced the underworld chieftain to death. But some haunts refuse to die, don’t they?
Ironically the public hanging took place by the canal itself. And that’s when the paranormal incidents started to take place. To this day, people living in the vicinity refuse to go even remotely close to the area for fear.
While the canal remains one of the most iconic places to see in Kochi, the impact within the local community was so big that today it is a tradition among the local fishermen to make an offering to the spirit of Mathai, before starting their workday.
You may claim to know the city inside out but what you might not know is the city once had its own palace set inside the fort area of Tripunithura. A wonder that captivated the eyes like nothing else, this Dutch architecture styled edifice once symbolized the rich and traditional heritage of Kerala. Even the name literally translated to ‘the town of Vedas.'
It is believed the palace was constructed for the then Maharaja of Cochin. The celebrations for the installation of this grand paradise, however, remained short-lived for the palace soon became infested with evil spirits. Or so it was believed.
After fact got publicized, the palace was bound to the chains of infamy with the royal family eventually abandoning the palace after being convinced of its haunt. It is said at its height, people living in the vicinity claimed to have smelt the aroma of the Palapoovu flowers and heard unnatural voices coming from the edifice. Threatened by the spooky incidents taking place day after day, the king, Rama Varma XVI eventually ordered for its demolition.
Today, what remains is but the ruins that decorate the very spot, reciting the macabre saga to anyone who holds the remembrance or cares enough to observe.
Nestled amid the meadows of one of the most attractive locales in India, rests the Morris Bungalow of Vagamon. The bewitching charm half lies in the exotic vistas of the hill town, rolling with huge tea plantations and a half in its weird vibes that seem to wrap itself around the place like a shroud.
Vagamon had for long been known for its tea production, managed by a small, but well-off British community that owned acres of land and hence chose to reside here even after the independence. One such bungalow belonged to a British Bachelor, Morris. It is believed Morris, after an argument with his father, committed suicide by ingesting poison, haunting the place ever since.
The place was eventually sold off to convert it into a resort. But modernity couldn’t permeate the place’s terrible past. Since the construction of the resort, several instances of paranormal activities have been reported. Some even claimed to have seen the apparition of a man in a derelict state.
If you plan on visiting this resort, don’t be surprised if you are requested not to participate in any occult activities while residing within these walls.
Your previous perception of this picturesque town must be a quiet bliss dotted with alluring landscapes and bewitching vistas. The spooky picture unfolds at its shanty nooks and corners, concealed from the eyes of ordinary tourists. Munnar is a hub of ghostly spots and haunted suicide points, lying somewhere, lost, amid the sharp mountain peaks.
Taking a walk along its long, lonely roads would reveal several grand bungalows, scattered all over its widespread meadows and valleys. For long, several rumors have been doing the rounds that these mansions are sites of paranormal infestation, being employed by ruffians and idlers for occult activities. While no one could verify these claims, the rumors have most certainly thrown the interested buyers out of context. Today, a number of such bungalows lie abandoned and dilapidated, devoid of an owner.
The place remains popular among the travelers, but the scars left behind by the infamy are hard to avoid.
Did any of these places bewitch you? Or are you fine-tuned to challenge controversial claims? Honestly, that’s entirely your call. In the interim, the idea is to experience these conjuring claims and living through them. Believe us, a walk amidst these spooky ideals would be enough to jar up your mind in an uncomfortable jig and make you want to question your own perceptions. For these haunted places in Kerala reek of sadness stemming from an interrupted cause and gloom that often hangs in menace. Most of the above-listed hauntings remain unexplained to this date; a fact that inadvertently contributes not only in increasing the essence of mystique but also in alleviating the number and excitement of fellow enthusiasts and ghost hunters.
Your experience might not necessarily be a great one. You might even want to question if our existence is superficial. Or maybe theirs is. Till then, lock the doors, draw the blinds and remember, don’t turn off the lights.
Had your own macabre adventure? We would love to lend an ear for your every spooky detail. Share your bonfire-night tales with us and relive your escapade!