Sometimes, it so happens that some of the most beautiful places have dangerous stories hidden amongst its untimely mists and fogs. One such beautiful place is Shimla in India. It can be said that the erstwhile summer capital of the British still retains its position as one of the most popular getaways. However, underneath the beauty and awe of the terrain of the city, there lie numerous not-so-normal stories about the place. These stories date back to the Raj whose essence and soul still linger today.
“Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills” by Minakshi Chaudhry narrates fifteen such stories about the hills. These stories would make the audience re-consider their perception about the supernatural. A foreword by ace writer Ruskin Bond, whose numerous stories about the hills are what generations of bookworms have grown up on, adds an extra credit to the book. Having lived a major part of his life among the hills, Bond knows the intricacies of such places, its stories and rumors like no other.
A spooky atmosphere diverts the mind to words like ‘haunted house’, ‘dark forests’, ‘voices’, ‘shadows’, ‘fogs and mists’ and of course ‘the eerie silence’. If these are some of the elements that you look for in ‘ghost stories’ then you would not be disappointed. Some of the story titles like ‘ The Angrez Churail (The English Witch), ‘ The Spirit Takes Revenge’ , ‘Bhoot Bangla’ (Haunted House) and ‘Enduring Love’ are suggestive enough of the type of descriptions one would find in them.
These stories about Shimla are great to enjoy with friends around a campfire on a moonlit night . The feelings of injustice, hurt, anger, hatred are still retained by the soul- a reason why they cannot ‘crossover ‘and are ‘trapped’ in both worlds. Most of the time they decide to set things right for themselves and at other times they ask for help. However, all these have been said on the basis of popular theories. Whether these incidents are true or rumors spread by locals to attract people is a question of much significance which needs further research.
‘Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills’ create such a visual ambiance through its narration that youcan actually feel a tingling sensation in the stomach. In fact, once while I was so into the book, the sound of a pencil falling off the table startled me to the core. I would recommend this book to everyone and challenge the brave hearts to read it during the nights.
Do leave a comment if you like the review or want to add or subtract anything. P.S. Personal ghost experiences are welcome too!