Six is actually a small number for the number of homes in Mumbai that are considered haunted. Tales of superstition and urban legends abound in the city. You will hear stories of the afterlife, especially from older folk, who will always claim they have been witness to it all. Most of the time, it’s about someone who appears out of nowhere in a white sari, in a secluded dark corner — the stuff that folklore and horror movies are made of.
Then there are the famous ones like the Gokuldham Towers in Goregaon (E), which had no takers for years due to ghostly sightings. D’Souza chawl in Mahim is supposed to have a well where a woman committed suicide. Apparently, she still frequents the place. Andheri’s Mahakali Caves also seem to be haunted. People in its surroundings swear how they have encountered the unearthly. "Once I was walking in the woods at 3 am, when I realised something fiery following me. I didn’t look behind, and started reading the holy scriptures, which I always carry. Within minutes, it was gone," says Fida Hussain, a local vendor. The list of such places could fill up reams of pages.
In the bylanes surrounding Sandhurst Road station on the Harbour Line is Ashok Niwas. The building has been in existence since the British era. According to one resident who doesn’t want to be named, the ghost in the building appears on the terrace. At one point of time, many residents would sleep on the terrace because of the cool breeze emanating from the nearby Arabian Sea.
"I knew it was haunted, but I still slept on the terrace with friends. One night, I saw a friend desperately wanting to say something to me. But I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t say it, until the next day when he told me how he was being held back tightly by some force," says the resident. Bandra’s Jivesh Terrace is also supposed to be haunted. According to a nearby shopkeeper, "The building’s construction work had stopped for many years for no apparent reason. Some construction workers had died while it was being built. The place was also rumoured to be a burial ground."
Kala Niketan at Nepean Sea Road is another such ghostly place. It’s said there is a woman who walks around the building in the wee hours. Kiran Tambe, who stays in the building’s vicinity, says, "My dad had once stepped out of the house in the night. After a short walk, he was slapped hard, but couldn’t see anyone around him."
A well in Vakola, Santa Cruz (E), is rumoured to be haunted because of the numerous suicides that were committed here. Currently, its been covered by iron nets. Says Eric Sequeira, who used to frequent the area, "One morning, a resident of the locality was on his daily rounds. He had just returned after a long sojourn in his village. He met a guy near the well, but later in the evening, he was told the person he met had died a day earlier."
Four buildings at Kannamvar Nagar, Vikroli, at the Tata Quarters are said to be haunted as well. The buildings have been empty for at least a decade now and watchmen in the area vouch for it. In Thane, right outside the station next to platform No 1 is Abhijit Building that’s in a dilapidated state. Other than the two families who reside there, the building has been lying vacant for many years now. Supposedly, a former resident had committed suicide here and continues to haunts the place.
Ashok Niwas, outside Sandhurst Road station
The building is haunted on the terrace. People who sleep there have experienced a strong force trying to restrict their movement.
Jivesh Terrace, Bandstand, Bandra
Supposedly, construction workers had died here, which had even stopped work on the building for five years.
Kala Niketan, Nepean Sea Road
Residences claim to have seen the apparition of a woman here. She’s seen in the vicinity in the early hours.
Well near Vakola Masjid, Santa Cruz
Before it was covered, the well was a favourite spot for people committing suicide. One of the most famous sightings here is that of a man who appeared early in the morning, just after dying a day earlier.
Tata Communications Staff quarters, Kannamvar Nagar, Vikroli
Out of the 15 apartments, four or five buildings in the area have been empty due to ghostly sightings.
Abhijit Building, Thane Station (East), Next to platform 1
It’s said that a former resident haunts the place. In spite being situated in a prime location, there are no takers for the building.