For more than 40 years, Begunkodar railway station in Purulia district of West Bengal remained abandoned because of fears that it was haunted.
Locals say sometime in the 1960s, commuters spotted a woman in a white saree walking along the tracks on the Begunkodar station, 260km from the state capital, Kolkata. She vanished as suddenly as she appeared. This became a daily routine and soon railway employees refused to work there.
The only one who dared to go there died the next day.
As the railway minister, Mamata Banerjee dismissed all reports of the female ghost and reopened the station in 2009. A few trains stopped but only during the day, but locals shied away from going near the station.
And now Kolkata-based paranormal research body is set to put Begunkodar on the ghost tourism map.
The Systematic Paranormal Investigation and Research Team has tied up with tour operator Purulia Tourism to take visitors on a tour of the ghost-infested railway station. The package includes travel, hotel accommodation and a midnight visit to the station including a storytelling session on the history of Begunkodar.
“People want to experience the paranormal. We will try and give it to them. The station was closed for years after ghosts were spotted by the locals. So many stories are linked to it. Even now, locals don’t venture near the station after sundown,” Soumen Roy, a mechanical engineer, who is a leading face of the paranormal research body, said.
Roy is also the co-founder of the organisation that is also working on over 300 ‘haunted houses’ in Bengal. The organisation has more than 100 members including seven full-time paranormal investigators.
“We invite everyone to experience the world of the paranormal. We will create the right atmosphere at the rail station. So far we have got a good response and the first trip will be announced soon,” Roy told HT.
Saurav Haldar is looking forward to the spooky tour and is all excited about visiting the station.
“Since childhood, I have been fascinated by ghosts. I got the information about the tour from Facebook and I have booked a seat. I want to experience the paranormal,” Haldar said.