Twenty years ago, Rocky Singh and friend Mayur visited the Jamali-Kamali mosque-tomb in Delhi’s Archaeological Village Complex in Mehrauli, and underwent a “complex haunting”. After that, Mayur, an experiential educator who has backpacked his way across 60 countries, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and survived the Tsunami of 2004, has avoided spooky places. But Rocky who’s run a restaurant, worked for a foreign airlines and heads a multinational company, has sought them out as a ‘ghost hunter’, spending nights there, to explain the inexplicable. Tonight, the duo of Highway On A Plate, will collaborate on another real reality show that tries to demystify the paranormal.
The 13-episode show takes us to 13 of India’s Most Haunted, starting with Jamali-Kamali. One of these places is at a few hours drive from Mumbai. Once a getaway for Bollywood stars, including Prithviraj and Raj Kapoor, the Napier Hotel was built in 1858. Twelve years later, the first sighting of a woman was reported, and by 1972 she’d scared away all visitors.
“Today, the hotel in a bustling office area in Pune, is in ruins and home to cobras, scorpions and bats. No one enters the place after sundown,” says Rocky, who accompanied by Mayur, a tantrik, a psychologist and plenty of scientific equipment to record the data, has camped out there to decode the urban legend of the White Lady Of Napier.
She’s supposed to be the ghost of a British lady who committed suicide there and even now, walks through the grounds, to fling herself down from top floor. Rocky tags it a ‘Category One’ haunting wherein a tragic incident leaves its imprint on a place and when the constellation is right, replays itself.
“The spirit is unwaveringly set on his/her course, and if you were to come in the way, would walk right through you, leaving you with a chill down your spine and a sense of unease,” he says. “But after many such ‘isolation sessions’ over 20 years, I was more concerned about the cobras than the dead White Lady.”
They picked places with tangible sightings associated with them but Rocky admits they didn’t spot a ghost everytime. “I wouldn’t recommend visiting these places because they’re ‘unsafe’, if not from supernatural beings then real ones,” he warns. “It’s better to explore them through the show.”
India’s Most Haunted premiers tonight on NDTV Good Times, May 13, 10 pm.