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‘Ghosts’ keep people out of Shimla’s government houses

Till date, about 200 government houses remain vacant in the city because of so-called negative energies over there.

punjab Updated: Aug 18, 2018 18:28 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Ghosts,Shimla,Shimla ghost stories
Most of the residential housing, both cottages and quarters, were built during the British Raj from 1864 to 1947 when Shimla was the country’s summer capital.(HT Photo)

They refuse to vacate government accommodation and despite a long queue for such housing in the Himachal Capital, no one, at least no one ‘alive,’ is too keen to move in with the ‘ghosts’ of Shimla.

Till date, about 200 government houses remain vacant in the city because of so-called negative energies over there.

So rife is superstition in government circles about haunted houses that the Government General Administration (GAD), state branch, has been compelled to draw up a list of “unpopular” houses, identifying 200 such units.

“ I had been allotted a house in town seven months back but did not occupy it as it was considered jinxed. I have been waiting for another house for seven months “ says Hemant Chauhan, a government employee.

“ Either the houses are believed to be haunted or in a dilapidated state but there are a substantial number of residential units that no one wants to occupy,” says Amarjeet Singh, director, estate branch.

There are 1,848 government houses in Shimla under GAD control, including type VII, VI, V, IV, II, II and I quarters and bungalows located in different parts of the town.

“There’s big demand for government accommodation. Two years ago we drew up a proposal stating that as many as 30,000 houses were required in the general pool,” said an official at the real estate branch in Shimla.

People who have lived in some of these units say they have experienced paranormal activity.

“I lived in government accommodation in Brockhurst, the venue of strange events. Plates fell on the floor when there was no one in the kitchen. The children kept complaining about a woman singing at midnight. My daughter kept falling ill,” claimed a Shimla-based gazetted officer who did not want to be named as he’s not authorised to speak to the media.

Most of the residential housing, both cottages and quarters, were built during the British Raj from 1864 to 1947 when Shimla was the country’s summer capital. These are located in, Richmond, the United Services Club, Nabha Estate, Brockhurst, Bemloe and Kasumpti and close to the government run Peterhoff Hotel and Willy’s Park. The most prominent VIP residence, also built in the British era, comes with its share of superstitions.

The state chief minister’s official residence, Oakover, was once believed to be jinxed as no CM living there completed his full term.

What worked for Dhumal

The havans (rituals) Prem Kumar Dhumal conducted after being elected CM in 1998, however, seemed to have worked because he completed his full tenure.

Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar, the first CM of the state, was ousted from power shortly after moving to Oakover. Thakur Ram Lal was CM twice but did not complete his full tenure. BJP veteran leader Shanta Kumar moved in here in 1977 but his government was dismissed after five months. Ram Lal again formed the government but was removed in 1983 and the Congress handed over the reins of the state to Virbhadra Singh. Singh, however, preferred to live in his private residence, Holy Lodge.

Shanta Kumar became chief minister again in 1989 but was removed from power a year later after the Babri Masjid demolition.

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 12:04 IST