Monday, Jan 24, 2022
Outlook.com
station: haunted

Wraith On Rails

A ‘haunted’ station reopens 42 years after it shut due to fears of the paranormal

Wraith On Rails
Sandipan Chatterjee
Wraith On Rails
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Horror Story Unfolds

  • Established at the behest of a Santhal queen in 1962, in tribal-dominated Purulia district of West Bengal
  • Closed down in 1967, allegedly because it was ‘haunted’
  • Locals virtually cut off from train services—the nearest train station now 43 km away
  • Reopened in September 2009 on the orders of Mamata Banerjee who says she “does not believe in ghosts”

***

Was it a woman in white crossing the tracks in the dead of night who sealed the fate of Begunkodar? The same spectre that a railway guard sighted, shortly before he died “mysteriously”, in the best traditions of detective pulp fiction? Or was it mere mortals—mischief-making local goons dressed up in white sheets—who drove railway staff away from this tiny station in West Bengal’s tribal-dominated Purulia district over four decades ago? Maybe it was neither: the ghost story, some suggest, was conjured up by creative employees itching to get away from this back-of-the-beyond, middle-of-the-paddy-fields place on the Bengal-Jharkhand border. Another facetious theory attributes it to insurgents keen to disrupt rail links at the heart of the Naxal belt.

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