The Charleville mansion-Most Haunted Home of Shimla

22nd Sep 2013
Photo of The Charleville mansion-Most Haunted Home of Shimla 1/1 by Neeraj Dhiman

Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh is a city that is blessed by God not just with beautiful locations but also with clear waters and flowered valleys which make it one of the most attractive tourist destinations in India. The pleasant weather of the city was the reason that it was chosen as the summer capital of the British India Empire. Along with it, its picturesque hills have been the talks of several ghost stories. Highly acclaimed writer Rudyard Kipling also shares his experience of witnessing ghosts in Shimla in ‘My Own True Ghost Story’.

A number of houses and hills are the part of haunted stories and are known tobe haunted with occasional appearance of mysterious people. In most of the cases of haunted houses, it is usually the ghosts of the previous occupants who either disappeared mysteriously or committed suicide due to one reason or other. One such house that is known as the most haunted house of Shimla is Charleville mansion.

The Story Behind Charleville Mansion

Charleville mansion is a lush mansion located in the hills of Shimla. A British man Victor Bayley was appointed as the Assistant Secretary of Railway Board and was posted in Shimla in October 1913. Victor and his wife spent a considerable time looking for a perfect home for them and settled for Charleville mansion owing to its location and the low rent. But they didn’t know that the house was known to have a poltergeist. In fact before them, an army officer used to live in that mansion. Even though he didn’t believe in ghosts, he wanted to test the authenticity of the mystery surrounding that home. So he decided to lock the room where most of the haunted activities were reported.

One night a large crash was heard and he was astonished to find the room in shatters. Everything had been turned upside down. Horrified he decided to vacate the home. Even after knowing all this, the Bayleys decided to stay in the mansion and continued to do so for over a year.Most of their stay was peaceful except for one particular incident. It was a cold night and the Bayleys were out for a dinner party. As the servant was waiting for them to return, he felt that his master was in fact present in a room. He went up to him and asked him if he wanted something. The British didn’t respond to him and went out through a closed door. The Bayleys vacated the house soon after.

Since then the house has seen several occupants and all of them have their own experiences to share. Even though the experiences are enough to send a chill down the spine of the readers and audience, the fact that these ghosts have never been violent in nature brings a sense of relief. The house is currently owned by an Indian gentleman who remodeled the mansion completely. But it is still the talk of the town with people reporting ghosts of Englishmen roaming the mansion.