Stories Behind Lothian Cemetery


           

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The word “Haunted place” is used variedly from movies to media as it can give hype and a spine thrilling interesting story that people love to hear but step back to experience or find the real mystery behind it.

Most places we use to label as haunted place are graveyards, cemeteries, old villas, peaceful beaches at nights and so many that we find looking ghostly.

Cemeteries and Haunted stories is a deadly combination. There is no diminution for haunted stories at cemeteries. One such cemetery is Lothian Cemetery, oldest Christian cemetery in Delhi, located in Lothian road near the General post office at Kashmiri gate. It is famous for its stories and myths.

 

History of Cemetery

The location of the cemetery is a dense forest with trees before it is used to bury dead bodies. It is made as Christian Cemetery by the British in 1808. This cemetery is used by Britishers between 1808 and 1867 to bury dead bodies of only Britishers or Indian Christians.

When the Indian rebellion of 1857 or the first battle of independence, 1857 happened it resulted in the death of so many British soldiers. So, the dead bodies of British soldiers are buried here in 1857. British people who died of the cholera epidemic in 1857 are also buried here including British women and children.

History states that the cemetery is a graveyard used by Royal Indian families before the British snatched it. The cool atmosphere around the graveyard with trees attracted the British, so they took it.

They cleared the entire graveyard by digging the dead bodies present there before converting it into their Christian cemetery, the bodies dug by their family members. Coming to the haunted part there are a few interesting stories about this old Christian cemetery.

 

Myths

Cemetery without a haunted story is like a unicorn. Every cemetery or graveyard is linked with some superstitious horror story. There are two interesting stories about this cemetery.

1. Love-Sacrifice:

This is a story where a British soldier called sir Nicholas loved an Indian woman and that woman refused his proposal. So in that pain, he shot his head and died whose body is buried here.

Since then a headless ghost roams around the cemetery, which is claimed to be the ghost of Sir Nicholas, calling the name of his Indian lover. And the most interesting part is the ghost will become powerful in moonless nights.

 

2. Land disputes:

Yes, you read right it is land disputes but surprisingly the dispute is not between people. The cemetery is an Indian cemetery that is forcefully converted into a Christian cemetery by the British. They removed the old bodies from the cemetery before they convert it, then where did the other ghosts come from?

But they say that only bodies are removed but the souls are bounded to this cemetery and so they didn’t leave the cemetery. So the two ghost groups, Indian ghosts, and British ghosts are fighting for the ownership of the cemetery.

However, believed or not the cemetery gives a haunted experience even in a peaceful morning. But these are the best places for a homeless person to happily live here if they dare to believe in stories.

 

Present Condition:

Being the oldest cemetery in Delhi it became 200 years old but became ruins with no restoration work where many millennial old monuments are recognized as historical monuments and made as tourist spots. It is 2017 when ASI, abbreviated as Archaeological Survey of India, owned it and restored it. 

Now, it became a tourist spot as the oldest Christian cemetery of Delhi opened for visitors from 10 am to 6 pm. A feature of this cemetery is visitors will be welcomed with a huge cross constructed in the memory of the dead British soldiers in the first independence battle.

The constructions of tombs on graves are in various sizes and shapes depending on the person buried. This cemetery will take you back into British time because the graves and tombs are constructed in such a way. After the ASI took the cemetery, it restored the cemetery after 200 years and made it a good tourist place.

Encroachment and vandalism became common in cities and even burial grounds are not left. This cemetery also became home for some homeless people and the myths and haunted stories are helping them to stay there. Even after ASI owned it, still there will be some homeless people staying there.

 

Written by – Chamanth Krishna

Edited by – Adrija Saha


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