Mussoorie is a picturesque hill station located in Uttarakhand, and is a popular tourist destination in India. Furthermore, it also popular for being a major part of ghost stories written by some outstanding literary talent. So, be it author Ruskin Bond, historian Ganesh Saili, author Rudyard Kipling or travel writer Bill Aitken all have written stories based in this scenic hill station which revolve around spirits. Here is then presenting a few facts that will illustrate what connects “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories”.
Read More: WHAT CONNECTS RUSKIN BOND TO MUSSOORIE?
a. John Lang, Ruskin Bond, and the “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories”connection:
Apparently, it was way back in 1964 that Ruskin Bond is supposed to have discovered the grave of John Lang (an Anglo-Australian-Indian barrister) at the Camel’s Back cemetery in Mussoorie. It was after this discovery that stories revolving around spirits linked to the grave of Lang were frequently used to produce literary fiction. Some,of his works included “The Himalaya Club and Other Entertainments from the Raj”. It is therefore this discovery of the grave which has resulted in tales based on spirits being created that eventually connects “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories”.
b. The legend of “Frederick Pahari (Wilson) and his wife Gulabi”, Rudyard Kipling, Ruskin Bond, and the “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories” connection:
A folklore regarding the ghosts of Frederick Pahari (Wilson) (also known as Raja of Harsil), and his wife Gulabi was extremely popular in Mussoorie. According to an obituary written for Wilson by “Pioneer”, he is supposed to have arrived at this quaint hill station from Kolkata with just five rupees in his pocket. On settling in, he said to have survived by taking up “hunting” as a profession. However, it was his involvement in the timber trade that eventually made him wealthy. It was author Rudyard Kipling who got a whiff of the legends surrounding the spirits of Wilson and his wife. And so, he quite smartly used details of the prevailing myths about this couple in this hill station and quite brilliantly used it to write a novella titled “The Man Who Would Be King”. In addition, Ruskin Bond too made use of the legend surrounding Frederick in a story titled “Wilson’s Bridge”. It is thus the excellent fictionalization of the legend of Wilson by great authors such as Bond and Kipling which helps connect “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories”.
c. The myth of Captain Young, Ganesh Saili, and the “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories” connect:
“Mussoorie Medley: Tales of the Yesteryear” is a book written by Indian author Ganesh Saili which captures the legend that surrounds Captain Young, the architect of St Peter’s Church and the area around Sister’s Bazaar. In this book, the author states that the ghost of Young can be frequently seen in a flat situated in the Mullingar area. He literally mentions in the book that “[Young] astride a white horse arrives at the old Mullingar lodge, ties his steed to the remnants of the old wrought iron railing, and waits for the parade of Redcoats to begin”. Coincidentally, as of today Saili and his family are residing at the same apartment in Mullingar. And so, it is retelling of the myth surrounding Captain Young by Ganesh Saili which eventually helps connect “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories”.
It is then this fictionalizing of myths revolving around existence of spirits by great authors such as Bond, Kipling,and Saili, which has ensured that a “Mussoorie To Ghost Stories” connect happily coexists.
Also Read: 9 EXTREMELY EXOTIC INDIAN HILL STATIONS