Some of the most haunted places in the world are those that are wreathed in pain and suffering. Some of these have such dark histories that they are often referred to as "horror houses" and one of these lies in the country of India. The city of Hyderabad is a vast sprawling metropolis, the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Telangana. With a population of 6.9 million residents within the city limits and 9.7 million residents in the metropolitan region, it is a bustling hive of humanity sprawled out over 250 square miles, its crowded streets constantly thrumming with activity day and night. Besides being known for its thriving film industry and its reputation as one of the main business capitals of India and a modern, technologically advanced city, as well as a place for countless restaurants and listed as a UNESCO creative city of gastronomy, here one can also find historic ruins among the modernity, and if one looks they can also find some of the most haunted places in the country. One of these is a nondescript house that despite its rather mundane appearance holds a dark history and possibly evil supernatural forces.
Nestled within Hyderabad in the city colony Kundanbagh and located in a lane adjacent to St. Francis Degree College is a rather plain looking house tucked away off the street that looks like many others around it and is the kind of place one could walk right on by without even noticing it. In September of 2002, a local petty thief by the name of Mohammed Sajid was caught breaking into the home, but when police tried to inform the family who lived there no one was home at the time. The police waited several days for the family that lived there to come back, and during this time the thief admitted that there were three dead bodies within the house that he had seen when he had robbed it. He had not killed them, but had been afraid that he would be blamed if he were to tell police, hence his hesitance to admit it from the beginning. With this shocking new development an investigation would begin, and things would get very weird and sinister indeed.
When police let themselves into the home, they found the three dead bodies lying there naked and prone on a dust covered bed in a filthy room littered with trash and crawling with rats, their clothes removed and carefully folded up next to them. These bodies were identified as a 56-year-old woman by the name of Jayaprada and her two young daughters. The bodies were thought to have been there for months and were too decomposed to adequately determine the cause of death, but a bottle of strange black fluid next to the bed was found to be poison, and so it was surmised that they had died from that, possibly in a group suicide. There was no sign of the husband of the woman, and it was at first thought that he might have even murdered his family, but there were few clues to go on, and when the authorities questioned the neighbors, things would get even stranger.
According to the neighbors, the husband had left his family many months before, one day just leaving for work as usual and never coming back. His wife and two daughters had continued to live there, but they gradually became reclusive and began displaying some very odd behavior. Neighbors said the family would light candles at midnight and walk around their house, and there could sometimes be heard arcane chanting and other strange noises coming from the house at all hours. They also oddly laid out a line of rocks across their driveway for reasons unknown, and when the family started hanging what looked like bottles of blood on their balcony, rumors began to spread that they were practicing black magic. They also had the habit of driving their car just a short walking distance in order to throw away their trash. Curiosity seekers would try to get close to the house to take a peek inside, but every time they did they were chased off by the mother wielding an axe or knife. Indeed, it would turn out that there had been several complaints filed with the police of the family causing problems and disturbing the peace. Pretty weird so far, but it gets even weirder.
When neighbors were told that the family had likely died 6 months before, there was confusion. While some of the neighbors admitted that they had not seen the family since around June, other claimed that the family had been going about their odd behavior and rituals up until quite recently and that the lights were often left on in the house and they could be seen moving about within the residence and on the veranda. This was odd in that not only was the family dead, and had been found to have been dead since March, not June, but the electricity had been cut due to no bills being paid months before. So how could those lights have been on and who was in there carrying out occult rituals, hanging blood on the balcony, and chasing people off with an axe? Also, considering the humid, hot weather at that time of year and the decomposing bodies, how had no one noticed what should have been a pretty repugnant stench? No one had a clue.
The news made the rounds in India and caused a media sensation all over the country that drew in droves of curiosity seekers looking to see ghosts. Many of these people would break into the abandoned building or cause mischief throughout the neighborhood. It got so bad that neighbors began hiring security guards, and one resident would say of it:
Youths, during the wee hours, stand in front of the house hooting, clicking photographs and throwing stones at it. We have rung up the Panjagutta police several times who arrives and takes the trouble makers in custody. We have to spend our own money and hire guards to drive the crowds away. The nuisance is more during weekends. Many come on two-wheelers, or in four-wheelers. They spend hours in front of the house.
Police have also set up barricades and stationed patrols there to ward away these would be ghost hunters, with much of it being driven by eyewitness accounts of paranormal phenomena at the house posted on social media. This made the authorities even goes as far as to plaster signs on the house assuring everyone that it was not haunted, and that such stories were just lore and urban legend. Panjagutta circle inspector Mr. S. Mohan Kumar has said of it:
The youth are misled by social media. There are several false stories on social network about the house. Whenever the police question them, majority of these ‘courage-exhibitors’ say that they were driven by social media. The previous Saturday over 20 of them were spotted outside the house. The constables drove them away after warning them not to come there. Based on stories doing the rounds online, youngsters are found to be trying to get inside the house. Some have hurled stones too.
Nevertheless, stories continue to make the rounds from people claiming to have heard chanting or screaming from the house, or having seen shadow apparitions roaming about it. It is all pretty strange to be sure, and is one of those cases where it is unsure where reality begins and urban legend begins. The fact that the family in the house did die is not really in dispute, and was widely reported in reputable news sources in India. Yet, how much of the rest of it is true, and is it really haunted? It is hard to say, but for now the weed choked property with its locked gate continues to be visited be ghost hunters and curiosity seekers, and it has gone on to gain a reputation as one of the most haunted places in India.