Not all of the ghost stories, with a remote railway station as its setting, our dadis (grannies) told us were fiction.
Begunkodar in West Bengal’s Purulia district has a station that remained shut for 42 years because of a ghost.
Perhaps, the only railway station in the country deserted by authorities out of fear of a white-saree clad spectre.
The station was built in 1962 on a land donated by Lachan Kumari, a queen of the Santhal tribe.
But tragedy (for the station) struck in 1967 when a railway guard died ‘mysteriously’ a day after spotting the ghost of a woman on the tracks.
You find that funny? It was 60s dammit…and anything like that could have easily scared off the sturdiest of villagers.
The fear of the ghost kept both railway staff and the people away from the station.
Obviously, the station was dropped off the list of railways…until…
Mamata Banerjee appeared as a ghostbuster in 2009.
She was the then railway minister, who famously remarked:
And so in 2009, the station started operating again.
Some ‘rational’ thinkers point to the fact that the region falls in the Red Corridor –Naxal infested area.
One must, however, note that Naxals did not appear prominently on the stage before the early 1970s. (In fact Naxalbari uprising started in 1967.)
Five trains Bokaro Steel City-Asansol MEMU, Hatia-Kharagpur passenger, Ranchi-Asansol memu, Ranchi Garhbeta passenger and Hatia-Dhanbad passenger stop here.
Fear, however, is yet to go away.
The last train here is at 5.45 pm because no one is at the station after that. Dalu Mahato, a temporary ticket-seller, enters the station only after a daily puja.
I wonder why we don’t have Ghostbusters. Maybe we could have had some clue to the mystery of the spectre! Interested in discovering ghosts? Go ahead, pack your bags.