Morgan House at Kalimpong, the magnificent stone mansion with enormous glass windows and multiple chimneys, was built some time around 1930. It is presently a hotel managed by West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC). But what makes it extra special is the fact, that it is famed to be a haunted house, where para-normal activities can be experienced. A visit to the place was in my wishlist for a very long time. So finally when a bunch of over-enthusiastic friends started planning a short trip at 2 am, this was the obvious choice. Tickets were quickly booked and room reservations were duly made.
We were a group of seven friends. The hotel allows a maximum of three people per room so we had to book three rooms. Now to give you a little idea about the rooms, there are 4 rooms in the first floor of the mansion, while the ground floor is the reception, office, kitchen and the dining room. Apart from this, at some distance, there are around half a dozen cabins in the woods beside the mansion, in the same compound. We made reservations for a mix of cabins and mansion rooms for two nights, and were all super excited. Most of us are sceptics, and it was discussed and decided that if anything spooky happens, we will know that it’s one amongst us trying to prank the others. Armed with that belief, we started our journey.
The roads leading to the hotel are mostly deserted, with nothing but army campus around. We reached some time in the afternoon, and right from the time we entered the driveway, we couldn’t move our eyes away from this beauty of a mansion. It wasn’t particularly huge, but the British style architecture was stunning nevertheless. The pictures on the internet mostly showed a ivy covered structure. What we saw was a dark grey stone mansion under the overcast grey skies, with the colourless, dried out remains of the once green creepers, engulfing the mansion from the front.
After hurriedly checking in, we rushed to our rooms. Our first question to the person who showed us our rooms was if we can actually see ghosts. The man did not answer for a good ten seconds, and then just said, “no, you won’t see anything.” Half of us were relieved, while half were somewhat disappointed. Room 101 is the biggest room, complete with huge windows overlooking the lawns on two sides, a fireplace and a huge bathroom. Adding a video tour of the room below. The stairs and the floor were all wooden, and somewhat creaky. There was a small terrace beside the room too, which soon became our favourite spot. The mansion is built on top of Durpindara mountain, and if the sky is clear, offers a beautiful view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. We weren’t lucky in this regard, and the sky was overcast for all three days that we were there.
After lazing around for a while, we went out to the town area. By the time we came back it was dark. Like in most hill-stations, the kitchen closes early. We had already ordered dinner from their kitchen before going out. The menu was simple and not too vast, but had basic bengali and indian-chinese food. We got back to our rooms and the food was sent over to our room in huge hot pots, just like the ones we used to carry to picnics in our childhood.
All seven of us were in the same room, chatting away while nibbling at our food and drinking some wine. And as was expected, the conversation soon turned towards unnatural experiences that we have had. It may be mentioned here that we didn’t see any other guests in the entire property till then. Also, there are absolutely no other buildings around this property. There’s a sprawling golf course on the opposite side of the road belonging to the army. So in effect it felt like we were the only living beings in the entire vicinity. At around 10 pm all the lights in the lawn were turned off. Even inside the room, stark lights were dimmed. Pitch dark woods outside the long glass windows, pin drop silence everywhere around us, and the creaky floor boards of almost a century old stone mansion, did strange things to our heads. We refused to go to the toilet alone, and to open the door to keep out the empty plates. None of us could bear to look outside the window and thus the curtains were drawn close. I cannot say for sure if it was the fear in our minds or something really para-normal happening around, which made us feel in the inexplicable way that we felt. Maybe a little bit of both, along with a dash of wine 🍷😅. Whatever it was, we unanimously decided that all of us stay in the same room all night.
The next morning was a new day. The breakfast in the lawn was a beautiful experience. We all chose not to talk too much about last night. The old employee serving us breakfast initially dodged our question of whether he feels anything in the house, and just shrugged it off saying nothing much. On insisting further, he just said that this house was very dear to Mrs.Morgan, specially the kitchen. He also mentioned that she doesn’t like renovations and changes made to the house. We didn’t probe too much after this. A big group of noisy tourists came inside the premises to take pictures of the Morgan House, while we were digging into our fluffy luchis and crisp toasts. They asked us if the house really was haunted. We, very truthfully told them that whatever it is, we are still having breakfast here this morning, unscathed. The next night was not very different, and let’s just say that all of us decided to huddle together this time too.
# Bookings for Morgan House can be made online from the WBTDC website.
# It’s a good idea to book well in advance as there are very few rooms in the mansion.
# Outside food is not allowed to be carried inside the premises
# The interiors aren’t very posh or modern, but all amenities are available.
# There are absolutely no shops or eateries nearby, except an army canteen. So it’s a better to order food from the in-house kitchen in advance, if there’s no plan of going to the busy areas of the town.