“I looked at the watch. It showed 3.30 AM, almost morning and I thought to myself that If there is indeed a ghost here, she would be gone by now. No way is she sticking around so long. There was also the fact that I couldn’t just stand there in the dark with a huge camera hung around my neck. Sooner or later a cop would pass by and spot me standing here suspiciously. Sighing heavily I kick-started my ride towards home but had barely gone for about 500 meters when I spotted her, the Lady in white of Delhi Cantt. The famous ghost of the hitchhiker who is notoriously believed to have even killed people. There she was, right in front of my eyes with her arm stretched out, waving me to stop”
Of one of the many places believed to be haunted, Delhi Cantt’s name is definitely in the Top 10. When I first heard about it, It completely sounded ridiculous primarily because it did not fit in the criteria. It is not a ancient site like Bhangarh, definitely not a place far away from civilization and there is no violent and gory past attached to it. It is just like any other residential colonies in cities all over the world. What’s more, it’s in a city that never sleeps and is heavily guarded both by the cops and Indian Army. Well illuminated roads with endless traffic that is alive 24 hours but to my surprise that is what the lore was attached to.
As per the belief, Delhi Cantt is haunted by a mysterious woman dressed in white. This woman, wrapped in a white-saree, is said to be hitch-hiking here for decades. She would waive at the passing vehicles asking for a lift. People who agreed to give her a ride were never seen again. If the driver did not bother to stop, she would start running with or after the vehicle at the same speed until the end of Delhi Cantt area. For people who stopped and asked her for directions, it is said that they did not find their way home the entire night and kept circling around the city, completely lost.
There are a few theories as to who this woman was in her life. Some say that she was one of the many unfortunate girls who have fallen prey to a sick mind’s lust in what is called as rape capital of India. It is believed that on the last night of her life, she asked for a lift elsewhere in the city. Guys she hoped on with raped in her a moving car and then dumped her body at Delhi Cantt. Ever since, she is stuck here in a death loop, asking for a lift and repeating the events of her death each night. Some think of her as a vengeful spirit seeking vengeance on men, as a matter of fact any man who gave her a lift.
Another theory portrays her as a wicked woman herself. It is said that she found her husband cheating on her and in fit of anger, killed her two children with her own hands before killing herself but the guilt and shame of her deed forbade her spirit to enter her own house. Now she is stuck here as a lost soul trying to find her way home where she had murdered her own children and because she is a lost soul herself, anyone who asks her for directions ends up getting lost for the entire night, going around in circles all over the city.
I happen to live quite near to Delhi Cantt for last several years have been passing through the area at night. I can say that I have travelled through Delhi Cantt almost at each hour of the night. Several times just out of curiosity, I took my motorcycle out and went for a ride in the Cantt area in dead of the night but never came across this mysterious lady, until this time.
On a Sunday night, I was getting bored at home and decided to go for a little ghost-hunt. I took my camera out and reached Delhi Cantt’s Sadar Bazaar area at 1 AM, which is believed to be the time when the haunting starts. For the next 2 and half hours, I just kept roaming around trying to find our lady in white but there was no sign of her. I was about to give up and go back home when I spotted a woman, standing in dark, clad in a white salwar kameez. As she saw me approaching and I guessed she also must have noticed me looking in her direction, she waived for me to stop. I slowed down my motorcycle as I got closer but these were the moments of confusion as I didn’t know whether I should actually stop or just keep going.
“She is a ghost for god’s sake” said my mind but the curious side of me took finally took over.
“She is anyways going to run after me, so what is the point”, I thought to myself as I finally brought my motorcycle to halt, right next to her.
Once I stopped, she stepped out of the dark in light and I saw her. She must have been around 25-30 in age, painfully thin and of dark complexion. For a moment we just looked at each other. My heart was pumping crazy, my hands shivering and I kept the engine of my motorcycle running in first gear, ready to take off any moment.
“Yes?” I finally managed to utter out a single word.
“Where to?” She asked in Hindi, with what sounded like a slight south-Indian accent.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I have a place nearby, will charge you Rs.500. If you want to go to your place, it will be Rs. 1000”. She replied.
For a few moments I just kept looking at her like an Idiot, trying to make sense of what she just said and then I heard a few whispers back in the dark where she earlier was and noticed a few other women standing there.
And then I burst out in laughter as the meaning of her words dawned on me. She was taken aback and kept staring at me with a confused look as I accelerated my motorcycle. A few meters ahead and I turned around to look and she was still standing there, our lady in white looking at me like I was some laughing fool as I went on my way home.
Yes, I found the ghost that haunts Delhi Cantt but isn’t it the same ghost that haunts almost every other city in our country. Ghostly women standing on side of roads, waiving at passing by vehicles. Ghosts of women haunted by their own poverty, trying to make ends meet?
Women roaming around at night on roads is indeed a site of horror but not because they are dead but because they are still alive but in such miserable conditions.