“I felt something strange there. I wasn’t able to sleep right from the first night. The energy wasn’t good,” Temer was quoted as saying . “Marcela felt the same thing. We even started to wonder: could there be ghosts?” According to Globo newspaper, Marcela Temer asked a priest to attempt to drive out any evil spirits, but to no avail. The Temers moved to the luxurious but smaller Jaburu Palace nearby.
Constructed between 1957 and 1958 in the modernist style and listed as a National Historic Heritage Site, the Alvorada Palace has been the residence of every Brazilian president since Juscelino Kubitschek. But the palace isn’t the only haunted landmark building in the world. There are an almost unbelievable number of haunted buildings with long fascinating histories and spooky sightings in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and elsewhere. India too has a large number of such buildings and the capital Delhi itself has what the BBC described as ‘Delhi’s most haunted house’.
In July 2015, the BBC, in an attempt ‘to get to the bottom of its ghostly reputation’, did a fairly lengthy story on 33 Shamnath Marg after it became became the headquarters for the Delhi government’s policy planning unit. “A sprawling mansion can be found at 33 Sham Nath Marg in the leafy Civil Lines area, spread over 5,500 sq m with two storeys, three bedrooms, drawing and dining spaces, conference rooms, a room for the guard and 10 quarters for servants and staff. It is surrounded by lawns, so big that they could ‘host a football match’ and there is a fountain in the back gardens. But this prime property, worth millions of dollars, has long been regarded as jinxed – a place where careers – and sometimes, even people – have met a premature end.”
Consider this : After Independence, 33 Shamnath Marg was considered the best location for Delhi’s chief minister as it was only 100 yards from the legislative building, the Vidhan Sabha. But Delhi’s first chief minister Chaudhury Brahma Prakash had to relinquish office before completing his term after he moved into the bungalow in 1952. Chaudhury Mange Ram, an executive councillor, was allotted 33 Shamnath Marg. He too had to quit before completing his term. Madan Lal Khurana, who was allotted this bungalow when he became the chief minister of Delhi in 1993 had to quit in 1996 .
Former industries minister Deep Chand Bandhu said he did not believe in ssuperstitions. But like the three former occupants of the bungalow, he could not complete his term in office after moving into 33 Shamnath Marg. Incidentally, chief ministers Sahib Singh Verma and Sheila Dixit were offered this bungalow but both refused due to its disturbing past. Its controversial jinxed past did not however prevent Delhi’s power secretary Shakti Sinha from making it his official residence. He moved into the bungalow in April 2013 . However, he had to take voluntarily retirement four years before it was due because he was overlooked for the Chief Secretary’s job.
Constructed between 1957 and 1958 in the modernist style and listed as a National Historic Heritage Site, the Alvorada Palace has been the residence of every Brazilian president since Juscelino Kubitschek. But the palace isn’t the only haunted landmark building in the world.
7 June 2015, the bungalow became the office of the Delhi Dialogue Commission. It is by the way also the place where the odd-even car experiment in Delhi originated. Speaking to the BBC, Ashish Khetan, the commission’s vice-chairperson, rubbished reports that the house is haunted and said that he, in fact, sought the place out. “I came to know about this huge expensive public property that is not being touched by politicians and bureaucrats because they believe it is jinxed,” Mr Khetan told the BBC.
“In this day and age, when we talk of a digital India and we are sending satellites in space, I thought this jinx needed to be broken. Everyone should take a vow to fight superstition and promote scientific temperament. It’s a sad situation that educated people promote black magic and blind faith.” I ask him if he has had any ghostly encounters since moving into his new office? “No, but we’re looking for some ghosts. And if we do find them, I will make them work here. We are short of staff anyways.”
In January 2016 DNA ran a different take on it. “At present, Delhi government officials, along with interns can be seen brainstorming here about new policies. ‘We are the ghosts of this bungalow. We are working day and night here a year and have never experienced any paranormal activity,’ laughs off an official at the DDC. “However, the staff at the office contradict the official’s claims. ‘I have heard scary voices from the bungalow after 6.30 p.m. when I go upstairs to lock the rooms after office gets closed. Sometimes, I have even heard noises of opening and closing of doors. When I went to check who is inside, there was no one,’ Bhagwan Jha, the security guard here who joined three months back.The house keeping staff also claims that there is something unusual about this place. ‘I heard someone ‘help, help’ many a times,’ claims one of the workers in the housekeeping facility…”
It may well be that the paranormal activity starts — as is usual in most cases — in the quiet and darkness of the night.