Sometimes, I think travelling as a real journalism. We used to read too many travel blogs online posted on various sites and it has a nature of a journalism note. Travel blogging is becoming the best form of an online medium or digital journalism. While in real journalism there are facts, well-researched writers but in travel blogging, the writers are expressing their own perceptions about a place. Blogging is, in fact, a casual form of writing adding the emotions of the writers too but in journalism, the writer adds the results of his/her researches. Whatever it may be we focus our attention on the topics on which we are interested in. I am an avid reader based in Kottayam and once I have got a chance to visit Kochi for a family get together and we had a nice evening in one of the Hotels in Cochin. I and my cousins have decided to spend a night with chattering enjoying the dishes of the hotel. We took too many subjects for discussion. I have heard different stories about Kochi and since my interest was based on horror ones, I spend keen interest in it. One of my relatives had a passion for doing journalism but unfortunately, he failed in doing so. But, he used travel blogging to fulfil his dreams and since he was settled in Kochi, he could easily do that task. I happened to hear some of the ghost stories prevalent in Kochi and I got astonished in knowing the fact that Since Kochi being the smartest city, how can a ghost delve into that? Maybe the development in Kochi has lured these ghosts to stay here itself.
For his travel blogs, he utilised the ghost stories in Kochi from ancient times. Quite interesting as well as scary. I am not sure of the theory behind the ghosts, some portion of people still believes that there are ghosts but, for me, I think these experiences can be the manifestation of a person’s thought. Science shares that even though a body vanishes from earth after death, the thoughts of that person still exist in the world. The ghostly experiences we hear can be related to these. We can just go through the ghostly stories prevalent in Kochi as said by my cousin. Inside the air-conditioned room in the hotel with cousins around, this experience was something which I could never forget.
Strange sounds in the buildings in Willingdon Island
One such story can be heard in Willington islands- During the colonial period, huge bungalows were made as a part of Cochin Port trust quarters and now, these quarters are in damaged conditions. When dusk covers the place, wild noises can be heard from the spooky buildings. These buildings are found near Embarkation jetty. These structures are facing the backwaters. Some people believe that these sounds are made by some animals, who find a haven in these buildings, except one. During the colonial period, a British lady was murdered in one of the buildings in this quarter and on Fridays, shrieks from this buildings are a routine. These reports were collected from a man named C. Kartha who spent his childhood in this place.
Inspiration behind a famous horror story
‘Bhargavi Nilayam’ was one of the famous old horror stories of Malayalam and was written by a famous writer, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. But anyone knows the inspiration or feeling behind writing this novel? Well, the history says that some of the experiences he had at Kochi were the reason for this novel. The writer used to stay in a small room in cloth Bazaar road and while he was visiting the Fort Kochi beach, he sat near to the end of the beach adjoining the Dutch Cemetery. When dusk approached while he was planning to return, he saw a woman emerging from the waters and walked past him but only to disappear. This strange experience was his real motivation to write the famous horror story, Bhargavi Nilayam. He called the building where he stayed by this name.
Apparitions in Mattanchery, story of Kapiri Muthappa
In a book written by Bernard, ‘The history of Kochi’ a chapter points to the story of Kappiris or slaves from Africa. They were enslaved by the Portuguese and had to undergo lots of torments. The Portuguese used to measure their wealth or precious things in a niche made in the walls of their houses and then believed that this wealth can be given to their heirs once they arrive at the land. For this purpose, Kappiris were pushed into the niches to protect this wealth and hand it over to the heirs. They were sealed by mortar. Even after centuries of their deaths, their cries can be heard. Once during the renovation, the Dutch buildings were pulled down and that showed the chained skeletons from the walls. From then on, these spirits were called as Kappiri Muthappan. People considered then to be good and offer toddy and food. The one visiting Mattanchery can visit a shrine there.
The Dutch building, Devatha Malika
When Kochi welcomed Dutch people, it welcomed famous architectural brilliance in Kerala too. One such architectural brilliance was exhibited by the Dutch during the reign of Sakthan Thampuran. We know, Bolghatty palace as one of the best resort in Kerala and it was actually built by Dutch. Their architectures were converted to several Heritage Hotels in Kerala. To please Sakthan Thampuran, Dutch has built a three-storeyed bungalow later came to be called as Devatha Malika. People believe that the building had the presence of celestial spirits and also, it was not fit to live. Nasty sounds or chatterings were heard from the bungalow. The building was located in a ground called ‘Yakshi Thoppu’ and this too caused a fear in the minds of people. During 19Th century, the building was demolished.
The ghost of a notorious criminal, Vaduthala Mathai
The Perandoor canal close to the railway track was haunted by a ghost of a notorious criminal named Vaduthala Mathai. People still fear to cross the rail track as they feel that his ghost will be there to kill them. He was hanged to death by the Raja of Cochin for molesting a lady at this spot.
While some of the stories are baseless and unleaded, some are still a question for many. After hearing the story, I was really eager to visit any of these spots, although I knew it was dangerous going there. My cousin had collected this information from the locals and some journalists. Then I understood one thing that the commercial hub of Kerala, Kochi has another facet too. It was too late when we completed our discussion and next day, we have planned to visit the quarters in Willington island. The hotel authorities have helped us by providing cab facility to reach the spot.