National Library, Kolkata: The Ghostly Secrets Behind the Largest Library of India!
Treasure Trove of Books:
National Library, Kolkata, India is a treasure trove for all book lovers. People come here and engage themselves in reading several types of literary works ranging from autobiographies, ancient history books, scientific books to haunted stories.
This treasure trove of books attracts bookworms in good numbers. People love spending their leisure time in the library and into their world of fantasies.
Formerly known as Calcutta Public Library, it was built in 1883, which was then run on the proprietorship basis. With over 2,270,000 books, 86,000 maps, and 3,200 manuscripts, it has an unbelievable 45 kilometres of shelf space.
It can accommodate over 550 people at a time. It was also the first large scale library in India, which still holds the status of being the largest library in the country. Sadly, only a handful of people know about the library form its huge collection of books and not about the haunted stories connected to it.
Mir Jafar became the first Nawab of Bengal after the company rule and betraying the Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daulah in 1757. In the year 1760, he decided to build a Belvedere house in Alipore Kolkata. Later it was given to Warren Hastings, the first governor-general of India.
From then it became the house for every lieutenant-general of Bengal till Indian capital shifted to Delhi. In 1836, the first Calcutta Public Library started here as a non-governmental institute in the Esplanade. Prince Dwarkanath Tagore became the first proprietor of the Library.
Calcutta Public Library later turned or was renamed as the Imperial Library. It also received a huge donation of a book from the former East India College Library. But still, the library was not open to the public. After the freedom of India around the year 1953, the library was again renamed as The National Library moved to Belvedere House and opened for public at last.
In 2010 using the help of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) the ministry of culture, owner of the library at that, decided to restore and rebuild the library. During the restoration process, shocking information was revealed to the public.
It was revealed that there was a hidden chamber in the library of about 1000 sq. foot with no door or trapdoor. It was the start of the rumours. Many rumours started after that about the secret chamber being a torture chamber as the concept of torture chamber was quite famous at that time.
It was also speculated as a secret hiding place or place to store the hidden treasure. But according to ASI, it is just an architectural benefit and nothing else. But the information about the secret chamber stopped being published for people after the year 2012.
Haunted Experiences of Readers:
People have reported having witnessed the spirit of Lady Metcalfe in the corridor of the library. There are testimonials from people who have experienced it and these are poof supporting the idea of the library being haunted. This story is associated with the library for a long time. People reported that they have felt the presence of a person who continuously keeps an eye on them.
Several people reported having felt someone breathing down their neck while they were reading in the library. However, the feeling amplified if the books were not kept in the right place. People also heard footsteps near them but found nobody.
The presence of spirits is not only experienced by the readers but also by the librarians, who reported about chairs being drawn away, sounds of ruffing of pages and falling of books.
Another story is about the 12 workers who worked here for the renovation work died in an unfortunate accident. People say that their ghosts are still inside the library. Ghostly figures are seen walking and wandering around in the library.
Another story states that a student from England went inside the library to finish a report but never came out from it. One other student also went in to finish a thesis in the library and died inside. People say they have seen there faded figures in the library.
Even some guards are sceptical about doing the night shifts due to the rumours about the ghosts. The ghost of a Bengali student who died without completing his paper comes to the library every day to complete his paper.
There are however no case records about any deaths or accidents inside the library. The ghosts of the library can be considered peaceful ones due to the above-stated reason. The rumours about the ghosts started floating when a hidden chamber was discovered.
It can be considered the biggest fire for all the rumours. The reports regarding the chamber were never revealed hence people started making their own theories and connected it to the chamber and slowly it came to be known as a place of ghosts instead of vast knowledge.
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