All haunted homes have a story to tell, be it gruesome murders, a tragic misfortune or previous residents not ready to move on. However, what if it isn’t your usual ghost story, just an ordinary story, a figment of imagination, or is it? Regardless of whether or not we believe in ghosts and their stories, a haunted tale often intrigues us.
Google ‘haunted place in Kerala’ and Bonacaud Bungalow in Thiruvananthapuram is likely to top the list. Bonacaud Bungalow was built by the British in 1951. Popularly known as 25 GB, the bungalow is located amidst lush thick green forests of the Agasthya mountain ranges. The story goes that the Britisher, who built the bungalow, was the manager of a tea estate. He lived in a single-storied mansion with his family. Although he was said to have loved his home, he returned to London with his wife when his child was found killed under mysterious circumstances.
Soon, reports of mysterious events began popping up at the locality. Seeing a young girl by the window, the sound of breaking glass and the screams and laughs of a child appeared and the Bungalow entered a state of disrepair.
A tale goes that a young local girl who went up to the house to collect firewood starting behaving strangely upon her return. The unschooled girl was said to not just speak fluent English but read and write as well. Many believed the girl was possessed by the ghost of the dead child. Soon rumours spread fast and wide that the house was haunted.
Although all the doors and windows are now destroyed, perhaps by miscreants, the flooring, mosaic, is still intact. Two of the bedrooms have attached bathrooms. There is a fireplace in the living room. The large pine tree out in front of the bungalow is a landmark for the curious souls who want to visit the bungalow. One can sit under the tree and take in the breathtaking view of the Peppara dam and reservoir.
However, adventure seekers are advised against visiting the crumbling bungalow at dusk as thick mists or sudden rains can cause one to become stranded and stuck there.
Bonacaud Bungalow is located around three kilometres away from the Bonacaud Tea Estate that was started by the Britishers. According to locals, labour problems were a reason for the Estate to close shop. It was later taken over by Mahavir Plantations Limited. The tea estate was eventually put under lock and key, depriving hundreds of local labourers their livelihood, said to be caused partly by the neo-economic policies of the then ruling government.
Bonacaud is around 50 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram city. As there are strict government restrictions, there are no hotels or resorts in this vicinity.