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10 Incredibly Creepy Mysteries From India

Pauli Poisuo

India is among the most mysterious countries in the world. Its rich mythology, vast size, and many cultural peculiarities make it fertile ground for many strange tales and legends. Some of them are clearly fabricated, others just strange enough that they just might be true, and others still are so strange that they could change our entire perception of the world.

10 The Village Of Twins

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The distant village of Kodinhi, Kerala has a secret. Not a particularly hidden secret, mind you—it’s actually pretty hard to miss. The village’s claim to fame is the abnormal amount of twins born there. Kodinhi only has around 2,000 families, yet there are 250 sets of twins officially registered there. In fact, there could be many more—experts estimate there could be as many as 350 sets of twins in the area.

It gets stranger. It is estimated that the number of twins born in the village is increasing every year, and no one really knows why. This is all the more remarkable because twins are especially rare in India—on average, four out of every 1,000 Indian births are twins. In Kodinhi, the number is 45 per 1,000 births. Doctors have absolutely no idea what is causing this strange phenomenon. They assume there must be some unknown hereditary factor at work, or maybe it’s something they eat. Until they find out for sure, the Village of Twins remains one of the strangest curiosities of perhaps the most mysterious country in the world.

9 The Jodhpur Boom

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On December 18, 2012, a sudden, deafening boom startled the people of Jodhpur. It seemed to come out of nowhere, crashing in the sky like the sonic boom caused by an airplane breaking the speed of sound. However, it was more aggressive in nature, sounding a lot like a massive explosion. The citizens were concerned about the sound and asked around about it, but it soon turned out that no planes had been flying over the area and no explosions had taken place. The source of the “Jodhpur boom” was a complete mystery.

The weirdest part is that it appears that the entire month was littered with strange, unexplained booms all over the world, from United Kingdom to Texas. These bangs were witnessed over the course of several weeks and sometimes they were accompanied with strange green light. In one of the locations, a geologist even stated that the booms and subsequent tremors were unlike anything he had ever encountered and didn’t fit the official explanation that the Air Force were testing a new plane.

Were these strange sounds all over the world connected somehow? Was it some strange new weapon, or an alien attack, or maybe even a mere coincidence? Perhaps one day, we’ll find out.

8 The Nine Unknown Men

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The Nine Unknown Men are to India what the Illuminati is to the Western world, but even more pervasive and mysterious. According to legend, this powerful secret society was founded by Emperor Asoka in 273 BC after a bloody battle that took the lives of 100,000 men. The function of the Nine Unknown Men was to preserve and develop the sort of secret information that would be too dangerous in the hands of the uninitiated.

Each of the Nine was tasked with holding a special book of knowledge, ranging from propaganda to microbiology. Some of them are even said to hold the secrets of anti-gravity and time travel. Occasionally, some of this precious information leaks out into the world—for instance, it is said that the martial art of Judo was based on “leaks” from the Book of Physiology.

The number of the Unknown Men is always nine, and their undisguised contacts with the outside world are few and far between. Much like the Illuminati, there are many rumors about their current and past members. Strangely enough, not all of them are Indian—the Unknown Men are apparently spread all over the world, with some of them allegedly holding very prominent positions. Among suspected members of the Nine Unknown are the influential 10th century Pope Sylvester II and Vikram Sarabhai, the scientist who created India’s budding space program.

7 The Great Taj Mahal Conspiracy

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Taj Mahal is without question the most famous—and possibly the most beautiful—building in India. Considered one of the modern wonders of the world, this ornate white marble building was created by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum to his deceased wife. Or was it?

According to some theories, Taj Mahal was never the architectural embodiment of eternal love history remembers it as. Instead, some evidence suggests that the building is actually about 300 years older than its supposed builder. New Delhi professor P.N. Oak, the man behind this theory, claims that the building was originally not a mausoleum at all. He suggests it is actually an ancient Hindu temple known as Tejo Mahalaya dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva. If true, this turns the entire history of TaJ Mahal on its head: Instead of building one of the world’s most precious constructions, Shah Jahan would merely have taken an existing temple, slapped on some decorations, and dedicated it to his wife.

While this may seem far-fetched to those of us who like Taj Mahal as it is, it’s worth noticing that Indian royalty have a history of capturing enemy temples and mansions and repurposing them into tombs for their loved ones. What’s more, the memoirs of travelers in the area during the time of Taj Mahal’s supposed construction make no mention of its building and even note that the “Taj” already existed as an important, established building. Is Taj Mahal as the ultimate display of romance just a giant lie created by shoddy historians and propagandists? Until the Indian government agrees to open the sealed rooms within the building so they can be thoroughly investigated by experts, the mystery remains.

6 The Cursed Village Of Kuldhara

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For over 500 years, the village of Kuldhara was populated by about 1,500 residents. One night, they all disappeared. They didn’t die or get abducted or anything—they just left. The reason for their sudden evacuation is lost in time. Some say they fled the taxation of an oppressive rulers, while others weave a tale of young lovers and the girl’s angry father who was a big shot at the village.

Whatever the actual cause of desertion, one thing is generally agreed upon—when the villagers left, they cursed the area so that no one may live there ever again. Of course, some people tried to take over the cozy, abandoned village. According to legend, all who tried died a brutal death. Some of the people who have died in there are said to still haunt the village, according to paranormal investigators who have experienced some very strange events in the place.

Whether all of this is true or not, the village has certainly gained a frightening reputation. It remains deserted to this very day, and no one has even considered repopulating it for a long time.

5 The Magnetic Hill Of Ladakh

In the region of Ladakh near the Himalayas, there is a very strange hill that is said to be magnetic. If you park your car on the road that leads to the top of the hill and leave it in neutral, it will roll up the steep road by its own accord, moving at speeds up to 20 kilometers per hour (12.4 mph). This wonderful natural—or, as some travel guides will tell you, supernatural—phenomenon is called a “Himalayan wonder” and is a popular attraction for the travelers of the area.

The real truth behind the “Magnetic” Hill of Ladakh is pretty impressive, but sadly, not quite as mysterious. It’s actually just an optical illusion created by the peculiar geography of the area. The mountains, road, and hill are aligned in a very specific way that makes the area seem a steep uphill terrain, but the road actually goes slightly downhill. Thus, the car left out of gear in a certain point of the road will appear to roll uphill.

4 The Immortal Beings Of The Himalayas

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In many mythologies, mountains are natural homes to divine and immortal beings. As such, it’s no surprise that the world’s mightiest mountain range, the Himalayas, is subject to whisperings of mysterious beings hidden away in the valleys of the mountains.

One popular legend among the practitioners of various New Age soul-searching methods is Gyanganj. It is said to be an ancient Indian and Tibetan tale of a city-kingdom of mysterious immortal beings that are hiding from the world, but influencing it in various subtle ways when needed. It is said that Gyanganj is cunningly camouflaged or even existing in a completely different plane of reality, which is why it has managed to avoid being discovered by modern mapping techniques and satellites.

However, the immortal, enlightened sadhus and mahatmas that inhabit it are all too happy to let in a visitor every now and then, perhaps even sharing some of their wisdom with them. Many influential gurus and mystics have claimed the source of their knowledge of the arcane comes from visits to this mysterious place.

3 The Bhootbilli

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The Bhootbilli, or “ghost cat,” is a mysterious monster that is terrorizing certain parts of India, particularly in the area of Pune. A strange cryptid that appears to be a cross between a cat, a dog, and a mongoose, it is responsible for killing livestock and frightening the locals. According to one eyewitness, the creature is ”fat and broad with a long tail, black in colour, has a face like a dog and back like a mongoose.” It is capable of long jumps, having at least once jumped in a tree to escape people who have tried to catch it. Despite this, it’s said to be quite large and ferocious—its size is described as ”smaller than a lion but bigger than a hyena.”

Although there are many sightings of the beast and the locals seem certain that the monster haunting them is a creepy cryptid, it is worth noting that India has a history of overreacting to strange animal sightings. As such, some experts have expressed an opinion that the Bhootbilli is actually nothing more than a little civet cat and a lot of imagination.

2 The Kongka La Pass UFO Base

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The Kongka La Pass in Ladakh area is one of the least accessible places in the world. Not only is it located in the Himalayas, it is a disputed border area of India and China and has been the cause of armed conflict between the two countries in the past. As such, the area is more or less a no man’s land. Both countries keep an eye of it, but neither patrols it or occupies it. Perhaps this is why, according to some, the UFOs have chosen the area as their underground base.

Reportedly, the Kongka La Pass holds a series of massive, hidden underground constructs that UFOs, particularly those of the flying saucer type, use as their base of operations. Many travelers and residents of nearby areas have claimed that UFOs are a common sight in the area, rising from their underground lairs and descending back once they’ve done whatever it is UFOs go out to do.

People say both Chinese and Indian governments are very aware of what’s going on and may even be cooperating with the extraterrestrials said to pilot the mysterious airships. Indeed, Google Earth has revealed that some supposed underground entrances have what look a lot like military facilities built around them.

1 Shanti Dev

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Shanti Devi was born in a happy Delhi family in 1930s. However, she didn’t stay happy for long. When she was four years old, she started insisting that her mother and father were not her true parents. She claimed that her name was actually Ludgi and her true family lived in a completely different city. She claimed she had died giving birth to a child and gave very specific information on her husband and family life.

Shanti’s worried parents set out to find if there was any meaning behind their daughter’s outlandish claims, and what they found out was truly unnerving. A young woman named Ludgi Devi had indeed died in childbirth at the time and in the town Shanti had specified, and the family and relatives she had described very much existed. When she eventually met her “husband from previous life,” she recognized him instantly and acted like a mother towards his child.

The newspapers soon became interested and authorities as revered as Mahatma Gandhi were soon keenly watching Shanti’s case. It turned out she was not only able to remember her past lives, but she could also remember the time “in between lives”—that is, the afterlife. She claimed to have met Lord Krishna during these layovers between her lives. The Lord tasked her with spreading the story of her experiences, which is why she was able to remember.

Shanti Devi went on to be a scholar, teacher, and student of religion. For over sixty years, she embraced all major and quite a few minor religions’ teachings, trying to determine the universal truth behind them all, which was presumably the great mission she was given. Hundreds of researchers and scientists put her claims of reincarnation memories to the test, but no one was ever able to prove her a fake.

+ The Aleya Ghost Lights

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If your travels take you to the swamps of Bengal, be careful. Apart from all the regular dangers a swampland can offer, they come with a very special brand of paranormal peril: mysterious lights that attempt to lure you to your doom.

The Aleya Ghost Lights are a member of the eerie global family of ghost lights, also known as will-o’-the-wisps. They’re flying, glowing orbs that float above the marshland and lure unwary travelers in the distance. According to local lore, they’re the souls of fishermen who died accidentally in the area, and anyone who is stupid or careless enough to approach them either dies or goes irrevocably insane.

Recently, modern science has been able to solve the mystery. Aleya’s creepy ghost lights are actually gases produced by the decaying organic matter in the swamps. Once it rises to the surface and comes in contact with oxygen, oxidization and ionization effects create an ominous photon glow in the air. To further add to the creepy beauty of the phenomenon, the lights are differently colored depending on the gas in question, which creates a multitude of differently colored spook lights.

Pauli Poisuo also writes for Cracked.com. Why not follow him on Twitter?