For the past six years, a school in Shopian district of South Kashmir is shut as the locals believe that the entire campus is haunted by ghosts. As per the villagers, the building of Government Primary School, Vaterpora was constructed at a graveyard.
The locals believe that all the schoolchildren studying at the school fell sick under mysterious circumstances. As the word of mouth spread that the school is haunted, the staff equally started feeling scared. “I would get nightmares that a dreaded face was chasing me in the classroom and I would wake up with a loud scream,” recalled a teacher who worked at the school.
The students and the staff say that most of the times they would feel sleepy in the single-storey school. “The most dreaded thing was that some of the students would look like ghosts laughing at me. I would really feel scared,” said another teacher.
There is a belief that even the trees in the campus are haunted. “Whoever plays in the shade of these trees falls sick. The government should not have constructed the school on graveyard land. Who knows who was buried where?” she added.
Following protests by the locals that lives of their children were at risk, the building was abandoned. Education department officials say the school was shifted to a private building in a ‘well-inhabited area’ so that the fear of ghosts would be overcome.
Though the police was aware of these happenings, they avoided any investigations. But as of now, the matter has come to the notice of Superintendent of Police Tahir Saleem Khan, an adventure-loving cop. Tahir, who got posted in the district a few months ago said that he would personally examine the case. “I’ve made up my mind. I must go inside the building to get a firsthand account. Let’s see if the ghost leaves me sick as well or it’s a just another suspenseful mischief to hide something else,” the SP told InUth during an informal chat.
Interestingly in May 2016, an educational institution in the summer capital of Srinagar was also believed to be haunted. Students at Girls High School Miskeen Bagh Khanyar had complained that the hostel building was haunted by ‘evil spirits’. Over one dozen students had shown signs of abnormal behavior like biting their own lips, slapping faces and crying loudly, till they all fainted, prompting the authorities to close the building.