The Haunted History Of Himachal Pradesh's Tunnel No. 33

The Haunted History Of Himachal Pradesh's Tunnel No. 33

All hill stations have their share of ghost stories. Why that is, is something of a mystery in itself. Is it because of the nature of hills and the blanket of secrecy and silence or is it because writer after writer has immortalised the hills with their own literary ghosts?

It comes as no surprise then that Shimla, considered to be the ‘Queen Of The Hills’, has its own share of haunted stories as well. Among those is the tale of Tunnel No. 33, near Barog Railway Station.

The story goes that in 1898, Railway engineer Colonel Barog was appointed with the task of constructing a tunnel in the region in a stipulated time. After several calculations and perhaps a few miscalculations, labourers started working on the plan. His idea was to get the labourers to start working from two different ends so that they would meet in the middle thus completing the tunnel.

But many boring holes and digging later, the labourers did not end up meeting in the middle. Perhaps due to Colonel Barog’s miscalculations, the task could not be completed and he was fired from the job and fined by the government. The labourers too were furious. Unable to deal with the embarrassment and humiliation, he fell into a state of depression.

On a regular night-walk with his dog, he shot himself out of his misery and bled to his demise there. To pay homage to him, his body was buried near the incomplete tunnel. If locals are to be believed, he never left the place and his spirit still haunts the place.

The ghost of Colonel Barog is said to visit the tunnel where he chats up with unaware strangers. It is also said that the government tried to lock up the incomplete tunnel but every time the lock would be found broken.

Colonel Barog’s ghost might not fit the bill of scary ghosts but the tale in itself is quite eerie. The tunnel was completed later on by chief engineer HS Herlington by moving the tunnel by a kilometre away from its initial spot. The idea of a ghost lurking, with the misery of an incomplete task, is perhaps an accurate sub-conscious manifestation of the human condition and our inability to let go of our failures.

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