An unresolved mystery at Mussoorie’s Savoy Hotel gave Agatha Christie her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). The death of an English spinster under mysterious circumstances in one part of the British Empire led to the birth of Christie’s avuncular aesthete, Hercule Poirot, in another. But there was something very distinct about the melancholy air of Mussoorie that enabled this transmogrification.
Professor Caroline Watt - who holds Edinburgh University’s Koestler Chair of Parapsychology - feels fear of paranormal activity can be “socially contagious” as hysteria builds up around a certain house.
“We get a lot of visitors, even ghost hunters who have equipment that they say records voices like cries of babies, I don’t know … maybe goats,” said local historian Carlos Salavera. “There are many stories we do know are true and well recorded like the bodies and the gasoline, the American and British fighters here, this history was only 80 years ago although of course the town history and buildings are much older.