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Savoy Hotel

By Paul Hamilton (Lights of Dehradun from Landour) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Savoy Hotel
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This haunted hotel has been mentioned by Agatha Christie and Ruskin Bond in their stories

Savoy Hotel, Library Bazaar, Gandhi Chowk, Mussoorie Uttarakhand - 248179
It is a good idea to stay at the hotel to experience the paranormal activities however if you are a faint hearted person, avoid room 505 at any cost as one of the mysterious deaths took place in this room.

Mussoorie is one amongst the many hill stations located near the capital city of New Delhi, and a popular tourist destination. Perched atop one of the hills in Mussoorie is this grand hotel, Savoy, which is a historical yet luxurious hotel – historic because the construction of the hotel dates back to 1902.

 

The architecture is mainly English Gothic in style with extensive usage of wood which is expected out of a building from the British era. It was also the primary summer retreat of European residents during the British Raj. The property covers 11 acres, has 50 rooms, and overlooks the beautiful Doon Valley.

 

As the story goes, in 1911,  a 49-year old lady spiritualist named Miss Frances Garnett-Orme came to stay at the hotel along with her female companion from Lucknow Miss Eva Mountstephen. Miss Mountstephen was also a spiritualist with specialty in seances and crystal gazing. One morning, after Miss Mountstephen had already left, Miss Garnett-Orme was found suspiciously dead in her room. Forensics later revealed that she died of cyanide poisoning. Though the murder was never solved, her doctor was also found dead of poisoning after a few days. Miss Mountstephen was charged with the murder for a probable accusation of tampering with the medications of Miss Garnett-Orne, however, nothing was ever proved against her so she walked free. This real life incident has inspired two of the most eminent thriller and fiction writers – Ruskin Bond and Agatha Christie. In fact, Agatha Christie’s first  novel – The Mysterious Affair at Styles was inspired by this story.

 

Another  mysterious murder took place in the hotel in Room 505 where a woman named Betsy Ward was found dead in the bathtub. Visitors mainly prefer to avoid staying in this room (for obvious reasons). Guests and staff members have often reported sights of her walking through the hallways of the old hotel along with sounds of some unexplained spooky noises.

 

If staying at a haunted hotel is too much for you, you can find accommodation at one of the many guest houses and hotels located all around this small hill town. Mostly are really affordable and well-within the budget. You can also take a day’s trip to Dehradun or visit other important sights in Mussoorie such as Kempty Falls, Mussoorie Lake, and Mussoorie Christ Church.

How to get there

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun - approximately 54 km away. You can take a cab from there. Several trains run between Delhi (the nearest metropolitan to Mussoorie and the capital of India) and Dehradun and Mussoorie. If you are interested in a road trip to Mussoorie from Delhi, then take the NH58 till Roorkee and then the NH72-A till Dehradun. After that, follow the state highway, also known as the New Mussoorie Road, to Mussoorie.

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