During the night, a phantom horse and carriage will pull up out the front of the house. Soon a man will be seen inside, hurriedly moving from room to room. Many believe this to be the ghost of Warren Hastings, searching for some long lost documents.
A Baffling Sight
On occasion, during the dead of night, the sound of horses can be heard coming up the drive way leading to the college. If one is of a curious nature, they may venture out to see who the horses belong to.
What is then seen will both baffle and frighten the observer, as the outline of a 1700's era styled carriage is seen being pulled by four horses. The carriage stops or just disappears.
What happens next is usually a little more baffling. People who have lived in the building in the past, who have experienced the carriage, then tell of the next experience. Quick footsteps are heard in the entrance hall, to then disappear up the stairs. The image of a man is seen quickly moving about the rooms, as if looking for something...
A little curious for a college, but not quite so when you take a look into the buildings past.
A Brief History
Originally the building was markedly smaller than it is today, as several additions have been made by subsequent owners and residents.
Warren Hastings resigned his position after ten years of service, and moved back to England. Unfortunately for Hastings, he was brought up on charges of bribery and blackmail, purportedly committed during his time in the House of Commons.
It took several days just to read out the charges placed against him, but after seven years (yes seven years) and much of Hastings own finances, he was finally acquitted.
Warren Hastings died in 1818.
Many believe it is his horse drawn carriage, and his ghost that people have reportedly seen at his former residence. When he resigned his position and moved back to England, the people hired to move his belongings had misplaced a black bureau (a type of office desk). It is said this bureau contained documents and personal belongings of sentimental value.
An Early Sighting
"One evening, just at dusk, I was returning home from office in my buggy, with lamps lighted. It was dusk, but in the shadow of the trees which overhang the avenue approaching Hastings House, it was pretty dark.
I was driving pretty fast, when I heard what appeared to be a run-away coach coming from Hastings House towards me. I immediately checked my horse and peered ahead to see how to avoid the coming danger, but as the noise did not seem to get any nearer, I cautiously proceeded, and when about a hundred yards from house, distinctly saw the reflections of my lamps on the panels of a carriage in front of me, proceeding the same way, viz: to Hastings House.
I kept my eyes on the panels, so as not to run into them. The coach turned to the left to go under the portico, followed by me, but when I arrived there, there was no coach...it had disappeared. I was very much puzzled at this, but should probably have thought nothing more about it, had not my wife, who was watching for my arrival from an upper window, asked me at once, ‘What coach was that just ahead of you?’"
(from the Tribune India)
Traditionally the story of the phantom coach says that it is seen on New Years Eve, but had the above experience have taken place on that particular night, surely it would have been noted?
Other Experiences at Hastings House
Strange laughter has also been heard in the house.
Since been turned into the college/university campus, new tales have been added. A common one concerns the story of a young boy who has been seen out on the oval next to the house. Legend has it that he and some friends were playing football, when he was struck forcibly in the chest by the ball and died on the spot. His friends panicked and left him there to be found later.
He is now seen about the oval as if waiting for his friends to come back and continue their game.
Another legend concerns a beautiful white race horse seen running out and about the oval. In the 1930's, a horse racing fanatic named Williams owned Hastings house, and he would train his prized horses on the grounds. He loved his horses more than he did his family. However one day his favourite, Pride, was found dead, shot out on the oval. Pride, the pearl white horse, has been seen on occasion ever since.
The ghost of a prize winning race horse, the spirit of a lonely little boy, and the phantom of a horse driven carriage all guarded by spectral soldiers, give Hastings House the title of one of India's most haunted places.