By: Bhavya S. (LT SL)
August 2014: After work, all of us rushed to the railway station to board the Kochuveli Garibrath train which reached Ernakulum the next morning. Next, we got into the Chennai-Alappuzha train from Ernakulum and reached Alappuzha (Alleppey).
A boat was waiting for us near the bus stand and took us to the houseboat which was about 15 mins away. Finally we reached! The houseboat was huge and consisted of six bedrooms which also had a deck!! The 15 of us barged into the houseboat to occupy the best rooms.
The houseboat then sailed to the island where it would halt until next morning. For most of us, this was a first time experience in a house boat. Since there is nothing much that you can do in a houseboat other than eating plenty of food, we started off with some ghost stories during the night: D Considering that the next day we were going to stay in Morris bungalow in Vagamon, few of the boys narrated the story of Dorothy (From the Malayalam movie – Ghost House Inn) whose full name was Dorothy Morris and after her death the bungalow was named after her as the Morris Bungalow. Few of us were frightened listening to this story. After all the story telling sessions, we went to sleep and woke up the next morning, had breakfast and by the time we were ready, we reached the shore from where the houseboat picked us. A tempo traveler (TT) was waiting for us.
We got into the 19 seater TT and headed towards Vagamon. On the way we stopped at Pala and visited the church where we visited St. Alphonsa’s tomb. We then got into the TT and continued our journey.
By late afternoon we reached Vagamon Heights resort. Our fight for rooms started and it was a girls vs. boys fight for the best room. After having an amazing lunch we decided to play Lagori in the rain. The night setup in the resort was meant for indoor games and barbeque. While the barbeque was being set up, the house keeper narrated the haunted experiences that people had had in the resort which scared many of us. He even mentioned about a group of people facing trouble with their vehicle while leaving the resort .Though all these sounded a little filmy, we were a bit scared deep inside. That night all of us decided to sleep in the master bedroom since it was huge enough to accommodate 15 of them!! The whistling and the knocking sounds from the woods kept many of them awake throughout the night because of sheer fear!! I had a sound sleep though.
History of Morris Bungalow: Years ago, a British bachelor by the name of Morris lived in this bungalow. After an argument with his father, he consumed poison and died in this very bungalow. Since then they say this place is haunted. After Morris’s death, this property was handed over to a King in Kerala. In 1973 a timber merchant bought it from the King’s family and then gradually converted this into a resort. Few of them claim to have seen Morris’s ghost and few of them have also had bad experiences within the resort. The house keeper even requested us not to play the game Oujho Board since there have been many scary experiences in the past.
The next morning we woke up and visited the nearby church to attend the Holy Mass. After the mass, we returned to the resort and on the way, we stopped by a lake which looked beautiful. We clicked a few pictures here. As the story goes, a cameraman and his assistant had drowned in this very lake after a movie pack up a few years ago. Since then there have been strict instructions not to get into the water! We noticed a dark figure in the lake at quite a distance. Initially we thought it’s a tree stump but fooled around saying that it’s a ghost. However while returning from the resort; we didn’t see the dark figure which was a bit scary.
After we returned from the church, we had breakfast and got into our open jeep for a 4 wheel drive through the resort which was spread over an area of 300 acres. There were some beautiful spots where a lot of movies have been shot. The house keeper took us to some amazing spots which clearly prove that Vagamon beats all other tourist spots in Kerala, hands down!! The jeep drive was an unforgettable experience. It was more like a roller coaster in an amusement park.
After the thrilling drive, we returned to the bungalow, packed our bags and left the resort. The jeep dropped us to the entrance in 2 batches. The 1st batch reached the entrance and started posing for pictures in front of the Morris bungalow. The 2nd batch had a very bad experience. While nearing the entrance, the axle of the jeep broke and it turned towards a deep ditch. By God’s Grace, there was a hump which stopped the jeep from falling into the ditch. We then connected this incident to the story narrated by the house keeper and realized that the story he narrated turned out to be true in our case too. Just Kidding!!
We then bid good bye to Vagamon resort consoling ourselves that all that happened there was coincidental and had nothing to do with ghosts. Though there were a few spooky experiences, Vagamon Heights sure is a place to be visited for its scenic beauty and an affordable trip. The entire package was just Rs.1250 per head.
We reached Cochin and had lunch at Kayees restaurant which is very popular for Biryani. This marks the end of an unforgettable trip!!