Updated: Mar 10
I love going to the beach. When I was a kid, my family lived about a mile from the beach, and we used to walk there all the time. Other than the high humidity, which made my hair even more frizzy than usual, I really miss it.
With summer approaching and many places around the world opening back up, you might be planning a trip to the beach in the near future. But what if you had to share the beach with ghosts? It’s not something you’ve probably thought about much, but some beaches have visitors who never leave. Let’s talk about Dumas Beach.
Dumas Beach is located just outside the city of Surat in the state of Gujarat in western India. The city lies at the mouth of the Tapti River, which leads into the Gulf of Khambhat and, eventually, the Arabian Sea. Surat was a major port in the 1500’s, and officially given its name in 1520 after a water reservoir was built there.
Surat is a big tourist attraction and well known for its diamond trade. In 2011, the population was about 4 million, and a 2018 report by Oxford Economics predicted it would be the fastest growing city between 2019 and 2035. So small town it is not.
Much like Surat, Dumas Beach is pretty popular. There are several shops in the area, as well as a Hindu temple. During the day, the beach is bustling — but most of that activity stops at night, when ghosts and “evil spirits” are said to roam.
One unusual thing people keep pointing out about the beach is that at least some of the sand is black. As the story goes, the beach used to be a Hindu cremation ground and the sand turned black from all the ashes spread there. (Some sources just said it was a burial ground.)
By the way, just a little bit of context here. About 77 % of Indians are Hindu and, from what I could find online, most Hindus cremate their dead. I could never figure out how long after death the body was usually cremated: Numbers ranged from 24 hours after death to almost two weeks. I’m no expert on Hinduism, but I imagine the length of time between death and cremation depends on a lot of factors, like location and circumstances. There might also be different sects of Hindu that use different practices.
One person I found in the comments section of one of my sources said there was a cemetery near the beach and thought that might contribute to the rumors. I did find one nearby: Bhimpore-Sultanabad Cemetery, about 1.9 kilometers (1.18 miles) away. Not super far, but I’m not sure it’s close enough to contribute.
So, what paranormal activity has occurred on Dumas Beach? Reports include: Whispers at night when nobody else is around, disembodied crying, full bodied apparitions and “light anomalies.” Dogs are also said to go especially crazy, barking up a storm when they’re taken to the area at night. Orbs have appeared in photographs taken by people on the beach who didn’t experience any other paranormal activity. There are also rumors that a man was once found dead on the beach, and that numerous people have disappeared from the beach and never been found.
A few sources also mentioned a “haveli,” or mansion, on the beach. This mansion is reportedly the former home of a sultan and is said to be haunted too, but I couldn’t find any details about these hauntings.
But is Dumas Beach really haunted? Well, maybe not.
For starters, the stories of people going missing or being found dead on the beach are just that — stories. There’s no evidence that anyone has ever gone missing or any bodies have been found in the area. And if they had, wouldn’t their names be public? I do a lot of true crime videos on this channel, and I’ve never heard of a person going missing without their name being released. Usually you want the name of a missing person out there so they’ll be easier to find. And if a body had been found on the beach, surely there was some investigation — but again, I couldn’t find any evidence of this. So unless I’m missing something, I think it’s safe to write off these stories as false.
A few commenters I saw online said they’d lived in the area their whole lives, even visited the beach on numerous occasions, and never heard any paranormal stories until they found them online. One writer from the website Buddy Bits said something similar, and a team at this website went out to the beach to find out the truth. They asked shopkeepers in the area about hauntings, but they all said the beach wasn’t haunted— even the one shopkeeper near the third beach (where the burial ground is). (Apparently the beach is actually made up of four separate beaches, or maybe areas? I’m not sure.)
Anyway, the Buddy Bits team didn’t see anything unusual for the first day or so. Then they noticed something strange in their photographs. When they looked it up, they realized there were orbs in the pictures. Nevertheless, they were skeptical the beach was haunted and wrote off the ghost stories as “exaggerated and irrelevant.”
But what about the black sand? Did that really result from the ashes of the dead being scattered? Probably not. The Buddy Bits crew included a photograph of a cemetery on the beach, so there are bodies buried there. But black sand isn’t actually all that crazy. It’s actually pretty common at beaches, usually caused when the waves aren’t strong enough to carry away heavy minerals in the sand.
And let’s talk about the barking dogs going crazy in the area, supposedly sensing paranormal entities. I don’t know if you’ve ever met a dog, but they tend to bark at the smallest of things. Every time I go for a walk around my neighborhood, I’ll run into people walking their dogs, and the dogs almost always run after me and bark up a storm until I walk away.
Seriously, it’s really annoying.
One more thing I wanted to share is something I found on another blog entry attempting to debunk the stories. This blog was written by Vargis Khan, who I briefly mentioned in my Charleville Mansion video. In the comments section of this blog, someone brings up the Ganges, a sacred river in India where a lot of bodies are dumped. A 2015 BBC report mentions over 100 bodies being recovered from the river, most being put there by families who couldn’t afford cremation. Yet with all these bodies, nobody ever talks about hauntings. So why would Dumas Beach be considered haunted, but not the Ganges?
So that’s all I have for you today on Dumas Beach. I’m really curious to know what you guys think about this one. Do you think the beach is haunted, or do you think it’s all rumors, or at least exaggerations? Let me know in the comments.