The Haunted Three Kings Chapel is not Haunted.
Updated: May 15, 2021
If you look up the internet for the most haunted place in Goa, the one spot that tops the list is the Three Kings Chapel in a quiet village called Cansaulim in South Goa. How did it get its fame you might wonder? Let us first look at the stories suggested by the top results about the chapel.
Story 1: There were three Portuguese kings of the villages nearby villages. One invited the other two to the top of the hill for a meeting and out of greed, poisoned the other two kings. He then felt guilty about his act and then consumed the poison himself resulting in his death. The spirits of the three kings haunt the chapel to this day and the bodies of the kings lie under the chapel.
Mythbuster Fact- The Portuguese were very systematic in their governance in Goa. Every ruler that was in power has his name recorded along with his work and achievements. There is no mention of such an incident in any of the books. Additionally, there would be just one king and he would sit in Portugal. It is just silly that there would be smaller kings for each village without a trace of any administration, monuments, or remnants from their time.
Story 2: There are ghosts that roam around the chapel at night with flame and they move around the whole hill. There are no priests nor chaplains who live at the chapel because it is not safe. When they tried doing it earlier the priest would fall sick at times or even be missing when looked for.
Mythbuster Fact- The story of the flame moving at night comes from the ritual of the three kings feast and the epiphany that takes place on January 6th every year. The procession follows a certain path all the way to the chapel on top. People would usually throw coins out of respect for the three boys (Kings) that participate in the procession. After dark, there would be people who would follow the same path looking for the coins using small flames made of coconut leaves. From a distance, you would see the flame moving up the hill when it is dark. The villagers would tell each other that now it is the procession of the ghosts of the three kings.
Apart from this, there are several tales cooked up talking about people falling sick after visiting the chapel after dark or getting possessed because they visited the place alone without being baptized, marriages not being successful after the nuptials have been blessed on top, and so on. The name of the chapel is dedicated to The Three Kings that visited Jesus Christ when he was born. These were the kings that were guided by a star to the stable where Jesus was wrapped in swaddles. It is a story from the Bible. During the daytime, it is one of the most popular spots for photography. The lighting is perfect as there is barely any shade. The panoramic view of the village from the top is beautiful. Greenery with little monuments popping out in between the trees. The ocean is also clearly visible from the top which makes one of the best sunsets at the elevated point. During the rains, it is dangerous as well as exciting to see lightning from the top of the hill with a clear view all around. It has gotten its popularity after the haunted fame on the internet.
What I can tell you is that I have personally been on top of the hill after dark, alone and with friends. The view is stunning with the lights from the village on one side and the lights from the Verna Industrial area on the other side. However, it is not recommended primarily because the place is deserted at night and it is the perfect setting for crime and mischief. There have been instances of crime that happens on top. This is again what the locals have shared with me when I asked them why is it not safe to go on top of the hill at night. It is a spot one must visit when in South Goa for the view and the sunset.