‘House of Secrets: The Burari Killings’ – The Haunting Reality of an Indian Family (All Details)

‘House of Secrets: The Burari Killings’ – The Haunting Reality of an Indian Family (All Details)

The name “Burari” is enough to send shivers down any Indian’s spine. The deaths are as mysterious as Madeline McCann’s disappearance and about as gruesome as Ian Brady’s killings. House of Secrets: The Burari Killings on Netflix has certainly done justice to the case.

Netflix released House of Secrets: The Burari Killings on the 8th of October, 2021. Here is all you need to know about the series and chilling deaths it documents.

Rundown of the real House of Secrets

The Bhatias were an affluent family. They lived in Rajasthan and moved to New Delhi, the capital of India in the 1990s. A grocery store and a plywood business was their family trade. No one that saw the Bhatias would disagree that they were an incredibly happy family.

11 members of the Bhatia family are involved in this 2018 case. These include a senior citizen widow, Narayani Devi, her 3 middle-aged children, 2 daughters-in-law, and 5 grandchildren- 2 girls and 3 boys. The youngest member of the Bhatia family, Shivam, Narayani Devi’s grandson was only between 12-13 during the incident.

The family also included Bhopal Singh, Narayani Devi’s husband. He passed away due to natural causes in 2006. Bhopal Singh’s death seemed to affect his son Lalit up to an unthinkable extent.

Lalit, a normal man before Bhopal Singh’s death, suddenly stopped socializing after his father’s demise. Thinking he’d come around after a while, the family let him be. However, things got worse.

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Lalit claimed he was possessed by his father’s soul. Apparently, Bhopal Singh’s soul had been telling Lalit that he needs to attain “purity”. Since 2007, Lalit had been maintaining a detailed diary of his “father’s instructions”.

The Mass Hangings- Investigation and aftermath

On the 1st of July, 2018, a long-time neighbor of the Bhatias found all 11 family members dead. He immediately called other neighbors and the police. Ten of the eleven Bhatias in Burari were found hanging in their courtyard. The widow Narayani Devi’s corpse was found in another room. She was strangled. The sight of so many dead bodies, teenagers and elderly alike, wasn’t as horrifying as the circumstance of their death.

All the people were found hanging close together. Their faces were wrapped entirely, and they were all blindfolded. Ears plugged with cotton, mouths taped and hands tied behind their back- some members’ feet were tied as well.

The Burari hangings were the talk of the town and country within no time. The case went viral in no time. Given the attention around the case, the police were under immense pressure.

Despite the conditions of the Bhatia family’s deaths pointing to mass suicide, there was high media coverage, public outcry, pressure from legal bodies, and accusations of a coverup from the Bhatia family’s relatives surrounding the case. During the investigation, the police officers found out many things that rendered Lalit quite out of the ordinary.

House of Secrets: a series well created

Leena Yadav, the creator of the 3 episode series, is well versed in the art of filmmaking. She has great experience in the industry and that was clear in House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths. The series certainly dramatizes the incident.

People affected by the deaths in any way, from journalists and policemen to neighbors and relatives- everyone was interviewed. Each had something different to say about the incident, or about the Bhatia family.

From the interview of Gurcharan Singh, the man who found the bodies and reported them to police, to the voiceover of Bhopal Singh, the series does manage to send shivers down the viewers’ spine. But viewers looked to the docu-series to address questions and theories.

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One such theory is the involvement of an occultist godman. However, the series sheds light on another element to question this one. This lead to another theory. Was it consensual suicide or forced murder? Many believe that the family had folie à plusieurs (tr: madness of several) or shared psychosis.

Overall, House of Secrets: The Burari Killings on Netflix provides great insight- into the family, the case, Indian culture, and disturbing psychology. It is entertaining and informative. There are unanswered questions, but perhaps they are left for the viewers to decide.

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