Netflix’s latest documentary ‘House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths’ is based on the true incident that happened in Burari in 2018. The documentary tries to offer an insight into what may have happened when 11 members of a single family were found dead. As per the true story, the Netflix series showcases the infamous and disturbing details of the Burari Deaths case that shook the entire nation in 2018.
On 1st July, 2018, the Delhi police was informed about a crime in Burari area. When police reached the spot, what they found left them shocked. They found 11 members, belonging to 3 different generations of Chundawat family dead.
As per the sources, the bodies were apparently found hanging from a grill in the ceiling while their faces were wrapped, hands were tied behind their back and mouths were duct-taped. The police officer, who was the first one to reach the house, shared the shocking details with the media: “It was shocking. I stayed only for 10-15 seconds before rushing downstairs to call my seniors. At the time I did not see whose hands were tied and whose eyes were covered. I just saw a lot of bodies hanging, just like branches of a tree.”
Though initially it was suspected to be a murder case, but after the investigation, the incident turned out to be a case of ‘mass suicide’. During the investigation, the authorities found 11 dairies, each detailing the situation. Based on the diary entries, the police suspected the incident resulted because of a ritual gone wrong.
The matriarch of the family, Narayani Devi, was found in the bedroom. Based on her condition, it appeared that she had been strangled to death. Her two sons, Bhavnesh, Lalit, and daughter Pratibha, were also among those found dead.
As per the diary entries, it was believed that Lalit, Narayani Devi’s youngest son was possessed by the spirit of his late father Bhopal Singh, who passed away in 2007. As per Lalit, Bhopal Singh gave him instructions on how to lead a better life. He had told him to worship a banyan tree for the improvement in family financial condition. The family followed what Lalit told them and started doing great. This was the point that reinforced the family’s faith in rituals.
As per the CCTV footage from the camera placed outside the home, it was clear that no outsider was involved in the deaths. In fact, family members were seen carrying stools and wires into the house – the items that were later used in the deaths.
As per the investigation, the family believed that they would survive the ritual but sadly they didn’t. The ritual was apparently a “thanksgiving ceremony” that lasted seven days. Based on thee diary notes, the police concluded that Lalit wanted to replicate a “badh (banyan) tapasya”. In this particular ritual, the family was supposed to arrange itself to hang like the branches of a banyan tree to “make the gods happy”. As per a report by NDTV, the last diary entry before the deaths, was titled “Road to God”.
The psychological autopsy report mentions that none of the family members wished to commit suicide. But, they died because of an “accident that occurred during a ritual”.
While some reports call them the Bhatia family, but Bhopal Singh’s only surviving son Dinesh Singh Chundawat told the Hindu that they were Chundawats. His mother was a ‘Bhatia’ from Punjab while his father was ‘Chundawat’.
It turned out to be a case of shared psychosis. As per WebMd, Shared Psychotic disorder is a rare type of mental illness in which a healthy person starts to take on the delusions of someone who has a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. For example, let’s say your spouse has a psychotic disorder and, as part of that illness, believes aliens are spying on them. If you have a shared psychotic disorder, you’ll start to believe in the spying aliens. But apart from that, your thoughts and behavior are normal.
People with psychotic disorders have trouble staying in touch with reality and often can’t handle daily life. The most obvious symptoms are hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real) and delusions (believing things that aren’t true, even when they get the facts).
As per the current reports, Dinesh is not satisfied with the police investigations. He still believes that his family was not into supernatural things. To know more, you can watch the three-part docu-series on Netflix.