A bloodsucking vampiress…
India’s infamous Churels
In some parts of this world there are cultures that are serious about their monsters. So serious that they carry out modern day practice to avoid crossing paths with these beasts.
In Indian folklore there are stories told of women that return from the dead in search of the blood of their male relatives. They call them ‘Churels’.
The Churels are spirits, often described as hideous creatures, with sagging breasts and matted hair. However, they appear to men as beautiful young women as a means to lure them in and ultimately drain them of their blood, semen and virility, leaving their victims aged and withered. Churels are spirits of ordinary women who have died tragically during childbirth or pregnancy in the 5 day period known as the Hindu Festival of Lights.
No chance of transformation is discounted when a woman dies in this manner. Special rites and rituals are executed during the burial process such as binding the corpse and driving nails into restrictive structures to keep her in her final resting place as not to find her way home in the afterlife.
The practice to resolve the transformation of women into Churels reminds us of the ongoing belief in folklore around the world. In America, we have become diluted in these beliefs. However, in many parts of the world, places less influenced by TV and media culture, these legends are very much a part of people’s lives. Legends that I hope, will continue to paint the cultures we have grown to appreciate around the globe. Be them dark and ominous as the Churels or bright and magical as the fairies, they are all enchanting and interesting. So for that reason, I am glad these corners of the earth maintain their beliefs.
If you have anything you would like to add to this, please feel free to do so in the comments below.