Churels, the Folklore and Modern Day Footprint of India’s Infamous Monsters

A bloodsucking vampiress…

India’s infamous Churels

Churels of Inda

Photo by India Forums

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.


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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