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Churel is a mythical creature that is popular in South Asia and Southeast Asia, particularly in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. The Churel is often described as a female ghost or demon that has supernatural powers and can take on different forms. According to legend, a woman who dies during childbirth or while pregnant can become a Churel.

In some stories, the Churel is said to haunt graveyards, forests, and other lonely places. It is believed that the Churel can lure young men and kill them if they do not comply with her wishes. The Churel is often depicted as a vengeful spirit seeking revenge against those who have wronged her.

Despite its fearsome reputation, the Churel is also seen as a symbol of feminism and anti-patriarchy in some cultures. Some women even aspire to become a Churel as a way of gaining power and autonomy. The Churel continues to be a fascinating and mysterious figure in South Asian folklore, inspiring countless stories, legends, and myths.

Origins of the Churel Myth

Cultural Context

The Churel is a ghostly figure that has been a part of South Asian folklore for centuries. It is believed to be the spirit of a woman who died a tragic death or suffered injustice during her lifetime. The Churel is often depicted as a vengeful figure, seeking revenge on those who wronged her.

In South Asian cultures, women have traditionally been subjected to discrimination and abuse, making the Churel a symbol of the struggle for women’s rights. The myth of the Churel reflects the cultural context in which it originated, highlighting the injustices that women have faced throughout history.

Historical References

The origins of the Churel myth can be traced back to Persia, where it was believed to be the spirit of a woman who died with unfulfilled desires. In South Asia, the Churel is associated with women who died during childbirth, while pregnant, or faced domestic abuse or other forms of hardship.

Historical references to the Churel can be found in the works of colonial-era authors such as Sir Richard Francis Burton. These authors often portrayed the Churel as a malevolent figure, seeking to scare their readers with tales of supernatural horror.

Despite its dark origins, the myth of the Churel has endured for centuries, reflecting the struggles and aspirations of women throughout South Asia.

Characteristics of a Churel

Physical Appearance

Churels are female demons that are said to be very beautiful. They are often depicted as having long black hair and wearing white clothing. Some people believe that they have long, sharp nails and red eyes. Churels are also said to have the ability to change their appearance and take on the form of any person they desire.

Behavioral Traits

Churels are known for their vengeful nature. They are said to seek revenge on men who have wronged them in some way, particularly unfaithful husbands. Churels are also believed to be able to control the minds of men and make them fall in love with them. They are said to be able to lure men into the forest and then disappear, leaving the men lost and confused.

Overall, churels are considered to be dangerous and powerful demons. It is believed that they can only be defeated by holy men or by performing certain rituals. While some people believe in the existence of churels, others consider them to be nothing more than superstition.

Tales and Legends

Popular Stories

Churel is a mythical creature that is popular in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. It is believed to be the spirit of a woman who suffered mistreatment or injustice during her lifetime, particularly those who died during childbirth or while pregnant, faced domestic abuse, or endured other forms of hardship. The Churel is also known as Charail, Churreyl, Chudail, Chudel, Chuṛail, Cuḍail, or Cuḍel.

In most stories, Churel is depicted as a demonic figure that takes the form of a woman. She is said to have long hair and a disfigured face. The Churel is often associated with darkness, death, and destruction. It is believed that she preys on men and children and can cause illness, infertility, and even death.

One popular story about Churel is that she was once a beautiful woman who was mistreated by her husband and in-laws. She died during childbirth and her spirit returned to seek revenge. She haunted her husband and his family, causing them to fall ill and die one by one. In the end, the only way to get rid of her was to perform a ritual to appease her spirit.

Regional Variations

The legend of Churel varies from region to region. In Northern India, Churel is said to be created when a pregnant woman dies during the festival of Divali, which is the Hindu Festival of Light. In some parts of Pakistan, Churel is believed to be a shape-shifting creature that can transform into a snake or a bird.

In Bangladesh, Churel is known as Chudail and is said to be a vengeful spirit that can possess humans. It is believed that she can enter a person’s body and control their actions. In Nepal, Churel is known as Bhootni and is said to be the spirit of a woman who died during childbirth.

Overall, the tales and legends of Churel are deeply rooted in the folklore of South Asia. While the stories may vary, they all share a common theme of a vengeful female spirit seeking justice for the injustices she suffered in life.

Beliefs and Superstitions

Protection and Prevention

In South and Central Asia, Churel is believed to be a supernatural creature that appears in ghost stories. According to local beliefs, Churel is the ghost of a woman who died during or after childbirth. It is believed that Churel can harm people, especially pregnant women and newborn babies. To protect themselves from Churel, people use various methods, including wearing amulets, reciting prayers, and avoiding certain foods and activities.

One common method of protection is to wear a black thread or a black dot on the forehead. It is believed that the black color repels evil spirits, including Churel. Another method is to recite prayers or mantras, such as the Hanuman Chalisa or the Gayatri Mantra. These prayers are believed to have protective powers and can ward off evil spirits.

Signs and Omens

In addition to protection methods, people also look for signs and omens to avoid encountering Churel. It is believed that if a woman dies during or after childbirth, she may become a Churel. Therefore, people avoid visiting places where such deaths have occurred.

Moreover, certain behaviors or events are considered to be signs of Churel’s presence. For example, if a dog howls at night, it is believed that Churel is nearby. Similarly, if a woman’s hair is loose and she walks alone at night, she may be mistaken for a Churel. Therefore, it is advised to tie the hair and avoid going out alone at night.

Overall, the beliefs and superstitions surrounding Churel reflect the cultural and social context of South and Central Asia. While some of these beliefs may seem irrational or superstitious, they are deeply ingrained in the local culture and continue to be practiced by many people.

Churel in Popular Culture


Churel is a popular character in South Asian literature, especially in horror stories. Many authors have written about Churel, including Ruskin Bond, who wrote a story called “The Churel Bride” in his book “A Season of Ghosts.” In this story, a man falls in love with a beautiful woman, not realizing that she is a Churel. Another notable story is “The Churel of Bungalow No. 6” by Rajinder Singh Bedi, which tells the story of a haunted bungalow where a Churel resides.

Film and Television

Churel has also made appearances in South Asian films and television shows. One of the most famous examples is the 1980 Bollywood film “Bandh Darwaza,” which tells the story of a Churel who is summoned by a sorcerer to help him gain immortality. Another notable example is the Pakistani television show “Churails,” which premiered in 2020 and follows a group of women who start a detective agency to expose cheating husbands. The show’s title is a play on the word “Churel” and the English word “churail,” which means “witch.”

Overall, Churel has become a popular figure in South Asian pop culture, appearing in various forms of media. Whether it’s in horror stories, films, or television shows, Churel continues to captivate audiences with its eerie and mysterious presence.

Comparative Mythology

Similar Entities Globally

The Churel is a supernatural entity that is found in South and Central Asia. However, similar entities also exist in other cultures around the world. For example, in Slavic mythology, there is a creature known as the Rusalka, which is a female ghost that haunts bodies of water. In Japanese folklore, there is a creature called the Yuki-Onna, which is a ghostly woman that appears in snowy weather. These entities share similar characteristics with the Churel, such as being female and having the ability to shape-shift.

Influence on Other Myths

The Churel has also had an influence on other myths and legends in South and Central Asia. For example, in Hindu mythology, there is a demoness known as the Putana, who is said to be a Churel that kidnaps and kills infants. In Bengali folklore, there is a creature called the Shakchunni, which is a female ghost that haunts graveyards. The Shakchunni is said to be a variation of the Churel.

Overall, the Churel is a fascinating entity that has similarities with other supernatural creatures around the world. Its influence on other myths and legends in South and Central Asia is a testament to its enduring popularity and significance in the region’s folklore.

Academic Perspectives

Folklore Studies

Churel is a supernatural being that is often associated with South Asian folklore. Folklore studies have been instrumental in understanding the cultural significance of Churel in the region. Scholars have noted that Churel is often depicted as a female ghost or spirit that preys on men. According to folklore, Churel is believed to be the spirit of a woman who has died an unnatural death or has been wronged in some way. Folklore studies have highlighted the role of Churel in shaping cultural beliefs and practices in the region.

Gender and Society

Churel is often depicted as a female entity that preys on men. This depiction has led to discussions about gender and society in the region. Scholars have noted that the representation of Churel as a vengeful female spirit reflects the patriarchal nature of the society. The depiction of Churel as a victim of injustice also highlights the gendered nature of violence and oppression in the region. Gender and society studies have been instrumental in understanding the cultural significance of Churel and its impact on the lives of women in the region.