India is not just the land of gods and goddesses but also of superstitions, ghosts and of paranormal happenings. In Indian texts related to different religions explains about the different kinds of Ghosts and supernatural power. No doubt these supernatural powers are more powerful and above the human species. Most of them directly don't interact with humans until they have a specific purpose for it.
Here we will give you a brief description of types of ghosts that are believed to exist in India. Sometimes these are dismissed as fable by modern Indians but nonetheless many people in India still take them seriously and therefore cannot to be taken lightly.
This is a general word derived from the Sanskrit language that actually means 'past' and 'being'. But most people when they say bhoot they mean ghosts. Most of the time, it means the spirit of a dead person. In the Hindu religion, when a person dies the soul either achieves moksha (liberation from the recycle of birth) or is reborn according to their deeds. Sadly, there are some people whose souls do not leave the physical word and lingers on. These people are usually those whose last funeral rites have not been carried out or those who have faced a violent death.
Pretnis are female ghosts. When a woman dies (such as dying unmarried) without fulfilling their humanly desires then they become a pretni.In order to satisfy and complete their humanly and worldly desires, the spirit of these dead women would stay inthe physical world and attempt to satisfy their desires.It is said that they have back-ward feet. They find their prey in young men.
Churails (or chudails) are similar to the pretni but the spirit belongs to women who have died during childbirth. They can take the shape of a beautif ul a woman and slowly suck blood of men over a period of time till they die of weakness. Their feet are also backward.
Dayans (Daayns) are not spirits neither actual human beings. They are powerful females who do black magic, witchcraft and voodoo. It is said that they kidnap children and kill them to suck blood to increase their lifespan. The dayans are very much incorporated in Indian culture particularly in the rural areas of India. Sadly, many women have been falsely accused of being dayans and are ostracized by society and even killed. Some people say that evil spirits also live with the dayans. It is also said that they practice voodoo where they are able to make dolls of anyone they like and cause harm to them. After Pishachs, Dayans are one of the most powerful supernatural powers.
These are supposed to be female ghosts of women who have died just a few days after their marriage due to an accident. These shakinis have high sex drive and they can posses living women. It is said that those possessed by shalinis have a lot of pain their body particularly the eye.
These are supposed to be mythological characters that fought with the gods to cause chaos in the world. Their main aim was to defeat the gods and take over the world. They have been mentioned in the holy books of the Hindus, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. They can take human forms and have lots of supernatural powers and only gods can defeat them. The most popular rakshasa is Ravana who had ten heads. He abducted Sita, the consort ofmLord Ram, who later defeated Ravana with the help of Lord Hanuman. To this day, Hindus burn the effigy of Ravana to symbolize the triumph of good over evil.
There are two types of mohinis. The first one is the female avatar of Lord Vishnu and worshipped. The word "Moh" actually means "to please" hence she is supposed to cast an erotic spell on lovers. The word "mohini" now symbolizes a woman who can please. There's another version of mohini. These are women or girls who were deprived of love and ul timately committed suicide. Suicide is something that causes a lot of concern inIndia. It is thought that if someone dies un-timely before they should have died, or has died due to unnatural causes, then the spirit of that person lingers on inthe physical world. Hence the ghost of these women can find men and seduce them to satisfy their own unfin-ished physical desires - the desires that they were not able to enjoy when they were alive. The western version of mohini appears to be the "succubus".
The pretas are supposed to be spirits of men whose proper cremation was not carried out when they died. It is said that a proper cremation is necessary in the Hindu religion and if it is not carried out, the spirit will not leave the physical world to be reborn elsewhere. Pretas have a liking for something that normal people don't such as rotting corpse or feces. They are supposed to invisible.
Jinn or Genie
Jinns are the same as genies. They are mostly believed to exist by people of the Muslim faith. Since India has a significant population of Muslims, the concept of jinns also exists in India. Jinns can be good, bad and evil. They are supposed to be everywhere and they may or may not do anything. I remember a Muslim friend telling me once that she had a "jinn" in the house. I asked her how she knew this. She said that, there was always a distinct smell of flowers in the house no matter what she did. She thought that there was a presence and most likely it was a harmlessjinn. She got rid of it eventually by removing pictures of animals from the wall. Apparently, the jinn was attracted to the photos of animals on the wall.