In Indian culture the Churel is a vengeful ghost and also referred to as: Charail, Churreyl, Chudail, Chudel, Cudail, or Cudel. In the Punjab region they are known as Pichal Peri, the Bengal region as Penki / Shakchunni, and in Malaysia & Indonesia as Pontianak. In Gugarat, she can be known as┬ájakihn, jakhai, mukai, nagulai and alvantin.   Each resembles a woman, and is a demonical revenant, being the ghost of an unpurified living thing, that latches onto trees, appearing as a tree spirit. Described as extremely ugly & hideous, they can shape-shift into beautiful women to seduce men in forests & mountains. There they suck out the life-force of the men, killing them and ageing their victims. Their feet are thought to point backwards.   They were originally of Persian descent believed to be a woman who died with grossly unsatisfied desires, though other areas think it is a woman who died in childbirth, while pregnant, or during the "period of Impurity" (in other words during the days of menstruation). In some places she can appear as a young girl in white cloth, in others as wearing white & red silk, and with traditional bangles made of sea-shells.   The Churel true form is meant to be hideous, with saggy breasts, a black tongue and thick rough lips, and sometimes with no mouth at all. Some are pot-bellied, long claws, and scruffy long pubic-like hair. A few have a pig-like face with large tusks, or human-like faces with sharp tusk and long wild hair. Sometimes they appear as white on the front and black backs, and/or completely nude.   They are reported around graveyards, cemeteries, tombs, abandoned battlefields, thresholds of houses, crossroads, toilets, and squalid places. They are though of as dying from ill-treatment at the hands of their families, and avenging their deaths starting with the young of the family. Usually this is involves the youngest male, making her way up to the eldest male. Anyone who see a Churel is rumoured to contract a deadly disease. It is sometimes linked to the Mother Goddess and Rakshasi, and may turn into Dakinis, becoming handmaidens to Kali, joining her on her feasts of human flesh & blood.   To prevent one forming, pregnant women, women in childbirth, and menstruating women are meant to be treated correctly within Hindu practises. If not, then the correct burial practises should be observed to prevent the ghost returning. The latter is removing the body through a specific exit, her body anointed with five different products of a cow, sacred texts recited, with hilly regions having the place she died scraped clean & the dirt removed. Mustard (Sarson) is sprinkled on the spot, and along the path used to carry the body. The reasoning is that mustard grows in the land of the dead, and the sweet smell keeps her pacified. Sometimes a Baiga (someone who pacifies spirits), will step in to help. At the end the remains are cremated as per Hindu tradition.


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