Ghosts of Bengal: Top 10 Most Scary Bhoots in Local Legends

Do you believe in ghosts? Modern science does not acknowledge their existence, which makes most people doubtful about ghost stories. However, this world has many paranormal or supernatural mysteries that science still can’t explain!

I was skeptical of these mysteries too. But, the time has probably gotten the best of me. Now I don’t even dare to claim that so many people worldwide and alleged haunted sites are just products of people’s imaginations.

Although you’re free to believe whatever you want, I want to share some supernatural and paranormal stories that may change your mind. Try to keep an open mind and share the similarities of Bengali ghosts with your local demonic entities.

You may find some shockingly eerie truth about how similar you are to a Bengali farmer living thousands of miles away from you! Here are the top 10 Bengali ghosts in Bengali literature.

Damori: Demons or Demi-Gods?

You have heard of Indian sadhus, haven’t you? Well, not all sadhus are there preaching good words to the people. A crazy bunch of Yogis called Tantric Sadhus is trained in Kamrup Kamakhya, Assam. These Tantrics practice Tantra- a mystical tradition of worshipping demi-gods and demons.

Moha Damor tantric have their way of communicating with otherworldly creatures like Haakini, Shakhini, etc. They use these demonic creatures to cause harm to people (Baan Maara) or for soothsaying purposes.

A group of Tantrik Performing Black Magic

However, most tantric do not reach the Moha Damor mantra, and they are called Bhoot Damor. Bhoot Damor tantric use lower-level demi-goddesses or demons like Bhutini, Kinnari, Apshori, etc., to perform their black magic.

All of these creatures are classed together as Damori. So, every type of demonic entity a tantric might invoke is called a Damori. This is somewhat similar to the western concept of Elves or Fairies but a lot more sinister!

Kanabhulo: The Hypnotizing Ghost

Imagine you’re a lone traveler in rural Bengal. You’re alone at night, and the road seems impossible to cross. Suddenly, you feel like you’re encircling the same area repeatedly. The streets feel like a maze, and you’re trapped!

This is precisely how Kanabhulo is described in Bengali culture. The ghost hypnotizes lone travelers at night and takes them to an unknown, silent location. The victim loses all sense of hope and either drowns in water or falls from high grounds!

Many classic Bengali ghost stories describe Kanabhulo ghosts as one of the deadliest ghosts!

Nishi Bhoot: The Banshee of Bengal

Nishi ghosts have a striking similarity to Irish Banshee ghosts. However, while Banshee ghosts warn about the death of someone, Nishi Bhoot harms the victim itself!

Nishi (meaning night in Bengali) lures its victim out of the house by calling their names in the voice of their loved ones. The Nishi hunts only at night; if someone responds to the calling, they follow the voice and are never found again!

Nishir Daak ( Calling of the Night Spirit) is believed to cause sleepwalking, drowning, and death. However, the Nishi can only call you twice. So, don’t go out till someone calls you three times at night!

Sheekol Buri: The Water Demon

Sheekol Buri are spirits of young women who committed suicide by drowning or were killed in the water! These spirits must live their designated time on Earth as Jol-Pishach or Sheekol Buri.

Sheekol Buris have long hair that is always dripping wet and don’t have any iris! They lure out young men by disguising themselves as beautiful women. Once the victims are in the water, they entangle the victim’s feet using their hair and drown them!

These Jol-Pishach are very similar to sirens or Rusalka from Slavic mythology. However, some exciting stories exist about Sheekol Buri falling in love with their mortal male victims. But don’t plan on having a love life with them. Because this doesn’t end well for humans!

Dainee: The Witch of Bengal

A Dainee is not exactly a ghost; instead is a living human. They are devil worshippers or witches who have supernatural powers. So, you can call them the witches of Bengal.

Usually, in rural Bengali villages, Dainee is an older woman with gray hair and bad teeth who knows black magic. They can perform black magic on someone causing them to bleed to death or suck out their life even by looking!

It is also believed that Dainee kidnaps children and drinks their blood to survive ages.

Rakkhosh: A Race of Human Eating Giants

If you’re familiar with giants in your local mythology, you probably understand what a Rakkhosh is. They have been depicted in the old Hindu mythology of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Rakkhosh are beings of a vicious race that have thick fangs, superhuman strength, and two horns! They are known to eat humans or their livestock and have been mentioned in many local stories involving ghosts.

A common phrase associated with Rakkosh is, “Hau Mau Khau…..Manusher Gondho Pau.” This phrase is the Bengali version of Fee Fie Foe Fum!

Pishach: Corpse Eating Demons

Pishach or Adom Khor are demons who eat corpses on cremation grounds or burial grounds. They are feared in the Bengali culture. I also remember hearing a ghost story about a Pishach that possessed a human being.

Pishach can shapeshift or even become invisible. They generally live in places of filth and death. Also, female Pishach, known as Pishachini, are known to lure out young men to drink their flesh, blood, semen, and virility!

Pishach is very similar to Ghouls from many famous stories involving ghosts in western literature.

Shakchunni: Female Demons and Spirits

In traditional Bengali folk tales, there are two types of female ghosts. The Petni are spirits of unmarried women who have unsatisfied desires. On the other hand, Shakchunni is the ghost of a married woman who died accidentally.

Shakchunni comes from the Sanskrit word “Shankhachurni,” a traditionally worn bangle made of shells by Hindu wives. Shakchunni also wear their “Shankhachurni” even after death!

Petni and Shakchunni possess women and have an enormous appetite for sweets, fish, or meat!

Skondhokata: The Headless Ghosts

Several classic ghost stories feature Skondhokata bhoot. These are spirits of people who had their heads cut off by accident. They are stuck in this world, searching for their heads!

Usually, Skondhokata bhoot is always looking for its heads and asking people to help them find their heads. However, sometimes they attack humans to enslave them. The enslaved people are made to search the heads for an eternity!

Djinn: A Race of Demons

Jinn or Djinn are believed by followers of Islam. The religion acknowledges Djinns as another race besides humans. However, there are both good and bad Djinns. Muslims believe that all ghostly and supernatural beings are Djinns.

A woman possessed by a Djinn

Bad djinns can be very evil and haunt humans and their residences. According to belief, djinns can either radiate smells of strange perfume or rotten meat, depending on their nature. Good djinns help good Muslims, while bad djinns can possess and cause harm.

Djinns are known to be foolish, angry, and aggressive. They tell lies to deceive humans into a life of sin. The Islamic devil, or “Shaitan,” is a djinn. As djinns have no physical form, they can take the shape of any animal or possess humans.

Also, Djinns are known to crave sweets, and many Bengali sweet-sellers confirm that Djinns come late at night to take sweets from their stores!

The Djinns live in distinct groups or clans headed by a king Djinn. The clans are Marid, Ifreet, Qareen, and Ghul. This is also believed in Arabian and Persian mythology.


Although it may be hard for you to believe in ghosts or horror stories, it is tough to ignore the striking similarities between culture and place.

Many supernatural stories sound so familiar that you may not even understand that the stories come from thousands of miles away! So, why not enjoy with an open mind?

In case you want to hear more about other supernatural entities of Bengal; you can read or watch a movie that features horror stories written in Bengali. That may give you a much clearer idea!

Nilanjana Das

I love investigating the unknown and exploring the weird and unexplained. I find it fascinating how our minds can create whole worlds of mystery and suspense. What's even more exciting to me is uncovering these mysteries and looking for evidence that they actually exist!

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