From childhood, I have heard astounding east and west Bengal myths that still give me a chill even when I’m sharing those stories here.
If you go through Bengali literature or Hindu literature, you’ll always read those folk tales and stories of different bhoots (ghosts) and how terrifying they are. Some of these stories include stories about lost heads in secluded areas with raw fish and other gory natures too.
Especially in Bangladesh and India, these Bengal tales are mostly heard from rural Bengali mythology originating from Hindu literature. For instance, how bhoots can take human form or even possess women, especially married women with long open hair during the night. They are mostly targeted to steal fish in the literal sense. Moreover, I even got the chance to hear how lone travelers got attacked and later killed in these Bengali life stories and folk tales.
So, today I’ll share some of the most astounding and nerve-crackling historical legends of Bengal, which is still pretty famous among Bengalis.
Top Short Bengali Mythology That’ll Surely Give You Goosebumps
I’ve gone through hundreds of different myths and tales. Whether it’s about Shakchunni (married Bengali female ghosts who died painfully and now has turned into cursed witch thirsty for human blood), ancient Hindu prince vanga originating from Islamic legend transaction, or any other folklore, all these stories have their own vibe and chills. Most of these Bengali stories and Hindu literature credits Bengali literature for their origins.
However, the tales I’ll be sharing with you now are something I feel more than just historical Hindu tales. It seems as if I’m already being watched as I write.
It’s a pretty common myth among Bengali locals. Aleya, also known as “Atoshi Bhoot” is a green light (like a fireball) that most fishermen claim to see while they fish at night.
According to legends, when these fishermen go fishing, they see some kind of light that lures them to move their boats deep in the river.
Bangladeshi rural even say that Aleya, a.k.a Nishi Dak (“Nishi” means night “Dak” means call), tends to call these fishermen in disguise of someone they know.
It can be their dead parents, friends, or even relatives. This sudden illusion forces these fishermen to stir their boats near to them, and then both the boat and fishermen disappear.
No one knows where they’ve gone missing or what has happened to them. Many claims that these fishermen are taken deep down the rivers where their souls turn into this “Aleya.”
Well, that’s just half the folklore; some even claim that Aleya is nothing but the desperate souls of those fishermen who had died a painful death in the rivers. These restless and evil souls tend to lure more and more fishermen into showing how painful drowning death can be!
Nishi Dak still haunts some of the rivers in Bangladesh, yet no one knows what it actually is and how you can counter back when you encounter one. Some say there’s no turning back when you fall into the tray of Aleya. All you can do is wait for death to wrap you into its dreadful arms!
The Ghost Wife (from Bengali Literature, Vedic, And Hindu Mythology)
This is another famous Hindu mythology I got the privilege to hear. So, once upon a time, a married Brahman lived with his mother. However, near his residence was a tank with a tree on its embankment where lived a “Shakchunni” (female ghost).
One night the Brahman’s wife was walking, and suddenly she was brushed by the Shakchunni, who was already standing there. The ghost got enraged with the woman, grabbed her by the throat, and stuffed her into a tree trunk hole.
The ghost donned the woman’s clothes and entered the Brahman’s home. Neither the Brahman nor his mother had any idea that the woman they were seeing was actually a ghost. The very next morning, the mother-in-law noticed a strange change.
Her daughter-in-law was feeble and slow at housework, but suddenly she changed. She became pretty active and seemed pretty healthy and beautiful than before. The old mother said nothing to her son or daughter-in-law, instead rejoicing that her daughter-in-law had changed.
However, her shock grew and grew as she cooked faster than before. The daughter-in-law brought anything the mother-in-law desired from the next room considerably faster than walking.
Instead of walking into the next room, the ghost would stretch a long arm from the door and get it. Seeing this, the mother-in-law got terrified.
Later that day, she spoke to her son about everything that had happened today. Now, both the mother and son watched the apparition more closely.
The old woman knew there was no fire in the home and that her daughter-in-law hadn’t gone outside to get it, but the kitchen hearth was ablaze.
She went in and was shocked to see that her daughter-in-law was cooking with her scorching foot instead of fuel. Now, she was confirmed that the lady they were thinking to her daughter-in-law is actually the infamous Shakchunni.
Finally, both the son and the mother decided to call a priest who could deal with spirits and ghosts. When the priest arrived, he started talking to the Brahmin’s wife in a soft tone, and the wife communicated in a good manner.
Then, to everyone’s surprise, the priest lighted turmeric and presented it in front of the Brahmin’s wife. The Shakchunni couldn’t bear it, and she ran aside and started to speak in a nasal tone (this is how most ghosts communicate).
The more the priest tries to speak, the more Shakchunni refuses. This is when the priest starts beating her, and the Shakchunni is forced to open her mouth and state where she has kept the Brahmin’s real wife. Everyone rushed there and saw the Brahmin’s wife almost dead due to her long stay in the dark tree tank.
Finally, the Shakchunni was let loose, and legends say that she still haunts these forests and awaits her next prey.
Whether it’s Bangladesh or any other Indian state, there will always be the presence of supernatural beings, folk tales, and many such horror stories. Some may believe it, or some may enjoy them as only myths of Bengal. However, you do need to consider that certain things make literal sense and some don’t, but that’s how the world works. Not everything has a reason, but it’s still there! These historical legends might seem just stories, but are they just stories?
Discover the myths of Bengal and get yourself dazzled with two of the most famous historical legends of all time. Read on to know more.