Vetala; possessing dead bodies!
The vetala is another vampire of India. The vetala are a class of demons in Hindu mythology that have the power to enter the bodies of human or animal corpses and reanimate them. They can enter living victims as well, and manipulate them as they please. Generally, though, the vetala stick to inhabiting the bodies of dead people. This myth is also connected with burial rites or, in some cases, the circumstances of a personâs death. If a body is buried improperly or does not receive the proper rites, the body is in danger of becoming possessed by a vetala.
The vetala, also written as vetaal, or baital, use the bodies they inhabit to wreak havoc in the world. Itâs a different concept than a human just becoming a vampire, after being bitten, or getting infected by one, or being killed by one. In the lore as we have come to see vampires, they are still the humans they once were, except with some bloodthirsty tendencies. The vetala are not like that at all. The vetala demon is a separate entity that takes the body of a human. These corpses do not have the humanâs memories or go after their families and home villages.
The soul of the person whose corpse the vetala is possessing is completely gone. The vetala demon simply puts on the body of the person like a shell. Harming or damaging the corpse that the vetala inhabits does nothing to destroy the vetala. It simply departs from the corpse, and finds a new one to inhabit.
These are not friendly creatures; they’re one of the most vicious vampires of Indian lore. They delight in destruction; killing children, causing miscarriages, and driving people insane.
In some cases, though, the vetala are portrayed in a positive light. The vetala in the Baital Pachisi, for example, is shown as a heroic character, saving the life of the protagonist, the king.
There is a series on Disney Channel India called Vicky and Vetaal which is based on the Baital Pachisi story. It features a young boy named Vicky and his friend the vampire Vetaal, who drinks milk and not blood. The two have many adventures, and the Vetaal certainly isnât portrayed as a malicious demon creature.
Holiday is a secretive squonk from deep in the darkness of the forests. She loves helping people, reading about obscure myths and folklore, and having adventures.