This article is written and artwork is created by Chinmoy Barma Check Profile
Assamese folklore is a rich repository of fascinating legends and ghost stories that have been passed down through generations. These tales have captivated the imagination of the people of Assam for centuries and continue to be an integral part of their cultural heritage.
Assamese folklore is replete with tales of gods and goddesses, spirits and demons, heroes and villains, and supernatural phenomena.
What makes Assamese folklore and ghost stories so compelling is the vividness of the storytelling and the rich cultural context in which they are set. These tales are often passed down orally, from generation to generation, and are deeply ingrained in the fabric of Assamese society. They provide insight into the history, traditions, and beliefs of the people of Assam and offer a fascinating glimpse into their collective psyche.
23 Types of Ghosts Folklore Legends in Assamese Culture With AI Photo
We have tried to recreate the Stories we all have heard in our childhood with the artworks done with the help of artificial intelligence.
The folklore legends and Ghosts we have covered in our series part 1 so far are :
“Bira” is said to have created immense wealth for their masters.
Biras are often associated with physical phenomena such as beating up someone, violet activities.
They eat alot of food and the master should be able to fulfil their demands.
Unlike other types of ghosts, Biras are said to be able to interact with the physical world in a more direct way, and are often associated with individuals who are going through a period of emotional stress or upheaval.
In some cases, the Bira's activity may be a manifestation of the person's own emotional turmoil.
Bira have been the subject of many myths and legends and are often portrayed as frightening and malevolent entities. However, some researchers believe that Bira's activity may have a psychological rather than supernatural explanation, and may be linked to subconscious psychokinetic abilities or other forms of paranormal activity.
2: Jokhini | "যখিনী"
Jokhini is a ghost from Assamese folklore.
It is believed that during rainy season she gets naked and climbs up to a tree just to make fun of Indra and That's why we can see lightening falling on the tall trees as Indra attempts to strike her.
It is believed that a woman becomes a jokhini if she does with her unfulfilled desires .
It is said that Jokhini visits a pregnant lady to steal her child from her . In many places , reports of having someone standing next to the pregnant lady is heard. Many told me that they had seen shadows under the door and unusually knockings at night wherever the pregnant lady is sleeping.
Many believes that Jokhini tries to lure men and kill them.
3: Kon bhoot
It is a 3 legged creature with no neck and an eye on his chest. This is regarded to be the king of the ghosts.
This is believed to have looked really scary and harmful in nature. This has the strength of mauling several human beings at the same time.
4 : ঘোঁৰাপাক : Ghorapak
is one of the most feared legend/ghost in Assamese folklore.'Ghora' means horse. This ghost is part horse and part human. Ghorapak is mostly seen in the river banks, ponds and swampy areas at night. Generally, people who go fishing at night face this ghost. sometimes it changes to a fully human state and can control humans. It knows everyone's name. It loves to eat fish.
5 : Puwali bhoot | পোৱালি ভূত
Puwali Bhoots are mischiveous ghosts of the sizes of children who steal rice and sweets from the kitchen. Not necessarily harmless, they are said to have got the power of killing a being in a group if challenged or denied food
6 : Bamboo Ghost
The Bamboo Ghost is a creature that is said to live in the bamboo groves of Assam, a state in northeastern India. According to local legend, the Bamboo Ghost's primary target is people who are passing through the bamboo groves. The Bamboo Ghost is said to be mischievous and dangerous, and it has a variety of tricks up its sleeve to cause harm to unsuspecting travelers.
One of the Bamboo Ghost's favorite tactics is to drop a bamboo branch on the head of someone who is walking under the grove. Another tactic is to lay a bamboo branch across the path and snap it back when someone tries to step over it, causing them to fall or get injured. It's important to note that this creature is a mythical being, and there is no scientific evidence to support its existence. It is likely that the legend of the Bamboo Ghost serves as a cautionary tale to warn people to be careful while traveling through bamboo groves, which can be hazardous places due to falling branches and other natural hazards.
7 : Bordoisila | বৰদৈচিলা
Bordoisila is a prominent figure in Assamese mythology, and she is known as the storm goddess. According to the Assamese tradition, she is believed to cause thunderstorms, strong winds, and rainfall during the month of April.
Legend has it that Bordoisila is married to the god of thunder and lightning, and she visits her mother's house during the Assamese new year, which is usually celebrated around mid-April. However, when it's time for her to return to her husband's house, she becomes angry and throws a tantrum, causing storms and heavy rains.
This belief is based on the observation of the weather patterns during this time of the year, as Assam experiences heavy rainfall and thunderstorms during the month of April. The story of Bordoisila serves as a way to explain this natural phenomenon in a cultural and mythological context.
8 : Burha Dangoriya| বুঢ়া ডাঙৰীয়া
Burha Dangoriya is a revered spiritual figure in the Assamese culture of India. "Burha" means "old" or "great" in Assamese, and "Dangoriya" refers to the Dangoria community that traditionally served as the protectors of Namghars, the community places of worship.
Burha Dangoriya is believed to be a holy spirit who protects the Namghars and the sacred Bhagvat Gita that is kept inside them. He is often depicted as an old man dressed in white clothes and a white turban. Some stories also describe him as riding a white horse while carrying a sword and a shield, symbolizing his role as a protector.
Namghars are the centers of community life in Assam, where people come together to worship, sing devotional songs, and participate in cultural activities. Burha Dangoriya is considered to be the guardian of these sacred spaces and is believed to ward off evil spirits and negative energies.
The reverence for Burha Dangoriya is deeply ingrained in the Assamese culture, and his legend has been passed down through generations. People often offer prayers and seek his blessings before entering a Namghar. His presence is believed to bring peace, prosperity, and protection to the community.
9. পিশাচ | Pixaas
Pixaas is a bloodthirsty demon. It is a common motif in many mythologies and religions. A Pixaas, in many belief systems, is an evil spirit or supernatural entity that is often associated with chaos, destruction, and malevolence. The idea of a Pixaas refers to a demon that is said to crave or require blood for sustenance or as part of its destructive nature.
In some cultures, pixaas is believed to be supernatural entities that possess humans and cause them to commit heinous acts, including murder and mutilation. Some pixaas are also believed to feed on the blood or life force of living beings, often causing illness or death in their victims.
10 : Baak | বাঁক
The baak is a creature that appears frequently in folktales across Assam. It is typically found near water bodies and is known to be malevolent, often causing trouble for fishermen and other locals. The baak has a particular fondness for fish and can be dangerous, sometimes even drowning its victims.
According to folklore, the baak has a pouch attached to it that contains its soul. Destroying this pouch is the only way to kill a baak. Additionally, the baak is said to assume the form of its victim after death or possess them, sometimes going on to live with the victim's family and attempting to harm them as well.
To avoid encountering a baak, carrying a torn fishing net is said to be effective, as baaks are believed to be afraid of it. In some stories, the baak assumes the form of a man to live with his wife.
In "Assamese Demonology," Benudhar Rajkhowa classifies Assamese spirits into sub-terrananian, terrestrial, aerial, and celestial categories, placing the baak among the terrestrial spirits. Within this category, the baak is classified as an aqueous spirit and is listed as the first of five major aqueous spirits.
A folk idiom often used to connect the baak to water is "Hanhor uporot xiyal roja, Pota pukhurit bak roja."
11 : Jaukar paal | জাউকাৰ পাল
Jaukar paal usually roams around in a group. They are of short statured and black skin-colored. Usually, at midnight, they roam around from one side to another of a road . They are afraid of human beings.
They feed off unidentified, unattended dead bodies. When someone leaves a dead body half burnt, it is said jaukar paal devours the remaining human flesh.
It is believed that they finish off the flesh and make the dead man free from the belongings of their mortal life.
12. গাঁতিয়াল ডাঙৰীয়া | gaatiyal Dangoriya
Just like "Burha Dangoriya," he is a very calm and wise entity. He usually resides under a tree where a lot of wealth is buried. He doesn't harm anyone, and sometimes even helps people by giving them wealth when they need it.
13. Pori | পৰী
They are supernatural beings that exist in two distinct genders - male and female. These creatures are believed to reside in bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, and rivers. According to legend, female pori have the ability to possess males while male pori possess females.
The effects of possession by a pori are said to be severe, with the afflicted person often exhibiting erratic, maniacal behavior. It is thought that pori possess humans in order to experience the physical world and satisfy their own desires.
In order to rid oneself of a pori possession, there are specific chants and rituals that can be performed. These chants are believed to have the power to banish the pori from the body, freeing the person from their influence.
The concept of pori and their possession of humans is deeply rooted in folklore and mythology in certain cultures. While these beliefs may not be scientifically verifiable, they continue to hold a significant place in the cultural imagination of those who believe in them.
14. Pixaasini | পিশাচনী
It is the female version of a Pixaas. She is a bloodthirsty demon. It is a common motif in many mythologies and religions. A Pixaasini, in many belief systems, is an evil spirit or supernatural entity that is often associated with chaos, destruction, and malevolence. The idea of a Pixaas and Pixaasini refers to a demon that is said to crave or require blood for sustenance or as part of its destructive nature.
In some cultures, pixaasini is believed to be supernatural entities that possess humans and cause them to commit heinous acts, including murder and mutilation. Some pixaasinis are also believed to feed on the blood or life force of living beings, often causing illness or death in their victims.
15. Prasutá | প্ৰসূতা:
Prasutá is a notorious female spirit in certain cultures, often associated with evil and harm. Her primary method of causing harm is by possessing pregnant women and causing them pain. In some cases, the possession can even lead to the death of the mother and child. This spirit is believed to be malevolent and malicious, and her intentions are always harmful to the victims she targets.
There are various accounts of Prasutá's origin and behavior, with some cultures depicting her as a demonic entity and others as a vengeful spirit of a woman who died during childbirth. Regardless of the origin story, the common belief is that Prasutá is a powerful force of evil that must be avoided or confronted with the help of exorcists or shamans.
Many people in these cultures take precautions to avoid falling prey to Prasutá, such as avoiding certain foods and behaviors during pregnancy, reciting prayers, or carrying protective amulets. The fear of Prasutá's possession is deeply ingrained in the cultural beliefs and practices of many societies where she is recognized as a malevolent spirit.
Overall, the presence of Prasutá in cultural folklore and belief systems serves as a warning to expectant mothers and their families to take precautions and stay safe during pregnancy, childbirth, and early infancy.
16. Pret | প্ৰেত:
When a person passes away, their soul is said to wander aimlessly for a period of time before it is assigned a permanent abode. This transitional phase is referred to as 'pret'. In cases where a person is believed to be possessed by this spirit, they may experience discomforting symptoms such as itches and boils, which can impact both their physical appearance and mental well-being. As a result, individuals who exhibit signs of slovenliness or melancholy are sometimes referred to as 'peretia'. This term has its roots in the belief that a wandering spirit can have a negative impact on a person's overall disposition. While the existence of such spirits is often debated, the cultural significance of the concept of 'pret' continues to be recognized in various traditions and beliefs. It serves as a reminder of the many complexities and mysteries that surround the nature of death and the afterlife.
17. Jalnarayan | জলনাৰায়ন
It is a spirit who presides over water, as his name suggests. Being a Hindu, Jalnarayan is associated with the principles of Hinduism. Unlike some other spirits, Jalnarayan does not engage in the act of murder.
However, he may inflict punishment on individuals who have transgressed or violated certain rules.
Jalnarayan's association with water may stem from the fact that water is considered a purifying element in Hinduism.
The spirit's role in presiding over water may also suggest his ability to control or influence the element.
18. Dhon Guloi | ধনগুলৈ
It is a resident of an area where there is buried treasure, vast fields, and even a graveyard. Interestingly, this creature has the ability to transform into a bird during the night, perhaps as a means of searching for food. Additionally, it is known to breathe fire on occasion, which can be quite intimidating for those nearby.
When people on bicycles or walking on foot encounter Dhon Guloi, they may become afraid and attempt to flee. At times, the creature may even chase after them. However, it is worth noting that despite its imposing appearance and behaviour, Dhon Guloi does not necessarily intend to harm anyone.
In essence, this being seems to be a curious and mysterious entity that is perhaps misunderstood by humans. While its shape-shifting and fire-spitting abilities may seem unusual or frightening, there is no evidence to suggest that Dhon Guloi poses any real danger to people in the area.
19. Jokh l যখ :
Jokh is an ominous entity known for its deadly nature, as it preys on its victims by viciously gnawing on their vital organs. It takes the form of a large buffalo and is recognized by its tendency to splash water with its horns. At times, it can be seen wandering alongside domestic buffaloes. Typically, it is buffalo-herds who are more likely to encounter this malevolent spirit. When possessed by Jokh, a man's cries resemble that of a buffalo. The spirit is referred to as mah-jakh, with 'mah' meaning buffalo, to differentiate it from an ordinary jakh. Additionally, there exists another form of Jokh known as bioi-jakh, which possesses women during childbirth.
20. Dhon Kuber | ধনকুবেৰ:
It is a ghost known for its serenity, which is said to inhabit areas close to buried treasures. It is believed that the ghost possesses the ability to lead people astray from their intended course and ultimately cause their untimely demise.
According to folklore, Dhon Kuber's calm demeanor is often attributed to its association with wealth and prosperity. Its presence near treasure troves is considered a sign of good fortune, but at the same time, its influence can also be perilous.
Legend has it that individuals who attempt to uncover hidden riches or trespass on the ghost's territory are at risk of being led astray and ultimately meeting an unfortunate fate. Some reports suggest that those who fall victim to Dhon Kuber's influence may experience supernatural phenomena or even suffer fatal accidents.
Given its reputation, many people in certain cultures are cautious about venturing into areas where Dhon Kuber is said to reside. It is believed that the ghost can be appeased through offerings and prayers, and that showing respect and reverence can help one avoid its wrath.
In essence, Dhon Kuber is a ghost associated with wealth, but its influence can also be dangerous. Those who seek fortune in its presence must be cautious and show respect to avoid being led astray or harmed. Its legend has been passed down through generations in some cultures, and it continues to captivate people's imaginations to this day.
21. Porua | পৰুৱা:
Porua is a spectral entity that is believed to take the form of a female ghost. It is said to predominantly inhabit dense forests and has a reputation for targeting young men. According to folklore, Porua possesses the ability to mesmerize and hallucinate its victims with its eerie singing and music.
Those unfortunate enough to fall under Porua's spell are known to experience disorientation and confusion, losing their sense of direction and straying from their intended path. Some believe that Porua uses this tactic to lure its prey deeper into the forest, making it easier for the ghost to capture and claim its victim.
It is said that Porua can also possess a human host, further enhancing its power over its prey. Once in possession of a human, Porua can manipulate their actions and thoughts, causing them to forget their surroundings and follow a different path.
The legend of Porua is deeply ingrained in local folklore, with many cautionary tales warning against wandering into the forests alone. While some may dismiss Porua as a mere superstition, its chilling reputation continues to endure among those who believe in its power.
22. Dót | দ'ত :
The dót, a spirit derived from the Sanskrit word daitya meaning demon, is well-known among the Assamese people. He lures individuals to secluded areas, where he inflicts severe beatings on them. However, he rarely kills his victims. Sometimes, he takes the form of a friend and convinces his target to accompany him to the watercourse where he has placed his fishing trap, only to leave them to suffer his wrath. The dót is a slender, tall figure with long, spike-like fingers. He resides in water channels, tanks, and overgrown watery plants , remote places. His appearance is jet black and he is naked, except for his prominently exposed fingers. The spirit is covered in a glutinous substance, giving him an advantage in wrestling matches with his victims. Mustard grain is the only thing that terrifies the dót. This is why it plays a crucial role in exorcism ceremonies. The dót initially appears as a regular person, but gradually grows taller until he vanishes entirely. At this point, the victim is so terrified that the spirit can possess them. The dót beats his victim mercilessly when he is alone but refrains from harming them in front of his wife. The spirit is powerless against righteous people. His spectral bag is his talisman, which gives him superhuman powers. If it is snatched from him, the dót loses his abilities and becomes a bound servant to the person who took it. He is forced to work as a regular human being until he can retrieve his bag. Children wear fishing hooks around their necks to scare off the dót.
23. Unoish-hotiya | ঊনৈশহতীয়া
It is a ghost that originates from an earlier time when people used unconventional methods of measurement, such as using their hands and fingers. The name of this ghost is derived from its towering height, which is said to be around 19 hands tall when they are put together. This ghost is typically described as a black shadow that appears during prime afternoon hours. It is believed that if someone happens to walk under the shadow of Unoish-hotiya, they and their family will be plagued with turmoil and misfortune.
Many people in Assam still fear the wrath of Unoish-hotiya and take precautions to avoid walking under its shadow. There are also several stories and legends associated with this ghost that have been passed down from generation to generation. The fear of encountering Unoish-hotiya serves as a warning to people to be cautious and respectful of the unknown. Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support the existence of such supernatural beings, the belief in Unoish-hotiya continues to be deeply ingrained in the cultural consciousness of certain communities.
Written and AI art by Chinmoy Barma