Makeshift tents in the middle of nowhere, the flickering lights of the bonfire casting long, unshapely shadows, absolute silence besides the persistent litany of crickets coming from the woodlands nearby, some sporadic rustlings of leaves — an ideal ambiance for sharing stories that might or might not be true but are definitely best told at night!
This Mexican legend talks about a depressed woman who killed her own children to be with the man she loved. Maddened by new love and the burden of raising children of her past affair, this modern “Medea” drowned each of her children one by one down the river; upon realizing what she had done, she too jumped off the bridge down the river to join her children. As stories go, La Llorona or, ‘The Weeping Woman’ or in some lore ‘The Woman in White’ is seen haunting men travelling alone at night through over bridges all across Latin America, even the United States and Canada. Dressed in a beautiful white dress, she lures men to give her a ride home where she searches for her lost children, finding none however, she kills the man every time.
Sweden holds over hundred thousand Norwegian Folktales, and the stories concerning Skogsra, the forest nymph take up most of the space. Just as the Sjora are water spirits, inhabiting streams and lakes and having considerable influence there, the Skogsra are forest spirits, each with her own locale. They are best known for leading men astray. All who have seen one insist that she has the appearance of a beautiful woman when seen from in front; from behind she looks like a hollow tree trunk. Often she is combing her hair, sometimes she has a tail. Considerably unpredictable, the ‘Forest Mistress’ can be dangerous or helpful depending on what you do for her. There are stories about how upon receiving help from hunters, she helped them back by blowing into their gun pipes to ensure they would never miss a target or give them one of her bears or moose to hunt. But sometimes, she is whimsical and dangerous enough to try and cut two hunters (one tall and the other short) with her axe to make them of similar height!
This forest, popularly known as the Suicide Forest for the fact that it is the second most popular in the world to take one’s life inside (Golden Gate Bridge being the first), is one of those places in this world that seems otherworldly in its ability to draw you in with the mystique and the beauty that it conjures. This forest lying at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan is also known as Aokigahara Forest, and is said to lure people in whose corpses are found in hundreds by volunteers who will annually search areas of the woods. Around 10-30 bodies will be found every month. Some say, because of all of the tortured people that would go in and never come back, in certain areas of the dark, dense and remarkably silent forest, ropes are found hanging cut where the noose had been. Many have reported unexplained paranormal activities and presence of unidentified entities inside the forest. The seclusion. the abundance of trees overlapping each other and the unnatural silence of the place make it the ‘ideal place’ for the wanderers to commit suicide, as it is said.
Banshee or Benshee, Irish and Scottish in origin is a female death omen spirit that manifests to herald approaching death with wailing. The word is derived from the Gaelic ben sidhe, (a woman of the fairy mound), but it is translated by different scholars in a variety of ways. In the Gaelic folklore, many people have described the terrible wail which precedes a death in a family. The word is sometimes also used to denote a sort of demon, but in Nordic folklore the banshee is always benevolent. The banshee of legend is actually a disembodied soul, either of someone who in life was strongly attached to the family or one who hated all its members; in some lore, she is a woman who died at childbirth. If she loves those whom she calls, the wail is soft, tender, soothing chant, intended to either give notice of death’s proximity or reassure the one destined to die, or to comfort the survivors. But if instead, the Banshee during her life was a enemy of the family, the wail is more like a demonic howling of delight over the coming agony of one of her foes.
Popular American legend says that anyone who chants the words Bloody Mary three times in front of a mirror will summon a vengeful spirit of a Mary Worth. This spirit has been reported to do a variety of things to the person who summons her, including killing the person, scratching their eyes out, driving them mad or pulling them into the mirror with the spirit herself – generally referred to as the spirit of a woman or even a witch. This is an old legend, but in 1978 a folklorist named Janet Langlois published an essay on Bloody Mary, which led to the tale becoming a popular slumber party ritual done by girls as well as boys. Over the years, it has been said that the Bloody Mary only comes after people who are harbouring a terrible secret, she has been rumored to be anything from a witch that was killed for practicing witchcraft to a modern-day woman killed in a car crash.
The idea of Tulpa (“Tibetan: སྤྲུལ་པ, Wylie: sprul-pa; Sanskrit: निर्मित nirmita and निर्माण nirmāṇa; “to build” or “to construct“) has initially been brought to the world by the Tibetan monks who believed that extreme willpower, meditation and concentration on a particular desire can actually give shape to the desire and make it a real thing. Basically, a Tulpa can be anything, be it a thought, an object, a being; it is a concept in mysticism in which anything is created through sheer spiritual or mental discipline alone. Some say, a Tulpa is an entity created in the mind, acting independently of, and parallel to your own consciousness. It is like a sentient person living in your head, separate from you, having their own free will, emotions, and memories. Fun fact is that the Slender Man, another very popular urban legend is thought to be the creation of the Tulpa Effect.
Malcha Mahal in Delhi was a historical village inhabited by thousands of Villagers in 1600 A.D. In 1985, Government of India gave the custody of the palace to the royal descendant Begum Wilayat Mahal of Awadh, later renamed as Wilayat Mahal. She committed suicide at an age of 60 under depression and now her son, the prince Riaz Mahal and daughter, Princess Sakina Mahal who always dresses in black, live in the Mahal. Both siblings live there with absolutely no interaction with the world outside the palace, confined with their mother’s ashes and their fierce hound dogs. What is left of the legacy of this place is the history and the mystery associated with it. Rumors of Malcha Mahal paranormal activities are spread among the people who treat it quite the same way the Finch siblings treated the Radley house in To Kill A Mockingbird! It is said that numerous people who have attempted to enter the royal palace premise have not returned.
Written By: Sushrita Acharjee