Revenge is a huge part of the human experience. Throughout history and all the way to modern day, there are practices in place that operate around a principle that injustice is met with justice. Here, we detail some of the most peculiar revenge rituals to have ever existed—whether they’re to aid revenge or to somehow escape it.
10. Destroying Or Eternally Caging Churels India
The churel is a South Asian demon, most readily found in Indian folklore. Its roots are arguably misogynistic as it’s the spirit of a woman who has died while pregnant or in a 40-day period of isolation following the birth. Instead of sympathetic remembrance, the deceased becomes feared and vilified.
The churel is believed to be obsessed with vengeance against those who have wronged it. Obviously, penitence for wrongdoing is relatively nonexistent. The majority of male energy is instead spent deliberating over the best ritual to prevent ghostly payback.
It’s Hindu tradition to cremate bodies. However, for high-risk churel candidates, burial was considered a safer option. One popular method was to bury the woman in a grave filled with thorns and to weigh down the lid of the coffin with heavy stones. Thus, the vengeful churel could not escape and spent eternity attempting to remain as still as possible to avoid thorn pricks.
The churel burial technique in Gurdaspur involves hammering nails through a woman’s fingers. Her big toes and thumbs are also bound together with iron rings. Mustard seed is then scattered across her grave as its scent is believed to calm the churel.