The Daayan (Witch) of Kasna

My name is Hariman Singh Rathore and I’m from Kasna, Madhya Pradesh. At the time of this incident I was a 20 year old  boy  from a landlord family. After India’s independence, landlordship was abolished, however our family still had a great reputation in the village.

There was a thick forest around the village and anybody who wanted to travel outside the village had to pass this jungle. There were stories around the village about a “Rakshini” – a type of chudail that haunted the forest and brutally killed many villagers and animals. Villagers said that she was a jadugarni (sorceress) who turned to a Rakshini after her death. She was known to suck the blood of the living and especially the young.

One day, my Babuji (father), my elder brother – Ram Singh, our guard Kartar Chandra and I went to the city to see my relative who was admitted to the hospital on account of illness. Despite people warning against travelling across the forest at night, my Babuji was a fearless person who refused to pay heed to these advices and proceeded to commencing the journey to the city via bullock cart at 8 PM.

While passing by the dense forest, we saw a beautiful lady standing beside the road carrying a potali (small cloth bag). Our guard warned Babuji that she may be the Rakshini, but Babuji did not care and stopped the cart near her.

He asked said her- “Behan(sister), who are you and where are you going from this forest?” She replied that she was with her husband and a Dayan (witch) attacked them on the way and killed her husband, taking her husband’s corpse inside the jungle. She said that she somehow escaped from the dayan and was very frightened. Babuji believed her and asked her to sit on the cart. She agreed and sat next to me while we proceeded towards the city.

In the morning we reached the town hospital and saw our relative (my aunt). Her condition was very crucial and the doctor said that she had very little time to live. Here, a strange thing happened – when my aunt saw the lady, she got so frightened that she couldn’t speak despite clearly wanting to. We couldn’t understand why my aunt reacted in that way. We stayed there for two days, following which she tragically died.

After the death of my aunt, we returned to the village and Babuji brought that lady back to our home. He wanted to get married to her to which my brother and I had no objection.

Everything was going on well except the fact that our animals either ran away or died one by one. There was simply no explanation to this and one night, due to the incessant barking of dogs at night, I woke up. I was feeling thirsty, so I went to the kitchen to get some water but i felt something weird, so I came outside in our verandah to see the lady sitting on the branch of a tree in the moon light. She was looking at me in a strange manner with her eyes moving at an abnormal speed. I was very scared and ran back to my room to find her lying on my bed! She smiled at me and asked me to come to her and sleep like a good boy. Unable to find the courage to say anything, I simply slept beside her.

The next day, I told this story to my brother who believed me and promised me to consult with the pujari (priest) of the village, a man named Pandit Darikanath who also was a Tantrik. That was when tragedy struck as my brother was found dead near the temple with his entire body bluish in colour with two clear teeth marks at his throat. I wept for the entire day and knew that the Rakshini had committed this heinous act. I told my Babuji about this but he was blinded in her love and simply dismissed me.

After a few days, I met with Darikaji and told him everything. He said that if she is a Rakshini then throwing some Gangajal (holy water from the Ganges river) on her would turn her to her original form.

However, after taking this form she would become very dangerous unless I could get her to the temple so that he could kill her.

We devised a plan to get her to the temple by throwing some cloves on her while she was sleeping and getting her to the temple. This was risky because if she woke up on the way, she would definitely kill me. I pleaded with our guard Kartar to help me in this task and he promised me that he would help me.

I kept a constant watch on her and on the 22nd of December in 1967, when she was sleeping in the afternoon, I went near her and threw the cloves on her. She screamed loudly and then fell asleep. I touched her to check for any signs of movement. Her skin felt very slippery and was burning hot unlike that of normal human beings who have a fever. Kartar and I took her to the temple on our bullock cart.

However, on our way to the temple, we came across my babuji and a few villagers. He slapped me and Kartar but I pleaded to him that if she is not a Rakshini then she will not take her original form as Dwarikaji had told me.

After giving it a thought, Babuji agreed to go to the temple.  Once we reached the temple, Dwarikaji came and threw some drops of Gangajal on her. As soon as the drops of Gangajal touched her body, she transformed into an old witch with white long hair and dark red lips.

She started crying loudly and Dwarika asked everyone to go away for some time. When we returned after 15 minutes, there was nothing!  The Rakshini was no more now and she also was the witch who killed many villagers and animals in the forest.

After 10 years of that incident, our family shifted to Dehradun and today we all are living happily. My Babuji is no more now and I am also 65 years but it feels that this incident happens just yesterday.

If I could, I would want to wipe out memories of that incident, but memories of my brother shall never be erased from my heart. Today I have a son and a daughter. My son lives in Greater Noida with his wife, while my daughter in Ahmedabad with her husband. I have never returned to Kasana again and our house is still there but in ruins because nobody would dare live at the place that saw such a horrible incident that everybody witnessed in front of their eyes.

A Personal Encounter by Hariman Singh Rathore (Kasna, Madhya Pradesh)

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