Baital, Indian Vampire

The term Baital came from an older word “Vetala”.  Baital is an incarceration of evil, it has the ability to reanimate dead people or possess them.  It stands at approximately 4-5 ft tall, wherein half of its part is a human and the other half is a bat beast. Similar to Asasabonsam and Sasabonsam of the African culture, Baital hangs upside down but not on random trees.  Baital can often be spotted on Mimosa trees.  According to the Indian folktale “King Vikram and the  Vampire” the exact description of Baital is as follows:
 “Its eyes, which were wide open, were of a greenishbrown, and never twinkled; its hair also was brown [a color associated with low-caste men, witches and fiends], and brown was its face—three several shades which, notwithstanding, approached one another in an unpleasant way, as in an over-dried coconut. Its body was thin and ribbed like a skeleton or a bamboo framework, and as it held onto a bough, like a flying fox, by the toe-tips, its drawn muscles stood out as if they were ropes of coir. Blood it appeared to have none, or there would have been a decided determination of that curious juice to the head; and as the Raja handled its skin, it felt icy cold and clammy as might a snake. The only sign of life was the whisking of a ragged little tail much resembling a goat’s.” 
There are numerous literary works associated with the Baital, one of the very first is entitled “25 Tales of Baital” which is written in Sanskrit.  During the 11th Century Somadeva also wrote Oceans of the Streams of Story” but unfortunately the original work was lost.  Literary works concerning the Baital also spread to the Hindi language and eventually translating them into English.

The skin of the Baital is so dense and impenetrable; some compared it to an iron skin which makes it impossible for a normal weapon to penetrate to his body.  He is also described as smart and tricky.


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