Witch / Daayan

Witches and their Indian counterparts - Daayans

Witch/ Daayan:

Fear Rating: 7.5 / 10

(Fear Rating is an indicator of the amount of fear a supernatural entity might instill in you. The higher the rating, the more fearsome and scary the entity)

Power Rating: 8.5/ 10

(Power Rating is to demonstrate the Power level of a supernatural entity as compared to the entire Horror Universe. I will go back and give ratings to other entities discussed in previous weeks as well)

This week’s theme is Witches & Daayans. There are a number of similarities between an Indian Daayan & a Western Witch and after much study & discussion (with self) I’ve come to the conclusion that the Western version of a Witch is just a subspecies of the Indian Daayan. Or the other way around, whichever suits you. 

Though we’ve already discussed chudails, which people think are similar to daayans, there are quite a lot of differences between the two which we will explore later in this post. 

One of the most famous witches - Bellatrix Lestrange
The one actress who is surely a witch in real life. Sorry, Ms. Helena, I only meant it in a positive way. Don’t turn me into a frog!


Daayans / Witches are malignant entities who practice witchcraft through black/ evil magic mainly to harm others & spin webs of deceit. They possess various supernatural powers either through demon/ satan worship or by practising dark and dangerous rituals. They also tend to have an unnaturally long lifespan spanning even centuries. Because of this, their true form is that of an ugly, withered and shrivelled old woman; however, they deceive people by taking on an appearance of a sultry, bewitching & irresistible woman (remember Melisandre?). According to some theories, a Daayan’s feet face backwards or are always in the air, as a Daayan is always levitating, and to cover up these things, they always wear a saaree.


Though the origins of witchcraft are quite unknown, the Old Testament condemns and warns against the practice of witchcraft. This puts the existence of witches to at least 2000 years ago. Though the most infamous episode in history was during the 1400s in Europe. Throughout the 15th & 16th centuries, more than 80,000 people were killed by burning them at a stake or other brutal methods. Most of these killed were either single, widowed or old women. 80,000!!! If they truly were witches, surely the world would’ve been colonized by them much before the British or other colonial powers. I can’t believe Europe was home to such a huge number of witches and yet the witches remained undercover. In fact, I doubt any of the women killed were witches. If any of them were actual witches, wouldn’t they have fought back in some way? Aren’t they supposed to be super-powerful? This fad soon caught up in the then New World, the American continent with famous public burnings of 20 women in Salem after putting thousands of women on trial. 

If you wish to read more about witches, especially other famous (infamous) witch trials, you can read them at –


This photo might not be an actual photo from those times, but the reality is not much far from this

History of Daayan

On the other hand, the daayan seems to be fairly recent. In Indian history, there is a mention of a Daayan cult in the Latur district of Maharashtra believed to be practitioners of black magic & witchcraft. There’s another theory with regards to their origin which suggests that a Daayan is another name for a dakini. According to Hindu mythology, Dakinis are supernatural beings who follow Goddess Kali & feast on human flesh. Though, I’m not quite sure about this information on dakinis as it comes from unverified sources. If true, then it places the existence of daayans to an even older timeframe – at a minimum of 5000 years ago. I will update this section once I get more information from verified sources. 

Differences between A Daayan & A Chudail


A chudail is a vengeful spirit bearing a grudge against her wrongdoers. 


A Daayan is a woman who practices dark magic for her own selfish goals. 


A chudail’s powers come from the fact that they are spirits & are thus quite limited & restrained. A chudail draws power from the place of her death or from an object & as such her mobility is also restricted quite a bit. 


A Daayan is one of the MOST powerful supernatural entities in Indian folklore. The source of these powers are generally much stronger demons or higher evil spirits and hence the powers are quite limitless as compared to a chudail. 

Winning them over! (no no no… not winning their hearts, you don’t wanna do that!), I mean Defeating them:

Since a chudail’s powers are contained within an object or a place like a house, they can be sometimes destroyed by destroying the object or the place. 


There are many theories that suggest that a daayan’s power resides in her long plaited hair (choti) and hence cutting off her chotu can render her powerless (Beware of dating long-haired beautiful women).

There might definitely be more differences between the two but more information about the two personas can only be gleaned through personal interviews; something which I haven’t had the (mis) fortune to do yet. In case I do get a chance to do the same ( Hopefully NEVER) and survive the encounter, I will surely post an update. 

In Pop Culture

The Salem witch trials is a thing of the past. Nowadays, the term ‘witch’ is hardly considered dangerous & derogatory. The youth have become more open and more welcoming towards all different & unique classes of people. A witch/ daayan has as much right to co-exist as any other human. You never know, they might start holding protests at Shaleen Bagh for the inclusion of Daayans in the CAA bill. 

On the Western front, they even recognize a religion modern-day witches follow – Wicca. Though the practitioners are known to stay away from evil & use their craft for healing and helping others. Modern day witches are mostly benevolent & kind & caring. JK Rowling, Sabrina and the lot have also contributed a lot in improving the image of witches. 

Another famous witch - Sabrina
No…I don’t watch teen dramas, its just the advertising bombardment Netflix does

Daayan, on the other hand, still instils fear in India. Though Bollywood has upped its glam factor as well with beauties such as Konkona Sen & Shraddha Kapoor donning the long-braided-haired roles of modern daayans. And then there are the ones like below, with their pearls of wisdom. Marvellous…I have just no other words for them. For my international readers, I’ll take a dig at translating the captions beside the images

Image 1: If you see her backward facing feet, then you should start counting down days to your end (implied)

Image 2: Her long braided hair will lessen your age

Fighting Daayans / Witches 

Ok, I’m sharing a few secrets of killing / defeating daayans & witches. These are taken from different cultures, but I feel what works for one would work for the other as well. 

1. Knowing their True Name: If you know the true name of a witch, it gives you a certain power over the witch. What to do with that power & how to use it creatively to defeat the witch; I’m sure you can figure that out by yourself.  

2 . Cutting off their ‘Choti’: A Daayan has long-braided hair which is the repository of a daayan’s powers. It’s their Achilles heel & cutting off that long braid & giving the Daayan a pixie hairstyle might help save your behind. Pro tip: Always carry a pair of scissors when meeting with long haired beautiful strangers. 

3 . If it’s an English or an Irish witch, chances are she is susceptible to Iron. Pro Tip two: Add some Iron powder to your arsenal too. 

4. Ohhh… yes, the age old controversial technique, burn her at the stake. But before that, you must be absolutely sure it’s a witch and survive that encounter. And succeed in binding her onto a stake and burning it down. Too much effort, I know. Witch-hunting is not an easy job!

Indian version of a Witch - Daayan
Are you sure you wanna fight that? Do you have what it takes to go up against the one with the Nazar (evil eye)?

If I’d advise you to stay ten feet away from chudails or jinn, in comparison I would say you should stay 1000 feet away from daayans and witches; especially daayans. This is because legends state that once a daayan lays its evil eye on someone, it doesn’t rest until it kills off the entire family of that person. And given their long lives, daayans keep killing off the children of your children and their sons and daughters and so on (they’d have to pretty good stalkers to be able to know exactly when your child is born and then their child is born etc.)

I mean look at that – if Bollywood can create something so scary, the real one would definitely 10X scary at least.

If you are still hungry for more daayan content – check out this story https://awizardslibrary.com/your-stories/stories-about-daayans-witches/

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