Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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GAYAL

(GA-yal)
Variations: Geyal, UT
A vampiric spirit from India, the gayal, whose name means "simple," is created when a man dies and has no sons to properly perform his funeral rites or when someone dies with a great wrong committed against them. When the gayal returns, it will start attacking the sons of the people it knew in life, eating their flesh and drinking their blood. It is especially fond of attacking pregnant women. It enters into a woman's body when she opens her mouth to eat. Then, from within, the gayal drains away her and her child's life-energy until they both die (see ENERGY VAMPIRE).
When not assaulting people, the gayal can be found in cemeteries eating the flesh off corpses at night and hiding in its grave during the day. Young boys can be saved from a gayal attack by wearing a necklace of coins. Agayal cannot be destroyed, but it can be made less aggressive if someone performs the proper burial rites for its body, a process that involves cremation. To keep the gayal from rising from its grave, place cups filled with a combination of milk and water from the Ganges River around it. Placing burning lamps around the grave at night may trick the gayal into thinking it is daytime and keep it in its grave.
Source: Asiatic Society of Bengal, Bibliotheca Indica, 415; Briggs, The Cham Irs, 131; Crooke, Introduction to the Popular Religion, 69­70, 72, 168­71
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