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Pishachas are flesh eating demons, according to Hindu mythology. Their origin is obscure, although some believe that they were created by Brahma. Another legend describes them as the sons of either Krodha (a Sanskrit word meaning anger) or of Daksha’s daughter Pishacha. They have been described to have a dark complexion with bulging veins and protruding, red eyes. They are believed to have their own language, which is called Paishachi.

They like darkness and haunt cremation grounds along with other demons like Bhutas (meaning ghosts) and Vetals. Pishachas have the power to assume different forms at will, and may also become invisible. Sometimes, they possess human beings, and the victims are afflicted with a variety of maladies and abnormalities like insanity. Certain mantras are supposed to cure such afflicted persons, and drive away the Pishacha which may be possessing that particular human being. In order to keep the Pishachas away, they are given their share of offerings during certain religious functions and festivals.