India is a nation replete with tales and myths, some true and some fiction. One such tale concerns a Chaleda which is part of folklore of Himachal Pradesh, a state in North India.What is a Chaleda? As per popular belief the Chaleda is an evil spirit that can change its form and shape. Villagers in Himachal believe that the Chaleda can change himself into a cat, a child or a dog. In this shape he will stalk a victim. He will initially play with the victim and then scare and frighten him, before perhaps killing his victim. What is thetruth about the Chaleda? Is he something like the Yeti that many claim to have seen, yet no scientific proof exists. One cannot form any general opinion. The fact is that in the villages the belief in the Chaleda is strong. Many villagers have sworn that they have had encounters with the Chaleda. One villager claimed
that the Chaleda had accosted him in the form of a crying child. When this man lifted up the child to look for his mother (whom he thought was closeby), the child started becoming heavier. This alarmed the villager who promptly dropped the child and ran back to his village. The Chaleda is a mystery. Not much can be gleaned about it from the reference bools. But the villagers of Himachal Pradesh believe that the Chaleda is a spirit th at for some reason is denied entry into the spirit world after death. Having been denied entry into the spirit world, the spirit is condemned to roam the earth. The Chaleda is one such spirit and being disgruntled and bad, wreaks his revenge on living humans. There is no clear scientific evidence anywhere of Chaleda. Yet the belief in the villages is strong. Perhaps science has not reached the stage that a Chaleda can be detected.