Pichal Peri (Hindi: पिछल पेरी, Urdu: پچھل پيری "reverse-footed") or churel/churail (Hindi: चुड़ैल, Urdu: چڑیل) is a monster or supernatural creature that is a popular topic for ghost stories in Central and South Asia. Pichal Peri is usually female, with dark long hair covering her face and feet pointing backwards.
The Pichal Peri is said to roam the mountains of India and Pakistan. It is said to be found in the Himalayas, though it occasionally enters some Indian villages. In Pakistan, sightings are usually reported in the rural mountainous regions of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, however sightings in the Punjab province are also occasionally reported. People who claim these reports are usually elders of rural villages who are known to hold superstitious beliefs, it is possible that people in Punjab have taken inspiration from their Northern neighbours and made their own versions of the legend. The characteristics of the Pichal Peri vary depending on region.
In some versions, Pichal Peri appears in the woods at night and targets a man who is by himself. Most stories about her involve the victim escaping, as these are usually told by people who claim to be first hand witnesses. It is believed that the Pichal Peri has two forms. In most stories, the Pichal Peri appears as a beautiful woman and targets vulnerable men. Her feet point backwards. In some stories, witnesses claim that they have seen the female transform into a tall demonic creature.
- Indian folklore
- Pakistani folklore
- Abarimon or antipode, people from classical mythology with their feet turned backwards and native to the Himalayas
- Ciguapa, Dominican mythological creatures in the form of dark-skinned women with very long hair and backward-facing feet
- Dark, Lucy (14 June 2020). "The Legend Of Pichal Peri Is Not For The Faint Heart!". Mysteriesrunsolved. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- "Pichal Peri". Rediff.com. 2020.