A vetala (Sanskrit: वेताल vetāla) is a revenant in Hindu mythology, usually defined as a knowledgeable neutral spirit that dwells at charnel grounds. The vetala is not comparable to the zombies & vampires of Western mythology. Any reanimated corpse can be used as vehicle for a spirit's movement, as the corpse no longer decays while it is inhabited by a spirit; A vetala may possess and also leave a dead body at will.[1]

(To be read as Beytaal : बेताल(Hindi))

The most popular vetala story is Baital Pachisi. Vikram Aur Betaal was a television programme produced by Ramanand Sagar and directed by his son Prem Sagar that aired on DD National channel that was based on it. Non-actual Vetala were also a part of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel and have appeared in television shows such as Supernatural season 7 episode 11, Adventures in Babysitting, Sleepy Hollow, Jekyll & Hyde, and a web series titled The Vetala released in 2009, written and directed by Damon Vignale. The series reveals a CGI vetala character in the final episode. The Vetala (Linda Leith Publishing, 2018) is a novel by Canadian author Phillip Ernest. It tells the story of Nada, a professor of Sanskrit, who finds herself face to face with the imaginative vetala, the subject of her life-long study.

See also


  1. Gray, David B. (n.d.). 'Skull Imagery and Skull Magic in the Yugini Tantras'. Santa Clara University. Source: (accessed: Tuesday February 2, 2010), (accessed: July 26, 2017)


  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
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