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The Death Bird - A Coincidence Or Paranormal?


I am new here and this is my first ever story. Actually, this incident was experienced, not by me but my father, when he was a young man in his late teens, residing at his native village in Jhinaidaha, Jessore now in Bangladesh. I must inform you that neither me nor my family members, save my mother, believe much in paranormal happenings, nor have we come across any such event in our lives. This is the reason I was baffled when my father narrated his experience to me one night when we were discussing the paranormal at our dinner table.

As is the case, in almost ALL villages in India, especially the ones which are remote and backward, a lot of superstitions flourish. One can put their cause to lack of education and scientific awareness among the villagers... And most of the superstitions are baseless and originated from misinterpretation of natural happenings, or blind faith. One of the most popular superstitions in the Indian villages is that of the "mareli chidiya" or the Death Bird... It is some variety of eagle or vulture, or a mix of both, that is found in the village forest areas of Bengal and Chattisgarh, also in South India. People say that when this bird screeches, it signifies death is to come upon a member of the family near whose house it screeches. My dad says that there must be some truth to this superstition, because in his native village, he had heard this bird screech loudly, Three times... At different places each time... And a death took place everytime he heard it. He says that this bird usually DOES NOT SCREECH... It normally would be seen flying around... At daytime or night... Maybe one would never even notice it at that time... But when it DOES screech, Death was sure to befall someone, or so the villagers in his village believed.

My dad never paid heed to this superstition until one evening when he was returning from fishing with few friends... They were going to a friends' house for some work...suddenly, just as they were about to near the door of the house, a loud, mournful eerie screech was heard in a short distance. My dad, never having heard this sound before, asked his friend's mother (at whose home they were) about the sound. She replied to them that it was the sound of the "Mareli chidiya" or Death Owl... She commented in horror that surely someone was going to die nearby. SHOCKINGLY enough, right the day after that one, an accident happened at the village pond where a 13 year old boy who apparently didn't know how to swim, fell in the pond and was drowned...startlingly, he lived just two houses away from my dad's friends' home, where they had heard the screech. After that, my dad heard the screech TWO more times, albeit at other places... And each time, two deaths took place in the neighbourhood.

The first instance, one of my dad's friends' widower dad who was suffering from cancer, passed away the very next day. And in the second, a man from another neighbourhood whom my dad heard had died in a freak accidental fire which apparently caught when a lighted lamp fell on the hay at the hen coop where he was working, and set everything alight. The startling thing about BOTH these deaths was that all three incidents freakeningly occurred right within TWO days of this Bird's schreeching...

I wonder- was that a coincidence? Or is there something more to it that gives substance to this popular superstition?

I would like to hear your ideas and opinions. Thank you.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, narcissa, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Aaru275 (4 stories) (55 posts)
7 years ago (2015-04-29)
Yeah I have heard about this bird from my grandma too. But there is a slight change. According to my grandma a big black bird every year comes to the village and remains there for a single day. It screeches once at any time of day and if anyone heard its screech he or she must die within a week. I know that's kind of unbelievable but that's what I heard from my grandma.
sheetal (6 stories) (771 posts)
7 years ago (2015-01-31)
hi, narcissa Thanks for your story This death bird is also found in my village just like you said it indicates death.

According to my dadi... The Birds is locally called as "Muhchiraya bird" and they came in pair and one say "Khanna khod" the second says "tuuu"

The "khanna khod" resembles to dig a grave which leads some bad omen to that particular home and someone from family dies.

My dadi says they are big bird some how looks like owl.
Dip1904 (115 posts)
8 years ago (2014-11-12)
as of now... We all know that many animals have a sixth sense of anything disturbing or non peaceful happening and they react in different ways - so I presume may be this bird also has some sense of the advent. Some forces of nature are best kept unexplored and not tampered with. As human beings and mankind as a whole... Let us just do the just business of being born and dying gracefully one day in our lives.
allesgute154 (3 stories) (254 posts)
9 years ago (2013-04-22)
I can say from my experience that animals know when death is around. My paternal grandma passed away a few years ago. She was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai. She was in coma. My father noticed that ants had started crawling on her body (ants usually do not trouble a human being until the latter has disturbed them or their path.). He called me (I stay in Pune after marriage) to Mumbai saying she's probably waiting to see me for the last time. I argued that she is in coma, how can she wait for me? But I listened to him and visited her. I sat with her, held her bony hand and talked to her. Then in the evening of the same day, I left for Pune. When my bus had neared Lonavala, my dad called to tell me that grandma has passed away. He still thinks that she was waiting to see me and claims that the ants gave him the hint that she did not have much time left with her. What do you guys think?
HaunteR007 (6 posts)
10 years ago (2012-02-17)
Good story...
Im from south india and we seem to have a similar superstition mainly in the remote areas.
Here the bird is actually an owl and when someone hears its cries it is believed that someone is going to die nearby.
We call the bird "KALAN-KOZHI" and in our language "KALAN" means Lord of death or yamraj
Unscaryever012 (9 posts)
12 years ago (2010-07-10)
Well hello evry1... M new here not in the sense that m coming 1st time but leaving a comment 1st time here... And I would like to tell you that don't think this is just a coincidence its work for a real lol.! My real aunt who had no problem in her life and was perfectly doing fyn but one day she died in her younger age because of the fact that last night she saw an owl was screeching badly in front of her house... So you must believe what you see even for so long...
Thanks and god bless
narcissa (4 stories) (77 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-23)
hi unknown, yes I agree without death the world would ve been destroyed in 1950 rather than 2012... Hahah lol... But seriously, death is great... How few of us realize

And yes thanks for commenting.
TheUnknown (1 stories) (192 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-21)
Animals, they're better at predicting death than scientific means. So it's no wonder people make superstitions about animals associated with death.

In my opinion, death is what makes the world go round, without it, we might not be considered humans anymore, so it's not surprising that animals can sense death before us humans do.

Imagine a world where we will not die and live for millions and millions of years. What to do with those years, nothing. Political problems such as famine and over-population (of course) are the main issues of everyday life. Will you live peacefully? No, cause when your killed, there's no death, and when there's no death, there's no end to that suffering. The choice and opinion depends on the medical scientists. (And I pray that I don't end up as one of those people who had the elixir that keeps us immortal.)
fixbrainster (10 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-21)
Hi narcissa
I have also heard about these superstition in the southern part of india... Could animals fore see death like the banshee.
A superstition at the place that I grew up in is that, dogs can see YAM (Hidu god of death) and that's why they howl and someone in that locality dies
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
12 years ago (2010-04-19)
narcissa: It's nice to meet you too and thanks for reading my stories!...Yea, you're right about the mindset... And I think it's because a lot of people refuse to believe that they themselves are superstitious 😆...My husband is one of "those"!...He will turn a car around if a black cat runs across the street in front of him, leaves by the same door he entered, will not pick up a face down penny, and it goes on and on... But he insists that he IS NOT superstitious LOL!...

I think I forgot to tell you, this is a good story, and thanks for posting!... 😊
narcissa (4 stories) (77 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-19)
[at] graany: nice meeting you... I have read wuite a lot of your ":stories" here, and I quite liked them a lot.

Well I guess the superstition on the Owl is an Universal one, even here in India people cringe at the sound of an owl screeching ordogs barking... Especially if they bark for a particularly continuous period.

As for the Death Bird, I don't know what breed that bird belonged to - maybe it was an owl. Actually people from different places give varied accounts for it. My dad thinks its an owl, he never saw it clearly because it screeching sound was heard only in the Dark, and he did not get a chance to looka t its exact shape. However, he thinks it looked faintly like an OWL... So I'm assuming it was an Owl.

On superstitious- well you are right, amny times we DO see even educated proffessionals and docotrs walking around with stones and "Tabeez" (safety threads ment to protect from the evil) here... I myself know a doctor who daily consults an astrologer to know what stone he should put on his body next! Apparently, MANY Elite educated people are deeply superstitious as well- but our mindset is such that we only think of "country bumpkins" when it comes to "superstitious" folks... Isnt it?
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
12 years ago (2010-04-18)
narcissa: Here in the States we have some similar "superstitions"...These signify death:
An owl hooting outside your window for three nights

A dog howling, specially in the absence of a full moon, for three nights

A bird of any kind, but specially a sparrow, in your house

Any bird flying into one of your home's windows and dying... They don't always die when they hit the window, sometimes they're just stunned...

I find it interesting that at one point in your story, you called it "The Death Owl"...Is the bird you're refering to an owl?...I also find it interesting that you think only ignorant, unintelligent people are superstitious...I've seen professors go out of their way to avoid walking under a ladder, men in business suits get out of their car and walk three times around it backwards after crossing paths with a black cat, many many people pass on picking up a penny because it was "face down"...And I really believe that all of us have at least ONCE in our lives used the term "knock on wood"...I could go on, but you get my meaning... All of us have our own superstitions, whether we admit it or not! 😆 ❤
MissHill (6 stories) (67 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-18)
Animals can sense a lot of things.

I am not sure which tsunami it was, but one the elephants, that where taking people on the rides started heading to higher ground before they knew it was going to happen, they knew they had to get up.

I believe mainly cats, but dogs too, they see and know things
narcissa (4 stories) (77 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-17)
lol I wondered the same thing too when I first heard it... Maybe the bird is selective about its warnings, what say? Lol!
vulcan10 (5 stories) (332 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-17)
I was wondering, what if the bird doesn't screech for, let's say, ten years. Would no one die in the village for those ten years?
koalagirl (3 stories) (111 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-17)
Hi I believe that animals can sense things, when my dad had cancer their dog monty knew that dad was sick as he would not go into the bedroom he would sit by the door and wait for dad to get up, as before dad was ill he would sleep on their bed. Cheers interesting story. Di.
narcissa (4 stories) (77 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-17)
hi iwnattohelp, garvaag and george, thanks for your comments.

Yes this is indeed puzzling... And michi your right, there is absolutely no scientific reason as to sensing some impending ACCIDENT. You are right, life is too short to know all of this earth and beyond.
michi78 (2 stories) (12 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-17)
Have you heard of the cat that predicts deaths in nursing homes here in the U.S.? The cat will normally walk around aimlessly in the facility, but nurses have noted that the cat will pick a particular person out and sleep with them on their hospital bed. Apparently, every time this happens, the next day that patient dies. I think it's due to certain odors or other things we cannot sense but animals can sense. They certainly have heightened awareness compared to humans.

I can't think of any reason why a bird would be able to predict the future; unless the person had some terminal disease or some biological death process was underway... But your dad says they were freak accidents which wouldn't give clues to any organism--no matter how sensitive they are.

Perhaps Death visits different cultures in different forms: the west sees the Reaper with the sickle, southeast asia sees the Death Bird. We'll never know for certain until we pass over, but life is far, far more complex and layered than we perceive.

Thanks for sharing!
frmSTP (2 stories) (11 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-16)
Thank you for sharing your story. Its very interesting. I've heard stories from my mother about my homeland (laos) where there was such a creature (I can't recall what it was, probably a bird, monkey or cat) that if was heard, someone will die soon too.
IwanttoHelp (24 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-16)
I don't think its a coincident.
Short before my grandpa died a pigeon died in our garden, he came out of nothing. 😕
gaarvaag (1 stories) (5 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-16)
interesting story, never heard about it before but animals are far more connected to things we don't understand. It might be true, but I honestly couldn't say.
Georgeisalegend (35 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-16)
Wow! That is so cool! Its like giving warnings telling that people are going to die! But the screeching sound doesn't sound so pleasant though, but the bird thingy is sure cool!
narcissa (4 stories) (77 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-16)
but dogs barking don't signify a death or similar happening EVERYTIME they bark, does it? Butthis bird seems to click every time it screeches...strange!
narcissa (4 stories) (77 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-16)
hi surya thanks for reading... Its really amazing how some creatures can sense impending devastations... One of the greatest mysteries that elude logic.
Surya (39 stories) (867 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-16)
Thank you for sharing your story.

Animals / Birds seem to sense death days before it occurs. Take dogs they bark non-stop!

The Death Bird - like the dog example, I feel the same would apply to this bird.

You know some birds fly in a flock when death is near.


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