In the Wikipedia Wild Hunt article, an Indian related myth is mentioned1:

M.M. Banks cautioned against viewing the Wild Hunt as a peculiarly European phenomenon, identifying a similar tale of cavalry being heard on the wind that was located in the early twentieth-century in the Ghats, India.

The cited source is Banks, M.M. (1944). "The Wild Hunt?". Folklore (London: The Folklore Society), which I don't have access to.

Is there an Indian Wild Hunt myth?

1 The article has since been updated, and the "Related Myths" section was removed.

  • 1
    I should point out that would only generalize it in a geographic sense. The Indian mythos, like most of the European ones, were likely descended from the same source.
    – T.E.D.
    Jun 20, 2015 at 17:28
  • 3
    When I was a kid my grandparents (who live in village, North India) told me to sleep early and asked not to go anywhere in the fields at night because wraiths on horseback kidnap/kills intruders. I remember very little, not sure if they were serious about it
    – Ozone
    Jan 25, 2017 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


The example seems to be a particularly bad counterexample. I reproduced the relevant part of the article you cited:

"On 29th January (1818), another body of the Peshawa's cavalry was caught in a defile of the Ghats . . . between the hammer and the anvil of an infantry detachment and a cavalry force, and slain or scattered. . . . Fort after fort tumbled into British hands while the Peshwa raced and doubled with a celerity and hopeless misery that impressed themselves on the communal mind so that to this day the villagers remember that spectacle . . . and the scamper of the horses' feet is heard on the wind.

        Ed. Thompson, The Making of the Indian Princes (1943), p. 250.

It does not claim what Wikipedia implies, that the cavalry on the wind is an ancient myth that survived in popular folktales until recorded in the twentieth century. Rather, it seems that this is a very recent historical event that is remembered and connected with natural phenomena. How long will a local tale survive to become myth remains (from what I can tell) to be seen.

  • 2
    I have removed that particular section from the wikipedia article, as your answer shows that the article was inaccurate: en.wikipedia.org/w/…
    – user62
    Jun 21, 2015 at 3:31
  • 1
    That's probably for the best. I think the author of the (very, very short) article was going for wasn't an ancient tradition, but a universal fact, that we shouldn't assume it's only European but could be a human phenomenon. If the section is left in, that part should be made clear.
    – cmw
    Jun 21, 2015 at 5:21

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