In the summer of year 2002, when heat of the Indian summer was on its peak, a mysterious fear swept through Banaras and neighbourhood, especially the rural areas. A mysterious creature/object was seen in the darkness of the nights. Beaming red, blue, and green lights it flew in sky. Sometimes descended to the land and attacked people. Sometimes minor scratches, sometimes even electric shocks.
Soon, the creature/object received a name– Muhnochwa. Which is made of two words of Banarasi Hindi– muh (face) and nochwa (one who claws/tears out/scratcher). And by this time, its fame was widespread. The fame fear was soon spread beyond the eastern Uttar Pradesh state and reached the areas around cities of Kanpur and Lucknow.
Summer is very warm in the most parts of India. It is the time when people prefer to sleep outside in this part of the world. Often on the rooftops of their houses. And this made things easy for Muhnochwa. Easy preys, easy to hunt.
What it looked like
No one knows this exactly. People saw only the beams of red, green, and blue lights. Sometimes a randomly shaped silhouette was seen behind. Even the victims who claimed to have been clawed by Muhnochwa couldn’t describe how it looked exactly. Darkness was to be blamed.
Some witnesses described Muhnochwa as a turtle like creature which moved very quickly, and had no lights. Some witnesses also said it was a large object or creature.
Harms and effects
There were several claims of attacks but results were only minor injuries. All of the victims received minor scratches and wounds after being attacked by our Muhnochwa. But the widespread panic caused much more harm. Some major injuries occurred during the chaos that took place after the sight of Muhnochwa in the middle of nights. Suddenly roused from sleep, panicked people (children and women, mostly) injured themselves by falling and colliding.
A big problem was lack of sleep, too. Many people could not sleep in nights out of fear. Even several watch groups were formed in some villages to guard the village from Muhnochwa.
Some cases of theft also surfaced. Some homes where burgled during the chaos in night.
Possible truth and reason
A part of the society was seriously scared, while other part dismissed involvement of any mystery altogether. There were also some people who took the opportunity to pull pranks. No official data is available, but it is widely believed that the most of cases of the sight of Muhnochwa were pranks. There were speculations about usage of remote controlled drones as well (see this news report by the Times of India).
Chairunji Devi was trying to sleep in her portable bed on the roof of her house, but fear of Muhnochwa was keeping her awake. Her daughter and son humoured about her fear, but it didn’t make any difference on the intensity of her fear. She threw her gaze across the roof where she saw her daughter asleep beside her. Suddenly she heard a rustle in her left side. She turned quickly. And what she saw there, almost stopped her heartbeat. There stood a strange silhouette making weird sounds. In the middle of the silhouette a red beam of light blinked. “Muhnochwa!” Chiraunji Devi shouted in hysterical voice that roused her daughter and the neighbours. Then she saw a human figure emerging from the haunting silhouette. A laughing teen came out. She knew that laugh very well. Pankaj, her son stood there giggling with a flash light which he held behind his palm to let out a red spot of light. Neighbours gathered and a slap landed on his face from somewhere in the crowd of neighbours that followed a session of rebukes.
Population of these villages is heavily portioned by farmers. Farmers have very little to do during the summer time, which gives them a lot of time to gossip around. And boredom, well, always caused strange things. Rumours of our mysterious friend Muhnochwa entertained villagers very well throughout the summer. When monsoon arrived with its strength, it was time to begin the new farming year. Once the farmers were busy, Muhnoshwa disappeared.
However the topic of Muhnochwa dominated in June and July months of year 2002, police never showed much involvement in this case. The educated part of society simply dismissed any possibility of anything other than pranks and rumours.
About an year ago, similar incident had occurred in Delhi where a Monkey man was seen.