It was a dark, stormy night, or maybe a sunny afternoon in Kabul, when our casual conversation over chai and samosas drifted to a darker place. As we sat together with some of our dear Afghan friends, a few days before Halloween, the subject of the supernatural was a given topic of conversations.

Everyone loves a good supernatural tale, and our Afghan hosts entertained us with some very intriguing tales of Djinns and mystics and the unexplained from the other side, intertwined with the vast history and mythology of Afghanistan. As a culture known for its storytelling skills, the narrators had all of us in rapt attention to their every word, interrupted with right pauses enough to allow us a moment to picture their narratives.

Every story followed a short discussion on the origins of the folklore and the rational behind it. However, the one story that caught everyone’s attention and warranted a lengthy discussion on myths that affect women, was the lore of Al Khatun (which literally translates to “the woman”).

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