Villagers Thought They Were Demons – Until A Man Realized They Were Feral Children Raised By Wolves

Kamala and Amala the wolf-children were feral girls who purportedly lived with a pack of wolves in Bengal, India, in the early 1900s. Also known as the wolf children of Midnapore, the pair frightened local villagers with their wild behavior. Believing the children were apparitions, the locals enlisted the help of a clergyman who ran an orphanage 70 miles away from the village.

The case of Amala and Kamala is interesting because one of the only proofs of their existence is the the diary of the Reverend J.A.L Singh. He wrote a detailed account of capturing the girls and his attempts at rehabilitating them. Singh spent nearly 10 years writing his observations about the feral girls, who were approximately 18 months and eight years old upon capture.

Singh's account of his two charges has been met with controversy over the years. Many speculate that much of his story about the feral children was made up; you'll have to make your own conclusions.


  • Villagers Believed They Were Ghostly Beasts

    The Reverend Joseph Amrito Lal Singh was in India in 1920 when villagers told him about the "ghosts" who lived in the nearby jungle in Godamuri with a pack of wolves. The villagers called them Manush-Bagha, which in Bengali translates to "ghost-headed man-bodied beasts." The people were scared of the purported ghosts, but their customs prevented them from hurting the wolves. Singh went to investigate and spotted a mother wolf with her cubs in a lair. But he noticed something odd about two of the cubs. They had matted hair, and appeared to be human.

  • Reverend Singh Visited The Wolf Lair At Night & Discovered “Hideous-Looking" Beings

    Singh hid in the trees to watch the lair. At night, the creatures gradually started emerging from their home, and he watched as each one came out. Then he saw two "abominations" that were hunched over and had both human and animal characteristics.

    The reverend described the girls in his diary:

    “Hideous looking… hand, foot, and body like a human being; but the head was a big ball of something covering the shoulders and the upper portion of the bust… Their eyes were bright and piercing, unlike human eyes… Both of them ran on all fours.”

  • The "Ghosts" Were More Ferocious Than The Wolf Cubs
    Photo: William Henry Drake, illustrator / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The "Ghosts" Were More Ferocious Than The Wolf Cubs

    Singh and a couple of men killed what they believed was the mother wolf in order to get to the girls. Yet they struggled to capture them, because they were huddled in a corner with two other cubs. The girls were difficult to catch because they were very quick, able to move on all fours in a way that the men simply couldn't imitate. Singh wrote in his diary:

    "It was really a task to separate them from one another. The ghosts were more ferocious than the cubs, making faces, showing teeth... and running back [to huddle together]..."

  • The Girls Liked To Eat Raw Meat And Howled Like Wolves
    Photo: The Wild Child / Viacom

    The Girls Liked To Eat Raw Meat And Howled Like Wolves

    Singh, who ran an orphanage with his wife in Midnapore, noticed very peculiar things about the girls. He described in his diary the sores that covered their knees and palms of their hands - the result of walking on all fours. He commented that they enjoyed eating raw meat, including carrion, and entrails. The howled like wolves, were unable to speak, and had no control of their bowel movements.

     

  • Singh Claimed The Girls' Eyes Glowed Blue In The Dark

    While observing the girls' behavior, Singh claimed that their eyes gave off a strange "blue glare" in the dark, and that they were able to see at night. He gave in to the idea that all feral children embodied certain characteristics, such as being fast and agile with better-than-average physical strength. Starting in the late 19th century, there were certain ideals about what feral children acted like. Singh played into these notions by applying similar characteristics to Amala and Kamala.

  • Amala And Kamala Shunned Human Companionship And Loved To "Prowl At Night"

    When Amala and Kamala were introduced into society, they struggled to get along with other humans. Singh took them to his orphanage and noticed that they had no interest in the other children, and they preferred to be alone.

    He wrote in his diary that the girls often bared their teeth when he tried to approach them. When other children tried to play with them, Amala and Kamala would scare them by opening their mouths wide and showing them their teeth.

    He added:

    "They could sit on the ground squatting down... but could not stand up at all... Kamala and Amala could not walk like humans. They went on all fours... [They] used to sleep like pigs or dog pups, overlapping one another. They never slept after midnight and used to love to prowl at night fearlessly..."