Like many other cities of Pakistan, Quetta also cherishes a handful of popular myths that have been transferred by the word of mouth over the generations. With due exaggerations of course, many of the known mythical stories fall into different genres, some inspirational, some legendary and some horror.

Perhaps, the most widely known myth of town that even today lies in the memories and conversations of residents in Quetta is the tale of ‘the Mum’. The legend says that the Mum was a monstrous creature having an upper body of a human female and a lower body of a lion or some other wild animal. People relate seeing the Mum either on two legs or on four, having long nails, black curly hair and a very long bushy tail.

Mum lived in dark caves in the mountains of Quetta and would mostly be sighted in the Hanna Valley or the Koh-e-Murdar mountains. As the elders told us, the Mum, preyed upon mischievous children or on people who would stay on in a mountainous area after the sunset. It was also said that the Mum mysteriously disappeared goats and sheep from local farms to fulfil her hunger. 

It was so widely believed that during the 1900s, families in the city would especially be careful with their doors after the call of Maghrib Prayer so that the Mum may not enter their houses. Children were specifically told to stay inside after dark in fear of the creature sighting them and eventually eating them up after carrying them away to her cave. 

Interestingly, this myth like most others also has a retrospective link to regional history which almost accurately explains how the story of Mum probably started and how the details of the appearance of it were hugely similar no matter who you heard the story from in Quetta. 

It turns out that the story links to a Sphinx Statue that was located on Zarghoon Road Quetta near the Miri (Quetta) Fort in the 19th century. This statue was built in the 1880s in a Christian Graveyard as a memorial for the slain soldiers who had participated in the Second Anglo-Afghan war between 1880 and 1883. The memorial was labelled ‘Mum’ by the locals who were fearful of it being a demon because of the way it looked with a human face and body of a lion. Over the years, the statue turned into tales and eventually the myth of the Mum started propagating in the city. The Quetta Sphinx Statue was later destroyed by a mob in 1992 as a reaction to some socio-political unrest in the city. 

Nonetheless, in recent years, Mum has become quite an old talk, living mostly in the memories and nightmares of the millennials of Quetta. This is probably because of a story that surfaced years ago according to which some military personal shot the Mum dead outside her cave. The Mum had apparently taken one of their troop members up her cave in Hannah Valley compelling them to follow her to rescue their partner. When they reached the suburbs of the cave, they were able to target the Mum with their weapons. The legend says that they found their lost partner unconscious in her cave while another says that they found him half-eaten by the vicious Mum. 

However, no one for sure knows how authentic the story of the death of Mum is, maybe she still lives in those mountains. Maybe she is just hibernating and would appear back soon on a suitable time (Pun intended).

Author’s note: The author takes no responsibility for any nightmares as a result of reading this blog especially to those who might have forgotten about the Mum and were reminded of it again by this blog.            



About Author

Zara Arshad is a medical undergrad student from Quetta, Balochistan. She has an experience of around 2 years in blog writing. Her areas of interest are health journalism, women empowerment, education and health for all.


  1. I’m surprised Islamic Jumuria Pakistan and people are following myth over Quran and the government is encouraging by putting this idles Do God have to send Ibrahim again to destroy thirst idles as if we have no Murd e Momen left in Quetta or Pakistan.This statue should be destroyed as it is negating teaching of Quran!!!!

    • Greetings
      Just like the demons and monsters or ancient Greece and Egypt, it’s another myth dear. Non of the locals worships or prays to it. Every Town, culture and even civilization have their own folklore and myths. Try to understand the difference between belief and folklore stories.
      I am not a believer of such myths but… Since you have involved Quran and religion…. Can you please guide Me where does Quran say that “WE HAVE CREATED ONLY WHAT YOU KNOW ” May ALLAH Forbids… Why do we limit HIS power of creation according to our limited thoughts?
      Just like millions of HIS other creations, which we have just started to see (like prehistoric animals), maybe there existed such an specie I.e. Mum ( which I don’t support)…..
      The only thing is, why did you involve QURAN or IBRAHIM A.S… Why do we take unimportant things so seriously and involve religion?

    • Haven’t you noticed galore of statues in Quetta and all over Pakistan? Islam forbade worshipping such idols, never such decorative or commemorative figurines.
      We should focus on spirit of Islam n also learn from Saudi Arabia, GCC n other Muslim countries who are not carrying Islam on their sleeves

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