Dating back as early as the 1300s, Thugs were a secret criminal group, partly hereditary in membership, who specialized in the murder by strangulation of travelers as a prelude to theft. Or maybe they were a fanciful invention of an overzealous Colonial administrator. Regardless, they were a subject of fascination to the early Victorians, who were regaled in both News and Fiction about these mysterious assassins of the Raj.
In the penultimate episode of this season of Esoteric Reads, I'm reading the chapter on Thugs (or Phansigars) from "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay, first published in 1841.
Patronise the Cat: