Jinns are supernatural spirits which originated in the Middle East. It is believed that they were created from smokeless fire. Nearly all these spirits are invisible to mankind. The Arabic word “jinn” comes from the root “janna," which means, to hide or conceal.” Invisible jinns can move at the speed of the wind.
Jinns may take the form of humans or animals. However, that makes them vulnerable to injury, sickness or death, yet they live longer than human beings. There are good and bad jinns. Evil jinns appear as black dogs, black cats, poisonous snakes and hideous monsters or demons. Jinns can be either male or female.
Jinns can see humans, but humans can only see them by accident or invocation. Jinns can only be invoked or captured in the form of a spirit. Humans can invoke, capture and compel jinns to do either good or evil deeds. Jinns also have their free will to possess mortals to do good or bad. Evil jinns sometimes torment people who sleep in total darkness by giving them nightmares. Some holy men become the medium of good jinns. Through them, people with problems are comforted, counselled and healed. In order to release the jinn, Sheik Sadiq, from someone possessed by it, one has to pluck seven hairs from the tail of a black cat and burn them in an enclosed room with the victim. The scent of burning hair would chase Sheik Sadiq away. Other healers would beat the person who is possessed with a broom in order to cast out the jinn.
Source: Mahabir, Kumar. Indian Caribbean Folklore Spirits. Illustrations by Aneesa Khan. San Juan: Chakra Publishing House, 2010. Print.