Some days back, I watched A Shamshir’s Woh Koi Aur Hoga (1967), starring Mumtaz, Feroz Khan, and Sohrab Modi. It turned out to be one of the most incoherent and illogical films I’d ever seen: Sohrab Modi’s character, a professor, is drugged (by Asit Sen in yellowface, a Chinese villain pretending to be the professor’s Indian servant) and made to do the dirty work of the Chinese: that is, inject hapless victims with something that will drain the blood from their bodies. The corpses are then covered with wax and sold off as mannequins to the wealthy gullible who want realistic-looking statues in their homes (and are possibly not averse to the frightful stench).
But, digressions aside: there was also, in the film, Mumtaz. Wearing a shimmery white dress and roaming about the hills at night, singing a sad song. Repeatedly.
Watching Ae raat ke andhere mujhko gale lagaa le, I was reminded of many other songs with a similar premise: a ghostly figure (invariably female), wandering about in the night and singing a signature spooky song. There is often an echo, sometimes other props, something else perhaps to suggest darkness, mystery, ghosts.