Warning: Please Pee Before Reading.
There are stories — stories that are handed down in families and small villages. They speak of legendary creatures. Of course, there are the boring monsters like the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti but these are a hell of lot scarier!
Let’s read all about them – and you make up your own mind!
1. Myling (Scandinavia)
The Myling is said to be the soul of an unbaptised child. Mylings attack lone wanderers at night, jump on their backs, and demand to be taken to the graveyard. However, the Myling grows bigger and heavier as they near the graveyard, causing some victims to sink into the soil. If the victim is not able to make it to the cemetery, the Myling kills him.
2. Skinwalkers (Navajo)
In the Navajo culture, the skinwalker is a witch who has the ability to transform into an animal. The skinwalker is also known as “yee nahgloshii” which literally means “he who walks on all fours.” According to legend, recognising a skinwalker or even talking about skinwalkers in general makes the skinwalker come for you. Thus, the saying, “to see is to be seen.” Until now, the Navajo still avoids talking about it.
3. Aswang (Philippines)
The aswang is one of the most prolific monsters in the Filipino culture. Usually a female, the Aswang has the ability to transform into another creature. Though they can prey on anyone, they prefer pregnant women and their unborn foetuses. A winged variation of the aswang, the manananggal, has the ability to rip off half of her body. Leaving the bottom half on the ground, she flies in search of a pregnant woman’s house. She perches on the roof, makes a hole directly above the sleeping pregnant woman, and takes out her long proboscis-like tongue. Her tongue goes through the hole and into the woman’s stomach.
4. Baba Yaga (Russia)
Baba Yaga is a supernatural being who appears as a rather ferocious-looking old woman. She is said to fly around in a mortar, wielding a pestle. She lives in a hut deep in the forest and is described to have chicken legs. According to folktales, Baba Yaga may either be a donor or a villain. She may take on a maternal role and help those who seek her or viciously hinder them.
5. Wendigo (North America)
The word “Wendigo” is a Cree Indian word that means “evil that devours.” Wendigos were once human (stories often depict them as Indians, miners, or hunters) who had to resort to cannibalism. Eating human flesh supposedly gives a man supernatural powers and also makes them insatiable. They transform into monsters and lose traces of being human. Wendigos haunt humans but they don’t kill them right away. Often, they hoard human victims and keep them alive to save for rainy days.
6. Mothman (West Virginia)
The Mothman is a strange flying creature that came to terrorise the people in West Virginia from November 15, 1966, to December 15, 1967. It is a large man-like figure with “10-foot” wings whose eyes are said to glow red. On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge collapsed. This incident paved way for legends speculating that the Mothman warns of impending disasters.
Her name literally meaning “weeping woman,” the La Llorona was a beautiful woman named Maria who drowns her children in a river when her husband left her for another woman. Then she drowns herself. La Llorona is said to be caught in between the living world and the spirit world when she is not permitted to enter the afterlife until she finds her drowned children. Thus, she is forced to wander the world, looking for her offspring, and constantly weeping.
8. Djinn (Arabia)
Unlike the Westernised genies, djinns are actually demons. They are mentioned extensively in the Quran and are said to have been created from a smokeless and scorching fire. There are also many classifications of djinn, from the strongest to the weakest. Likewise, they are also divided into classes: those who have wings and fly, those that resemble animals like vultures and snakes, and those who wander ceaselessly.
9. Pontianak (Malaysia)
Pontianaks are evil creatures that are depicted as women with long black hair, red eyes, and pale skin. They are said to usually wear a white dress smeared with blood. According to folklore, the pontianak announces her presence through a sound similar to the high-pitched cry of a baby. She kills her victim by digging into their stomach using her sharp fingernails and eating the organs. Also, if you have your eyes open when she is near, it is said that she will suck them out of your head.
The Pontianak locates her victim by sniffing out the hanging laundry outside a house, which is why Malaysians don’t leave any peace of clothing outside overnight.
10. Tokoloshe (Zulu)
The Tokoloshe, or Tikoloshe, is an evil dwarf-like spirit that causes mischief and trouble. The creature often scares people, but sometimes, it causes illness or even death to its victim. The tokoloshe is depicted to look like a gremlin with gouged out eyes. However, it may take on other forms; sometimes, it is said to look like a bear-like humanoid. According to the legend, to keep the tokoloshe away, one must put a brick under each leg of the bed.
11. Jiangshi (China)
The jiangshi is a zombie, typically depicted as a stiff corpse dressed in Qing Dynasty official garments. Because it is stiff due to rigor mortis, it moves around by hopping, with its arms outstretched. It is supposed to kill living creatures in order to absorb their “life force” or “qi.” The jiangshi also has greenish skin, which is said to be caused by mould that grows on corpses. Also, it has long white hair all over its head and may exhibit animal-like behaviour.
12. Nightmarchers (Hawaii)
Nightmarchers are the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors. On the nights of Kane, Ku, Lono, Akua, or Kaloa, the nightmarchers get out of their burial sites to march, sometimes to past battles or to go to other sacred places. If you find yourself in the path of nightmarchers (you are supposed to hear chanting and marching), you need to immediately exit the area to avoid being noticed. If this is not an option, it is said that one must lie on the ground face-down. If you get noticed, they will kill you unless you have an ancestor within the march that recognises you.
13. Churel (India)
The churel is the ghost of a woman who died in childbirth due to her relatives’ or in-laws’ negligence. She disguises herself as a young, beautiful woman to lure young men; however, her real form is hideous and terrifying. She is said to drain her victims of their blood, semen, and virility, which transforms them into old, frail men. Often, the churel’s feet are backwards, with her heel in front and her toes at the back. She is also said to have a long and thick black tongue.
14. Loup-Garou (Louisiana)
The loup-garou or rougarou is the French-speaking culture’s werewolf. Similar to the werewolf, the rougarou has the head of a wolf and the body of a human. According to the legend, the rougarou kills Catholics who do not practise Lent as prescribed by the religion. It is even said that if one breaks Lent seven years in a row, he may turn into a rougarou. On the other hand, some legends say that being a rougarou is a curse that can be transferred when a rougarou draws another human’s blood. The rougarou returns to his human form while the human becomes a new rougarou.
15. Poludnica (Slavic)
Poludnica, or Lady Midday or Noon Witch, is a demon depicted as a young woman dressed in white. She is said to roam fields and cause various troubles to field workers, ranging from heat strokes to madness. According to folklore, in the middle of hot summer days, she appears as a dust cloud carrying a scythe. She stops people in the field and asks them a difficult question. If anyone fails to answer her question, she will cut off their head.