Posts Tagged ‘Devil’

This is a ghost of South-eastern Asian mythology and is like a vampire myth, the name is derived from the meaning to remove or detach. The lore in this case is that the creature looks like a beautiful woman during the day, at night the head detaches from the body and she flies around with her intestines and lungs floating like a jellyfish, where she then hunts for blood.

Stories of the origins of the Pennanggalan are that a woman has made a pact with the devil, used black magic or some mystical approach to get beautiful features. Often it’s believed the woman was a midwife, who has been charged with the pact of starving for 40 days but has broken the pact. With the broken pact comes a curse where she must then become a bloodsucking vampire. She will keep a vat of vinegar at home and after flying around all night will be engorged with the blood, she then has to put the entrails into the vinegar to shrivel them so she can reattach to her body. Sounds… lush doesn’t it? But that’s how you can spot one too, the smell.

Victims are usually pregnant women and young children, she will search for a woman in labour and land on the roof letting out a shriek. She can then use a long invisible tongue to get into the house and then laps up the blood of the new mother, the victim is then struck with some unknown disease that is fatal. Even if the creature cannot feed the entrails brushing over the victim cause horrid sores and they won’t heal without the help of a Bomoh (healer).

The Mengkuang plant is recommended to be scattered around the area, this will trap the exposed lungs and intestines. Once the vile thing is trapped she can be killed with parangs (sort of sword) and machetes. A precaution would also be to keep scissors or betel nut cutters under her pillow as she is afraid of these items. Another action is that brave men can take up vigil at night and trap her as she flies.

Another way, non-lethal, to sort out the Pennanggalan is to turn the body over whilst she flies and then she will reattach with her head the wrong way around, that way she is easily identified by others.

The below picture is thanks to a version in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons.

Penanggalan.JPG
By Source, Fair use, Link

 

I thought I would pick some folklore/stories from the Caribbean for this blog. To be fair I believe most of the good stuff would be local legend and I’ve not ben lucky enough to get to that side of the world so armchair investigations will be my guide for this… feel free to correct anything I get wrong as always.

The first one is Papa Bois who is pretty much thought of as the keeper of the forest, a protector of them and the enclosed flora and fauna. She is said to be married to the Mama Dlo, a water entity. His appearance is thought to be a short, old man of African descent and he has cloven hooves, or possibly in some notations his left leg ends in a large hoof. He has a beard of leaves and despite his age is very strong and can run faster than a deer.

Papa Bois’ body is completely covered with hair like that of a donkey, he has small horns that sprout from his forehead and is know to carry out a hollowed-out bulls’ horn so he can use that to warn animals when hunters approach. He is said to have the power of metamorphoses and most often uses this to transform into a deer, he then lures hunters deeper into the forest to get them lost. This is much like his wife, Mama Dlo, who does the same to sailors.

Should you meet Papa Bois you must be polite and refrain from staring at his hooves. Say something nice like “good day old father” an ensure that you don’t do anything to upset him. He is also found in Grenadian folklore and represented as a huge Opossum. Hunters of the forest are afraid of him because of the tricks he uses.

My second choice is La Diablesse, a female devil, who was born as a human but her malicious shape-shifting spirit was born of her dealings with the devil. She can appear very beautiful but her hideous face is hidden by a large brimmed hat, and she wears long dresses to hide the fact that one leg ends with a hoof, she often walks with her human foot on the road and her hooved road in the grass at the roadside. She can cast spells on unsuspecting male victims, then leads them into the forest with promises of sexual acts but then she will disappear leaving him lost and confused. In a panic the victim runs around the forest until he meets his death by falling down a ravine or drowning in a river.

My third choice was Lagahoo, this folklore comes from Trinidad and Tobago (usually considered part of the Caribbean) and is the equivalent in cousin to the French loup-garou and or German werewolf, though not restricted to the form of a wolf. It is a normal human during the day with no head and at night roams around with a wooden coffin on its neck. On the coffin there are three lighted candles, the long loose end of a heavy iron chain is noosed around the waist and trails behind. Often it can be seen with chains around its neck which change in side and at times with one of the appendages turned backwards.

Legahoo can change into various animals too, like horses, pigs or goats and on occasion is even a centaur. It is thought to be a blood sucker, which is less particular than vampires about its food source as it will feed from animals like cows and goats. To kill a Legahoo you need to beat it with a stick that has been anointed with holy water and holy oil for nine days. When you beat the creature it will change into others, then waves of water until finally it disappears in a mist.

My final choice is that of the Soucouyant, it is also known as the Ole-Higue or Loogaroo and is a blood sucking hag. She appears as a reclusive old woman in the day and then at night she strips off her wrinkled skin and puts it in a mortar. In her true form, a fireball, she flies across the dark skies in search of a victim. She can enter the home of a victim through small holes like cracks, crevices and keyholes.

The Soucouyant takes the blood from arms, legs and soft parts whilst the victim is sleeping and leaves blue-black marks that are seen in the morning. If they draw too much blood then the victim will either die or become one themselves. The creature also practices witchcraft, voodoo and black magic. They trade their victim’s souls for evil powers with the Bazil, the demon who resides in the silk cotton tree.

If you want to expose one you need to heap rice around the house or at the village crossroads, as the creature will be obliged to gather every grain and can be caught in the act as she tries to do so. To destroy her, coarse salt must be placed in the mortar that has her skin so she perishes because she cannot put it back on. The skin of the Soucouyant is very valuable as it us used in the practice of black magic.

She is part of a class of spirits called jumbies, and some say that they may well have been brought over by the European countries and so the French vampire-myths intermingled with those of enslaved Africans.

Papa_Bois-0

Here are a some of tales from the area that caught my eye, they are the Central Cemetery of Bogotá and National Police HQ. Both seem interesting enough to mention here.

The General Cemetery of Bogotá is what seems to be a spiritual and busy area. One of those areas most closely linked with the paranormal is ‘El Caraol’ a spiral staircase with leads to the mass graves of ‘undesirables’. Rapists, murderers and those who committed suicide are those people in that area. A tomb of an unknown rich boy is said to grant miracles and believers line up at the grave of Leo Seigfried Kopp, who founded the Bogotá’s Bavaria beer to ask for favours. It’s a strange place of acceptance and religions. Drug addicts, transvestites and performers, the strange and all find a place amongst the tombs and graves.

And the National Police HQ, Bucaramanga has a radio station ghost who likes to turn off the lights and on again. It turns the taps for water off and on, as well as knocking on the stations windows. As well as this the entity likes to play around with the CD’s and some report a blond figure who if chased or hailed will suddenly disappear. The building is also where an officer committed suicide.

One more for the Colombian round-up is the Manuel Varela House, an abandoned (and listed monument) Republican mansion. Manuel Verela is said to have made a pact with the devil, he was an infamous physician and it seems that the legend states he would sacrifice a soul to the devil each year. So each year in return the devil would raise his wealth, and this it seems explained why those related to him died or mysteriously vanished. Some believe the devil still visits the area.

Cenotaph Jimenez.jpg
By BaijiOwn work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11989705

Nocton Hall is an RAF deserted hospital it was built in 1940 but wasn’t used as it was too small for an RAF hospital. In 1945 it was chosen as the local RAF Hospital for Lincolnshire (England) and gained several new buildings before opening in in 1947. By 1983 the hospital was closed and then leased to the army for the Gulf War in 1984, 35 patients were treated there during that time. In 1994 it was officially shut down and has stood empty since 1995.


A grey lady has been said to roam the halls of the building and the RAF hospital grounds are said to be haunted by the patients. It seems less likely as it was not used for a particularly long time and there were few deaths on the site.


The main ghost legend attached to Nocton Hall seems to hold a fairly stereotypical type of history. That doesn’t mean I’ve put my ban-hammer on the idea, just that it seems frequent these types come up at large old homes and hospitals.


Nocton Hall had a sobbing ghost before it burnt down, the listed ruins then housed the RAF Hospital. The ghost of a young woman guests were sometimes awoken at 4.30am to see her stood at the end of the bed. She sobbed and mumbled incoherently about a ‘develish man’ and legend has it she was a servant girl who got pregnant by the owner’s son. This did not sit well with the young man so he disposed of her.

2007 May 26 - Nocton Hall Remains

Two main legends surround the famous Hun when it comes to the Venetian Lagoon and it’s islands.

Attila’s throne is still there to be admired on Torcello island, between the two churches of Santa Maria Assunta and Santa Fosca. There is a big marble chair on the grass, allegedly it belonged to the mighty leader and he is said to return back there on the odd occasion.

North of Torcello is a little island called Monte Dell’Oro (Mount of Gold). The Huns would move their hauls through the island and one that was laden with gold sank. Paoletti reported that Attilla destroyed Altino and they put the treasures there, they kept the treasures sank in the mud in tanks. The area was then inhabited by refugees who put a Monastery and church there. In the late Middle Ages the area was used to build simple military posts and then in 1848 insurgents built a stronger building, that was used by the Italian Army in the First World War. There is a small remnant of this but other buildings there have long seen been left to decay and no trace remains of them. Until 1994 the island was State owned but is not privately owned and can only be reached there by private boat. 

Attila’s treasure that was gathered via death and destruction is now said to be guarded there by the devil himself. The devil, disguised as a black cat, can be seen on the island if you try to go after the gold.