Posts Tagged ‘Folklore’

In Japanese folklore the faceless ghost is usually known for frightening humans, but seem to be relatively harmless. The creature appears human, but this is an illusion, the faceless ghost has no eyes, nost or mouth, just smooth skin. Often the victim will speak to them for sometimes not realising until the Noppera-bo chooses to reveal it’s true nature. This naturally scares the witness who are often caught out by them on dark rural roads, sometimes they are mistakenly identified as mujina, which are thought to be badgers or raccoon dogs. Mujina are, in folklore, demons/yokai that shapeshift into the animals to deceive humans or take the form of attractive women and cause trouble in relationships. I’ve mentioned them in a basic intertwined way here for the sake of a coffee read.

One story of the legend is that a fisherman went to go fish at the Imperial Koi Ponds, near the Heian-Kyo palace, despite the fact his wife asked the he would not. The ponds were near a graveyard and considered to be sacred. He was also warmed by another fisherman, but being lazy and possibly arrogant he carried on.

At the spot a beautiful young girl tries to tell him not to fish (come on wife, fisherman, sexy lady? Take the hint!) but again he ignores the request. The beautiful woman then wipes off her face and the man rushes home in a panic. His wife is there, who confronts him, telling him off about his wickedness before she then wipes away her features too.

Perhaps this was the original slenderman and his story is an adaptation of this. A modernisation of an already fascinating tale.

Another modernisation of the tale is that of the animated film Spirited Away, the Japanese film features a creature “no face”. It is a 2001 one film, about coming of age and has been widely accepted as a wonderful piece, I admit I have seen it and highly enjoyed it. In the anime it is capable of responding to emotions and also ingesting people to gain their personality and their physical traits. By the end of the film this strange entity accepts an apprenticeship to stay on as an apprentice, this doesn’t seem to match the above but it seems like quite a lovely end to the fantasy story in the film itself.

May 19th, 1959 a reporter called Bob Krauss for the Honolulu Advertiser reported on a sighting of a mujina at the Waialae Drive-In Theatre, Kahala. A woman was combing her hair in the women’s restroom and someone came up beside her, the witness at the time said that the mujina turned around to show the featureless face. The witness was said to be taken to the hospital for a mental breakdown but the story didn’t end there. An Hawaiian historian, folklorist, and author called Glen Grant did a radio interview in 1981 and called it out as a hoax but someone called into the show saying that they were that witness and proceeded to tell them something omitted by the article, that the woman had red hair.

Slenderman – Courtesy of Princekarr – Deviantart.

SlenderMan

He was born in 1922(ish) and the Haitian man is said to have been turned into a zombie by a combination of drugs. He been of interested both in folklore and for those that have an interest in how his condition came to light.

It’s believed he was drugged by puffer-fish venom and toad venom, it induced a coma that mimicked the appearance of death. The general belief is that it the poisoning was done by his brother when they had quarrelled over land. 

He was then returned home, where he collapsed and seen as dead, he was then buried. The Bokor (sorcerer) then retrieved the man who was, in effect, buried alive. Once retrieved from his grave he was given a drug known as datura, which causes memory loss and hallucinations He was in a zombie-like compliant state and this meant he worked subserviently for two years on a sugar plantation. The owner of the plantation died and Narcisse was left to wander free, unaware of the death of his brother he slowly began to regain his senses as the drug left his system.

According to the interview with American Scientist after 18 years of being presumed dead he came back to his village, he managed to convince his sister and some of the villagers about who he was. After the hallucinogen worked it’s way out if his system the former was restored to his natural mental state. One of the things that is frustrating is that there are not enough notes, from Wade Davis who explored the case, to determine the actual neurotoxin used. 

Here is the account.

Zombies NightoftheLivingDead

A nightmare is a creature that rides on the chest of the victim while they sleep. The legend seems to be as old as the 13th century if not older. It is likely to have been born thanks to the sleep paralysis which people can experience.  Sleep Paralysis has been attributed to accounts for many things, such as incubus or succubus attacks or even ghostly attacks.

The mare was also blamed for horses who were found sweating in their stalls the next morning, seemingly the mare would hitch a ride on the horses back and that’s why they were found that way.  Some folklorists also suggest that they may well have been witches that took the shapes of various animals such as frogs, cats, horses, dogs and others. It is also said a dead “mora” will return as a ghost.

They are known as Moroi in Russia and they are either attributed to being a vampire or ghost. The Moroi is a ghost that leaves it’s grave and seeks out the energy of the living, however some are associated with the strigoi who are immortal vampires. It is believed that the Moroi might be the offspring of two strigoi parents. It may also however signify the death of an unbaptised child depending on the belief.

Germany has charms against such things and here is the one I found listed on Wikipedia.

  I lay me here to sleep;
   No night-mare shall plague me,
   Until they swim all the waters
   That flow upon the earth,
   And count all the stars
   That appear in the sky!
   Thus help me God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen!
   Original German:
   Hier leg' ich mich schlafen,
   Keine Nachtmahr soll mich plagen,
   Bis sie schwemmen alle Wasser,
   Die auf Erden fließen,
   Und tellet alle Sterne,
   Die am Firmament erscheinen!
   Dazu helfe mir Gott Vater, Sohn und heiliger Geist. Amen!