Monstrous Demons of Asian Folklore

Every village, town and city in the world has its array of monsters and mythological creatures, many of whom that have sprung from thousands of years of folkloric traditions. And while dragons are regarded as the kings of the monsters, appearing in both western and eastern folk systems, Asia has several other horrific monsters and each one holds secrets about how mankind used to interact with nature and the struggles of man’s times between the bookends of life and death.

Penanggalan

Hantu Penanggal’, or Penanggalan, is a vampire-monster of Malaysian mythology generally descried as a beautiful woman, who was transformed through the application of dark or demonic magic. During the day it appears as a regular woman but at night it terrifies people by separating at the neck and flying through the air dragging its entrails behind it, holding its head in its hands, while looking for newborn babies to eat, just like the Fairy Queens of European mythology travelled by night claiming unborn children.

Known as Krasue (Thai) or Ab (Khmer), the Penanggalan is a nocturnal female spirit of Southeast Asian folklore. (2012) (Xavier Romero-Frias /CC BY-SA 3.0)

Known as Krasue (Thai) or Ab (Khmer), the Penanggalan is a nocturnal female spirit of Southeast Asian folklore. (2012) (Xavier Romero-Frias /CC BY-SA 3.0)


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