Region of origin: Sumeria
Belonging to the utukku, once-human spirits that had escaped or been summoned back to Earth from the Sumerian underworld, Alû is a nightmare-inducing demon. It will travel through cities at night, entering homes and bedchambers and envelope the sleeping resident it finds “like a garment,” smothering them and causing night terrors, sleep paralysis or even comas.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 28, 2016
Region of origin: Germany
A large demonic hag, the drude will take possession of virginal maidens or priestesses. They will leave their host’s bodies at night, capanle of taking on various forms such as other humans, animals or a vaporous mist, and sneak into homes through cracks and small holes. Once inside, the drude will assume its true form and sit on the sleeping inhabitant’s chests, causing sleep paralysis and nightmares. They are also said to participate in the Germanic version of the Wild Hunt.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 20, 2016
Region of origin: Maryland, United States
A dragon-like creature first spoken of by German settlers in pre-Revolutionary War America, tales of sightings or attacks of the snallygaster traveled up and down the east coast for several hundred years, with newspaper reports of the animal persisting into the later 20th century and purportedly even catching the eye of Teddy Roosevelt, who wanted to attempt to hunt it down. The snallygaster would take to skies on its massive wings, terrorizing the communities it flew over, before swooping down, screeching like a train whistle and picking up people, pets or livestock in its metallic claws to carry them off and feed. In some versions it would pierce its victims’ bodies with its sharp beak and drain them of their blood. Supposedly the beast would be warded away from buildings with a seven-pointed star painted on its side.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 15, 2016
Region of origin: Southeastern United States
A variation of the hag folklore from Gullah tradition, the boo hag is a skinless, vampiric creature who may tear the skin off a victim and wear it as their own to blend in as human. The boo hag sustains itself by sneaking into homes at night through cracks and shadows and perch itself upon the sleeping person inside, sucking out their breath and feeding off their life essence. They are associated with sleep paralysis and waking up exhausted even after a full night’s sleep.
Originally posted on Tumblr on June 23, 2016
Region of origin: Catalonia, Spain
A large dog- or cat-like creature that will come into people’s houses at night and perch itself on their chests causing sleep paralysis, breathing issues and nightmares. Their paws are heavy steel, but they have holes in them ostensibly to prevent them from taking anything from the homes they’re visiting.
Originally posted on Tumblr on April 24, 2016
Region of origin: Chile
An amphibious bovine-like creature, the huallepen or guallipen has an ill disposition and can be quite violent when encounted in the rivers and the lakes that it’s used to. It will come on to land to mate with land animals such as cows or sheep which will result in malformed, monstrous offspring. Relatedly, it is said if a pregnant woman sees or even dreams of the huallepen, the terror it inspires is so great her child will be born with physical, sometimes animalistic, deformities.
Originally posted on Tumblr on January 2, 2016
Region of origin: China
Japanese tales of a Chinese chimeric animal with a propensity for eating dreams likely arose from travelers’ descriptions of the Malaysian tapir.
Originally posted on Tumblr on October 5, 2015