Region of origin: Northern Australia
In Tiwi folklore, the Papinijuwari were a race of cycloptic giants who lived in a hut at the end of the sky. They carried clubs and torches, and it was believed shooting stars were actually the giants on the move through the sky. Looked down up even by other giants and malevolent creatures, the Papinijuwari were ghoulish creatures who fed on the flesh of the dead and drank the blood of the sick, attracted to victims by the smell of the disease. They were capable of rendering themselves invisible and also changing size, able to shrink down and drink the blood from the inside.
[Sources referenced: X ]
Region of origin: Japan
Literally “bone woman,” hone-onna are spirits of women who passed on but their intense feelings of love for their partner causes them to remain in the mortal realm. Their ghost will appear to their loved one as they had in life at night, tricking them into thinking they’re still alive and draining their life essence as they spend the night together; traditional stories vary on whether or not this is a purposeful and malicious attack or merely an unintentional side-effect of their undead state. The nightly visits will continue until death or the glamour is broken, usually by someone pure or righteous who can see through the hone-onna’s disguise and reveals her true skeletal form.
[Sources referenced: X | X | X ]
Region of origin: Chiloé Island, Chile
Brujos, warlocks of Chilote folklore, will employ the invunche or imbunche as a pet and watchdog of sorts, using it to guard their caves’ entrances as well as employ them on menial tasks or acts of vengeance. The invunche is created by taking an infant of a certain age, no more than a year old, and twisting its body, starting by bending its right leg back up to its neck and reshaping it as an increasingly deformed figure. It is then fed the milk of a black cat until it is old enough feed on human flesh of the recently dead acquired from cemeteries. Unless allowed to travel outside by its brujo, the invunche is bound to its cave and it cannot leave, even to feed itself. In folk medicine, it was said the fat of an invunche could be used to prepare ointments used for pain relief and the treatment of rheumatism, or very effective skin care products.
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Region of origin: The Philippines
A ghoul-like buso, or malevolent spirit, the tigbanuá live as packs in dark caves or jungles and wait for a corpse to be freshly buried before digging it up and consuming it, leaving only the skeleton which they discard. They can be aggressive towards the living, but are said to be easily fooled and are also scared off by dogs. Their long, flexible necks are used to bend their head back and see behind them.
Region of origin: Japan
Hungry spirits who were condemed to roam the earth and feed on corpses, using their claws to dig up the recently interred. They are aware of and lament their ghoulish behavior, and in some stories they only take on their monstrous forms at night or while feeding, but cannot resist the hunger that possesses them. In life they were people not evil enough to be wholly condemned to hell but so full of greed their spirit could not pass on properly.
In unrelated news, I do happen to have this Patreon now.
Originally posted on Tumblr on April 12, 2016
Region of origin: Iraq
A ghoul-like demon comparable to a succubus, the saalua supposedly lived in cemeteries and served as a warning to not venture out alone at night, as she would seduce men she encountered and force them into servitude.
Just a note on this one: I took heavy design influence for it, particularly the black and gold motif, from the short film Baghdad Night by Furat Al Jamil which she made in part to help prevent tales of the saalua and similar folklore of her community from slipping into obscurity. Given this and a ton of other creatures don’t have much more of an internet presence than a quick blurb on Wikipedia without some deep diving that seems like an endeavor worth supporting.
Originally posted on Tumblr on April 8, 2016
Region of origin: Serbia
A demonic being who lived in caves, mines and other subterranean locations. They fed on humans, but largely subsisted on the already-dead, digging up interred corpses for their meals.
Originally posted on Tumblr on March 12, 2016