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.
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Region of origin: Scandinavia
A guardian spirit of the forest, the hulder appears in Norwegian folklore as a naked woman with a cow’s tail, or possibly with a fox-tail and/or a back covered in bark or exposed to be hollow like a dead tree in some regional Swedish versions. Most tales of the huldrer involve leading men into their forests for sex, killing or stealing them away to the underworld afterwards, or in some rare instances being returned with no memory of the encounter. If the tryst resulted in pregnancy, the child may be presented to the father (if he survived) or swapped out with another couple’s human child as a changeling. Other, less sexual, encounters with humans were more beneficial, such as watching over hunters or blessing their weapons to never miss, or helping keep a charcoal burner’s fire lit at night while they slept; in exchange provisions and supplies were left out for the hulder. There were stories of humans marrying huldrer but the process would cause them to lose their glamour of beauty, though in more modern versions, it was said if the hulder married a righteous Christian man she would lose her tail but otherwise retain her beautiful appearance (and also inhuman levels of strength and endurance).
Originally posted on Tumblr on August 28, 2016
Region of origin: Southeast Asia
Related to a similar creature in Hindu mythology, the Kinnara (males, or its female counterpart the Kinnari) are a race of man-birds in Buddhist stories renowned for their kindness, acting as guardians of mankind and symbols of everlasting love. They are said to be fond of music and often depicted holding manjira or other traditional instruments.
Originally posted on Tumblr on April 6, 2016
Region of origin: Ireland
A fairy being related to the leprechaun but unlike their mischievous cousins they primarily hang around roadsides and farms seducing the women they meet. Alternatively it is considered bad luck for a man to come across a gancanagh and the encounter precipitates a loss of wealth.
Originally posted on Tumblr on February 14, 2016