There’s something about blood that captures the horror imagination. Maybe it’s the rich, red hue. Maybe it’s the way it oozes and flows. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that we need it to survive. No matter the reason, cultures all over the world recognize the importance of blood and consequently have legends about the witches, demons, and monsters that steal it. It’s time to think beyond the Vampire.
Peuchen – Chile
The Peuchen is a shape-shifting creature from the legends of the Mapuche people. Commonly, it’s described as a giant serpent. This snake can fly and makes whistling sounds as it travels through the air. The gaze of the Peuchen is said to paralyze the victim, allowing the snake to coil around them, pierce their neck with its fangs, and drain them of blood.
Baobhan Sith – Scottish Highlands
The baobhan sith are said to be beautiful women who lure young men to their deaths by inviting them to dance. They may hunt in packs. Once the men they seduce have their guards down, the baobhan sith puncture their necks with their fingernails and drain them of blood. Legend states that to stop one of these creatures, you must build a mound of stones over their graves to prevent them from rising.
Asanbosam – West Africa
The Ashanti people of Ghana tell of the Asanbosam, a creature that lives in the canopy of the rain forests. The Asanbosam is hairy, with blood-shot eyes and iron teeth. Their long, dangling legs end in sharp iron hooks. The Asanbosam uses these hooks to grab victims that pass underneath and drag them into the trees. If you travel through the forests of Ghana, you may hear the metallic sound of the creature sharpening its hooks.
Soucouyant – Caribbean Islands
The soucouyant appears in many places throughout the Caribbean. She appears as an old woman but strips off her skin at night to prowl for victims in the form of a fireball. She sucks the blood from sleeping people. If she takes too much, the victim may die and the soucouyant will take her skin for herself. Similar to many European myths, if the soucouyant comes across spilled rice, they will feel compelled to gather every grain.
Penanggalan – Malaysia
The Penanggalan appears as a beautiful woman by day, but by night, she swoops through the skies as a disembodied head and dangling entrails. The penanggalan seeks out women in labor. When the child is born, she swoops into the room to drink the afterbirth and scoops the baby up with her long tongue. Those who fall victim to the penanggalan waste away slowly.
Do you have a favorite myth about blood sucking fiends? Or have you had a spooky encounter? Let us know in the comments!