Top 10 MYTHICAL CREATURES We're Glad DON'T EXIST
From the incredibly awesome to the downright terrifying, mythical creatures have been the fascination of mankind since history has been recorded. So for the second time, we’re counting down our pick of 10 mythical creatures that we’re glad don’t exist.
Penanggalan - Malaysia
In Malaysia, a penanggalan is a midwife who has made a deal with the devil for her magic and beauty, and has promised not to eat any meat for forty days after her pact. If this promise is broken, they are cursed to become vampire-like in nature. The penanggalan will keep a jar of vinegar in her home and at night will remove her head and innards from her body and–wait for it–fly through the air to find a victim and drink their blood. When she returns home she immerses her entrails in the vinegar so they will fit back into her body. When she isn’t…uh…separated, she is said to only be told apart from a normal woman by the smell of vinegar that surrounds her. You can protect yourself from a penanggalan by scattering thorny plants around your home, so as to puncture its organs when it flies too close.
Al - Armenia
The al is a horrifying legendary creature, mostly associated with pregnancy and childbirth. As the legend goes, the al steals the internal organs of pregnant women and women giving birth. Sometimes, they even steal babies and put an imp in their place. They are described as terrifying, with sharp fangs and metal teeth, tusks, and claws, but with a humanoid like appearance. Once they’ve stolen their victim’s organs, they will run and try to cross water. If they succeed, the woman can no longer be saved. Some legends claim charms and prayers can stop the al from escaping and reaching a body of water.
Acheri - Native American
In Native American tales, the spirit of a little girl lives in the mountains and hilltops and comes down at night with the intent of bringing sickness to its victims, usually children. They are often said to have dark eyes and grey skin and sometimes are called “hill fairies” or “plague demons.” In legend, they play instruments through the night and anyone who hears them play grows sick and dies - while some legends say their victims are killed by the Acheri’s shadow. Legend has it that the only defense against an Acheri was to tie a red ribbon or thread around your neck and avoid their shadow.
Dybbuk - Judaism
Within Jewish folklore exists a terrifying spirit monster called the dybbuk. They are said to be the souls of people who have died and could not move on, sometimes as punishment for sins the spirit committed while alive. Similar to most cases of possession, a dybbuk can be removed by an exorcism of sorts. Exorcists interview the spirit to find out its reasons for needing to stay and find out the spirit’s name. It was thought that if you could learn its name, you could control the dybbuk. In one story, the exorcist holds up a white candle and a flask and recites one passage to reveal the name, and recites another passage to command the spirit to leave. Once the spirit enters the flask, it will glow a bright red.
Pontianak - Malaysia
Said to be the ghosts of those who died during childbirth, the pontianak is similar to a vampire in that they feed on humans. They appear as pale, dark-haired women with red eyes and also uses the cry of an innocent baby to lure victims… a popular method among monstrosities. They kill their victims by using their nails to open the victim’s stomach and then eats their organs, while some say they are capable of sucking your eyes right out of your skull! Not to worry, though, because the pontianak can be fought off - by ramming a metal nail into the nape of her neck. The legend says that this will turn her back into a beautiful woman and a good wife…until the nail is removed, that is.
Bubak - Czech Republic
Like a terrifying mix of Santa Claus and the Bogeyman, this European monster could cause nightmares for anyone. Said to appear like a scarecrow, the bubak hides on riverbanks and lures his victims by crying like an innocent, lost baby. His cries lure in both adults and children alike, and his clothing is woven from the skin of his victims. Known to many as the Sack Man, bubak carries a sack over his shoulder, much like Santa Claus. The two differ in that bubak uses his to catch his prey - so it’s definitely not filled with fun presents and the Christmas spirit. This anti-Claus is most active on nights when there is a full moon, makes clothes for his stolen souls and rides around in a cart drawn around by black cats.
Campe - Greece
Greece mythology is home to all kinds of horrific monsters, so it’s hard to choose just one, but Campe definitely belongs near the top of the list. She is said to have a beautiful woman’s head and upper body with the lower half of a dragon and scorpion’s tail. If that doesn’t seem excessive enough, it gets even worse: she has snakes around her ankles and, where the dragon and woman halves meet, is filled with bubbles holding the heads of various animals. Campe has black wings and long, sickle-like fingernails, and was tasked with guarding Cronus’s prisoners in Tartarus.
Black Annis - England
You know that feeling of being followed? If you’re in the woods of England and can hear teeth grinding, it might be Black Annis! Also known as Black Agnes, she is said to search through the countryside for children and lambs to eat, then tans their skin by hanging them from a tree to wear as a belt. She has blue skin and long, steel claws that she uses to reach through windows to grab her victims. Her legend has been told in different ways throughout the ages, but in most of them, she’s been used to get unruly children to listen to their parents.
Vodnik - Slavic
Have you ever felt something brush against your leg while swimming in a lake? You might want to show caution next time¬–it may be the vodnik! Though they tend to not be evil by definition, that doesn't make them any less terrifying. The frog-like vodník is territorial and drowns those that swim into its home and their souls are kept inside porcelain cups. The soul can be released if the lid is removed, however, and when a fisherman is having a bad–or lazy¬–day, they can offer the vodník a pinch of tobacco to bring them fish.
Baobhan Sith – Scotland
Vampires are the stars of different legends all across the globe, but Scotland’s version of this creature is particularly scary. The baobhan sith drinks blood and sleeps in a coffin, but that’s where its resemblance to your typical vampire ends. She usually appears as a beautiful woman who seduces her victims by charming them into dancing, then drinks from the open wounds caused by her long talons. If she kills a woman, then the victim becomes one of their kind. Don’t worry too much, though - as they can be killed with iron or by being trapped in their coffin surrounded by stone.