The Ebu Gogo are a group of humanoid creatures that first appeared in Flores mythology. In the Nage language of central Flores “ebu” means ‘grandmother’ and “gogo” means ‘he who eats anything’. The Nage people of Flores, Indonesia have described the Ebu Gogo as having the ability to walk and run quite quickly at around the height of 1.5 meters (about four to almost five feet tall) and they have flat and wide noses, broad faces with large mouths and extremely hairy bodies. They reportedly murmur in what seems to be their own language and also could repeat what others said to them in a parrot-like fashion. The legends of the Ebu Gogo were attributed to monkeys, but at the time they were believed to be a type of human. During the time of the Portuguese Trading Ship arriving in the 17th century people believed that they were alive during this time. They also think that they were alive up until the 20th century, but are no longer in existence. It would have seemed they were hunted to extinction. Stories say that they used to steal food from human camps and kidnap children, so the people in those camps offered them a gift of palm fiber to make into clothing. They accepted the gift and took it back to their cave to start making clothing. The people then threw a firebrand into the cave and set it on fire. It killed all of the Ebu Gogo except possibly one pair that managed to escape to a nearby forest where they may supposedly be living today.
The Akkorokamui (or also known as the Ashketanne Mat which means “Long-fingered Woman) is a half-human half-octopus monster from the Ainu and Shinto folklore in Japan. It supposedly lurks in the Funka Bay in Hokkaido. It’s also been sighted in several other locations such as Taiwan and Korea for centuries.
According to the Shinto mythology, the creature is human-like and has a bright red color. John Batchelor wrote in his book “The Ainu and Their Folklore” he states that the creature is 120 meters (about 394 feet) in length and its color was “liken to the color of the reflection of the setting sun upon water”. It also has the ability to self-amputate like an octopus and regenerate limbs like one as well. This characteristic manifested itself in the belief in Shinto that Akkorokamui has healing powers. As a result of that belief among followers believe that giving offerings to Akkorokamui will heal ailments of the body, mainly those that are disfigured or have broken limbs.
The legend of how this creature became starts a long time ago in that spirits cursed a person named Rebunge who was a villager of Abuta Toyoura to see the destruction of his own village. They sent a half-spider half-human monster called Yaoshikepu to fulfill this curse. Yaoshikepu set out to destroy the village and slaughtered so many people that the streets were filled with blood. After hearing the townsfolk trembling and screaming with fear the sea kami (“kami” means divine beast in the Shinto religion) Repunkamui transformed Yaoshikepu into an octopus and sent her into the sea. After she was sent into the sea she began to grow and was consuming larger prey such as whales and attacking ships. One day Akkorokamui ate a boat full of fishermen and once in her stomach, the fishermen called out for help. After hearing these cries, Repunkamui poised Akkorokamui and caused her great pain. As she yelled in pain the fishermen managed to escaped. Akkorokamui learned how to harness the poison, however, and used it to attack her prey, including more ships with fishermen in them.
The Ainu reverence of Akkorokamui has become a permanent part of Shintoism which incorporated it as a minor kami. The self purification practices for this kami are strictly followed. One’s hands must be cleaned with water, with the exception that one’s feet must also be cleaned. While it is often presented as a benevolent kami with powers to heal and bestow knowledge it is also capable of doing harm. Also because of the nature of it being part octopus it means that it is persistent and it’s nearly impossible to escape its grasp without permission. Akkorokamui enjoys the sea and so the offerings that are the best would be fish, crab and mollusks. There are shrines dedicated with Akkorokamui and associated octopus deity which can be found throughout Japan. The most well known shrines are found in Kyoto and the island of Hokkaido.
This beautiful yet dangerous mythological creature is somewhat a cryptid in its sightings. Many would argue it is just visions of those who strongly believe in a higher power and that it is not a cryptid at all. I like to believe that there is always some truth in these types of stories. Who are we to say it isn’t so?
The Wendigo (or Windigo) is a cannibal monster or an evil spirit that is native to the northern forests of the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes Region of both the U.S. and Canada. It originates in Algonquian folklore. The Wendigo might appear as a monster with some characteristics of a human, or a spirit who has possessed a human being and made them become monstrous. It’s historically associated with cannibalism, murder, insatiable greed, and the cultural taboos against those behaviors. A psychosis that steamed from the Wendigo that is highly debated is the Wendigo Psychosis, which is considered a form of culture-bound syndrome with symptoms such as intense craving for human flesh and a fear of becoming a cannibal.
In some indigenous communities, environmental destruction and insatiable greed are also seen as a manifestions of Wendigo Psychosis. Part of the traditional belief system of a number of Algonquin-speaking poeples most notably the Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Cree, Naskapi, and the Innu people. The descriptions of the Wendigo vary but the common aspect that is associated with these cultures is that it is a malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural being and is strongly associated with winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.
In Ojibwe, Eastern Cree, Swampy Cree, Naskapi, and Innu lore often describes them as giants many times larger than human beings, a characteristic absent from the myth in other Algonquin cultures. When a Wendigo ate a person it would grow in proportion to the person they just had ate so that it was never full. They are simultaneously portrayed as gluttonous and emaciated from starvation. The creature is seen as the combination of gluttony, greed, and excess. They’re never satisfied with killing and eating one person so they are always hunting for more.
More human-like Wendigos are those who are overpowered by greed and turn into Wendigos themselves. This myth served as a way of encouraging people to cooperate and to practice moderation. The Wendigos are extremely deadly and feared creatures that are the results of greed and sin. They are what people could become if they are not careful with their greed.
The Pig Man is an urban legend that is about a 17-year-old boy in Northfield, Vermont. The story goes that young Sam Harris was heading out with a basket of eggs on the night before Halloween in 1951 to do “Picket Night” which was a night of mischief. The next morning his parents awoke and discovered that their son was not in the house. A large search party was formed, but he was never found. He’s never been found but people have said that they’ve seen Sam and say he became possessed by the Devil on the night he went out. He’s known to slaughter pigs, eat their entrails, empty out their heads and wear it on his head while terrorizing locals. His ghost is said to still haunt the hills surrounding the Devil’s Washbowl. He’s also rumored to be involved in bestiality with the pigs that have produced half-human half-pig offspring. There are also a few other Pig Men of different areas as well. Many those are the offspring? We may never know.
The Goatman is a half-human half-goat creature that is said to have the backside of a goat and the top part of a human. According to legend, the Goatman is an axe-wielding half creature that came from the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The Goatman, who was a scientist at the time, was experimenting on goats and one went wrong, causing him to mutate and become part goat. He then became attacking cars with an axe and wandering the back roads of Beltsville, Maryland. A variation of the legend says he’s a hermit living in the woods. There are even more variations of the legend that are just as strange as any other.
The urban legend about black-eyed children are believed to be evil creatures in disguise or even aliens. Their eyes are completely black and they usually stop people late at night and ask for help and if you deny them help, they get extremely aggressive and will disappear once you try to get away. When people encounter these children they are overwhelmed with a feeling of dread or feel like something just isn’t right. There hasn’t been any cases of the children attacking people but the feeling of dread and fear that individuals feel after encountering these children is all too real.
The Aswang (or Asuwang) is a Filipino shapeshifting monster known throughout folklore. The monster usually is a combination of the traits of a vampire, a ghoul, a warlock/witch, different species of werebeast, or even all of them together. It should be noted that the Aswang was the most feared mythical creature in the Philippines, even as far back as the 16th century. The myth of the creature is known throughout the Philippines and is especially popular in the Visayas, southern parts of Luzon, and parts of Mindanao. It also goes by other names including “tik-tik”, “bayot”, “wak-wak”, “sok-sok”, and “kling-kling”. The name “Aswang” is derived from the Sanskirt word “Asura” which means “demon”.
The stories of the Aswang vary from region to region and person to person and there is no particular set of characteristics to describe the Aswang but it is usually interchangeable with “manananggal” and is usually depicted as female. Also because of the many different stories of regarding the Aswang there are many different descriptions of appearance and its activities. There are, however, some common themes that make the Aswang different from other creatures.
The Aswang, as mentioned before, are shapeshifters. Many stories say that during the day they are disguised as regular people. Shy, quiet, and even a bit elusive. At night, however, they transform into bats, birds (usually crows), wild boars, black cats, but mostly a big black dog. This next part is a bit grotesque so beware. Their favorite foods are unborn fetuses and small children, mainly their livers and hearts. Some of them have proboscises which they can use to suck children out of the wombs of their mothers while they sleep. Some of the Aswang are so thin they can hide behind bamboo posts and they are very fast. Some of them makes noise such as the Tik-Tik (hence the names). They use these noises to confuse their victims. They may also replace their victims or cadavers with copies or doppelgangers made from tree trunks or other plants. Aswangs have bloodshot eyes from staying up all night hunting for food.
They are physically more like humans during the daytime and only change their appearance at night if they need to go hunting. It has been said that the Aswangs can marry humans and if they do, the human will become one as well but they can not/rarely reproduce. They may hunt together but they will go in separate directions.
They are not harmed by sunlight at all. They can befriended and they can interact with you like any other normal human being. They do not harm their friends and neighbors and have been said to exclude them from being their next meals. They go to places far away that would not be obvious. They are said to be more vulnerable in the day because they do not possess their super strength, and they’ve been known to hunt and kill those who know of their true identities.
There are many ways of getting rid of the Aswang, such as garlic, salt, or religious artifacts and weapons. They are also said to be scared of the sound of a whip made of stingray’s tail. To figure out if a person is an aswang you have to look into their eyes and you will know if they are a aswang if your reflection is upside down. Another way is to bend over and look at them between your legs. If you see something different, it is an aswang. There is a type of oil as well called Hintura which is said to boil and bubble when one is nearby.
These creatures are incredibly interesting. Their disguises are amazing to blend into society and look just like human beings and go about their days among humans. They are fascinating and who knows, maybe there is one living with you right now. You just don’t know it.