Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The Penanggalan is a vampiric demon of Malaysian folklore that flies through the air in search of her prey, the blood of newborns, small children, pregnant women, woman who have recently given birth, as well as placentas. Similar to the Manananggal, the Penanggalan differs in one aspect, mainly that come nightfall the creature's head separates from it's body and flies through the air, dangling it's entrails behind it.

Appearance: By day the Penanggalan appears as a normal human woman. By night the Penanggalan separates it's head from it's body, grows fangs and an elongated tongue, and flies through the air in search of it's prey.

Lore: There are many stories about the origins of the Penanggalan with the most popular being a story of a priestess taking a ritual bath in vinegar. The priestess was startled by a man and jerked her head so fast that it decapitated her. She did not die, but the head became a monstrous entity. Another legend suggest that a Penanggalan is a witch who broke her pact with a demon. According to folklore, the Penangalan smells of vinegar due to the fact that she either keeps her body in a vat of vinegar while she is hunting or that she soaks her entrails in vinegar so to shrink them and be able to fit back inside her body. Penanggalans are said to perch on rooftops of the houses in which babies are born, screaming to announce the time of birth.

Powers: A Penanggalan can fly by using her long hair as wings. A Penangalan can also maneuver her entrails like tentacles. The body fluid that drips from the Penanggalan's entrails as it flies is said to spread disease and anybody who comes into contact with it is said to develop sores that never heal.

Defence Against Penanggalan: Just as in traditional Vampire lore, sunlight is fatal to the Penanggalan. If she cannot rejoin her body come sunrise, she will die. A Penanggalan can always be identified when in her human form by her constant stench of vinegar. Sleeping with scissors under one's pillow is also said to repel Penanggalans. The most popular method of repelling Penanggalans involves planting thorny bushes around the entrances of the house. The Penanggalan's entrails will become trapped on the thorns so that it can be easily killed or else it can die if it can not return to it's body before sunrise.

The Tale Of The Penanggalan

What Is A Penanggalan?

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