Kanaima are avenging spirits or humans possessed by said spirits in the folklore of the native tribes of British Guinia and in Northwestern Brazil.
Apperance: Kanaima are shape-shifters and can appear in a variety of forms.
Lore: Kanaima, as spirits of vengeance, attack and kill their victims in retaliation for some injustice. In order to accomplish their goal, Kanaima will possess the bodies of animals or people. In such possessed form the host becomes enraged, wild, and will violently attack it's victims. Kanaima are not above harming or killing the friends, family, and loved-ones of it's victim. Individuals possessed by the Kanaima will not dwell in homes but will live wild or feral in the jungle or wilderness. Time nor distance are of any importance to those possessed by the Kanaima as they will track their victims to any location that they may have fled or may be hiding. An interesting aspect of the Kanaima is that it seeks the painful suffering of it's victim and will not kill it's victim outright. Instead, the Kanaima works it so that the victim dies a painful death three days after it's attack. During this process the Kanaima slashes the tongue of it's victim so that he/she cannot speak of what is occurring. As far as weapons, the Kanaima possesses supernatural weapons and is most noted for it's bow which it shoots arrows tipped with a magical poison. Victims of the Kanaima often die from having their intestines twisted up into knots. The Kanaima must perform a strange ritual that includes the ingesting of the victims blood on the third night after the death of the victim. The ritual includes the stabbing of the corpse with a special staff or stick of wood and then licking-off the blood or fluids clinging to the stick when it is pulled from the body. If the Kanaima can perform this ritual then it will immediately exit the body of the human it is possessing and then that person will return to normal. However, if the Kanaima cannot perform this ritual then the person possessed by the Kanaima will go insane and die.
Powers: Kanaima possess supernatural powers as they are spirits. They have the power to shape-shift and to possess the bodies of animals and humans. Kanaima possess supernatural weapons. The Kanaima is believed to be able to drive people insane with one look.
Defense Against Kanaima: Unknown.
Kanaima In Popular Culture: On the series Teen Wolf, a Kanaima who transforms into a reptilian or lizard-like humanoid is responsible for the murders of multiple people. The character of Derek explains that the Kanaima is a shape-shifter and an abomination. Derek also adds that the Kanaima doesn't know who he or she is.
An Inquiry Into The Animism And Folklore Of The Guiana Indians by Walter Edmund Roth
The Kanaima and Charles George