Fantastic 13th – A Chronicle of Magical Creatures: Aswang

In our digital travels through the world, we came across a most sinister creature for this month’s creature feature (I swear I wasn’t trying to rhyme right there). So for this month’s monster, we are meeting the evil and mysterious Aswang from the Philippines -the scariest and most feared type of creature in the country.

aswang

WHAT IS IT?

The Aswang are shapeshifters and considering the monsters we have covered in the past, it’s an extremely desirable trait. However, unlike Huldra, it can remain active during the day as a normal human being with actual human friends and neighbors, making it very difficult to spot one in a village since they are not affected by daylight. At night the creature is transformed into many possibilities – most popularly a dog, bat, or cat. If they make any noise at all, it’s usually a ‘tik-tik’ noise. What they do at night sets them aside from other creatures as they steal fresh corpses and living humans, drinking their blood (hence the vampire traits associated with the creature), and even stealing fetuses from pregnant women and devouring them whole. They usually have bloodshot eyes, are very ghoul-like and are for the most part female, which makes their fetus-snatching (and love for livers and hearts) even more sinister. What makes this creature unique is the amount of information provided on warding against or destroying them. Many of these tactics involve traditional vampire/demon warding like holy water and garlic as well as silver and salt. Other legends also suggest the bodies stolen are replaced by doppelgangers.

What they do at night sets them aside from other creatures as they steal fresh corpses and living humans, drinking their blood (hence the vampire traits associated with the creature), and even stealing fetuses from pregnant women and devouring them whole. They usually have bloodshot eyes, are very ghoul-like in appearance and are for the most part female, which makes their fetus-snatching (and love for livers and hearts) even more sinister. What makes this creature unique is the amount of information provided on warding against or destroying them. Many of these tactics involve traditional vampire/demon warding like holy water and garlic as well as silver and salt. Other legends also suggest the bodies stolen are replaced by doppelgangers.

What makes this creature unique is the amount of information provided on warding against or destroying them. Many of these tactics involve traditional vampire/demon warding like holy water and garlic as well as silver and salt. Other legends also suggest the bodies stolen are replaced by doppelgangers.

thepinoywarriorghoul2

ORIGIN

The feared Aswang comes from many locations, including Northern Samar, Quezon, Visayan provinces of Aklan, Antique, Cebu and many other areas in the Philippines. Folklore varies between regions but seems specific to the Philippines. As some are depicted as master hiders and/or fitted with long proboscises, it is interesting that such a feared well-known type of creature comes with many different stories and characteristics in different areas.

 

aswang_by_ubermonster-d32lpwk
Credit to Ubermonster via DeviantArt

 

MODERN USE

There is a lot more use of this type of creature than I previously expected when researching, but there is a bit of a gap when it comes to books. Here are some examples:

 

UNIQUE IDEAS

What’s great about the Aswang is it can really be used in any setting and creatively, in many different genres like YA Supernatural, Horror, Mystery and perhaps even Comedy. A story’s setting does not have to take place in the Philippines, even though the creature originates from there. Aswangs can be a good creature to tap into so make sure to consider them during your next writing session!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s