#atozchallenge – S is for Sluagh, the Wild Hunt

They hunt at Samhain, conscripting souls.

There are many versions of the Wild Hunt across folklore, a band of evil, misshapen spirits who prowl the darkest nights. The Sluagh haunt tales from Ireland and Scotland, telling of a flock of spirits that fly in like birds from the west. They usually hunt around Samhain, the precursor to what we know as Halloween, seeking souls to add to their ranks. Even death itself defers to the twisted, unholy Sluagh as it relentlessly hunted. Should you find yourself their target, it is only by putting another in your place that you can escape – an act which would probably mark you as even more suited to their collection of unrepentant, unforgiven sinners!


Image – Åsgårdsreien by Peter Nicolai Arbo, at Wikimedia Commons





#atozchallenge – R is for Rabisu, lurking in shadows

They hide in dark corners, waiting to strike.

A Rabisu is an Akkadian demon who lurks in the thresholds of houses and in the dark shadows of alleys. The Rabisu cannot be barred by bolted doors or locked windows, as they will find even the tiniest cracks and slither through them like snakes. Only an unbroken line of the purest sea salt can truly bar the Rabisu’s path.

When they hunt, they are like vampires, feeding on life energy and devouring the weak. You’d best examine the shadows carefully when you traverse dark, unkown spaces.


Image found at Encyclopedia Satanica



#atozchallenge – Q is for Qiqirin, prowling the North


He prowls the North, spreading madness.

The Qiqirin spirit hardly seems worthy of attention at first. Skittish and seemingly foolish, this mostly bald dog spirit seems harmless enough. With only its mouth, tail, ears and feet covered in hair, it may seem just a harmless oddity – another prowler in the frosty backwoods of the North. People who come to near one, however, suffer violent seizures, and can even die simply from proximity to its spiritual power. The beast may be skittish and quick to run away, but it takes its toll on anyone it encounters.



Image – Qiqirin by Dingoat on DeviantArt




#atozchallenge – P is for Penanggalan, a sickening sight

They devour the young in their quest for flesh and blood.

She may appear as a beautiful woman in the day, but you won’t be admiring a Penanggalan by night. A Penanggalan is an evil being who detaches her head and flies about in the night. When she flies, her organs dangle below her, and can wrap about her victims as she seeks blood. She usually seeks newborns to devour, but can drink the blood of others. While she flies about, her body is stored in vinegar. If you can find it, perhaps a little garlic paste can put an end to the body and the evil spirit.



Image – Penanggalan by chrishope on DeviantArt




#atozchallenge – O is for Obayifo, an African Vampire

Artwork by KooboriSapphire on DeviantArt

Infected by evil, it seeks the blood of the innocent.

An Obayifo is a living man or woman possessed by a vampiric spirit. They walk around West African villages by day, looking no different from any other villager. At night, though, they take on a phosphorescent glow. The evil spirit can leave the physical body in a glowing orb of light, taking terrible tolls on villagers and crops alike. He seeks out small children to drink their blood. He can only be stopped by a village wizard, known as an Okomfo – its best to pay your respects to the local wizard when you pass through remote villages in Africa.


Image from Artwork by KooboriSapphire on DeviantArt





#atozchallenge – N is for Nu Gui, a woman scorned

She seeks vengeance for the wrongs of her life.

Nu gui are the ghosts of women who committed suicide, especially those who were wronged or abused while alive. As ghosts, they are draped in long white or red dresses, with flowing black hair. They take their revenge upon the living, sucking out life essence as they wreak their revenge. They often go after lecherous men, seducing them and then leaving their corpses behind. Very little esle is known about them – perhaps because few have survived their scorn!


Image from The Beijing Family




#atozchallenge – M is for Mara, the original nightmare

She rides your chest as you sleep, darkening your dreams.

The mara are wraiths who brought terrible dreams across the Scandinavian and Germanic lands. They came into bedrooms through keyholes and the cracks under doors to sit upon the chest of a sleeper. If you end up with one of these spirit-ladies on your chest, your dreams will be haunted by their twisted darkness. Sleep on your side if you can – you don’t want a mara finding your chest tonight.


Image – The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli on Wikimedia Commons