We are all very familiar with creatures like Zombies, Vampires, Banshees, Witches, and other similar Western monsters. The horror and even fantasy genre are filled with the same old mythical creatures. So it's time now to move past the same old, redundant monsters and get creative in your stories by exploring some new creatures.
Asian folklore is filled with many interesting and frightening mythical monsters. Here is a list of a few of many creatures from different parts of Asia.
This creature is the Asian equivalent of a Vampire, hailing from India with its roots in Hindu Mythology. Vetala is an evil spirit who lives in cemeteries and can occupy the body of corpses. When a vetala takes over a corpse, its feet and hands turn backward. They are not affected by the laws of time and space which gives them extensive knowledge of the past, present, and future. The only way to get rid of a vetala is by performing funerary rites on them which can put their soul at peace.
Also known as Gumhio, is a nine-tailed fox from Korean folklore, with shape-shifting abilities. This creature has recently become popular due to its frequent appearances in Korean dramas. Kumhios are blood-thirsty, evil creatures who are very secretive about their true identity. They generally transform themselves into beautiful young women in order to seduce men and eat their hearts or livers. In their human forms, they appear to have fox-like features and long pointy ears hidden behind their long, flowing locks.
This creature is another variation of a Vampire from the Philippines. Its name is derived from the Tagalog word "tanggal" which means "to split ''. The Manananggal is described as an old but beautiful woman who transforms at night by growing bat-like wings and can separate its upper torso from its lower body in order to fly. Her prey include fetuses of pregnant women, and men. Sunlight is deadly for a manananggal, and she can be killed by rubbing salt, garlic, and or ashes on her exposed flesh.
Also known as Ōdokuro, are spirits that take the shape of skeletons, originating from Japanese Mythology. People who have died from starvation, unable to receive proper funeral rites take the form of skeletal giants who are fifteen times larger than an average human. These skeletal giants wander around the countryside in the darkest hour of the night. They have a strong grudge against the living, and if they come across a human being, they grab them, bite their head off and add their skeleton into a pile. Gashadokuro stays alive until the malice stored in their body hasn't completely burned out.
A half-zombie and half-vampire creature from Chinese Mythology is known as Jiganshi. They are undead humans who hunt and feed on the living. These monsters have greenish-white skin and are excellent jumpers who can only move by hopping. Someone's corpse can turn into a Jiganshi due to various reasons such as - suicide, black magic, or a burial gone wrong.
is a young writer from India who is currently pursuing Mass Media. Apart from reading and writing, she spends most of her time daydreaming and listening to music. You can find her on Instagram at @aastha.1703