Eerie Apparitions: 50 Bizarre Ghosts From Around the World

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31 El Chonchón (Chile)

El Chonchón (Chile)

El Chonchón is a strange and supernatural creature found in Chilean folklore. It is said to be a giant bird-like creature with a human head, often depicted with bat-like wings. El Chonchón is believed to be a shape-shifter that can transform into a human at night, usually a woman with backward-facing feet. Those who encounter El Chonchón may suffer from bad luck, illness, or other misfortunes.


32 El Cucuy (Latin America)

El Cucuy (Latin America)

El Cucuy, also known as “El Coco” in some regions, is a bogeyman-like figure in Latin American folklore. Parents often use the legend of El Cucuy to scare children into behaving. He is described as a dark, shadowy figure that hides under beds or in closets, ready to snatch misbehaving children who stay up past their bedtime. El Cucuy’s legend serves as a cautionary tale to keep children obedient and respectful.


33 El Sombrerón (Guatemala)

El Sombrerón (Guatemala)

El Sombrerón is a mysterious and mischievous figure from Guatemalan folklore. He is described as a short man dressed in black with a large hat and boots that make a distinctive clinking sound as he walks. El Sombrerón is known for his amorous pursuits, braiding the hair of young women in their sleep and enchanting them. His actions are seen as both a nuisance and a potential threat, as he can drive his victims to madness or obsession.


34 Ifrit (Middle Eastern Folklore)

Ifrit (Middle Eastern Folklore)

The Ifrit is a powerful and malevolent type of jinn in Middle Eastern folklore. These fiery spirits are known for their strength and cunning. Ifrits are often depicted as shape-shifters who can take on various forms. They may cause harm to humans or engage in complex interactions with them, sometimes entering into pacts or bargains. Their stories are found in tales from “One Thousand and One Nights” and other Arabic literature.


35 Arzhang (Persian Folklore)

Arzhang (Persian Folklore)

The Arzhang is a ghostly figure from Persian folklore, particularly in Iran. It is believed to be the spirit of a wronged person who has not received justice in life. Arzhang often appears as a sad and disheveled figure, seeking vengeance or retribution against those responsible for their suffering. Their stories emphasize the importance of moral accountability and justice in Persian culture.


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36 Blue Men of the Minch (Scottish Hebrides)

Blue Men of the Minch (Scottish Hebrides)

The Blue Men of the Minch are supernatural beings found in the folklore of the Scottish Hebrides. These spirits are believed to inhabit the waters of the Minch, a treacherous strait. They are said to capsize ships and drag sailors to their watery demise. The Blue Men are often described as having blue skin and webbed fingers. Their stories serve as cautionary tales for sailors navigating the perilous waters.


37 Karakasa-obake (Japan)

Karakasa-obake (Japan)

The Karakasa-obake is a whimsical and mischievous ghostly creature from Japanese folklore. It takes the form of an old, one-legged umbrella with a single eye and a long, protruding tongue. Karakasa-obake are known for hopping and bouncing around, using their long tongue to lick people or objects. Despite their bizarre appearance, they are considered more playful than malevolent and are often featured in traditional Japanese artwork.


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38 Jiangshi (China)

Jiangshi (China)

The Jiangshi, or “Hopping Vampire,” is a supernatural creature from Chinese folklore. Dark magic or improperly buried corpses are what reanimate it. Jiangshi are known for their stiff, hopping movements and their thirst for the life force of the living, typically obtained by draining qi (vital energy). They are often depicted with talismans on their foreheads, which prevent them from harming others. Stories of Jiangshi are popular in Chinese vampire folklore and horror fiction.


39 Jiutou Nü (China)

Jiutou Nü (China)

Jiutou Nü, or “Nine-Headed Woman,” is a grotesque and eerie ghostly figure from Chinese folklore. She is said to have nine heads, each with a different expression. Jiutou Nü is known for appearing near water bodies, such as rivers and lakes, where she lures unsuspecting victims to their deaths. Her horrifying appearance serves as a warning against venturing into dangerous waters.


40 Vetal (India)

Vetal (India)

The Vetal, also known as “Baital” or “Vetalu,” is a ghostly being found in the folklore of India, particularly in the collection of stories known as the “Baital Pachisi.” It is a mischievous spirit that inhabits and possesses corpses, making them talk and interact with the living. Vetal stories often involve riddles and moral dilemmas posed by the spirit to a king. Despite its ghostly nature, the Vetal is known for its wit and cleverness, making it a recurring character in Indian folklore.


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