1. Leshi (Slavic)
This spirit is often a guardian of woods. If you stumble upon one, it will take you to its cave and tickle you to death. Not a bad way to go, but if you’d rather not die, you can protect yourself by turning your clothing inside out and putting your shoes on the wrong feet.
2. Aqrabuamelu (Mesopotamia)
These guardians of the sun god, Shamash are also known as Scorpion Men. Their heads touch the sky and have glances that cause death. Despite that, they’re known to be benevolent creatures who warn travelers of upcoming danger.
3. Baku (Japan)
Originating from Chinese folklore, the Balu is also known as The Dream Eater. This spirit will devour bad dreams and nightmares. But beware, it may also devour your hopes and dreams.
4. Caladrius (Rome)
The Caladrius is a white bird that is able to absorb sickness from a person and make them healthy. (I need one.) The bird then carries the sickness toward the sun where the illness is burned away. (Seriously, I where do I get one?)
5. Cadejo (Central America)
Be wary if you stumble upon a Cadejo, for there are good and evil versions of this creature. The good, naturally, will help, such as leading lost travelers to safety. Unsurprisingly, the evil version will lead you to your death.
6. Peluda (France)
We’ve all heard of a chimera, but France has it’s own version. A Peluda is an assortment of different creatures and beasts mashed together to make a terrifying monster. It is often hairy or shaggy.
7. Bal Bal (Filipino)
This monster is an eater of the dead. It slinks around graveyards and even funerals and steals corpses to feed on. It is a sneaky monster that, after eating the dead body, places a banana in the coffin to make it appear as if the body is still there!
8. Kinoly (Madagascar)
The Kinoly is a ghost who preys upon the living. In Malagasy folklore if ancestors were not well tended or forgotten they turn into Kinoly. These angry ghosts haunt their own graves and will cause misfortune on those who have wronged them.
9. Gjenganger (Scandinavia)
The Gjengager is one ghost you don’t want to find in a haunted house since it spreads plague and disease. It has a special power known as ‘dødningeknip’ which means ‘dead man’s pinch’. Don’t let the name fool you, as the effects are harrowing. The victim’s skin turns blue and infection spreads. Eventually, the flesh becomes necrotic, and the infection works its way to the heart, killing the victim. All this happens while the victim is asleep and helpless.
10. Fetch (Ireland)
Have you ever seen someone who you swore was your twin? It may have been a Fetch. These doppelganger spirits from Ireland take the appearance of someone about to die. The Fetch will look identical, but appear distant or distracted. Some believe they are born when we are and live alongside us in the hopes of replacing us.
11. Bakhtak (Iran)
Bahtak is the Persian word for nightmare. This creature sits on your chest while you sleep and aims to suffocate you to death. Victims will wake unable to move or breath with a heavy weight on their chest. Often, it’s depicted as a goblin or stout, little man.
12. Futakuchi-Onna (Japan)
The name literally means two-mouthed woman. At the back of her head, hidden under the hair, is a large mouth with a sharp tongue that eats as much as it finds. Her hair acts like tentacles that searches for food. If the mouth isn’t fed, it threatens the woman or screams, causing her tremendous pain. There are a few variations on how the woman is cursed with a mouth on the back of her head.
13. Domovoi (Russia)
This household spirit found in Russia is believed to represent the former head of the family such as a grandfather. It has the appearance of a tiny, old man. Every household has a Demovoi. They are tricksters and mischief-makers who tickle sleeping people. Displease it and it will cause noise by throwing dishes, but it also protects the house and family. Keep it happy and it might do the chores or feed the pets.
I hope you enjoyed this list. Have you heard of any of these creatures? Let me know in the comments.