Malaysia - Bas, Bājang, Engbaukai, Hantu Penanggalan, Hantu Penyardin, Langsuyar, Maneden, Mati-Anak, Pelesit, Penanggalan, Polong, Pontianak
Bas: The Bas is a spirit believed in by the Chewong people of Malaysia. The food of the Bas was ruwai, which is loosely translated as soul, vitality, or life. The Bas most often hunted pigs, but were said to occasionally attack humans, if hunger-driven enough, or by accident. The most common way to keep the Bas away was to build a fire, which it saw as a sign of civilization or humanity, and it would stay away.
Bājang: A Malaysian vampire assumed to be male, appearing as a cat and normally threatening children. The Bajang can be enslaved and turned into a demon servant and is often handed down from one generation to the next within a family. It is kept in a tabong (bamboo vessel), which is protected by various charms. While imprisoned it is fed with eggs and will turn on its owner if not enough food is provided. The master of such a demon can send it out to inflict harm on his/her enemy, the enemy usually dying soon after of a mysterious disease. According to traditions the Bajang came from the body of a stillborn child, coaxed out of it by various incantations.
Engbaukai: The Chewong people of Malaysia spun several tales of this psychic vampire; most seem to relate it to the soul of dead swamp-dog.
Hantu Penanggalan: Yet another bodiless head, trailing entrails and eating babies.
Hantu Penyardin: Under research.
Langsuyar: Much like the Pontianak (which it is also known as the Langsuyar or Langsuir), it is recognized by her long fingernails, green robe and the hole in her neck. She died during childbirth. This hole is where she feeds on infants' blood. They may fool men into marrying them as humans but at the first big dance they get over excited and fly off into the trees. The Langsuyar was recorded by Sir William Maxwell in the Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society circa 1885.
Maneden: Another myth rooted in the folklore of the Chewong people of Malaysia. I have uncovered little of use and am unsure if this is an actual vampiric creature or a parasite of some kind. Research to be continued.
Mati-Anak: Possibly a different name for Pontianak, otherwise still under research.
Pelesit: The Pelesit was a vampiric being that took on the form of a house cricket. If someone was being attacked by a Polong, the Pelesit generally accompanied it. The Pelesit would arrive before the Polong, enter the victim's body, and prepare the way for the Polong.
Penanggalan: Like the Phi Krasue of Thailand, the Penanggalan consists of a head and some entrails. A Penanggalan is almost always a woman, whose head magically tears from its body, dragging her spine and internal organs along with it. It literally means "head with dancing intestines." Generally they feed on the blood of children, particularly infants, and the blood from childbirth.
The Penanggalan's powers include dripping a sort of slime from her intestines that cause disease, while these viscera, particularly the small intestine, can be manipulated like tentacles. They are not used as limbs, for she can get about by flying. By day, in some versions, she returns to the rest of her body, and this requires dipping her organs in large quantities of vinegar.
There are many variations on how someone becomes a Penanggalan. One is that someone can have put a curse on her; another is that she can be startled by a man while praying, so that her head leaps up. As reported in Melton, the earliest tradition refers to a ritual called dudok bertapa, a penance ceremony in which she would sit in a large wooden vat used for holding palm sap vinegar. A man, apparently a rather rude one, would approach her and ask what she was doing. As she moved to leave without him seeing more than her backside, she did so with such force that her head tore off of her body, pulling her innards behind her, and took to living in a tree as an evil spirit. The Penanggalan would land on rooftops of houses where children were being born, and would signal its appearance with a high-pitched whine.
Melton refers to P.J. Begbie's 1834 book, The Malayan Peninsula for further origin myths and stories related to the Penanggalan. Such as the woman who was possessed by a spirit (apparently not at the behest of a sorcerer) that transformed her into a sorceress. In this version, she became a Penanggalan whenever she wished to travel, and it was usually to consume blood, either living or dead it did not matter.
Melton also provides a possible origin as a woman who learned to fly with her magic arts, but assumed the same course as the original, this time also wanting to suck the blood of mothers giving birth. This version of the myth also adds the use of jeruju to protect the birthing site and thorns stuck in spilled blood. It also adds that the Penanggalan's bodily fluids, mostly blood and intracoelar fluids, which would tend to drip while flying, would make a person who touched them immediately fall ill.
Polong: The Polong was a very small Malaysian female (1 inch tall), which was believed to be a witch's familiar. In return for daily blood from the witch, the Polong would do many tasks, including attacking the witch's enemies.
Pontianak: See Pontianak of Indonesia
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