Aswang

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The Aswang was a vampire from Philippines mythology. The stories of the Aswang are varied, so there are different ideas of what the vampire creature looked like. For the most part, the Aswang was thought to be a shapeshifter, living as a regular townsperson during the day but an animal at night.

The Philippine vampire enjoyed eating unborn fetuses and small children, favoring the livers and hearts the best. Some Aswangs have long appendages from the head that they used to suck fetuses out of the womb.

Some are thin and can hide behind bamboo. They are said to be quick and silent.

Every dawn, the creature returns to its human form, and begins living its normal life, as a spouse, parent, and friend. It’s said that the creature is able to wash itself of a special ointment that it uses to possess its power and returns to a normal form.

The flying aswang typically maintained the appearance of a beautiful maiden who engaged in vampiric activities at night and to return home before dawn to resume a normal life. Some women have an ointment that they rub on their body before their nocturnal activities as a source of their supernatural abilities.

Some believed that the aswang would take the form of a large bird, flying throughout the night, crying ‘kakak’ or ‘kikak.’ The bird would land on its victim’s roof and let down a long tongue with a sharp point that was used to prick the jugular vein. The blood was sucked through the hollow tongue. Once filled, the aswang would return home in the state of a pregnant woman and wash off the ointment come dawn.

Filipino mothers used stories of the Aswang to scare their children into coming home early and keeping them inside at night. The creature was used to explain miscarriages and other illnesses before modern medicine arose.