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THE JERSEY DEVIL
Without a doubt, New Jersey’s oldest, most enduring, and important pieces of folklore is the tale of the infamous Jersey Devil. For close to three hundred years now, Jerseyans have told tales of this mythical beast which stalks the Pine Barrens and terrorizes local residents. The recurring nature of this story begs a few of questions: Why have New Jerseyans embraced this legend so steadfastly, and above all others? Is there actually some sort of creature roaming the Pine Barrens of Southern NJ? And if so, what in God’s name is it?
According to the folklore of that region [Malaysia], the Penanggalan is a detached female head that is capable of flying about on its own. As it flies, the stomach and entrails dangle below it, and these organs twinkle like fireflies as the Penanggalan moves through the night.
Due to the common theme of Penanggal being the result of active use of black magic or supernatural means, a Penanggal cannot be readily classified as a classical undead being. The creature is, for all intent and purposes, a living human being during daytime (much like the Japanese Nukekubi) or at any time when it does not detach itself from its body.
The Penanggalan is usually a female midwife who has made a pact with the devil to gain supernatural powers. It is said that the midwife has broken a stipulation in the pact not to eat meat for 40 days; having broken the pact she has been forever cursed to become a bloodsucking vampire/demon. The midwife keeps a vat of vinegar in her house. After detaching her head and flying around in the night looking for blood the Penanggalan will come home and immerse her entrails in the vat of vinegar in order to shrink them for easy entry back into her body.
The Penanggal, thus, is said to carry an odor of vinegar with her wherever she flies, and returns to her body during the daytime, often posing as an ordinary mortal woman. However, a Penanggal can always be told from an ordinary woman by that odor of vinegar.
The Penanggalan's victims are traditionally pregnant women and young children. Like a banshee who appears at a birth rather than a death, the Penanggalan perches on the roofs of houses where women are in labour, screeching when the child is born. The Penanggalan will insert a long invisible tongue into the house to lap up the blood of the new mother. Those whose blood the Penanggalan feeds upon contract a wasting disease that is almost inescapably fatal. Furthermore, even if the penanggalan is not successful in her attempt to feed, anyone who is brushed by the dripping entrails will suffer painful open sores that won't heal without a bomoh's help.
A Penanggal is said to feed on human blood or human flesh although local folklore (including its variations) commonly agrees that a Penanggal prefers the blood of a newborn infant, the blood of woman who recently gave birth or the placenta (which is devoured by the Penanggal after it is buried). All folktales also agree that a Penanggal flies as it searches and lands to feed. One variation of the folklore however claims that a Penanggal is able to pass through walls. Other, perhaps more chilling, descriptions say that the Penanggal can ooze up through the cracks in the floorboards of a house, rising up into the room where an infant or woman is sleeping. Sometimes they are depicted as able to move their intestines like tentacles.
Spring Heeled Jack (also Springheel Jack, Spring-heel Jack, etc.) is a character from English folklore said to have existed during the Victorian era and able to jump extraordinarily high. The first claimed sighting of Spring Heeled Jack that is known occurred in 1837. Later alleged sightings were reported all over England, from London up to Sheffield and Liverpool, but they were especially prevalent in suburban London and later in the Midlands and Scotland.
Many theories have been proposed to ascertain the nature and identity of Spring Heeled Jack. The urban legend of Spring Heeled Jack gained immense popularity in its time due to the tales of his bizarre appearance and ability to make extraordinary leaps, to the point where he became the topic of several works of fiction.
Spring Heeled Jack was described by people claiming to have seen him as having a terrifying and frightful appearance, with diabolical physiognomy, clawed hands, and eyes that "resembled red balls of fire". One report claimed that, beneath a black cloak, he wore a helmet and a tight-fitting white garment like an "oilskin". Many stories also mention a "Devil-like" aspect. Spring Heeled Jack was said to be tall and thin, with the appearance of a gentleman, and capable of making great leaps. Several reports mention that he could breathe out blue and white flames and that he wore sharp metallic claws at his fingertips. At least two people claimed that he was able to speak comprehensible English.
Originally posted by ELahrairah
reply to post by LifeInDeath
I have heard of spring heeled jack before. The The Pennangalan takes the cake for bizarreness. Both disgusting and terrifying. I wonder how folklore comes up with some of these things. I would hate for Pennangalan to actually exist. There would be no sane way to deal with life after encountering a being like that.
Originally posted by wonderworld
The Banshee, aside from being known for a piercing scream, is an Irish spirit known for being the Omen of death, and having special connections in the spirit world. She is something of a shapeshifter, in that she can appear in many forms, ranging from an ugly old hag to a ravishing beauty, but my favorite is the version where she appears as a washer-woman, and is seen washing the blood stained clothes or armour of those who are about to die. Talk about a sight that you just don’t want to see while heading down the trail. Their piercing scream is a warning that someone is about to be taken by Death, but I imagine that if your eardrums are being pierced by their shrieking and you are watching someone wash the blood from your own clothes, you are probably about ready to call it a day by then anyway.
Originally posted by Cabalis
Here's a strange creature that someone shot and killed in Nelson County, Kentucky.
Any ideas on what it is?
Originally posted by Greensage
I am not sure how I would react to any of these critters, but one thing is for certain if I should ever be confronted by a bear or a shark, I will know fear without a doubt! The very thought of being lunch to me is enough to send me screaming into the night!
They say not to run but I would run! LOL