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puntianak

by Micha F. Lindemans
A female spirit in Malay folklore which feeds on human blood, particularly that of women giving birth. She waits her victims, usually men, along a lonely road or at the edge of the jungle in the form of a beautiful woman. Any man foolish enough to approach her would be killed and devoured by her.

When a woman gave birth in a stilt house, the blood could drip down to the ground. The man of the house would then cover the ground with thorns to prevent the puntianak from drinking the blood. It was believed that the puntianak could only drink blood in her original form, which was that of an ugly human face with disheveled hair and protruding intestines but without a body. When she flew, the intestines would trail behind her like the tails of a kite. If the ground where the blood fell was covered with thorns, she would not dare to drink it for fear that the thorns would prick her intestines.


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