Mythical Creatures Series
There is a saying that a manananggal’s attack can be avoided by death. Considering this creature can fly after separating itself from the lower half of its body, and eats babies, it’s best to keep a very long distance.
What is it?
A mythical creature from the Philippines, the manananggal is not too much different to a vampire when it comes to it being an evil, human devouring monster. The most distinguishing characteristic of a manananggal is its ability to detach its torso from its legs, hence manananggal meaning “one who detaches.”
Manananggals are sometimes referred to as tik-tik or “wak wak”. This is from the sound that it supposedly makes while flying. The fainter the sound the nearer it is. This is to confuse the victim.
This mythical creature cannot necessarily be classified as the undead since it is still a living human during daytime or whenever it does not detach itself from its body. Plus it is believed they started out as humans. A manananggal is also said to create other manananggals by tricking ordinary persons to drink the manananggal’s blood, similar to vampires.
It’s appearance seems to vary according to different legends. Some say it is an older, beautiful woman, while others insist it is always hideous.
Appearances in Culture (I didn’t find much out there)
- Marvel Anime: Blade: Blade, he and his partners encounter a mutated version of the Manananggal and its victims while hunting down Deacon Frost on the island of Siquijor, an island province in the Philippines
- Shake, Rattle & Roll is a Filipino horror film series dating back to 1984
- Impaktita 1989 horror film about a young girl living happily with family and boyfriend but she has nightmares about a Aswang visting her. She then discovered that her family adopted her she was a baby after her real father attempted to kill her real mother, who was a aswang. When the girl turns 18 she is destined to become aswang as well.
- Manananggal in Manila movie from 1997
- Not sure where you get one of these from, but I want a lego manananggal
Did you know? Manananggals are popularly referred to as aswangs. However, aswang is a generic term and can refer to all types of ghouls, mananangals and witches. Click here for more on aswangs.
Looking for a different mythological creature? Click here for the full Mythology Manual.