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January 4, 2009 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Viewing the Penanggalan of Malaysian folklore usually takes intestinal fortitude [NSFW], but there are also emotional, wistful, girlish, and playful depictions of this monstrous creature. (Previously)
posted by benzenedream (30 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
The creature is now my official greatest monster ever! Death by oral sex .. or drinking menstrual blood - hard to tell.

I used the penanggalan in a D&D campaign once (it was included in the Fiend Folio) just because it was the most disgusting monster I could find. I made sure include descriptions of how much the entrails would slap the players in their faces as they fought it, hehehehe. Good times. Fun post.
posted by elendil71 at 10:36 AM on January 4, 2009


And of course another bizarre entry in the Fiend Folio. I was surprised to discover the origin a couple of years ago, but in the end most of those creatures were derived (though often with completely unnecessary changes) from folklore.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:37 AM on January 4, 2009


Ah, beaten to the punch.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:38 AM on January 4, 2009


I wonder if this monster was used by malay women go cover up abortions.
posted by empath at 11:03 AM on January 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


From the first link:
"I, for one, am not satisfied with the original tale. Quite plainly, it doesn't make much sense."

Because, you know, the rest of the story about the flying, entrail-trailing, pickled vampire is so perfectly plausible.
posted by oddman at 11:04 AM on January 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


So the disembodied head sucked the fetus out of the pregnant lady's womb. Where'd it go?
posted by Nelson at 11:07 AM on January 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Viewing the Penanggalan of Malaysian folklore usually takes intestinal fortitude [NSFW]

I see what you did there...
posted by Caduceus at 11:17 AM on January 4, 2009


Penanggalego is made of yes and win.
posted by fleetmouse at 11:26 AM on January 4, 2009


Looks like somebody remembered what the dormouse said...
posted by Bromius at 11:31 AM on January 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


It seems like a weird dismemberment-- would a head that flew off and took the spine with it just take the intestines/stomach--what about the other organs?

On a separate note, the first link is to the delightfully named site Agony a go-go, how can I possibly resist exploring further?
posted by nikitabot at 12:07 PM on January 4, 2009


is that related to the ghost in this awesome commercial?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:30 PM on January 4, 2009 [17 favorites]


Those aren't sparkles, it's just the urinary tract overflowing. Make a CON check to see if you barf on while it's attacking you.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:40 PM on January 4, 2009


Well I'm sure this will be in my subconscious so tonight when I'm dreaming this chick will pop up and say "hay 'member me?? LOLOHAI"
posted by Hands of Manos at 1:07 PM on January 4, 2009


This post is made of yes and win and menstrual blood a go-go and entrails and ultimate power.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:43 PM on January 4, 2009


tonight when I'm dreaming this chick will pop up and say "hay 'member me?? LOLOHAI"

"You called me a 'chick.' MISTAKE!"
posted by longsleeves at 2:34 PM on January 4, 2009


Sorry to copy/paste stuff that's in the FPP, but this is the most wild origin for a mythical creature ever:

The origin, or transformation, from a normal woman to the Penanggalan also differs somewhat from tale to tale. The most common and widely accepted is this: a woman, while seated in a large wooden vat, used for holding vinegar distilled from the sap of the thatch palm (menyadap nipah) performing a religious penance (dudok bertrapa), is interupted by a man who asks what she is doing. She is so utterly startled that she jumps up, her head literally popping off of her body. The severed head, along with the entrails, which follow it through the neck opening, flies up into a nearby tree, shreiking. Ever since then, she existed as the Penanggalan, an evil spirit that has a certain weakness for newborn blood.

Her head pops off her body and she becomes a vengeful intestine demon doomed to haunt the earth looking for newborn blood until she is destroyed because a guy came in and asked her what she was doing being all penitent in a vinegar vat. This sounds like a bum deal all round.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:48 PM on January 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


oddman: "From the first link:
"I, for one, am not satisfied with the original tale. Quite plainly, it doesn't make much sense."

Because, you know, the rest of the story about the flying, entrail-trailing, pickled vampire is so perfectly plausible.
"


I've always wondered whether monster stories like this go through many revisions over time:

"You know, DragoĊŸ, there has been a monster sighted in the village two valleys over!"
"Really, Alexandru? Do tell!"
"It's a... a kind of undead being - it comes out at mid-day and sucks the spittle of the living! And it can use its evil magic to turn into a goose to fly! But you can ward it off with black pepper, or by holding out a square shaped... thing."
"Hm. You know, Alexandru, that does not sound particularly scary. Or dangerous. And when it only drinks spittle - we have old grandpa Mihail taking naps on the front porch, and he drools something awful these days... anyway, have you heard the newest warning from the priest? He told us to watch out for ghostly naked ladies that would come into our rooms at night, completely naked, and would play canasta until morning, leaving strong young men drained and half-dead!"
posted by PontifexPrimus at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Heh. Always liked that beasty.
posted by Artw at 3:21 PM on January 4, 2009


This ghost also exists in Thai folklore, where she is called Pee Grasue.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:10 PM on January 4, 2009


It seems like a weird dismemberment-- would a head that flew off and took the spine with it just take the intestines/stomach--what about the other organs?

Alimentary, my dear Watson.

Savvy Penanggalan travel with gastrointestinal tracts intacto to enjoy lunch-on-the-fly al dente, and reduce worries of indigestion, troublesome bloating, flatulence, and constipation.
posted by terranova at 4:14 PM on January 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Mystics in Bali" looks amazing. I'm pretty well versed in cheese/horror/exploitation, and haven't heard of it until now. Anyone seen it? Is it as awesome as the baby-eating-lingus scene suggests?
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:15 PM on January 4, 2009


Hellboy fights a tricky one in the first story in the Troll Witch collection.
posted by mediareport at 4:22 PM on January 4, 2009


That girl's got guts!

OK sorry, that's all I got.
posted by fungible at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2009


In the Philippines, she's known as the manananggal; fortunately there are superheroines who can fight them. (PG-13)

For a more positive portrayal of our aswang friends, the movie Dayo features Anna, a friendly 14-year old "manananggirl" who is vegetarian (and does not, it is pointed out, eat human meat).
posted by kurumi at 5:46 PM on January 4, 2009


is that related to the ghost in this awesome commercial?

Thanks for that -- I forgot all about that commercial! Love it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:43 PM on January 4, 2009


Why I love Metafilter, part one million.
posted by djrock3k at 8:02 PM on January 4, 2009


Called the Krasue in Thailand, this myth is the origin of the Greatest Movie Poster Ever.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:16 PM on January 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


A friend claimed to have seen one of these creatures outside Jakarta. He says the 'trick' to dealing with them is to not show fear; if you can manage to say something to the tune of "Ha! Go away you silly creature! I fart in your general direction!", you'll be safe.

Or at least, that's what he says he did; says it appeared in the mirror when he was using this abandoned restroom in the wilderness, and had weird scary fangs. He apparently asked it if it really thought the fangs would scare him. At which point, the creature made its teeth appear normal and glided away, sulking. (Oh what does a Pontianak have to do now to get a bit of respect). I'm sure him being male also might have helped.

Of course, "true" non-believers will also conveniently not see them as well. (I'm thinking that'll include me; used to take midnight strolls down this street that reputedly had a Pontianak living on top of one of those trees. Except for a beautiful breeze at about 11PM, there wasn't much I could sense.)
posted by the cydonian at 10:28 PM on January 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


My neighborhood was more or less convinced of this creature's existence, despite being a superreligious Christian community. Nobody had actually seen it, but a friend of a friend of a friend had DEFINITELY SEEN IT!!!!1!!!1! Supposedly, if you were unfortunate enough to come across one, the trick to avoiding an attack was to act like the ghost wasn't there.

I scoffed at their tales of hantu penanggalan and other members of the Malaysian ghost line-up, and was regularly reminded that the ghosts would go after the non-ghostbelievers first (i.e. me).
posted by Xere at 1:13 AM on January 5, 2009


mr_roboto - awesome poster. Is Krasue Valentine available with english subtitles (it's available here without)? This would be the perfect gift for my romance-movie loving inlaws.
posted by benzenedream at 1:49 PM on January 5, 2009


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