If you’ve been reading Monstrum Athenaeum for bit, you’ve no doubt realized we believe monsters are real and we do our best to bring you stories from around the world of sightings and historical reports while trying to have a little fun. We specifically focus on werewolves, vampires, and zombies for many reasons but primarily because the legends of these creatures date back thousands of years, transcend popular culture and occur at times when the peoples of the world were geographically isolated.
An excellent example of the widespread belief in vampire and werewolf types of cryptids across the world comes from the Philippine province of Iloilo. A report at Philippinesplus.com details an attack on a local policeman by a creature known locally as an aswang. The aswang are commonly referred to as shape changing witches and best described physically as a combination of vampires and werewolves but have also been reported to take the shapes of other animals.
The particular cryptid in question is famous for causing problems in the area and this was the second time it had attacked a local law officer. The recent attack took place on the officer just outside the division station by an elderly woman presumed to be an aswang. Pursued the entire time by his attacker, the officer ran to his mother’s home to get his trusty stingray tail. According to local superstition, stingray tails are ideal for fending off these creatures. It’s interesting to note how the locals keep stingray tails in their homes similar to how one might keep garlic hung around their house to ward off vampires.
After successfully fending off the attack and subduing the exceptionally strong elderly woman, multiple officers took her back to the police station. Shortly after, a young woman claiming to be the elderly woman’s daughter appeared at the police station and pleaded for her release, stating the elderly woman had suffered a nervous breakdown and that her erratic behavior wasn’t her fault. The police released the woman, much to the disgust of the young officer who had arrested her.
Initially, locals believed the young woman’s reasoning for the older woman’s behavior. This was until a local boy who collected pig slop from the neighborhood came forward with his sighting. He had been collecting slop one morning just after dawn when he heard a loud noise from a house nearby.
He looked up and saw a cat on the roof, hissing at something. Then right before his eyes, the cat shape shifted into the elderly woman who had attacked the police officer. Terrified, the boy told his neighbors fearful that he would be the creature’s next meal.
Aswang or not, people weren’t taking any chances and began packing up from the neighborhood and moving away, including a young pregnant woman who was frightened the aswang would eat her baby. Although, the alleged aswang herself moved in with the younger woman in a different area, the neighborhood still has a large number of unoccupied homes, for fear of the creatures returning.
As mentioned earlier, there are many different vampire and werewolf names for these types of creatures throughout the world. While you may or may not believe this particular story, it is worth mentioning the term aswang is more of a general term for a class of creatures rather than a specific type of creature you would find in other neighboring countries. In addition to a shape shifting witch, the term applies to werewolves, vampires and another type of creature called the manananggal. The word manananggal means ‘Eater of the Dead’ and the creatures are described as ugly monsters with wings notorious for stealing corpses of the dead.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe the officer’s story?