The Manananggal | One Who Separates Itself

By Sourav Ghosh - May 21, 2018

The Manananggal is a vampire-like mythical creature of the Philippines. It is described as scary, often hideous, usually depicted as female, and always capable of severing its upper torso and sprouting huge bat-like wings to fly into the night in search of its victims. The word 'manananggal' literally indicates "one who separates itself".


The Manananggal is said to favour preying on sleeping, pregnant women, using an elongated proboscis-like tongue to suck the hearts of fetuses, or the blood of someone who is sleeping. The severed lower torso is left standing, and is the more vulnerable of the two halves.

It is believed that sprinkling salt, smearing crushed garlic or ash on top of the standing torso is fatal to this malevolent, blood-sucking monster-witch. The upper torso then would not be able to rejoin itself and would perish by sunrise.

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