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15 Chilling Folktales, Traditions, and Objects

With Halloween right around the corner, there’s no better time to explore spooky folklores, stories, and traditions from cultures all over the globe. Invaluable rounded up some of the creepiest, from decomposing creatures to cursed paintings. Explore the story of La Llorona, Mexico’s “weeping woman” who preys on children. Read about the legend of La Ciguapa, Dominican Republic’s small, feral women who capture lonely men. Watch out for the Crying Boy paintings that were known to cause a series of fires, killing everyone in their paths.

Check out the above and many other blood chilling stories, sure to spook everyone. Keep these stories in your back pocket next time you’re around a campfire or at a Halloween party.

Deer Woman

Deer Woman is an animal spirit that appears throughout Native American art and mythology. She is sometimes depicted in animal form, sometimes human form, and sometimes both. Deer Woman is associated with love and fertility, but in contemporary tellings she takes on a mischievous role. The spirit is known to seduce promiscuous men and leave them to die or waste away from longing.

La Ciguapa

The legend of La Ciguapa is one of the most renowned in the Dominican Republic. Ciguapas are small, feral women that inhabit the mountain areas, lurking in the shadows and waiting to capture lonely men. They appear to have extremely long hair that covers their thin bodies and backwards feet. One of the earliest written accounts of these creatures appeared in novelist and poet Francisco Javier Angulo Guridi’s 1866 short story “La Ciguapa,” where he provides a lengthy description of the mountain women. Since, they have been an important part of the Dominican Republic’s culture and represented in mythical paintings and sculptures.

Botan Doro 
Also referred to as The Peony Lantern, the story of Botan Dōrō originated in 17th-century Japan and continues to be one of the most famous ghost stories in Japanese culture. Though there are multiple versions, the general storyline is as follows: On the first night of Obon—a Japanese festival that honors ancestral spirits—a widowed samurai meets a beautiful woman named Otsuyu and quickly falls in love with her. They meet every night from dawn until dusk, and she is always accompanied by a young girl holding a peony lantern.

Soon, someone grows suspicious and spies on them, horrified to discover that Otsuyu is a skeleton. Though petrified, the samurai’s love for Otsuyu is so strong that he ignores warnings to stay away and follows her to a grave in a temple. The next day, his dead body is found entwined with the woman’s skeleton. This famous folktale has been the subject of many Japanese paintings and was also developed into a Kabuki play.

Want more? Click here to read the rest of Invaluable’s “15 Chilling Folktales, Traditions, and Objects From Around the World”. 



Ghost and Ghouls

by cnkguy
15 Chilling Folktales, Traditions, and Objects

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