The Tokoloshe

I have heard many stories about this creature. Any South African knows the story of the Tokoloshe. He is supposed to be a little white man that comes into the house of African people at night and kill them. He is a creature from Zulu and Xhosa folklore. African people believe that by putting their beds on bricks the Tokoloshe won’t be able to reach them.

My mother once told me a story about her maid who was murdered in her home with all the windows and doors locked. Her throat was slit which just happened to be the Tokoloshe’s MO. This scared her so much as a child. You can imagine.

I’m sure if you had to talk to any African you would hear stories about the Tokoloshe. He is a very infamous demonic entity in their history. Said to be summoned by a jealous or angry Sangoma, a Tokoloshe is a dead body that is possessed and during this ritual it’s eye is pierced through the socket with a hot rod iron. A special powder is then sprinkled over the body and it shrinks!

I can’t remember if it was my mother or father who told me that the Tokoloshe was a demon summoned by a witch doctor and since then it has been a plague to the African people. Even mentioning its name is enough to bring terror. Once summoned, the Tokoloshe demands a soul as remuneration. The Tokoloshe is the only one who then decides who it will take and not the sangoma who summoned it.

It is said that only children can see this creature, hence its choice to kill adults since they can not see it and thus defend themselves. However, if you do happen to see a Tokoloshe, pay it no heed as it can be mischievous, but ultimately harmless unless under the influence of a powerful sorcerer.

There is even a story of a Afrikaans family living on a farm where they recount the horrific tale of how they were terrorized by a pitch-black dog that was accompanied by what can only be described as a Tokoloshe. They were Christian Afrikaner farmers and they saw it. The person who gave the testimony says that if the Tokoloshe only attacks African people, then why would it have terrorized their family?

Believing in man’s ability to summon demons simply by using a Ouiji board, it is not such a stretch for me to believe that a witch doctor would be able to do the same thing. It is terrifying to think of the things we are capable of. If you’re as big as a fan of haunted houses and ghost stories as I am, you will know what I say is true.

Whatever the price you are willing and the lengths you are willing to go, when it comes to revenge (at least in this case) make sure you dig two graves.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders! A big thank you for all your support. On Wednesday we reached over 1,000.

Impundulu/Lightning Bird

Known by many names, the Lightning Bird is known across the Pondo, Zulu and Xhosa tribes of South Africa. This creature is feared as blood-drinking like creatures known only in mythology as vampires. This infamous creature is always closely related to witchcraft. It is known to often be the familiar of a witch or witch doctor. Much like a vampire, it is said to take the form of a beautiful young man to lure its master’s enemies or seduce women. Thus you can see why it would be so similar to Dracula.

Much like a dragon is capable of breathing fire, the Lightning Bird can use its own body fat to produce lightning strikes and as valuable components in traditional medicine. It is also claimed to be immortal and often outlives its masters, being passed down from mother to daughter as a continual familiar to its master. It normally manifests itself as lightning, except to young women taking on the form of a bird. It is not known to have any weakness except for one–fire. If you set the Lightning Bird on fire, it can be destroyed.

The hammerkop

The above bird is often associated by some African cultures with the Lightning Bird, despite the actual features of the Lightning Bird taking the form a man-sized bird with black and white feathers. It uses its large talons and claws to summon lightning and thunder. These bird, as they are associated with witches, are said to be symbols of bad luck and can only be dispatched by a witchdoctor. The flesh of a lightning bird is also said to be used to trace thieves and witchdoctors use this ability to maintain control over their tribe–both criminal and law-abiding.

In order for witchdoctors to catch the Lightning Bird, they must wait for it to strike lightning once it does this they are able to capture it. It is also supposed that where they lay strike lightning is also where they lay their eggs. This site can either be blessed or cursed and these eggs need to be dug up and discerned by the witchdoctor whether or not they are blessed or cursed.

It is true that the Pondo, Zulu and Xhosa all fear this creature. I am beginning to notice more and more as I look into my country’s legends that there is a definite pattern to their shared beliefs. All these different cultures believe that these creatures are evil spirits or cursed in some or other way and, also, that they bring only misfortune. This story bears a strong resemblance to the legends of the Thunder Bird which some believe was in fact a pterodactyl. I, myself, have seen drawings of the Thunder Bird as it was described by the North American indigenous peoples and strongly side with those who believe it was a pterodactyl. However, it is for your own discernment whether or not you believe these creatures exist. I have given you the bare facts as I researched them and now leave you with one question: What do I believe?

If you want to share your own opinions on the topic or have some more information you want to share, you can post in the comments or on the forums. 🙂

God bless you all my darling avidReaders.

The Congo’s Biloko

Artistic depiction of two Biloko facing a warrior.

This particular legend isn’t exactly in my backyard, but while researching the article I was going to write, I came across this legend and I was so struck by this creature that I had to write about it. I spoke in a previous article about the Skinwalker and the Eloko scared me as much as the Skinwalker. So, naturally, I decided to look deeper into this terrifying creature. It is a known fact that a large majority of the Congo is yet to be explored and, though I can’t say for fact whether the Eloko exists or not, I can say that most legends are based on some or other experience with the mentioned legend. Why would the Nkundo’s Eloko be any different?

According the natives of the Congo (the Nkundo), the Eloko (plural: Biloko) are the dark side of the Knocker from the Welsh miner’s tales. These creatures are considered to be spirits that unresolved issues. it takes the form of a dwarf, but has the spirit of ancestors with grudges. They are said to live in the densest and darkest parts of the forest of Zaire. These spirits are also known to fiercely defend their treasures of the Zaire forest. Only the most daring of hunters and explorers dare to go near where the Biloko are known to live as they fiercely defend the game and rare fruits these hunters and explorers are in search of. Very few hunters have ever had any successful hunts in the regions where the Biloko dwell. Hunters that go into the Zaire rainforest wear amulets and fetishes which are sacred objects that repel the Biloko from attacking them. These same objects lift the spell of the Biloko allowing them to see the game normally hidden by the Biloko’s protective spell.

These dwarf-like demons have no hair (having grass in place of hair) and don themselves with the grass and leaves of the forest. They live in the trees of the rainforest. The Biloko, as well as being a dwarf-like creature, have terrifying, piercing eyes. They also have snouts emitting a piercing cry that compel humans, dead or alive. With their long, sharp claws they are known to tear into human flesh in fact, it is said that they prefer the tender flesh of a woman.

Sometimes depicted as trolls, Biloko are known to carry a bell around their neck with which they can bewitch and attract humans. Don’t let their size deceive you; Biloko are far stronger than they look and only heroes and sorcerers can resist them.

These creatures have also been used as a fable to stress to men the importance of caring for their wives and to be cautious of the dangers of the forest. Biloko are also sometimes used to represent various gangrenous diseases, since these eventually eat their victims away. The Biloko is said to end at their victim’s liver where they the Nkundo believe the spirit resides. There are many stories the Nkundo can tell of this terrible creature, below I have attached a story I read in Cryptid Wiki.

“One day a hunter took his wife, at her insistence, into the forest, where he had a hut with a palisade around it. When he went out to inspect his traps, he told her: “When you hear a bell, do not move. If you do, you will die!” Soon after he had left, she heard the charming sound of a little bell coming closer, for the Eloko has a good nose for feminine flesh. Finally, a gentle voice asked to be let in to his room. It was like the voice of a child. The woman opened the door and there was an Eloko, smelling like the forest, looking small and innocent. She offered him banana mash with fried fish but he refused: “We eat only human meat. I have not eaten for a long time. Give me a piece of your arm.” At last the woman consented, totally under the spell of the Eloko. That night, the husband found her bones.”

This creature bears shocking similarities to so many legends across the world. It would seem that way or another we have all heard similar stories with slight differences. As I mentioned above, the Biloko bears resemblance to the Knockers of Welsh folklore in physical features and bear the same characteristics of departed souls that have not made peace yet and thus can’t move on.

A cautionary tale indeed. Even though we may not believe in the Eloko legend, it poses a very serious question: “What happens to me after I die?” When you close your eyes, will you die wishing you had made right with the people you had hurt or forgiven those who have hurt you? In the end, once you die, there will be no going back.

God bless you all my darling avidReaders.