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.

Mermaids of the Klein Karoo

Courtesy of Pinterest

We all know mermaids are fiction, but let us consider something: What if they were real? What if someone somewhere had seen such a creature? In the past sightings of mermaids have always turned out to be fakes. People who used Photoshop or it was discovered that what was actually see was a manatee or dugong. This is such a frequent mistake that these sea creatures have been classified as Sirenia. This has only brought discredit to the belief that such creatures exist. Still some believe they have seen and heard things to make them believe such creatures exist.

The mermaids of the Klein Karoo are said to lure their victims to their watery deaths. This is backed-up by claims that many unmarked graves have been found–the victims of mermaids. Many associate mermaids with Ariel, but these vicious creatures are nothing like the Little Mermaid. They are in fact tricksters doing everything they can to lure their victims to a watery grave. They possess pale skin, long black hair and red eyes.

One particular place among the windy rivers and roads in the canyon Meiringspoort, just outside the town of De Rust are frequent reports about a mermaid residing nearby one of the rock pools. The area is known by locals to be her home and such sightings are nothing new to them. Many locals have claimed to have spotted a mermaid sitting on the edge of a mountain rock pool combing her long black hair.

The Meiringspoort Flood

In the year 1996, a flood occurred in Meiringspoort. This incident caused a revival in the belief of mermaids. Mermaids are believed by some to be a spirit haunting the area and a clairvoyant even claimed to have contacted one of these spirits. The clairvoyant claimed that the spirit’s name was Eporia. This spirit is claimed to either be a sinister spirit associated with the demonic entities of the Eseljagtspoort outside Oudtshoorn or a victim carried away by the waters of the Meiringspoort flood.

The Khoi-San Rock Paintings

In 1875, a Bushman related to a local farmer the tale of the Eseljagtspoort water spirit. This creature took the form of a woman and lured men only to later drown them in the depths. It is here that one still see rock painting drawn by the Khoi-San of what they know to be mermaids. These depictions lead us to believe that tales of these mythological creatures have been around for centuries. When asked about these creatures(also known as the Watermeid) locals were terrified, speaking in hushed whispers. They were fearful of these vicious creatures and feared that they would become the mermaid’s next victim. These stories and drawings can be seen and heard all over the Klein Karoo and the Khoi-San people’s rock paintings are found in Eseljagtspoort, just outside the town of Oudtshoorn.

What is a Mermaid?

Well, we know what a mermaid’s physical features are: face of a beautiful woman, lovely long hair, torso of a woman with her lower abdomen and legs replaced by the tail of a fish. However, there has been much discussion in folklore about these sirens of the sea. As children we all were raised with the story of the Little Mermaid with her lovely singing voice causing a handsome prince to fall in love with her. Now, as adults, we watch Pirates of the Caribbean and the series Siren, causing us to question whether what we know of mermaids are true or not. The Greeks had their priestesses of the Isle of Pleasure. Pirates believed that the siren’s song was to fear as they would drag you to the depths. In the series Grimm, they are depicted as beautiful women who can only have children with human men. Every culture will no doubt have their own take on these mythical beings–all with their own unique names and varying attributes. I have only mentioned a few depictions, but, if one has to go into all the different mythologies concerning these creatures, you will no doubt find many similarities. This is enough to make us wonder if mermaids are real? Are they perhaps manifestations of evil spirits as the Buhsman told the farmer? Or is it just that they are falsely identified? There will always be speculation around them. I, personally am more likely to believe the Bushman’s story and lean towards them being evil spirits. You will notice with my writing that I strongly believe that a lot of what we imagine to be ghosts, dwarves or aliens are demonic manifestations. This is just my opinion on the subject and I am, by no means, a professor of Cryptozoology. Thus I cannot claim to know everything about the field. So, I encourage you to dig deep and draw your own conclusions.

As always, I love hearing what you have to say about my articles and what you believe. So, if you have any opinions on this topic or perhaps have your own story to tell, please put it in the comments. I would love to hear!

Good night all my darling avidReaders. God bless you as you awake to another bright day tomorrow.

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.