New species of predator born in North America

Zombie month countdown

Two days until October is Zombie Month! I’m so excited I can hardly eat a bite.

Scientists discover new species of predator has been established in North America

Wolf stocks have become so low that some wolves have been cross-breeding with coyotes. The result is a bigger, stronger coyote that can take down a deer. Scientists with no imagination have named the species the “Coywolf.” More from Discovery channel.

I think there are some intriguing were- possibilities here. But that name, it’s got to go.

That Voodoo That You Do 2: Erzulie Who?

The last demon for a month…

Okay, don’t freak out when there’s no demon next week; starting Thursday, we’re having October is Zombie Month instead! Every day in October, I’ll have a zombie-related post. It’s going to be cool (Well, probably more like room temp, or the ambient temperature of whatever location you’re in.).

In November, we’ll return to your regularly scheduled demons

That Voodoo That You Do 2

Okay, are voodoo loas demons? Personally, I have no clue. But they fulfill the roles of spiritual messengers between Bondye (“Good god”) and mere mortals, which means they do the job of the angels in the Christian tradition, and demons were originally angels… So let’s call them spirit people and include them in the blog. (Plus, they tend to be snappy dressers, which most demons aren’t, and we could use some fashion sense around here.)

Erzulie Who?

Erzulie is the chief female loa — or maybe she’s a whole family. With voodoo, it’s often hard to tell these things. Is she a different spirit, or just in one of her moods? Only the mambo knows for sure.

erzuliefredaveveAs Erzulie Freda, she’s part of the beneficial Rada loa, and is sexy and stylish–the perfect woman, in fact. As Erzulie Dantor, she’s part of the less kind Petro loa. Scarred and ugly, she carries a big old knife that she’ll use on you if she feels like it, thank-you-very-much. But the paradox that is Erzulie doesn’t end there… Erzulie Freda hates females and treats them all as rivals, sometimes demanding that married men give up leave their wives to serve her (that’s the good Erzulie, remember?). But Erzulie Dantor (supposedly less kindly) uses her knife to protect women and children above anything else.

ErsulieDantorNo sane voodoo-loving woman would serve Erzulie Freda. If she did, she’d probably be rewarded by the loa ensuring that she never got married. But most female practitioners do worship Erzulie Dantor. Go figure.

Erzulie Freda is a mixed-race beauty who parades around in fine clothes and lots of sparkly jewelry. She wears three rings, one for each husband. She’s married to the voodoo loa Damballa, Agwe and Ogoun… And any other human guy she decides she wants–she just lets him know, through signs and portents, dreams and signals, that he’s supposed to drop what he’s doing (and who he’s doing it with) to devote himself to her.

It’s kind of awkward if he’s already married, but that has never stopped her before.

Sources

Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and Wicca
The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and Wicca
(Paperback)
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

From the “What could go wrong?” file: Let’s create a quantum flu virus!

It’s not a demon, but…

Physicists are currently trying to use lasers to create a quantum flu virus that could do two things at once. I was pretty sure that the flu virus did enough the way it is.

From New Scientist, read the article Could we create quantum creatures in the lab?

Adventures in Demon Hunting 10, or An Account of Creatures Strange and Wondrous: Qilin

More strange and mystical creatures encountered by intrepid Demon Hunters Teresa and Jolaine on what became known to history as The Great Demon Hunting Expedition of 2009: Qilin

Thinking to themselves, “Since the Japanese adopted the Qilin from China, turning it into their Kirin that should we really bother hunting the elusive Qilin?,” our intrepid explorers decided there was plenty of time before dinner so they might as well.

They didn’t have to wait long before an amazing sight met their eyes: a creature with noble bearing and a delicate tread, the Qilin seemed that a creature incapable of harming any living thing. The yellow beast had a deer’s boy, a wolf’s neck, a cow’s tail, and the feet of a deer, as well as a single horn upon its head. However, the depiction of the Qilin has changed from at various points in history to include flame decorations at its head, fish scales, and other features. Different regions of China portray it differently, as well.

The female of the species was called “qi” and the male “lin,” it is rumored to only appear when an enlightened ruler is on the throne. As it passed, it didn’t trample a single plant, but took care to step only where the foliage was dead, or on rocks. It didn’t even harm an insect as it passed, and we could easily understand why the Qilin is the third highest animal in the rank in the Chinese hierarchy.

The Qilin is a fertility symbol, said to bring lots of sons to a family. It punishes the wicked, and brings with it prosperity.

Sources

The Greeks sure love their vampires, part 2: Callicantzaros

There are a lot of vampires in Greek folklore. In fact, where we have one name for undead creatures who inhabit corpses and suck the blood of the living, they have a crapload of them. I’ll feature one of them today, the callicantzaros, who have the dubious distinction of not being very scary–most of the time.

Callicantzaros

The good news is that you’re safe from the callicantzaros for fifty weeks of the year. They live in the underworld pretty much all the time, so from January 8-December 24, you just don’t have to worry about them.

Now for the bad news… The callicantzaros don’t live in the underworld all the time. For two weeks every year, they get unleashed on the unsuspecting earth and are allowed to do what they please. Since they’re vampires, what they please is not very pleasant for the rest of us.

Even more bad news is that the callicantzaros have really long talons where their fingernails should be.

So, if you happen to be out late on New Years and you run into someone with really pointy fingers, try offering her a manicure before she heads back to Hades. It could save your life.

Sources

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Adventures in Demon Hunting 9, or An Account of Creatures Strange and Wondrous: Kirin

More strange and mystical creatures encountered by intrepid Demon Hunters Teresa and Jolaine on what became known to history as The Great Demon Hunting Expedition of 2009: Kirin

Since we were in Japan in the last blog post, we might as well stay there…

Honestly, can you get cooler than Japanese unicorns? No, no you can’t.

Unless, of course, that Japanese unicorn happens to also have a beer named after it.

The Kirin is the most powerful creature in the Japanese hierarchy of mythological animals. As you can tell from the picture, Kirin resemble dragons shaped like horses, with the tail of a lion (So it’s not really that much like a unicorn). They are symbols of good fortune, rewarding good people and punishing evil with their single horn.

Sources

Seriously fishy characters 2: Munuane

In South America, you had best make sure you’ve got the proper fishing license before you step out of bounds, or you might find yourself eye-to-eye with the Munuane. Er, make that face-to-face.

The Munuane is the very first toothless demon I’ve come across–well, the first one that doesn’t have a beak or something worse, that is. This grey-haired fellow is the demon guardian of fish, fishermen, and people who live by the water. It defends the local people of wherever it lives using its magical bow and arrow (yes, singular, arrow) that never misses its target.

Also, its eyes are in its knees. That’s its weak spot, too. So if you run afoul of the Munuane, go for the knees. But if you do piss the Munuane off, it’s probably because you’re killing more fish than you need to eat, so I hope it gets you first.

The Munuane is pretty dull, I hate to say, and is easily tricked by things like reflections in water (Maybe that’s a knee/eye thing). But it’s persistent and doesn’t forget. So just because you outrun it doesn’t mean you can rest.

The Munuane also eats human meat if it has caught an offending person overfishing. It particularly enjoys soup.

Sources

A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits
A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits

by Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack

http://themagicalbuffet.com/blog1/2008/03/31/look-into-my-eyes-no-lower-the-munuane/

Adventures in Demon Hunting 8, or An Account of Creatures Strange and Wondrous: Sōjōbō

More strange and mystical creatures encountered by intrepid Demon Hunters Teresa and Jolaine on what became known to history as The Great Demon Hunting Expedition of 2009: Sōjōbō.

———————————

Shrine at KuramaJolaine: This doesn’t look like ancient Mexico. Is that a Japanese temple? Hmm, if I’m not mistaken, I believe we’ve wandered onto Mount Kurama, northwest of the city of Kyoto, location of the Kurama Fire Festival and birthplace of the ancient art of Reiki.

Teresa: I believe you may be right. Maybe we can pick up some sushi here before we go home for The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

Jolaine: Get down.

Teresa: Ouch. Why did you have to push me into the prickles?

Jolaine: Do you hear something? It’s coming from up there. Is that a man?

Yoshitoshi_Sojobo_Instructs_Yoshitsune_in_the_SwordTeresa, whispering: No, look at the claws at the end of his legs, and the wings. Red face. Enormous, beak-like nose. This is so exciting, Jolaine, we’ve come upon an actual Japanese Tengu.

Jolaine: The demons that were originally Chinese in origin and who inhabit cedar or pine trees in Japan? You should write a blog post on that someday. Why is he carrying that fan made of seven feathers?

Teresa: Holy crap. I should have realized from his long white beard. That’s not just a Tengu, that’s Sōjōbō, the king of the Tengu.

Jolaine: The one who trained the warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune in the way of the sword, in tactics, and in magic? The one who is rumored to have the strength of a thousand Tengu?

Teresa:
That’s the one.

Jolaine: Maybe he knows a good sushi place.

Grainy, blurry videotape of a Yeti in Poland

I think something’s missing from the Venn diagram, but that’s okay, we’ve got it for you here, folks.

This was filmed by a 27-year-old guy from Warsaw on his vacation in the mountains, reported The Morningstarr*, a website with a misspelled name and an asterisk in it.

The tape has been handed over to Polish paranormal and cryptozoology investigation society the Nautilus Foundation.

The Greeks sure love their vampires, part 1: Burculacas

Did you think Transylvania had the vampire market cornered? When I was doing my research for this blog, I noticed something. The Greeks have more kinds of vampires than ANYONE. So many that I had to give them their own feature. So, without further ado, I introduce the first of a new series…

The Greeks sure love their vampires

There are a lot of vampires in Greek folklore. In fact, where we have one name for undead creatures who inhabit corpses and suck the blood of the living, they have a crapload of them. I’ll feature one of them today, the particularly disgusting Burculacas.

Your burculacas is something you don’t want to meet in a dark alley for a couple of reasons.

  1. It wants to drink your blood.
  2. It spreads plagues and diseases.
  3. It’s made out of poo.

I’m not kidding. The burculacas is a kind of sentient slime/excrement creep that rises up out of revolting material (cesspools, muck, whatever you’ve got) and comes after people to feed on them and to make them sick.

This is the best reason I can think of for remembering to flush every time.

Sources

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley