Bouda: The were-hyenas of North Africa

The Spotted Hyena, Crocuta crocuta, inhabits m...

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These were-hyenas come from the Berbers of North Africa. They use magical potions to shape-shift into the feral dogs during the night. While in canine form, they can still speak in human voices. So if you’re out in the desert and you hear someone calling you from outside the tent, you might want to consider checking to see if they’re sleeping beside you before you rush outside to see what’s wrong.

Now, what I want to know is this. If you’re a were-hyena, do you then just shift back at sunrise and go to your day job? What if you’re really tired from running around all night?

Sources

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

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Seriously Fishy Characters 11: Mbulu

You can’t be blamed for mistaking the African Mbulu for a human at first glance–but it’ll be a costly mistake. Look closely at this amphibian river species and you’ll note the scaly skin and the prehensile tail. And you just might pick up the fact that there’s a mouth full of teeth at the end of that tail.

The Mbulu doesn’t have control over that tail, in fact. It has a will of its own, and is always, always hungry.

That’s how a clever girl once defeated an Mbulu who stole her clothes and her identity. She dug a hole and poured in some milk. Every person in the village agreed to jump over the puddle, but when the Mbulu did it, the tail popped out from under her dress to lap up the milk. On seeing this, the villagers recognized they had an Mbulu and killed the monster.

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

Seriously fishy characters 4: Tikoloshe

The South African Tikoloshe is an odd sort of water demon in that it’s covered with hair. Usually water spirits tend toward the scaly type (though the Nokk and other mermaid types have hair, they come with an order of scales on the side). More than anything else, the Tikoloshe looks like a baboon, with hair all over and arms that drag on the ground. But it can shape-shift into a black bird with the head of a skull (a bird-skull), a form it uses to scout victims.

I nearly put this guy in the vampire classification, though. But he doesn’t drink blood, he sucks energy. Sexual energy, that is. When a Tikoloshe leaves his African river, he’s looking for a woman. Normally he’s able to get what he wants by pretty words and doing favors–the seduction tactics. He’s charming as all crap (and probably has to be extra charming to make up for all that hair), and many women fall for it. But if they don’t, he’s willing to resort to force if that’s what it takes, or kidnapping.

That’s why you should raise your bed on bricks. If you do, the short demon won’t be able to reach you while you’re sleeping.

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

Vampires, Bob Curran
Vampires: A Field Guide To The Creatures That Stalk The Night

by Bob Curran