Ekkekko: The happiness spirit of the Andes

Do you want prosperity and happiness? Ekkekko is the spirit to talk to in the Andes and South America. (And doesn’t fall into the demonic class, but it’s my blog and I’ll cheat if I want to.) A helpful spirit, Ekkekko is a small, bald guy who wears a natty poncho to cover his fat belly, and pointed hat.

What is it with helpful spirits and their pointy hats?

Ekkekko dispenses gifts to those who respect him. In some South American markets, you can find figures of the benevolent spirit that people buy and take home to their houses. You can also buy miniature models of the gifts you want from Ekkekko, and put it near the statue–just as a reminder, I guess.

For example, if you want that car you’ve got your eye on, buy a model of it and place it near the statue. But be careful–if you don’t respect Ekkekko, you’re not going to get what you wish for.

Some say that the little fairy was once a powerful god in his own right, now demoted to spirit by the advent of Christianity.

Sources

Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter; Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Oxford University Press US, 2001

Michelle Roehm McCann, Marianne Monson-Burton, David Hohn; Finding fairies: secrets for attracting little people from around the world, Council Oak Books, 2005

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Vampires we know and love #20: Tlahuelpuchi

Think vampires are all the same? Think again! Vampires come in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. So, this special DotW feature, Vampires we know and love, spotlights different kinds of bloodsucking fiends from around the world.

Tlahuelpuchi

The Mexican Tlahuelpuchi is a vampire, but it doesn’t rise from the dead–it’s one of the vampires that are born, not made. People who are Tlahuelpuchis are born cursed, with the ability to shift into many different animal forms, but for some reason with an affinity for becoming turkeys (talk about a curse). They aren’t born with intense craving for the blood of infants from 3-10 months old. That comes later, during puberty. They have to feed only once a month–and if they miss a meal, they die.

Tlahuelpuchi are overwhelmingly female, though there are some males. But that’s okay because it doesn’t take two Tlahuelpuchi to make a baby Tlahuelpuchi. It’s just one of those weird things that happens sometimes.

Once they identify their infant victim, a Tlahuelpuchi will turn into a pet (or a turkey) to stay close to the baby. Before they can enter the house, they have to perform a ritual by flying over the house, first from north to south, then east to west, forming a cross pattern. This unlocks the house for them, and they slip in to do their dirty work.

Signs that you might be dealing with a Tlahuelpuchi:
a) one of your household pets is giving off a phosphorescent glow
b) there’s a turkey flying over your house.

If you note either of these signs, haul out your onions and garlic and decorate the threshold of your house. Also, put an open pair of scissors near the baby’s crib. Tlahuelpuchi are scared of sharp metal.

To catch the Tlahuelpuchi–and I’m not making this up–take off your pants, turn a leg inside out and throw them at the vampire (I don’t think skirts work here). This will stun the Tlahuelpuchi (it would stun me, too), and then you can kill it. You can also tie knots in three corners of a white handkerchief and put a stone in it, with the same effect. A third alternative is putting your hat on the ground and driving a knife through it.

Apparently the pants thing works best.

Sources

Vampire Universe: The Dark World of Supernatural Beings That Haunt Us, Hunt Us, and Hunger for Us
Vampire Universe: The Dark World of Supernatural Beings That Haunt Us, Hunt Us, and Hunger for Us
(Paperback)
by Jonathan Maberry

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

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Breaking news: Ghost Census

San Ignacio Square

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever wished you lived in Medellin, Colombia? Probably not. Have you ever wished you were undead there?

Finally, someone is standing up for undead rights (rites?)! A Columbian man, fed up with the lack of data on Columbians of the spectral variety, is doing something about it.

Undertaker William Betancur has decided to do a survey of all the ghosts in his city. I say it’s high time. He’s collected info on 215 spirits so far, with video/photos of 23 of them.

If you know of any ghosts in Medellin, feel free to email Mr. Betancur at censofantasmas@hotmail.com. And yes, you can include videos and photos.

More info here.

 

 

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/

Mid-week demonic update: Like a bat out of heck

I’m so cute… You can trust me… My friends and I don’t want to suck your blood… Really…

The Honduran white bat is “near threatened” on the Endangered species list. They look like little flying cotton balls with yellow piglet noses and ears, no doubt to lull you into a false sense of security.

Cottonballs--they don't want to suck your blood. No, really.

These little guys don’t live in scary bat caves. They build these leaf-tents. They organize in harems–so what you’re looking at is a male and his females. Ooooh, evil harems.

You can trust them. They won't hurt you at all. White! See, they're white.

My info says they are one of the few species of tent-building bats that don’t fly away the second they’re disturbed. Come a little closer, they say…

See those little brown marks on the leaf? That’s where they bit the crap out of it. Who’s to say they won’t do the same to you…

Make sure to come back Saturday for Asmodeus. With a name like that, you know he’s got to be evil. And at least he has the decency to look ugly.

Source: CuteOverload