We are now in October which means Halloween is just around the corner. This month will have new releases of horror movies, marathons of monster films and a whole new season of The Walking Dead. While reading through a few blogs on hints of what to expect in the coming in the series, there was an interest side note posted about a survey conducted on how the world would end. A small percentage believed the end will be a zombie apocalypse. Now other than alien invasion, natural disaster, nuclear warfare pollution or disease, a portion of the population sees the dead rising from the grave to destroy humanity. Seems that the zombie pop culture may have blinded everyone to other possible threats such as the reverant, the Draugr or the Pontianak to conclude this series of the undead.
I have read many folklore about the undead, but this creature is a strange one which you will discover in continuing to read the article. In Indonesia and Malay, there is a legend that says when a woman dies in childbirth or while pregnant, she becomes a pontianak. This undead is a vengeful spirit that holds an extreme hatred for the living, especially men and hungers for human flesh. The folklore mentions for anyone travelling alone at night, on the road or in the forest, the pontianak will appear to them as a beautiful woman, with black hair and pale-skin, wearing a white dress to to lure them closer. When it’s too late, she transfers into her true form of a monster with fangs and claws. Once reveal, the pontianak rips into the victim’s stomach and devours the entrails to sustain her. In some myths, if her prey was male, the sex organs would be removed instead.
Now if you are wondering how can anyone be alerted to the presence of a pontianak, there are several ways. First, one being if you are visiting the south-east Asia islands and a beautiful woman appears out of no where should be a good indicator after reading up to this point. According to legend, this undead would also produce baby cries as another means to lure victims. The louder the crying, the further away she is while, yet if the sounds become softer be afraid. Another way mentioned to be aware of a pontianak is by a dog’s behavior. When it howls she not close by, but if the animal is whining then she is right behind you.
As with many other undead, there are ways to fight against the pontianak if ever encountered. Now if you are into paranormal romance or corpse brides you will be interested in this part. In most legends, to fend off this undead by driving a long iron nail into the neck or head which will transform her into a peaceful, beautiful woman that could become a good wife to marry. This is what I meant earlier of being strange. A monster dedicated to devouring of human flesh could be one’s soulmate if you’re lucky enough to strike it with an nail before being torn to pieces. There is a catch to this situation as removing the nail will return the pontianak to slasher mode. When all else fails, decapitation with a iron blade to dispatch the creature like with another undead threats.
“The Ghost of a Woman Who Died While Pregnant”. Indo Magic. (Accessed September 30, 2005). http://www.indomagic.com