October with Ole Higue

Hello everyone, we are now in October which means Halloween is just around the corner along with Thanksgiving if you live in Canada. Since childhood, I always enjoyed this month as it brings gathering of family and friends, pumpkin pie, costume parties, and nights of free candy. One thing I look forward to during October is watching horror movies whether on television or at the movies. The vampires, werewolves, ghosts and other monsters from these flick delivered many hours of entertainment. In the spirit of Halloween, I will introduce you to other creatures of nightmares in a three part series, first beginning with the Ole Higue.

In any part of the world you may go, there will be a legend about a monster with a hungry for human blood. Even in the South America country of Guyana, stories are told of a vampire-like entity called the Ole Higue that comes out at night to feed off sleeping victims, often being children and babies. This creature is described to hide within a village in the form of an old woman often overlooked as some not threatening. At night, she sheds her skin transforming into a ball of fire or an insect. The Old Higue would fly to the home of her next victim, often said to enter through keyhole, drain the person’s blood then return home to put her skin back on.

Guyana legends mention of several ways of dealing with the creature. To ward off the vampire simply place rice in front of doors and windows as myths say she can’t pass or walk over the grains. A method to eliminate the Ole Higue involves using the keyhole she tries to enter through by placing the key to a horizontal position leaving a gap allowing her to partially enter. The idea here is as she struggles through, the key would rattle waking anyone in the household who can kill her by simple turning the key and crushing her causing the sudden appearance of bones on the doorstep. Another approach to killing off the creature involves finding the shed skin and filling it with hot peppers as it would burn her to death the next time the Ole Higue wears it.

Now some may view these legends of the Ole Higue as nothing more than superstitious, while there are Guyanese who fear the creature to be real and a threat to their lives. Even today, sightings and encounters are reported all over the country. In 2007, the Stabroek News published a story of a woman beaten to death by local villagers believing her to be an Ole Higue.

In the village of Bare Root, an elderly woman was spotted wandering around acting strange. The story states on that same day, a mother noticed that her child had usual marks and told some local men about it. They confronted the unknown woman within their village to determine if she was an Ole Higue. Apparently, some events occurred convincing the men she was the monster of legend where they then proceeded to beat her on the stop. This resulted in woman’s death along with the arrest of assailants. Later the victim was identified as a elder woman with mental health issues.

Source:

“Ole Higue Murder”. Guyana News & Limin’ Spot. http://guyananewsspot.blogspot.ca/. (Accessed September 29, 2016)

 

9 thoughts on “October with Ole Higue

  1. jfwknifton

    That is a really great story and a superb rival to Count Dracula. Vampires are formidable but always have some complex way of defeating them….holy water, the cross and so on. Thank goodness they do!

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  2. Mae Clair

    I love old folktales like this! The keyhole trap is particularly interesting. So sad though that people feed into superstitions to the point of harming/killing others. I imagine there are parts of the world where people still live in very real fear of night terrors. Riveting post!

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  3. Jason Hopkins

    Seems like often these legends result from a lack of understanding surrounding mental health. Interesting story. It seems strange that it is either and insect or a ball of fire. Those don’t seem to cross easily, I wonder how each originated.

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