Aswang Shape-Shifter

Aswang Shape-Shifter
Variations: Ungo
This species of ASWANG is found throughout the Philippines. It can look either male or female but typically appears as an old woman with bloodshot eyes, long black HAIR, and a long black tongue. A sorcerer can decide to become this vampiric creature by performing a magical ceremony, but should he ever decide to convert someone against his will, all the vampire would have to do is simply blow down the person's back. Fortunately, there is a type of healer called a mananambal who knows how to brew a potion that will restore an ASWANG that was an unwilling convert. Naturally the vampire will resist, so the potion will have to be forcibly poured down its throat. The ASWANG will immediately begin to vomit up all sorts of weird things, like an egg or a live bird. When the purging has stopped, the victim is cured. Sadly, the willing sorcerer cannot be saved.
This species of ASWANG is particularly cruel, not because it preys on women, children, and those who are ill, but because of its hunting methods. Once the aswang shape-shifter has selected its prey, it may decide to attack while the victim is asleep. If so, it will emit a strong odor that will paralyze the person, in case he wakes up. Otherwise, the aswang will stalk and physically overpower him. In either case, once it has its prey, it will create a replica of its victim out of banana leaves, grass, and sticks. Then, using its magic, the vampire animates the facsimile. Over the course of the next few days, the replacement will become sick and die. The only way to tell if the sick person is in fact a person is to look closely into their eyes. If one can see one's reflection there, it is the actual person. However, if the reflection is upside-down, it is the animated replacement. In the meantime, the aswang has returned to its lair with its captive. Taking its time, the vampire slowly and torturously consumes its food. It is particularly fond of the liver.
The aswang shape-shifter is so named because of its amazing transformation abilities. It can change to look not only like any animal or person, but also like inanimate objects as well. It is possible to detect if this aswang is near, but it requires brewing a very complex oil that can only be made on Good Friday. When the vampire is near, the oil will begin to boil.
As if this vampire did not have enough predatory advantages, it can also fly due to an oily substance that is secreted through glands in its armpits.
Source: Buenconsejo, Songs and Gifts, 92; Woods, Philippines, 28­29

Taken from the Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology Written by : Theresa Bane ©2010 Theresa Bane. All rights reserved

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