The Al

The Al is in Armenian lore, a half-human, half-animal creature that especially likes to attack pregnant women. The Al may have originated in the Babylonian lore of the alu, a malevolent spirit in the form of a black dog that causes diseases.

The Al has one fiery EYE, IRON teeth, brass fingernails, the tusks of a wild boar, and long, snakelike hair. It possesses a pointed hat covered with bells that renders it invisible. The Al likes to live in damp and dirty places, including homes and stables. It also frequents wet and sandy places along roads. The Al strangles pregnant women and their unborn children and pulls out their livers.

It causes miscarriages and steals newborn infants up to seven months old. The explanation for the Al’s rage against women and infants is found in Christianized lore. God gave Adam an Al,but the two were not compatible, for Adam was made of dust and the al was made of fire. God then created Eve as a substitute. This enraged the Al, who dedicated itself to attacking women. (



Another Christian story about the al tells that St. Peter once came upon a creature with iron teeth and tusks, sitting in a wet and sandy place along a road. The saint asked it to identify itself, and it gave its name and described its activities. The best remedy against the al is iron: Keep numerous iron objects and utensils around; especially place them around the bed of a pregnant woman, or place an iron knife under her pillow. Prayers and charms also are effective for warding off attacks.



  • Mack, Carol K., and Dinah Mack. A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits. New York: Henry Holt/Owl Books, 1998.

From: The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley -a leading expert on the paranormal