Reader Submission: The Male Penanggalan

male penanggalan

“Following up on your krasue story, my father encountered a male krasue once in my grandmother’s house.

Grandma’s Black Magick
My grandmother practiced extremely black magick and had all manner of evil spirits near her, some of them physically manifesting and audibly calling out my mother and uncle’s names in the middle of the night. She practiced a dark version of an African Diapora religion. I don’t know what she practiced exactly, but she opened gateways to all sorts of spirits most African practitioners have never heard of.

In Cuba, sometimes the malevolent entities at her house would appear as great spheres of light. I later found out that in Ireland, and even as far as Europe and Mexico, evil spirits take on the form of white orbs. Good spirits do too. In Ireland, they’re called will-o’-the-wisps. In Mexico, demon witches like vampire witches often take on the form of fiery balls of light, and villagers keep their kids indoors so that they stay away. Many witches love to feed on children’s blood.

The Premonition
Well, the magick runs in my family. My mother was a Seer and saw in dreams how one man would die in a plane accident. She told my grandmother, but that same man was also stalking her and spreading false rumors about her because she wouldn’t sleep with him. So she didn’t want to speak to him, but my grandmother told her to do it anyway or she would always have it on her conscience. He didn’t listen, and he died exactly the way my mother said he would.

The Dark Spirit
Sometime after the man’s death, a strange new spirit started following my mother around. She went to a Babalawo (Santero high priest) who said she had a restless and dark soul following her because he blamed her for his death.

You see, my mother had told the man he needed to wear special beads to be safe. The beads represented the African deities. He accused her of trying to bind him, and she said, ‘You know what? You’re a dumb ass. Wear them, don’t wear them. Don’t ever call me again.’

He called before he went to fly to ask for the beads, but she wouldn’t answer him. So he died. She was 17 at the time. He was around his late 30’s.

The Male Penanggalan
Later, when my father began dating my mother in this country, he noticed strange activity around her. For example, he’d hear a male voice growl if he got too close. He’d put his arm around her, and a force would push it off. He thought it was her.

‘Do you not want me to put my arm around you?’

She replied, ‘That wasn’t me. That was an old admirer I had. He’s dead now.’

My dad was creeped out. Later, when he asked to use the bathroom, he almost died of fright.

As soon as he turned on the light, my father saw a man’s floating head. The man’s entrails were below his head, and he was shrieking at my father as loud as he could.

Needless to say, my father never used the bathroom there again. After describing the head’s features, my mom confirmed it was the dead man.

A Male Penanggalan
I later came across this type of hag (demon witch)* in my studies of the Occult and Demonology. In the Philippines, this creature is called a penanggalan. But all the stories say the same thing: it’s always a woman’s head, never a man’s. I can’t find references to male hags of this type anywhere. So far, it seems as if my father encountered the only male, unless someone else can dig deeper and find male penanggalans.

The story says these hags were women who were in a deep state of prayer and meditation when a sudden loud noise scared them into removing their heads and whole spines from their bodies. Thus, the head and entrail hags were born.

My father also said that the thing once followed him into the car, and he felt someone sitting right next to him, just staring. It messed with his radio for a while until he began to pray and he forced it to leave him be. He never saw it again.

When I say hag I’m talking about demon witches like the penanggalan, not witches in general. Hag comes from Anglo Saxon Haegttsse or Hedge Rider. This is one of the root words for witch, and many Pagan Priestesses call themselves Elder Hags from tradition. This is not meant as a disrespect towards anyone.”

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