Saturday, May 10, 2008

Legends Of The Pontianak/Langsuir

One of the most popular supernatural being in Malay folklore is the Pontianak. Version of it is found in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. According to Malaysian folklore, Pontianaks are women who have died when giving birth and had become vampires that are on a vengeful warpath and terrorize villages. Then there are versions of the story in which states that the Pontianak is someone who died a virgin. Pontianak appearance can be deceiving. She would go out and fly during nighttime. She would look seductive and beautiful on the outside and would usually smell nice as well so that she can entice men. Once she lured in someone, the Pontianak would then turn into something hideous.

It’s not only men that are in danger from being victims of Pontianaks. Babies and women are not safe from Pontianaks. They are known to eat babies as well and would cause harm to pregnant women that might cause their miscarriage.
Pontianaks are scared of sharp objects and thorns. Folks say that sharp objects such as nails can help ward off Pontianak. To stop a Pontianak attack, you have to plunge a sharp object in the back of her neck. It is said that a sharp object at the back of a Pontianak’s neck would turn her back into a beautiful woman again and would return into her hideous form once that object is removed. Pontianak spirits are said to reside inside banana trees during daytime.

One version of the Pontianak that is popular in Malaysia is the Langsuir. It is said that no other banshee can be as deadly as the Langsuir in Malay folklore. Unlike the Pontianak, the Langsuir would possess her victim and suck the blood from within. This would cause a slow and painful death.

Another dissimilarity of the Langsuir from the Pontianak is that Langsuir is believed to someone that had experienced laboring sickness due to the death of her child during birth. She would die due to the sickness and would turn into a Langsuir.

Langsuirs are described to be vicious, scary, furious and vengeful. They are pictured to have sharp, long claws, red eyes, long hair, scary face and long fangs.there are stories that Langsuirs appear owl-like with long claws. There are some that would say that Pontianaks are the still born children of Langsuirs.
It might seem that it is impossible to stop a Langsuir but there is a right way to do so. If you fortunately managed to catch one, cut her tresses and long nails and stuff them into the hole at the back of her neck. Once you’ve done that, the Langsuir will be tamed and would look like a normal woman. Even a single strand of hair can do that job according to others stories.

There was a case in which a tamed Langsuir became a wife and eventually a mother. Then there came a tie when there was merrymaking at her village. While dancing, the Langsuir reverted in her old ghastly self and flew into the dark forest where she originated.