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Halloween haunts: ghoulish myths from around the world

Read on if you dare.

With Halloween almost upon us for another year, there’s no better time to indulge in a generous helping of horror.

Dare to be scared with these twisted tales from all over the globe. Just remember to sleep with the light on for the next few nights!

Romania: Strigoi

Romania: Strigoi

If vampire tales make your blood run cold, steer clear of the Romanian strigoi. It’s said that those that lead unhappy lives – the illegitimate, unbaptized and even the unmarried – will come back as strigoi: vampire-like creatures with red hair and purple eyes.  And of course, they feast on human blood.

To stop your loved ones from returning as a strigoi, be sure to bury them with a full bottle of whiskey.

Mexico: La Llorona

Mexico: La Llorona

Known as ‘the weeping woman’, it’s said that La Llorona was a villager who drowned her own children in a river to be with the man she loved. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work and she drowned herself once he rejected her. These days she haunts the riverbanks of Mexico, dressed all in white and weeping for her children.

Mexican children are warned not to go out by themselves at night time: La Llorona might try to kidnap them as living replacements for her own children.

Scandinavia: Gjenganger

Scandinavia: Gjenganger

If you find yourself in Scandinavia in the dead of night, beware of the gjenganger. These evil Nordic spirits have a pinch that can kill, known as the dødningeknip or ‘dead man's pinch’. If you get pinched by one of these grouchy creatures coming for you after dark, your skin will turn blue, with the disease eventually travelling up to your heart.

The gjenganger don’t look like ghosts but just like people – so watch out for the return of anyone recently departed from this world!

USA: The Deer Woman

Native American tribes boast many a fascinating folklore tale, but none quite as widespread as the Deer Woman. Said to be able to transform from woman to deer, the Deer Woman’s most favoured look is that of a young and beautiful maiden with the legs and feet of a deer. In this form, she lures young men out into the forests and then traps them with her magic.

According to the Chippewa tribe, she can be chased away with a chant, tobacco, or by simply noticing that her feet aren't human.

USA: The Deer Woman

Madagascar: The man-eating tree

After hearing this African tale of the man-eating tree, you might think twice about venturing out into your garden. This hungry tree resides in the Madagascan desert, where members of the Mkodo tribe sacrifice themselves to the snake-like limbs of the tree mouth.

The tree is actually the fabrication of writer Edmund Spencer, but there are still those who will swear that it’s true.

Madagascar: The man-eating tree

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