Meet the Skin Witch and La Diablesse

Well Hey There!!!  It’s me Katara, again for another episode of “Who Left the Creepy Gate Open?

 

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Ladies, it’s our time to shine!! Today, I’ll be discussing two Trinidadian horror legends and they are both females!!  Both of these legends are practically unknown in the American horror world.  My author friend Chanel Harry wrote about these fierce creatures in her book Heebie Jeebies so now I am going to take it one step further and introduce them to you Grue Monkey fans!! I’m about to dive in deep with these two amazing but creepy women so get ready for a bumpy ride!

 

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The name”Skin Witch”  is the nickname for Soucouyant. They are witch-vampires, if you will, where during the day she is said to be an old reclusive woman.  At night, she takes off her skin and flies in the air on a fireball looking for a human so she can suck their blood from any body part, usually killing them from this experience.  People have made the mistake in assuming all soucouyants are old introverted women, where in fact, any female after puberty could be a soucouyant.  Unlike their European counterparts, these types of vampires can go out in sunlight if they have their “human skin” on. If a person encounters this fierce creature, they can through some rice on the ground in front of them and the soucouyant will be obsessed with picking up every grain of rice.

 

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The soucouyant is a Trinidadian, Guadeloupian, and a Dominican tale. It is said that this tale could be a version of the French vampire where French settlers used to come to the islands during slavery times and told the slaves that these types of vampires could kill their slave masters.  However, origins of this mythical creature could be from the Ashanti peoples of Ghana as well as the Dahomey peoples of Benin/Togo, they called their vampire-like creature the Obayifo. In my opinion, this was more likely the case considering many of these people were captured and sold into slavery especially in the Caribbean islands.

 

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My next legendary female creature is the La Diablesse.  This female is said to be a demon or a succubus who wears a white colonial dress.  She also wears a white brimmed hat that is big enough to cover her elderly morbid face.  The La Diablesse also has one cloven foot. It is said that her kind made a deal with a devil, where she has powers to trick men into believing she is a beautiful woman and lure them into the woods to kill them.  This legend comes out of the Trinidad and Tobago story telling.

 

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Both types of “women” are considered highly dangerous in Trinidad and other Caribbean folklore. So, men don’t be fooled by these ladies with the beautiful disguises as ya’ll tend to get when you encounter a pretty face. Women, if ya’ll encounter either of these creatures, if it’s a soucouyant throw some rice on the ground and run. If it’s a La Diablesse, give her a head nod (in strong woman fashion,) and keep it moving!

 

*All pictures are from the works of Chanel Harry

Katara

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