The Azukiarai from Japan
The Azukiarai is a mythological creature who cleans red (azuki) beans. I know, I know, please try to contain your fear.
This Japanese demon resides near rivers or large bodies of water in the remote forests and mountainous regions across Japan. If you happen to come across land in which the Azukiarai resides, you may hear the curious sound of azuki beans being washed (there definitely is a distinct bean washing sound), or you may even hear the demons’ menacing song.
“Azuki araou ka? Hito totte kuou ka?” which roughly translates to “Shall I wash my red beans, or shall I catch a human to eat?
The demon is said to be a short-statured man with a grotesque appearance, large hairless head, gnarled teeth, wafer thin moustache, and large bulging yellow eyes. The charmer is known to wear ragged clothes and spend his time bent over a pail of Azuki beans.
While this demon may seem helpful, don’t go approaching him with a bucket of beans to wash. It is said that anyone who approaches the Azukiarai will find themselves falling into the water beside it.
The Azukiarai has appeared in the Power Rangers in the form of a weird trash-can monster, and the anime series Requiem from the Darkness.
German Rhineland Stüpp
The Stüpp is a German monster from the Rhineland area, who closely resembles a werewolf, with one key difference – he really enjoys piggyback rides… of death.
The Stüpp will lie in wait for its next victim at a crossroads near a river, lake, or cemetery, normally around midnight. When a poor soul passes by, the hairy fiend will jump on their back, digging it’s razor sharp claws into their skin.
Instead of clawing the victim to death, or taking chunks out of their skin with its teeth, what the Stüpp does is much worse. It won’t kill its victim quickly, instead, it chooses to let them suffer. Unable to shake him off, the passerby will have no choice but to carry the Stüpp with them on their back. Once attached to the back of its’ victim, the Stüpp will become heavier with each step they take, and larger with every bit of fear they feel. It is said that victims of the Stüpp eventually go mad and die from both physical and mental overexertion.
But hey, maybe the poor guy just wants a friend?
The cockatrice is a two-legged dragon/serpent creature with the head of a cock. First described in the late fourteenth century, the cockatrice is said to kill people by looking at them, touching them, or breathing on them.
According to medieval bestiaries the weasel is the only animal immune to the cockatrice’s deathly stare.
It is believed that an everyday cock egg can birth a deadly cockatrice. But If, for some reason, you don’t want this weird creature hatching from your roosters’ egg, you must perform a legendary throw.
Chuck the rooster egg over your family home, without it touching the house, and have it land on the other side, and your rooster’s egg will be 100% cockatrice free.
In saying that, presumably, a cockatrice won’t hatch from the egg that is completely cracked…which is likely to happen if you throw it over your house.
Blemmyes are a species of mythical headless men. They are said to either have eyes situated on their chest or on their shoulders. The Blemmyes are particularly interesting because they were often described as being a real human species.
The Blemmyes were first noted 2,500 years ago. The creatures were said to inhabit the western part of Libya, a hilly, thickly wooded area teeming with wildlife.
In a book written by a 1st-century Greek geographer, Blemmyes were described not as monsters, or mythical beings, but as a real tribe inhabiting the lower region of Nubia, where they snacked on the flesh of other men. Yup that’s right these headless men were also cannibals.
The jury is still out on where their brain is situated, or how they got by without an oesophagus.
The Bakhtak is a goblin creature that will sit on your chest while you are sleeping. This incredibly annoying creature will cause you to have horrific nightmares, as well as keep you stuck in your place and limit your breathing.
If you happen to wake while the creature is sitting on your chest, he will make sure you can no longer move. It is thought that the Bakhtak’s main goal was to kill you in your sleep, and if it doesn’t work, he will come back again, and again, until he finally succeeds.
It seems as though the Bakhtak was a creature made up to try and explain the phenomena of sleep paralysis, but who knows, if you are prone to nightmares and sleep paralysis, perhaps you have a killer goblin on your chest?
Abarimon is the name of a race of legendary people who were said to be native to a country of the same name, situated in the valley of Mount Imaus, now more commonly known as the Himalayan Mountains.
The people of Abarimon had backwards feet, but despite this were able to run at a great speed. Legend has it the Abarimon lived side by side with wild animals, and wore masks on the back of their heads in order to confuse people trying to catch them, who couldn’t tell if they were coming or going.
It was often rumoured that the Abarimon’s home had a different air type. Humans who breathed in the foreign air for too long were said to be incapable of breahing any other type of air again. Those poor souls had no chance of escaping the valley alive.
But on the bright side, I imagine the Abarimon valley had some incredible views.
The Wolpertinger is a mythological hybrid animal that inhabits the alpine forests of Bavaria. The body of the Wolpertinger is composed of various different animal parts. They are said to have wings, antlers, tails and fangs, attached to the body of a small mammal. They are usually portrayed as having a rabbit head, squirrel body, and deer antlers.
Aside from looking a little less cute than your average mammal, the Wolpertinger is said to be pretty harmless. The hybrid animal is apparently extremely shy and difficult to catch. It snacks mostly on other small animals, as well as herbs and roots.
The Wolpertinger has made an appearance in several games over the years, including, the MMORPG games Runescape, and World of Warcraft, they are also seen hanging about in the game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine.
The Tikbalang is said to lurk around the Philippine mountains and forest regions.
They are tall humanoid creatures, with bulging bones, disproportionately long limbs, and abnormally large knees that reach above their heads when they squat down. The Tikbalang are most commonly described as having the head and feet of a horse.
These annoying creatures like to spend their time messing with travellers. They are known to scare foreign guests and lead them away from their destination, on a long, arbitrary path. (It definitely isn’t just your navigation skills.)
If you happen to be travelling in the Philippine mountain or forest regions, there are two super simple things you can do to avoid the being tricked by the Tikbalang, wear your shirt inside out, and If you want to be extra careful, be very quiet when out exploring to avoid disturbing the creature.
While you would think this unusual trickster would be extremely easy to spot, some say that the Tikbalang can transform themselves into the form a human, or even turn invisible, in order to lead you astray.
What’s the weirdest mythological creature you have ever heard of?