Creepiest Asian Folktales and Curses To Keep You Awake at Night

Vampires, witches, Frankenstein, and mummies… Every Halloween, these are the common daunting monsters and evil spirits that crawl out from their graves to celebrate the day of the dead. As notorious as they are, believe it or not, they are not scary at all compared to the monsters and evil spirits from Asia!

Have you ever heard of the spine-chilling folktales in Asian countries? Thanks to our diverse cultures, religions and local beliefs, each country has their rich variety of monster tales, supernatural ghost stories that haunt people decades after decades. To name just a few, we introduce you 5 petrifying evil spirits from Asia! Beware, this article is not for the faint-hearted!

1. Taiwan – The Little Girl in Red

The little girl in red follows the hikers in the mountain (image via Pixabay)

The story of the little girl in red is one of the most famous unsolved mysteries and has become a well-known legend on the island. She was caught on a V8 video shot by a member of the family during their hiking trip at Dakeng mountain, Taichung. The video was merely for the joyful memory of a trip until the video taker spotted something abnormal in the clip.

In the video there’s a “tag-along”  behind the hiking group— a little girl in red clothes. Her face appeared to be green and old, and her eyes blurred by shadow.  Spookily enough, nobody remembered having a follower during the hike. After the trip, a member that joined hike passed away out of the sudden, without a clear reason. In search of an explanation, the family send the video to a supernatural TV show, attracting massive public attention.

Now it is widely considered in Taiwan that the little girl is a kind of monster called “Moo-Sin-A”. According to the folklore, it is an evil creature that appears in the wild or mountain, luring innocent hikers into the death trap. When you hike in one of the beautiful mountains in Taiwan, just bear one thing in mind— If you hear a voice calling your name from the back and all your companies are in the front, DON’T look back!

2. Korea and Japan – The Slit-Mouthed Woman

Isn’t she pretty? (image via

Kids, don’t cross the streets alone because you might end up running into some creepy woman with a wide cut across her face.

As Korean legends say, if you walk the streets alone, a messy black-haired and green-faced girl will ask you if she’s pretty or not. Answer no, she will kill you with a pair of scissors. Answer yes, she’ll remove her mask to show you her deep ear-to-ear cut and ask you, again, “Am I pretty?”.  Answering ‘no’ will result an instant death. Say ‘yes’, and she’ll present you with a new facial feature — a mouth slit open like hers.

Also, if you run away she will chase you. Lesson of the story? Don’t walk alone at night.

3. The Philippines – The Manananggal

She can smell fresh fetuses from far away (image via Wikimedia Commons)

Imagine a woman who detaches her torso from the waist down whenever nighttime falls. Add bat-like wings, an insatiable craving for fetuses, and poof! — you’ve got a Manananggal. Charming, right? This ever-popular myth (or is it?) has been around since the Spanish colonial period in the country, before the 1890s.

It doesn’t help that in their normal form, they resemble attractive women. Those who are pregnant and residing in the Visayan province of Capiz, Philippines, are often told to watch out by concerned locals. This monster will use their elongated tongue to suck out their baby, blood, and intestines. Waaay scarier than your average vampire if you ask us.

In their true form, when the hideous creature leaves its lower torso behind, you must find the detached half — hidden among bamboo groves or similar-looking tree stumps — and sprinkle salt, garlic, or holy water on it. Then, they won’t be able to join back with their torso, and perish as the first ray of sun touches their skin.

4. Southeast Asia – Krasue

She’s got a lot of guts! (image via

Beware the hunger of the Krasue! Centuries ago, the Angkor Empire had lost a battle against the Siamese army. As agreed before the battle, a beautiful princess named Tarawatee was engaged to an influential Siamese nobleman.

However, like in most stories, Princess Tarawatee was in love with another man – a passionate young soldier who fought in the war. One night, the beloved nobleman caught his wife with the soldier and sentenced her to death through burning.

Petrified for her life, the princess went to a sorceress and asked her for magical help that could save her from her inevitable death. The sorceress gave her a potion that would make any drinker immune to the flames of the fire. Before being tied down and burned, the princess downed the enchanted elixir and confidently accepted her death.

Regardless of what she drank, it was when that really mattered. It turned out that the potion needed more time to process. Filling a room with terror and screams, she watched her body burned down with nothing more than a head with saggy intestines.

Princess Tarawatee was now forced to spend eternity as the Kerasue, the floating head. She is cursed with endless of hunger that can only be filled with raw flesh – she flies after dusk for her next meal. She feeds of with chicken and cat animals, but her favorite? Human placenta.

At night, she searches every home for a pregnant woman in labor, to satisfy her tongue by sucking out the life within the woman’s womb using her long tongue — similar to the Manananggal mentioned above.

5. Japan – Girl From The Gap

Konnichiwa! I’m here to take your soul (image via Shutterstock)

If you’ve watched the iconic horror flick, ‘The Ring’, you may be familiar with ghosts who come out from the most mundane things. Do you have a small gap somewhere in your house? Under your bed, perhaps? Or between your closet and the wall? Then look away.

If you find yourself staring into the dark abyss, you might find a pair of eyes looking right back at you. A girl ghost will ask you to play hide-and-seek. Aaand you’re trapped in the game for eternity, even if you refuse. Because if you peek at a gap and see her a second time — guess what? — she’ll drag you down to hell with her.

Ever heard of these Asian folktales and curses before? Which one left you thinking about secretly leaving on your lights at night? Let us know! Happy Halloween from all of us at KKday.