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6 Scary African Monsters & Creatures

During Halloween, many people will dress up as popular western monsters like vampires, zombies, or werewolves. But how many African monsters do you know? See our list of 6 scary African monsters that will bring fright to any Halloween lineup!

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1) The Adze

The adze of Ghana and Togo is a vampiric creature that often takes the form of a firefly. The adze is believed to possess the tribe's sorcerer and feeds on the blood of the most beautiful children in the tribe. If the adze is captured while in its firefly form, it will transform into its human form and can be killed like any other human, though it will attack its captors. The adze can also be pacified by providing it with offerings of coconut milk or palm oil.

2) Tokoloshe

In Zulu/Xhosa mythology, Tikoloshe, Tokoloshe, Tokolotshe, or Hili is a dwarf-like water sprite. It is considered a mischievous and evil spirit that can become invisible by drinking water or swallowing a stone. Tokoloshes are called upon by malevolent people to cause trouble for others. At its least harmful, a tokoloshe can be used to scare children, but its power extends to causing illness or even the death of the victim. The creature might be banished by a pastor (especially with an apostolic calling), who has the power to expel it from the area. It is also considered a part of superstition and is often used in a satirical manner as a reference to overcome.

3) Kishi

Kishi are a type of African demon that is stated to be a human (usually male) with a hyena face on the back of their head. The hyena face is a ravenous monster that devours anything it can. The human face is a cunning and ruthless predator that seduces and tricks victims. Together, the two faces work as one supernatural predator and man-eater. Despite the human-like appearance of the spirit, it is not of the mortal world, nor has ever truly been part of it. The name Kishi is roughly translated as "spirit."

4) Ninki Nanka

Ninki Nanka is a monster that lives in the Gambia River in the Gambia. It is a dragon-like creature with the body of a crocodile, the head of a horse (with horns), and a long neck like a giraffe. And it's huge - 30 to 50 feet long!

5) Werehyena

A Werehyena is a monster of folklore related to a real-life fear or hatred of hyenas by many indigenous tribes in Africa. They believed in supernatural creatures that superficially resembled hyenas but had numerous evil abilities which they used against their human enemies. Unlike most werewolf-type creatures, the Werehyena is not a human that turns into a monster. The werehyena is a hyena that turns into a human.

6) Mbwiri

A Mbwiri is a possessing demon from Central African folklore that causes victims to undergo epileptic fits as well as forces them to dance wildly and even drive them insane. It was believed that only the local shaman knew how to drive the spirit out and thus when a Mbwiri possession was suspected, locals would call on the shaman's aid. The practice of removing the spirit involved the shaman building a special hut in which he and the afflicted would reside and be treated to great feasts. The spirit was said to despise good living and thus would often flee the victim.

Get a box of crafts inspired by Africa delivered to your doorstep each month. It's the most fun way for kids to learn about Africa! Click here to learn more.

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