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Images of Cryptids and Folkloric Creatures

     All the creatures shown on this page either are or were believed to be REAL creatures at one time or another by one people or another. For the time being, please look up these creatures in The PIRG Paranormal Dictionary for more information on them.
    Over time, this page may become several pages of images like the few below as more are added from our archives to this one. Therefore, we suggest that you bookmark this page and check back with us often!
Rabbi Paul E. Umbarger II
The images below are of creatures that many in history have lived in fear of. They
reflect the terror, imagination and creativity of diverse populations from various
cultures around the world. Some of the following images MAY be disturbing to
some people.

A creature form Japanese folklore. Literally,"Filth licker". A hideous type of Japanese bogeyman that quite literally licks dirty bathrooms clean with its tongue and the aid of poisonous saliva. It is believed that the monster may have originated as a way for parents to motivate their children to keep the bathroom clean.

Deformed spirits from the folklore of the Tinguian tribe of the Philippines. They have wings, and their fingers and toes point backwards. Alans are said to take drops of menstrual blood, miscarried fetuses, afterbirth, or other reproductive waste and transform them into human children, whom they then raise as their own. They live near springs in extremely fine houses, made of gold and other valuables. The modern Alan spirit has long since left the Philippines, pointed their toes forward again and roam the wilds.

(Filipino Folklore) The aswang is one of the most common of Filipino monsters since there are so many different types of Aswang. In general, they are shape shifters who are human by day and then at night turn into a dog, a pig, a bat, cat, snake… the type of animal depends on the regional lore. They break into funeral homes and steal recent corpses. They are also known to enter homes to drink human blood and can turn people into aswang by tricking the human to bite them in return. The aswang are especially hungry for human fetus so some of the more superstitious stories include neighborhoods patrols set up in front of the home of a pregnant woman to protect her from wandering stray animals in case they are the aswang in disguise.


In Irish mythology, the Fomorians, Fomors, or Fomori (Irish Fomóiri, Fomóraig) were a semi-divine race who inhabited Ireland in ancient times. They may have once been believed to be the beings who preceded the gods, similar to the Greek Titans. It has been suggested that they represent the gods of chaos and wild nature, as opposed to the Tuatha Dé Danann who represent the gods of human civilization. Alternatively, they may represent the gods of a proposed pre-Goidelic population of Ireland.



Creature from Japanese folklore. Buddhist name for restless or hungry spirits. (Visit our paranormal dictionary and see the definition for "Yurei" also).
Artists depiction of a Gaki

Painting of Gakis in a Japanese village. (Circa: 1700)

A real species of bird from the Amazon sometimes mistakenly believed to be a cryptid. They are considered living fossils, which is especially impressive since these things survived since halfway back to the dinosaur extinction (about 34 million years ago), in an area crawling with anacondas and crocodiles, not to mention spiders the size of your head. Outside of having  baby chicks that climb trees like lizards, they also have the distinction of smelling bad enough to literally scare away predators with their stink.

Creature from Japanese folklore. A small goblin-like creature also known as a "Water Monkey". A Kappa has a dent in its head that is full of water from its native spring. If the water spills out of its head, it looses its magical powers. Kappas generally drink blood but can be either good or evil. Kappas love to eat cucumbers and a family wishing to gain the favor of a kappa, or at least avoid its wrath, writes their names on a cucumber and throws it into the Kappa’s pond. The creatures are known for being polite and always keeping promises. There are over a dozen different, weirdly specific categories of Kappa. There are different names for one-eyed Kappas, hairy Kappas, cowardly Kappas, mountain-climbing Kappas, and even a "party animal" Kappa.


Creature from Filipino Folklore. Hairy giants with glowing eyes and a cigar that never burns out. They can usually be found sitting atop of trees waiting for nightfall to scare naughty children who are outside of their homes late at night. The Kapre is a unique Filipino monster because he doesn’t steal fetuses, eat people or cut them up. The Kapre simply enjoys terrorizing young children.  Some stories claim they are actually very friendly beings who can grant wishes if you find their magical white stone. One can assume a Kapre is nearby when trees sway while there is no breeze or you see faint smoke from high above, probably from the Kapre‘s cigar.


An animated parasol. An old umbrella that becomes spirit possessed. Apparently, at some point in Japanese history, umbrellas were reported to be animating so often that someone eventually decided that they required their own name, just to separate them from other Tsukumogami. "Kasa-obake" is the name for . (Visit our paranormal dictionary and see the definition for "Tsukumogami" also).
A mythological aquatic creature with a female human head and torso and the tail of a fish. Mermaids have a broad representation in folklore, literature, and popular culture. The word is a compound of mere, the Old English word for "sea", and maid, a woman. The male equivalent is a merman. Much like sirens, mermaids sometimes sing to people and gods and enchant them, distracting them from their work and causing them to walk off the deck or run their ships aground. Other stories depict them squeezing the life out of drowning men while attempting to rescue them. They are also said to carry humans down to their underwater kingdoms.
(Visit our paranormal dictionary for more information on "Mermaids").

Mongolian Death Worm
Crypid from the Gobe Desert in Mongolia. (Nation between China and Russia).Allegedly, a fat, bright red snakelike animal measuring two to four feet in length that supposedly has the dramatic ability to kill people and animals instantly at a range of several feet. The Mongolian Death Worm is believed to accomplish this by either spraying an enormously lethal poison, or by somehow transmitting high electrical charges into its victims. The worm is said to be found solely in the sand dunes of the southern part of the Gobi Desert; Allghoi Khorkhoi (local name, meaning "intestine worm," because of its color and appearance) is so feared among the people of Mongolia that the simple mention of it is considered bad luck. It is believed that touching any part of the worm will bring instant death, and its venom supposedly corrodes metal. Local folklore also tells of a predilection for the color yellow and local parasitic plants such as the Goyo. First reported in 1929, the Mongolian Death Worm is said to emerge during the hot months of June and July and to hibernate the rest of the year.




Nandee Bear


Naree Pon
Cryptid species of Buddhism. A pod people that appeared to Buddha as beautiful women while he meditated in a secluded area. They disappeared and left a humanoid pod form behind on a nearby tree. There are two alleged Naree Pon pods in a Thai temple near Bangkok in Thailand.

Cryptid species from Japan. (Ningen is Japanese for "Human"). Gigantic humanoid life-forms inhabiting the icy waters of the Antarctic. Reportedly observed on multiple occasions by crew members of government-operated “whale research” ships, these so-called “Ningen” are said to be completely white in color with an estimated length of 20 to 30 meters. Eyewitnesses describe them as having a human-like shape, often with legs, arms, and even five-fingered hands. Sometimes they are described as having fins or a large mermaid-like tail instead of legs. The only visible facial features are the eyes and mouth. For the most part, the existence of the Ningen is considered an urban legend. Much of the information about this rumored creature can be traced back to a series of posts on the 2channel forums, written by a person describing the experience of a friend employed on a government “whale research” vessel. Nonetheless, there are many pictures claiming to be of authentic Ningen still circulating.

The name of an evil spirit which is believed by residents to have first appeared on the Tanzanian island of Pemba. In 1995 it was the focus of a major outbreak of collective hysteria or panic which spread from Pemba to Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago, and across to Dar es Salaam and other urban centres on the East African coast. Popobawa has since joined the global pantheon of occult beings, a development fuelled by journalists’ reports and the dissemination of these on the internet.

Rokuro-kubi 轆轤首

A type of "Yokai" similar to nukekubi but instead of heads that completely sever, the rokuro-kubi have necks that stretch to enormous lengths during night-time. They look like normal human beings by day, but at night they gain the ability to stretch their necks to great lengths. They can also change their faces to those of terrifying oni to better scare mortals. In their daytime human forms, rokurokubi often live undetected and may even take mortal spouses. Many rokurokubi become so accustomed to such a life that they take great pains to keep their demonic forms secret. They are tricksters by nature, however, and the urge to frighten and spy on human beings is hard to resist. Some rokurokubi thus resort to revealing themselves only to drunkards, fools, the sleeping, or the blind in order to satisfy these urges. Other rokurokubi have no such compunctions and go about frightening mortals with abandon. A few, it is said, are not even aware of their true nature and consider themselves normal humans. This last group stretch their necks out while asleep in an involuntary action; upon waking up in the morning, they find they have weird dreams regarding seeing their surroundings in unnatural angles. According to some tales, rokurokubi were once normal human beings but were transformed by karma for breaking various precepts of Buddhism. Often, these rokurokubi are truly sinister in nature, eating people or drinking their blood rather than merely frightening them. These demonic rokurokubi often have a favored prey, such as others who have broken Buddhist doctrine or human men. Tanuki often imitated rokurokubi when playing practical jokes on people.
Literally "The corpse who stands up". A magical rite performed by Tibetan Buddhist ngagspas (sorcerers) for the purpose of obtaining a magical charm from them. It was first reported to the west by Alexandra David-Neel in the early 20th century. There are several versions of the rite practices but, the most common involves laying on the corpse in a dark room mentally reciting a specific chant. After a time the corpse is believed to begin to move and try to escape. At some point during this struggle, the corpses tongue will protrude and the sorcerer bites it off. The tongue is later dried and used as a powerful magic weapon. Losing control of the corpse means certain death for the sorcerer and there are stories of Rolang corpses that have escaped from the ngagspas and roam the countryside. Prior to the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet, the Rolang was practiced as a funerary rite by the shamans of Bon, the early shamanistic religion of the country.


This is a suspected image of a "rolang". Unfortunately, we have been unable to determine for certain if it actually is a re-animated corpse or simply someone playing the part. Special thanks to Spencer Barrett and Maid Stone Paranormal, based in the United Kingdom, for granting the PIRG permission to use the image on his site. You can find out more about Maid Stone Paranormal by visiting their FaceBook page:

Or by Email @:



Folkloric Creature from Japan. The name given to an apparition resembling a man with an eyeball where his anus should have been. Now, we’re not given much, if any information on why such an apparition should exist at all. In fact, there is only one recorded story of the Shirime, but the idea was apparently so well liked by the Japanese poet and artist Yosa Buson that he included it in several of his paintings of supernatural creatures. The story of the Shirime simply states that a lone samurai was walking down a road at night when somebody called to him. He turned, to see a mysterious man undressing and pointing at his derriere when a large, glittering eye opened from the indicated area. The samurai was, understandably, so horrified that he ran away screaming, and the Shirime was never seen again.

(Filipino Folklore) Described as having the head of a horse, the body of a man and the hooves of a horse where human feet would be. In northern regions, the tikbalang is considered a nuisance but generally harmless. They enjoy disorienting weary travelers and making them imagine things that don’t exist. Travelers can easily stop the pranks by turning their own shirt inside out and asking the tikbalang to stop bothering them. The stories of tikbalang from southern regions paint the creature as a much more sinister monster. He has glowing red eyes, a large cigar and smells of the stench of burning hair. When angered (and he angers easily), the tikbalang will stamp you to death. To tame the beast, the person must pluck the one of three unusually long hairs found in its mane. After that, the tikbalang is your slave. Folklore states that when the sun shines through the clouds while it is raining, a pair of Tikbalang are getting married.


A creature which imitates the form of a child. It usually takes the form of a newborn baby and cries like one in the jungle to attract unwary travelers. Once it is picked up by the victim, it reverts to its true form and attacks the victim. Aside from slashing victims, the tianak also delights in leading travelers astray, or in kidnapping children. While various legends have slightly different versions of the "true" form of the tiyanak, the stories all agree on its ability to mimic an infant, with its ability to imitate an infant's cries the most powerful tool for luring victims into its trap. In some legends, the Tiyanak may take the form of a specific child. In its true form, there are varying differences of the tiyanak: The tiyanak is similar to the Greek mythological siren in that it lures its prey with its voice. A person hears a baby cry from deep in the woods and then follows the sound to rescue the baby. Some stories say the person wanders aimlessly in search for the baby and becomes hopelessly lost. Other stories claim that the person eventually finds a baby in the middle of the woods. When it is picked up, the baby then shape-shifts into a monster with large, sharp teeth. It then eats the person and transforms back to a baby to await its next victim. 


Mythical creature who rises up out of it's grave at night to feed on the blood of others. Mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures and in spite of speculation by literary historian Brian Frost that the "belief in vampires and bloodsucking demons is as old as man himself", and may go back to "prehistoric times", the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism.
    While even folkloric vampires of the Balkans and Eastern Europe had a wide range of appearance ranging from nearly human to bloated rotting corpses, it was the success of John Polidori's1819 novella The Vampyre that established the archetype of charismatic and sophisticated vampire; it is arguably the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century, inspiring such works as Varney the Vampire and eventually Dracula.
However, it is Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula that is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and which provided the basis of modern vampire fiction. Dracula drew on earlier mythologies of werewolves and similar legendary demons and "was to voice the anxieties of an age", and the "fears of late Victorian patriarchy". The success of this book spawned a distinctive vampire genre, still popular in the 21st century, with books, films, video games, and television shows. The vampire is such a dominant figure in the horror genre that literary historian Susan Sellers places the current vampire myth in the "comparative safety of nightmare fantasy".



Mythical creatures of popular folklore, a man who is transformed, or who transforms himself, into a wolf in nature and appearance under the influence of a full moon. The werewolf is only active at night and during that period, he devours infants and corpses. According to legend, and the plant wolfs bane is said to act as a deterrent.

































































































 Werewolf: Mythical creatures of popular folklore, a man who is transformed, or who transforms himself, into a wolf in nature and appearance under the influence of a full moon. The werewolf is only active at night and during that period, he devours infants and corpses. According to legend, and the plant wolfs bane is said to act as a deterrent.
































































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