The Bwystfel

January 10, 2010 at 6:34 PM

When I was a child, I lived in Radnorshire, one of seven children and the youngest of six girls. As my parents had six other girls and an infant boy to take care of, they left me to myself, and I ran about like a wild thing. Not that they didn’t love me, but they had other things to do.

I was about five when I began to see the Bwystfel. It roamed about the farm, slipping in the shadows, and the only way to see it was to look for the shapes that were darker than the spaces between stars. Its mad eyes were like coal sparks, it laughed like a goat in pain, and it was always angry. I watched it from a distance: one spring, I saw it kill a nest of sparrows – closing its hands about the nest until the little naked birds smothered on its flesh — one summer, it poisoned the sheep, biting the ewes’ legs until rot and infection ate into their flesh that no about of doctoring could fix. Later, it skulked into the shed and sliced the handyman’s chest open, then danced his blood up the walls and over the rafters. My parents said it was an accident, but knew better. “The Bwystfel did it,” I told my father, and he boxed my ears for being a liar. No one believed me at all. . . except the Bwystfel itself.

It grew angrier. At night, it crept into my room, giggling and ripping the blankets away and pinching me. I shared a bed with two of my sisters – we didn’t all have separate rooms like you do – and when the Bwystfel came, we shivered together, too afraid to move until morning. We were very little girls, and nobody trusted us with a candle, so we had no way to drive the thing away. It tormented us in whispers, calling us names and telling us we were bad children, because our prayers that it would leave us be weren’t answered. My sisters refused to speak a word of it, and they wore the Bwystfel-inflicted bruises like jewellery – saying they’d fallen over or been bitten by the cat.

I decided I would have to find the Bwystfel myself and scare it away. I took the statuette of Florence Nightingale that my mother gave us to hold when we were sick and a stone with a hole in it, both for luck. As it turned out, I would need the luck.

I walked for ages, got lost, and eventually stumbled into a small wooded copse where I had never been before. Under the trees it was cold air, and pine needles and dried leaves lay thick upon the patchy grass. I clutch Florence. . . and then I saw the bones.

Bleached and ancient, they lay scattered in a circle: small bones, large bones, bones half buried in the loam, bones with scraps of dried flesh still clinging to them. A sheep skeleton hung suspended in the tangle of a blackberry bush, and canes had grown through the eye sockets of birds. I started to cry – I knew I’d found the den of the Bwystfel.

La Muerta Blanca

March 1, 2009 at 4:39 PM

I am currently sitting in front of my computer, scared witless. Any moment now I am going to be killed.

Today a friend of mine told me a story.

His aunt had taken care of him since he was a small boy, and she told him last night about how his parents died. He did a very fair imitation of her (I knew them both pretty well):

“They were doing mission work in some nasty little South American country when a man burst into the mission hospital one night, terrified out of his mind. He told them that his sister had been killed by a Muerta blanca, and that he was certain that it was coming for him next. What is a Muerta blanca? Apparently it was some sort of bogey-man, something like that dumb chupacabra or whatever. They called it the White Death or the White Girl, because it was the soul of someone who hated life so much that they came back in their shrouds to kill those who told of them.

The man had been told about the vengeful spirit by his sister hours before her death. It was a girl with dead, black eyes that wept bile. The thing moved without ever actually moving its legs, and it stalked its victims back to their homes. Now, if you weren’t already aware that this thing was following you, once it got back to your house, it would start knocking on your door…


May 18, 2008 at 5:15 AM

Kuchisake-Onna is the legend of a Japanese woman, mutilated by her jealous samurai husband who murdered her for infidelity scarring her horribly and leaving her repulsive.

Her jealous Ghost still haunts places in Japan, usually on foggy nights, wearing a surgical mask when she will approach people and ask shyly: “Watashi kirei?” (Am i beautiful?) The person usually responds, yes.

She then pulls down her mask to reveal an ear to ear grin, cut by her jealous husband to mar her for her life. “Even like this?” she will persist. If you answer no. She will take a pair of scissors, and cut the same gruesome smile into your own face. If you answer yes, she will disappear, and the second you go home will reappear at your door and finish the job.

The only way of confusing Kuchisake-Onna is to say: You are average, which will confuse this mysterious Onryo. Or to present her with hard amber candy, or say ‘Pomade’ six times will shall make her flee.

She has been seen from the 1970’s til the early 2000’s, often seen lurking near children whose innocent answer of yes when asked if she is ugly, will lead to their deaths.


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