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The Filipino term for a ghost is multo, which is derived from the Spanish word muerto, meaning dead. The multo is the soul of a dead person that has returned to the mortal world. It may want to finish an incomplete task or promise, or take revenge, it may return because of in improper burial or an unusually violent death or suicide. The ghost may be seeking a replacement so that it can live again.
The Manananggal is a vampire who can separate her upper torso from her lower body in order to fly in the night with huge bat-like wings to prey on unsuspecting, pregnant women in their homes, using an elongated proboscis-like tongue to reach their unborn fetus. The Manananggal has some similarities to the Penanggalan of Malay legend, a floating female head with trailing entrails. Beliefs in the origin of manananggals vary. One story says that heredity or contamination by physical or supernatural means can turn someone into a manananggal. For example, contaminating someone's meal with an old manananggal's saliva or human flesh can pass it on.
In some ways the manananggal resembles the tik-tik, a type of aswang that takes the form of a black bird which makes a "tik-tik-tik" sound. It has a long proboscis that reaches through the roof and sucks the fetus inside the womb of pregnant women. The tik-tik may be related to the Indonesian Kuntilanak, a vampire bird that makes a "ke-ke-ke" sound as it flies.
The tiyanak is a malevolent creature that may be found in remote grassy fields. It appears as a helpless infant. When someone takes pity and picks it up, it turns into a demon, scratching and biting or devouring its victim. In the south, the tiyanak is known as a patianak or muntianak, and is thought to be the ghost child of a woman who died in the forest during childbirth. In Malaysia and Indonesia it is the pontianak, or the mother who died in childbirth, who appears as a normal person, then turns into a fiend when the passerby approaches.
Common themes in ghost legends include the White Lady, the headless priest and the phantom hitchhiker. The white lady appears in lonely places, dressed in white, with no visible face or with a disfigured face. Apparently she has died a violent death and is still haunting the vicinity, but with no ill intent. The headless priest prowls at night in a graveyard or ruined place, either carrying his severed head or searching for his head. One of the hitchhiker stories tells of three boys who pick
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