In the Philippine Mythology, According to Waray and Western Visayan folklore, the amalanhig or maranhig (a.k.a. amamanhigamaranhit) are flightless aswang that came back to life after death. They rise from their grave after failing to pass their power to a relative. Upon rising from the grave, these amalanhig lurk in the woods and live as blood suckers. At night they go to nearby villages to prey on the residents using their sharp, pointed tongue.

Aside from the amalanhig of aswang origins, some deceased humans could also turn into amalanhig. These are people who died with an unfinished business or were murdered and came back for revenge. The amalanhig with unfinished business are relentless in pursuing the persons they have chosen to fulfill their goals. Avenging amalanhig, on the other hand, tickle their victims to death while sucking their life force.

They also mimic the words of the persons they encounter. Their presence is usually detected through the stench of their rotting flesh.

The amalanhig have stiff legs that can’t bend. The aswang amalanhig, however, are still fast and can’t be outrun. If an amalanhig chases you, climb a crooked tree to prevent the creature from catching you. You can also jump into the river or any body of water since these are known to keep the amalanhig at bay. Water can turn an amalanhig into a heap of worms and maggots that must be destroyed before they could form back into the creature.

According to one legend, a long time ago before the Spaniards came to the Philippines a chieftain ordered his priestess to create an army of warriors that couldn’t be killed. These immortals were created by killing ordinary men and encrusting their bodies with dark soot, putting a strange pebble in their mouths, and doing other rituals. After three days they came back to life but they were mindless, walking corpses that only died after accomplishing their task.

Amalanhig means “stiff one”.

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