Babi Ngepet, also known as the Boar Demon, is a demon who takes the form of a boar that appear in Javanese mythology. According to local myth the creature is believed to be the manifestation of a person practicing black magic. It is a kind of magic to help people become rich instantly, but in exchange they must sacrifice something, in this case they must sacrifice their humanity; allow themselves to be transformed into a boar for a period of time, or that they allow themselves to be possessed by a boar demon. The human-animal transformation is similar to shapeshifting or the werewolf concept in the West.
Some of the myth
told about a man enveloped in black robes before miraculously turning into this creature. After the transformation, the boar demon roams around the village, scratching its body against the wall, door, cupboard, or furniture. Magically the belongings of the villagers, such as money, gold, and jewelry will disappear and magically carried away by the Babi Ngepet. If the mission was successful, when the Babi Ngepet safely returns home and transforms back into human form, the black robes will be filled with the stolen money or jewelry.
The person that practices Babi Ngepet black magic needs assistance from another person. The assistant's task is to stay home and guard the lit candle floating on a basin of water, while the Babi Ngepet is in action. If the fire on the candle is shaking, fading or almost out, it is the sign that the Babi Ngepet is in danger, caught in the act by villagers, or turned back into his human form. Because of this belief, Javanese villagers often chase or even kill any boar wandering around the village at night.
In modern day Babi Ngepet sighting considered to be an act of thieves, but sometime a wild boar that wandering near the village at night is blamed to be a demon and chased by villager.
- In 2012, in a village in Cianjur, West Java, a wild boar has been chased by Abah Tamim and another villagers, but the people believed that it just a common wild boar. A villager named Ade Suparman feel strange because wild boar habitat must be far away inside the forest. The boar itself also uncommon because it drink fresh water instead of river water, this boar also like to eat rice and bread instead of its common food.
The skeptical view is that it was probably a traditional way to explain the unexplainable loss of fortune or a mysterious theft in the village, by blaming the wild boar roaming the village in the night. Or probably it was a means of traditional pest-control; to get rid of wild boar from eating and destroying rice fields or barns. The association of boar or pig with magic concerning fortune probably originated from Javanese pre-Islamic and pre-Hindu-Buddhist beliefs that associate the boar or pig with domestic richness, fortune and prosperity.