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Is a well-known female vampire in Malay Archipelago folklore. She is said to be originally a woman who died during childbirth. Her vengeance of not being able to enjoy motherhood and not being able to be with her baby turned her into a vicious blood thirsty vampire. Due to jealousy, it is said to prey on pregnant women and would rip apart their belly and consume the unborn child, gaining greater spiritual powers.


Pontianaks are described to appear in a long white dress with long hair and having razor sharp fingernails. She has a pale skin complexion and red eyes. Her dress is normally smeared with blood of previous victims.

Fear Factor

In some cases, they are able to appear in a form of a beautiful lady to seduce men and rob them of their manhood and devouring them by digging into their stomach and internal organs with her sharp fingernails.

Some says that she also has an urge for young the blood of young children and also able to appear in the form of an old lady and comes out at night in search of young blood.
A Pontianak usually arises during a full moon and announces her presence through high-pitched laughter. If the cry is soft, it means that the Pontianak is near, and if the cry is loud, then she must be within radius of 50 meters.
Her presents can also be detected by a floral fragrance of frangipani followed by a stench of rotten flesh.

Protection Method

The banana tree is associated with the Pontianak as her spirit dwells in them in the daytime. Use a nail tied with red string and drive it into its flower or its tree trunk, this will seal her in the tree and she will not be able to come out at night. The other way to subdue a Pontianak is to drive a nail into the head, forehead or the nape of its neck. By doing this it is said to make her turn into a beautiful woman and a good wife unless the nail is removed.

There are many names and versions given to the Pontianak depending on different culture and countries.
Kuntilanak, Manananggal, Aswang and Sundel Bolong are reference to the same type of bloodthirsty demon

LANGSUIR or Penang Galahn

Known as “ghost of detachment”, this type of Pontianak appears with her head detached from the body and internal organs dangling. She likes to float through the forest as a disembodied head in search of victims.

Protection Method

Thorny plants like cactii, are to be placed around the doors or windows to protect the house. Since her entrails will be caught by the thorns, she will avoid going near.

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