Friday, April 22, 2011

The Popobawa

Zanzibar, Africa (although it has also been reported in Tanzania).


The name popobawa comes from the Swahili that translates literally as “bat-wing” (from the Swahili popo, “bat,” and bawa, “wing”). It is also known as Imran, Khalid Khanzada, or zain haiders.

Vital Stats

The Popobawa is variously described as a ghost or a demon with a single eye, gigantic bat wings, and an enormous penis (said to be up to six feet in length). It is thought to be a shapeshifter, appearing as a normal man by day and changing into a batlike demon at night.


The Popobawa is much like an incubus, but unlike that particular demon, the Popobawa attacks men in their own beds. As a result, many men take to sleeping outside of their houses in the streets or on their porches. The creature attacks the men while they sleep, overpowering them. Then, it holds their faces to the floor and forcefully sodomizes them for up to an hour (an extremely painful experience for anyone). It then threatens the victim with repeated and longer attacks if they don’t let friends and neighbors know of their experience. It then flies off into the night to search for another victim. The creature’s presence is usually detected by the sound of scraping claws on the roof and a sharp, pungent odor (although some report that there is a puff of smoke as well). It is thought by skeptics that these attacks are the result of sleep paralysis, not a homosexual bat-creature.

The Popobawa, being a spirit, is able to take possession of human bodies. It becomes very angry if its existence is denied, and dire consequences usually follow. Usually, the Popobawa attacks skeptical men.


The Popobawa is, as mentioned earlier, a shapeshifter. It is able to take on multiple forms, but it prefers human form. The Popobawa has a supernatural degree of strength, which makes overpowering full-grown men easy, and it is also able to fly at considerable speeds for great distances. It may also be able to become intangible and glide through solid objects.

It is thought that, by smearing oneself with pig’s oil, one can repel an attack from the Popobawa. Being an evil spirit, the Popobawa may be repulsed by salt and iron. Salt would keep it at bay, while the iron (which must be pure or cold-forged, preferably both) might actually harm the creature, and perhaps even kill it. For some reason, it is believed that the Popobawa cannot attack an individual who sleeps outdoors. Many also believe that the creature can be exorcised, kept at bay with charms, or placated with sacrifices.


The legend of the Popobawa is a fairly recent one. One popular story says that during the 1970s, an angry sheikh released a djinni to take vengeance on his enemies. However, he lost control of the creature and the djinni took to evil ways.

Another theory states that, because Zanzibar was once the site of Arab slave market, the Popobawa is the vengeful spirit representing the collective pain of the native people. Perhaps the creature is some sort of thought-form (but this is doubtful).

Recent Sightings
Unusually for a demon, the reports of the Popobawa’s attacks and sightings of the creature rise and fall with the election cycle in Zanzibar (although the spirit’s victims argue that the Popobawa is apolitical). The number of attacks rose dramatically in 1995 (the same year that the Chupacabra attacks began in Puerto Rico), and further attacks were reported as recently as 2007, when a series of attacks were reported in Dar es Salaam.


The Popobawa may be related to another mysterious creature, El Chupacabra.


More research is forthcoming!