People's expectations and imagination of women's lives are imprinted in the legend of female ghosts. Indonesian difficult birth female ghost, Mexican undead guardian and South American weeping girl, how much do you know about these ghost stories?

Speaking of female ghosts, do you still only think of Nie Xiaoqian and Sadako? There are super strong female ghosts Chen Shouniang and Lin Tou sister in Taiwan, and the surrounding Southeast Asian countries have a rich ghost culture! From Malaysia to Mexico, travel halfway around the world to see female ghosts from all over the world. These unexpected ghost legends are actually very related to women's life experience.

South America: La Llorona, the mother who drowned her child with regret

La Llorona means weeping woman. It is said that her original name is Maria, she is tall, thin, handsome, has enviable flowing black hair since childhood, and likes to wear long white dresses.

As an adult, Maria married a wealthy businessman, and at first the wealthy tycoon paid meticulous attention to her, paying huge fortunes to buy gifts to please her. However, this love soon changed, and when she gave birth to two children and was concentrating on raising them, the rich began to spend their days drinking and showing affection, and the mother and son were left out.

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One day, Maria was walking on the riverbank with her two young children and witnessed her husband and another woman talking and laughing in a carriage. A raging anger rose in her heart, and a resentment also ignited with the children next to her. Furious, she pushed the child into the rushing river.

When they finally disappeared from view, Maria realized what a stupid thing she had done. It's just that when she ran frantically down the river bank to retrieve the children, their small bodies had long since disappeared downstream. Maria fell into an irreconcilable grief, screaming and crying in the street.

Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

She walked endlessly along the riverbank, day and night without drinking or eating in search of her child, and finally died of hunger strike. Some say she was seen scrawny before she died, looking like a walking skeleton.

After becoming a ghost, it is said that she will be found walking along the riverbank in the dark night, crying in search of children. Therefore, they no longer called her Maria, but La Llorona - the crying woman. In South America, children are warned not to go out in the dark, because La Llorona, out of desperation and resentment, grab them and throw them into running water to drown.

Malaysia, Indonesia: Pontianak/Kuntilanak, who died in childbirth

The Malay female ghost Pontianak (often translated as "Pontiana") is the ghost of a beautiful woman who died in childbirth. When she haunts the neighborhood, you can hear babies crying, smelling decomposing corpses or frangipani. Her name is derived from the Malay roots Bunting (pregnancy) and Anak (child), which symbolize the wish of a pregnant woman to give birth smoothly.

There are also legends about her in Indonesia, but with a slightly different name, called Kuntilanak, which appears more often in the form of a bird and makes a "clucking" sound when flying.

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Legend has it that Pontianak was a bloodthirsty grudge who would seduce men and tear their bodies apart and eat their internal organs with their long nails. She had a hollow body and a large hole in her back. When the man approaches, Pontianak suddenly turns around, revealing his hollow back and the hanging organs inside.

But as a human being, it is not without a way to subdue her. It is said that Pontianak has a hole in the back of her neck, and as long as she pierces the hole with a sharp nail, she will lose her aggression and return to her state as a beautiful woman. In Malaysia and Indonesia, many horror movies shot directly under her name include a plot in which humans are attacked by Pontianak and try to defeat her with nails.

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Pontianak or Kuntilanak often hides in plantain trees, and will search for targets by sniffing hanging clothes, sucking the blood of virgins and young women, and performing black magic to make women sick, abnormal vaginal bleeding is also one of the evidence of Kuntilanak invasion, so it is very important for Malay women to clean the body during menstruation and avoid drying clothes outside, otherwise it will attract female ghost attacks.

Mexico: Mictēcacihuātl, the ghost queen in charge of the undead

In Aztec mythology, she lived in the ninth level of the nine-level hell, the last level that each undead reached after entering the underworld. She is not a ghost, but the queen of the underworld, responsible for taking care of the bones of the dead and presiding over the sacrifices of the dead.

Mictēcacihuātl was sacrificed to the gods at birth, and she was born into death and crossed the yin and yang realms at the same time, so she had no torso, but a magical chin that was used to swallow the stars of the previous night when the day came.

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Her husband is Mictlantecuhtli, the god of the underworld, and the two sometimes cooperate to rule the underworld, and sometimes they quarrel with each other. In some areas, she is portrayed as a beautiful woman dressed in white who will actively seduce lecherous and drunken men walking in the middle of the night and lead them to a valley with cacti at the bottom to commit suicide.

Not all undead can go to the underground underworld guarded by Mictēcacihuātl to rest, such as fallen warriors or sacrificers who have to go east to catch up with the morning sun; Women who died in childbirth traveled to the West to accompany the sunset. She and her husband's duties also include guiding the dead and making sure they all go to their destination.

Photo by Vadim Sadovski on Unsplash

Although incarnated as death, Mictlantecuhtli was also an image of protecting, guarding the soul and keeping it safe, so the Aztecs would summon Mictlantecuhtli to provide healing and protection in times of distress or disease.

After the Spanish conquest of Central and South America, the image of Mictlantecuhtli overlapped with the identity and function of Santa Muerte, the god of death in Spanish tradition. The concept of the God of Death merged with the traditional Mexican ritual of commemorating deceased loved ones and the Christian faith brought in by the Spaniards to become known as the Day of the Dead.

The appearance of a woman, becoming a ghost is remembered!

In many cultures, women are absent from written history and voiceless in public decision-making. However, "ghost" is ever-changing, reflecting the memory and imagination of the human heart and human nature in culture; The existence of female ghosts has also become a narrative and record of people's image and temperament in society in the past.

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Thousands of female ghosts, but also thousands of women who once existed. Loss of a loved one, snub, hardship in childbirth; Being designated to be sacrificed in a group, doomed to death at birth... their experiences may be tragic and bizarre, but they are not uncommon in contemporary women's experiences.

Split by a partner, challenging your motherhood, making a bad decision that you regret for the rest of your life? Those sufferings, struggles and pains, ghost stories help you tell.