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Aswang - Philippine Ghoul


For those who are not familiar with Philippine legends, an Aswang is a shape-shifting ghoul. Stories of Aswang abound in provinces where basic services such as electricity and mass media infrastructures are not yet available. They are said to feed on human cadavers, and are the primary reasons why friends and neighbors insist on keeping awake during the traditional three days wake for the dead - that is to protect the cadaver from ghoul attack.

Ghouls are also said to target unborn babies and naughty little children who play on then streets after 6 PM.

I live in the city, so I was never predisposed to believe in Aswangs. I have many friends, and although they have tons of stories to tell about how a cousin of their close cousins, or a friend of their best friend actually experienced first-hand an awing attack, and how the experience changed their life.

I did dream of Aswangs, once, and it remained as one of the unanswered oddities in my life. It happened more than ten years ago, in our own house in the city. I dreamed of three grossly obese people and they were staring at me with bloodshot eyes. There was nothing threatening about their appearance, except for their red eyes. They were not even looking at me in a menacing way. They were just there, staring.

Aside from the fact that they were grossly obese, they were also covered with filthy slime and had matted hair. They were also giving off a foul decaying odor, similar to rotten shrimp shells.

The first word that popped into my mind was, "Aswang," then I woke up. The filthy odor lingered, though. I was wondering why I connected the dream with the word "Aswang" since what I had seen in my dream had nothing in common with the acceptable standard of what an Aswang is supposed to look like.

Meantime, the filthy odor lingered, and it was overpowering. I got out of bed and out of the room; I was trying to look for the source of the foul smell.

I found my niece in the hallway (she was 13 at that time) and she had this puzzled look on her face. I asked her why she was wandering around in the middle of the night (it was early morning, around past 2 a.m.) "I was dreaming of some Aswang," she told me, and she proceeded to describe the very same images I had in my dream. "They were giving off a foul, garbage smell, and when I woke up, I could still smell it," she said. "I went to the kitchen to see if anything had been left on the table to give off that rotten smell. It's all over the house," she complained.

I didn't want to scare her, so I kept quiet. I told her to go back to sleep.

Other than the foul smell, there was nothing at all in the house that would suggest that we were in any danger. Just the same, I checked the door locks, and behind the curtains, and the windows (for chrissakes.)

Soon it was past 4 in the morning, but I still couldn't sleep. The smell had already dissipated, and I was still spraying Glade in each room. I checked on my niece and my nephew, and they were sleeping. I wanted to knock on my parent's room, but decided it was not worth it.

A few minutes before 5 my sister-in-law came in to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast for the kids. She gave me an odd look (she was probably wondering why I was awake at that hour, since I normally wake up late at 8 am.)

As she was cracking eggs in a bowl she said the strangest thing, "I dreamed of a couple of obese guys last night. They were really filthy and very smelly. And in my dream, I thought they were Aswangs."

That was the last time we had dreamed of anything like that. So far.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, clarencetuvera, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-09)
[at] Cm22pepe: The old neighborhood is built on a mountain side that looks down on the valley of Marikina. It is very near the Philippine House of Representatives.

The land has no recent history of ever being used as a grave site, or as a dumping ground for salvaged victims, at least not in the last 150 years.

But the land has character, though, the kind that favors to being a "high place" of power. There's probably a lot of entities there that feed on such strong energies.

There are no ancients (older that 150 years) records on the land, but whose to say that ancient Shamans/ Babaylans hadn't frequented the place to invoke?
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-09)
[at] aman_yooo: the strange occurrences in the old neighborhood hasn't reached that stage that would cause public alarm.

As far as everyone there is concerned, I suppose, nothing is out of the ordinary, and the dreams that people were having were either coincidences, or something off that people ate before going to bed.

I myself though it was odd, but I had completely brushed it aside by noon of that same day. It was only when I found this site, and decided to recount the story that I truly found it curious that several of us who were sleeping in the same house had exactly the same dream. Then after hearing an old friend tell the same dream, six years later, it is only now that I begin to suspect a connection.
Cm22pepe (3 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-07)
This is honestly one of the most interesting stories I've read on here. It's completely fascinating. I don't have much to say but I was wondering if anything tragic happened in that neighborhood (like before any dreams or death happened), or if the neighborhood had any significant history, like if it was built upon a burial ground or something. Keep us updated on if you find anything else out:)
LaughingReaper (1 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-06)
Well the Aswang actually have a sweet smell and not a filthy odor. They mostly took newly born babies since they had a smell that they liked
Triskaideka (2 stories) (388 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-06)
What I find very creepy about this story over all is I had a dream similar to this only a couple of weeks ago, but with just one man. 😨 He was slimy and obese, and reminded me a lot of a blobfish. (Google it.)

Well, I'm not pregnant, and I don't think anyone around here died recently. Phew!

This story is genuinely creepy. Thank you for sharing!
aman_yooo (17 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-05)
Someone call Dean & Sam Winchester quickly, but jokes apart, I think a mass cleansing needs to be done in the area. Whatever is haunting this part of your town seems to be getting stronger. So people need to speak to a spiritual leader and find a way to stop this.

Bless you.
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-05)
[at] zzsgranny

Thank you for the info on SIDS. That makes their deaths even stranger then. This is a case of two infants who died, three days apart, both at 3 in the morning when they woke up agitated, then died. No convincing reason for their deaths. Just that. Ick.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3329 posts) mod
11 years ago (2013-11-03)
clarencetuvera: Thank you for the update. I feel I have to disagree with the two latter deaths as being associated with SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) as waking up and crying for an hour isn't one of the symptoms. These children pass during sleep, and research has shown that they don't suffer.


clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-03)
An update on this story - in case anyone is still reading this. Its been years since we've moved from that house and the neighborhood, and I have completely forgotten about the incident. So has my niece.

Over the week end, though, during the Halloween frenzy, I was at the movie house to watch the latest installment of Thor (The Dark World), and I bumped onto a friend from the old neighborhood. Turned out she was also going to watch the movie, so we went together and shared popcorn.

That was special for me. If ever I was going to marry, it would have been her. But she's already married to my friend (sob).

After the show we went for some coffee, and did some catching up on each others' lives. She mentioned a series of curious incidents that happened in the old neighborhood, mostly involving pregnant women who suffered miscarriages, and a few other people we've met on the streets every now and then - people we've probably said "hi" to - who have died in their sleep.

"It was like a virus going around," she said, as she mentioned the names of people who have died or have lost their unborn babies through miscarriages. It was not a long list, but it was enough to generate concern.

"I nearly lost my own baby," she said. "It was a close call." She proceeded to recount the awful night when she was pregnant and she woke up from a dream to realize that she was bleeding.

Her husband is an Overseas Filipino Worker in Saudi Arabia, and other than a teen aged house-helper, she was the only one in the house.

"I was scared, and I knew I needed to go to the hospital," she said, shuddering at the memory of it. "So I forced myself to drive." Luckily, the baby got saved.

"What was so curious, though was the dream that I was having before I woke up and realized I was bleeding," she mused. "I was dreaming of these awfully obese folks with matted hair and they were covered in this slime that gave off an awful smell." Again, she shuddered at the memory, but more out of disgust than fear. "My house-helper said she had exactly that same dream that night, and she said she couldn't breathe as if she was being smothered, but then my screams for help woke her up." she recounted. "Curiously, though, my house-helper said they were Aswangs. But she's from the province, and you know how superstitious provincial folks can be."

"So, what do you think it was, then?" I prodded.

"I don't know," she shrugged. "But its a good halloween story though," she smiled.

I kept quiet, as I didn't know what to say to that. But then, I'm still wondering what caused the curious series of miscarriages and sudden deaths in that old neighborhood.

"By any chance, has there been any incidents lately?" I asked.

"Two, actually," she said excitedly. "Sudden Infant Deaths. And they were healthy babies, too. Families were three houses apart from each other. The babies died within five days of each other. But what made their deaths strange was that both babies died at around three in the morning. Both families recounted how their babies woke up crying at around two and wouldn't stop crying. By three, they were dead," she finished with a relish.
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-26)
[at] rookdigyn: like I said in a previous post, I'm not even sure if what we dreamed of were aswangs. The images didn't quite fit with the culturally accepted standard of how aswangs are supposed to look like. The bigger question for me, actually, is why several members of our family would have a common dream in that same night. And why we all came up with the word
beingtrish (1 stories) (13 posts)
12 years ago (2012-06-10)
Great story! In our hometown we experienced a lot of aswang attacks too.

Thanks for sharing! ^_^
Smokebear (4 posts)
13 years ago (2011-08-19)
I don't mean to be rude. Maybe you guys watched a scary movie together that night and subconsciously absorbed an image and dreamed of it (could happened). The smell could be coming from the outside, just like what rookdygin said.

If it's a paranormal thing... Why would it just stand and stare? What's their motive? Why it happened only once?

Thank you for sharing though:)
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
13 years ago (2011-08-12)

It's been 3 months sense anyone made a comment on this experience and 5 months sense the O/P posted... However that being the case the O/P did ask a question that I think I can address and maybe make some sense of this experience... And it does NOT involve Demons... Not even a teeny tiny one...😉


You say that you and your niece smelled a filthy odor that was all over your home... It could be that an odor from outside, or maybe even from the drains/sewer system in the home, caused you to have the dreams / think of the's part of the myth that has built up around these 'ghouls' and the 'foul smell' triggered dreams about these 'monsters'. The odor was real, the dreams were 'real' but influenced but that smell filling the house... We must remember, just because we do not understand something that, in and of itself, does not make it Paranormal. Just my thoughts...


silver_surfer (22 posts)
13 years ago (2011-08-12)
that is not an aswang clarence... I agree with magneto, that it was a demon entity that come to your drem and to your family, make sure you always have faith and go to church every sunday...
magneto095 (3 stories) (21 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-27)
Very scary experience, eh? Actually, maybe it's the demon that played with you and your entire family (or family member who dreamed of the dream/nightmare you have). Just pray for you and your family's protection against these demonic attack.:)

God bless!:)
luce (2 stories) (44 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-13)
hi clarence! That was spooky. If it happens again though, try sprinkling salt on possible entry points...

I guess it's not only wares, weapons and gold (and all those ancient goodies) that were traded hundreds of years ago in southeast asia. Maybe our ancestors traded creatures and stories as well with our neighboring countries?
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
13 years ago (2011-03-02)
4d - I'll go read your story right away. Thanks.

Serenity - I really hope someday, someone will be able to write a comprehensive study of the Aswang lore, including other incidences of this creature in other cultures. It may be known by a different name. Hopefully, a useful pattern will emerge.
4d (15 stories) (167 posts)
13 years ago (2011-03-01)
Great story! I had a similar happening with my wife, at the time girl friend! I have posted it here if you want to read. I believe you folks had an entity in your house hold that evening! 😨
Serenity (1 stories) (35 posts)
13 years ago (2011-03-01)
That's really odd that you all had the same dream. And made the same connection to Aswangs even though the dream creatures looked different.

Some of the other Aswang stories on this site also mention a horrible smell - like garbage and rotting things that seems to come from nowhere so there is a connection between your experience and the usual aswang lore.
professorfrink (1 stories) (9 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-26)
I sometimes experience an odor in my house also... But it could just be some dirty mold or something in the walls... It's like rotten eggs-ish or like stink bombs, never really seen any ghouls or anything like that but I do remember a dream about seeing someone who had a skull painted face... That was weird... Like an attack... Jesus is the truth and the life may he bless you.
adventorous_girl18 (2 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-25)
i have read many stories about ghouls (aswang) as a teenager I'm interisting about supernatural sometimes I would wish to have third eye but sometimes I'm sure scared enough to have that at my young age...
Anyway thanks for sharing this story it was good to hear 😁
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-25)
KimSouthO - I did some research for a college paper once, and I found out that our neighboring countries i.e. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, also have similar mythical ghoul icons. Where and how these beings became culturally embedded would be an interesting quest goal. At least for me.

DeviousAngel - I'm not even sure if what we dreamed of were aswangs. As I said, the images didn't quite fit with the culturally accepted standard of how aswangs are supposed to look like. The bigger question for me, actually, is why several members of our family would have a common dream in that same night. And why we all came up with the word, "
erin19 (1 stories) (41 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-25)
Wow, very interesting! Also very scary! Thanks for sharing!
- erin19 ❤
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-25)
Kim, I wonder the same thing myself. I've heard so many accounts of this type of being. Some of the things they say about them (like them attacking children who stay out after 6) just sounds made up to try and scare people into being good. Though in the author's dream they obviously didn't take the form of the typical Aswang, it's weird that multiple people would dream about the same thing at the same time. I wonder if it has anything to do with the theory of Collective Consciousness?
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-25)
I have read a couple of other accounts regarding Aswang on this site; some of the older stories.

This sounds terrifying! Wonder why these 'things' are only prevelant in the Phillipines? Or is there are these types of 'things' are elsewhere and just known under other names?

Thanks for sharing,
God Bless!

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