Think you’ve got the guts to read about ghosts like La Llorona in The Curse of the Weeping Woman? Still, proceed with caution. Don’t say we didn’t warn you when you find yourself tossing and turning in bed – or when you catch a fleeting glimpse of a long-haired female ghost out of the corner of your eye.

You see, witches and banshees have long been a staple of superstition and folklore around the world. They’re usually found stealing or eating children, as opposed to female humans who bear children. This perversion of the natural order adds a sinister and personal layer to their hauntings, since innocent young children can hardly be expected to fend off vicious ghosts who want them for dinner. Here are the world’s most vicious and powerful female ghosts. Just remember – ghosts can sense when you’re thinking about them, and they aren’t hampered by geographical boundaries…


1. Baba Yaga (Russia)

Baba Yaga in Hellboy (2019). Credit: Encore Films

Baba Yaga in Hellboy (2019). Credit: Encore Films

If Baba Yaga looks familiar, you must have seen her when you caught the recent Hellboy (2019) remake, where a version of this demonic creature appears to give Hellboy some assistance. This ferocious Russian witch appears as a deformed old crone who’s literally so bony that she can stretch from one end of the house to the other. While it’s great that she’s managed to keep a svelte figure despite being hundreds of years old, she definitely needs a better skin care routine. And maybe some hair treatment, too.

Did we mention that she lives in a house with legs? If a crawling house doesn’t creep you out, let me add one more detail – it’s a house with chicken legs. Giant chicken legs. We can’t begin to imagine where she got those chicken legs from. Baba Yaga isn’t always out to eat children though – she sometimes provides aid, like she did in Hellboy (2019). But there’s always a price to pay when you ask for help from a witch, as Hellboy found out in the movie…


2. Kuchisake-onna

Kuchisake-onna in Slit Mouth Woman in L.A. (2014). Credit: Ryan's Movie Reviews

Kuchisake-onna in Slit Mouth Woman in L.A. (2014). Credit: Ryan’s Movie Reviews

Kuchisake-onna (口裂け女) means “the slit-mouthed woman” in Japanese, and for good reason. She’s a malicious female ghost with a mouth slit open like the Joker in The Dark Knight. Besides that incredibly gory detail, she’s actually quite pretty.

Legend has it that Kuchisake-onna will approach strangers, but using a cloth, mask or fan to cover her face. She’ll ask you if she’s pretty. If you say “no”, she’ll kill you with a pair of scissors. If you say “yes”, she’ll reveal her true visage to you and ask you if she’s pretty again. If you say “no”, she’ll kill you with a pair of scissors. If you say “yes” again, she’ll slit your face so that you look like her – but at least you’ll survive.

It’s said that Kuchisake-onna was the beautiful wife of a samurai when she was a human. However, the samurai caught her having an affair – and slit her mouth so that she would have a disfigured and distended smile. She committed suicide shortly after, and returned as a vengeful spirit capable of possessing bodies and making it look like her. So you never know when Kuchisake-onna might be around… until she asks you if she’s pretty. And as you can tell from the movie Slit Mouth Woman in L.A. (2014), she can literally appear anywhere…


3. Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary. Credit: Roblox

Bloody Mary. Credit: Roblox

No, we’re not talking about the salty cocktail. We’re talking about a capricious creature that’s probably the easiest to summon of all the ghosts on the list. Here’s how.

Stand in a dark room and face a mirror. You can only use one candlestick for illumination. Look into your reflection and chant Bloody Mary 13 times, then wait. You’ll see Bloody Mary appearing. Lucky ones will just be screamed at, but if Bloody Mary is in a bloodthirsty mood that day… she’ll claw your eyes out.

If you want a scientific explanation for Bloody Mary, then look up the Troxler effect. It explains that when humans stare at the same object for an extended period of time, the brain will usually adapt to or get used to the unchanging stimuli. This results in your brain neuron ignoring certain visual information transmitted from your eyes, and the image starts to get blurry, faded or distorted. We’re betting this looks pretty horrific when you’re in a dark room lit only be a candle, so it’s only “natural” that you start looking like Bloody Mary. Regardless, we’re not going to try this one out.


4. Nasi Kang Kang Witch

Nasi Tangas (Nasi Kangkang) (2014). Credit: Nekoneko's Movie Litterbox

Nasi Tangas (Nasi Kangkang) (2014). Credit: Nekoneko’s Movie Litterbox

Nasi Kang Kang may sound tasty, but… it’s rather unhygienic, actually. As you may have guessed, it’s a type of rice with a very special ingredient added to it – the bodily fluids from the private parts of a woman. To make Nasi Kang Kang, a woman is supposed to squat over a bowl of rice as it’s being steamed, without clothes. The steam will mix with her bodily fluids and drip back down into the rice, giving it a special power.

What power is that? Well, any man who eats the rice will never leave the woman and always obey her commands. It’s said to be a love potion for wives to keep their philandering husbands in check, but which normal woman is going to do this? So Nasi Kang Kang is (nowadays) usually made by witches, who want to lure a nubile young male teen into their lives. But in the movie Nasi Tangas (2014), an evil shaman teaches this witchcraft to a jealous wife, who then proceeds to use it on her husband – with terrifying results.


5. Annabelle

Annabelle: Creation. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Annabelle: Creation. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Remember Annabelle (2014) and Annabelle: Creation (2017)? Well, it’s based on a real-life Raggedy Ann doll that doesn’t actually have a name (besides Raggedy Ann). However, the spirit possessing the doll does have a name – Annabelle. So let’s be clear – Annabelle refers to the ghost possessing the doll, and not the doll itself.

The spirit’s full name is Annabelle Higgins, and it was a wandering ghost that could not find rest. So the owner of the doll took pity on the poor ghost and let her inhabit the Raggedy Ann doll – only to find out later that it was a demon. Many strange and frightening occurrences later, they gave the doll away, unable to bear the doll and its creepy inhabitant.


6. La Llorona

La Llorona in The Curse of the Weeping Woman. Credit: Dread Central

La Llorona in The Curse of the Weeping Woman. Credit: Dread Central

La Llorona is a Mexican ghost who goes around wailing and bringing misfortune to all who hear her. It’s said that in life, she was blessed with a family and two beautiful children. But hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, so when she discovered that her husband was having an affair, she went into a murderous rage and drowned her children to spite him. When she came to her senses, she killed herself out of guilt at what she had done.

However, she was not granted peace in the afterlife. She was barred from entering heaven until she could find the whereabouts of her children. As a result, she now kidnaps wandering children and drowns them as penance.

The worst thing about La Llorona is that if her weeping sounds nearby, she’s actually far away. But if her weeping sounds far away, she’s actually really close to you – possibly even next to you…

The Curse of the Weeping Woman. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The Curse of the Weeping Woman. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

How does her wailing and weeping sound? Well, you can catch The Curse of the Weeping Woman to find out. Set in America, the movie sees unfortunate widow Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini) and her two children being tormented by La Llorona herself. But she’s never even heard of the ghost until it started attacking her family, so how can she stop this Mexican banshee?

Find out if she survives in The Curse of the Weeping Woman – the latest instalment in The Conjuring shared movie universe.

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Credits: Encore Films, Ryan’s Movie Reviews, Roblox, Nekoneko’s Movie Litterbox, Dread Central, Golden Village Cinemas



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