Aswang - any of the evil beings in Filipino folklore associated with witchcraft, lycanthropy, vampirism or a combination of any of the three. According to the locals, an aswang is actually a human being substantially united with a dark entity. The entity dwells as a parasite in the aswang's body. Although an aswang child may be born of aswang parents, this condition of being an aswang is also communicable. Thus, an aswang does not always have to be female. There are different forms of aswangs, each having its own characteristics.

Types of aswang:

  • Caranioang Aswang (The Common Aswang) - the most well known type of aswang. During the day it appears as a normal person carrying out ordinary human activities. But at night, it covers itself with oils and transforms into a lithe wild dog, a bulky wild boar or a very large flying serpent. It usually preys on little children loitering in the streets at dusk. It will occasionally become a panther and steal chicken and other livestock. It will climb up the tree to hoist its prey. In some illustrations, the caranioang aswang is depicted as a grotesque flying creature closely resembling the chupacabra of South America.

    The essence of the caranioang aswang, called camandag, is transferred in the form of a small black bird encased in a thick leathery transparent pouch. When the camandag is handed over by a carrier to its new host (usually a younger relative), the potential swallows the camandag and obtains the attributes of the caranioang aswang. The potential then becomes the new carrier.

    Garlic wreaths hung at the window or on the door are said to be an effective repellant because the caranioang aswang, with its strong sense of smell, cannot stand the odor of garlic. Throwing holy water at the caranioang aswangs is ineffective because most of them, although choosing to remain unbaptized, live like Roman Catholic Christians whenever they are humans. They even attend Sunday services stepping out of the chapel only during the transubstantiation. To kill a caranioang aswang, one must stake it, or burn it.

    The male caranioang aswang is also called an impacto, while the female, an impacta. A juvenile caranioang aswang is sometimes called an impactito or an impactita.

  • Tiktik (The Screeching Goblin) - a flying aswang with a wingspan of up to 13 feet or almost 4 meters. It can travel over great distances in search of sleeping pregnant women, making loud high pitched cries. The tiktik can sneak into houses through the attic, air conditioning ducts or openings in the ceiling. It can crawl on walls and hang in an inverted position like a bat. With its target locked, the tiktik uses its acrobatic skills to suspend skillfully above its victim, before lowering its long slender, tubular feeding organ. It releases enzymes into the unsuspecting mother's uterus, digesting the unborn child. It then sucks its meal. Once found, the tiktik is relatively easy to kill. Stab it, shoot it with poison arrows, or feed it to the dogs. A submachine gun, automatic or semiautomatic, will also do the trick. For fun, clip its feeding organ and watch it starve to death.

  • Manananggal (The Disengaging Harpy) - a loathesome voracious flying monster with the head and trunk of a woman, the large leathery wings of a bat, and the talons of a bird of prey. It is often pictured without its lower extremities. Usually, the manananggal is a human female. But on very dark starless nights, it becomes a hideous creature, separating from its lower half and then flapping its wings to fly. It will eat any warm blooded animal it finds, including humans. Tossing sand, dirt, or salt on its remaining lower half will prevent it from reattaching, causing it to die.

  • Aswang Lipad (The Soaring Goblin) - distinct from other flying aswangs because it keeps its human form and does not need wings to fly. After taking its clothes off, it applies under its armpits a green oinment made of herbs and fat, before rising into the night. It rides the current, as though swimming on its back, in search of a fresh corpse. Finding one, it takes only the liver and swiftly departs. It is never known to feed on living men, although reported cases of dead farm animals with missing livers have been blamed on the aswang lipad. Citrus fruits take away its ability to fly.

  • Aswang Gala (The Wandering Goblin) - a nomadic aswang that feeds directly on the energy of sick, weary, stressed, or dying mortals. It appears very human, usually working in hospitals disguised as a nurse. Because it does not display its supernatural nature, it often remains undetected. An aswang gala can be identified by staring into its eyes, which reflects images upsidedown. There is no known method to vanquish the aswang gala.