Diao Si Gui: Chinese Hanged Ghosts
A Diao Si Gui or Hanged Ghost. Photo: Cryptid Wiki
According to Chinese legend, Diao Si Gui are the souls of those who took their own lives or were executed. These spirits may manifest as a body with a protruding, lengthy red tongue and attempt to persuade those who cross their path to join them in the world beyond.
The Legend of the Diao Si Gui
Diao Si Gui, or Hanged Ghosts can be created in two ways: when a person takes their own life by hanging or when they are executed by hanging as a punishment for their crimes.
The more prolonged and painful the death, such as by slow suffocation instead of a quick snap of the neck, the greater the likelihood of them becoming a Diao Si Gui.
These ghosts are said to haunt the vicinity of the location where they committed suicide and are often depicted with a noose around their neck, dangling feet, and long red tongues hanging from their mouths.
It is believed that one should avoid making eye contact with a Dio Si Gui as they may lure you into a hypnotic state and persuade you to hang yourself.
In some versions of the legend, if the ghost successfully persuades someone to hang themselves, that person becomes a Hanged Ghost while the original ghost goes free.
Other versions suggest that a Hanged Ghost is not limited to a specific location and can torment a person for days, gradually convincing them to take their own life. When the time is right, the ghost will appear to the person in a high place and lower a noose to them.
Stories About Diao Si Gui
In the Chinese Fairy Book by Dr. R. Wilhelm (1921), there is a story known as The Hanged Ghost, which tells the tale of a soldier seeking refuge for the night in an old, run-down temple.
While there, he witnesses a female ghost descending from the rafters, unaware of his presence in the shadows. Intrigued, he follows her to a farmhouse where he discovers the ghost urging a young mother and her child to hang themselves. The soldier intervenes, saving the woman’s life and causing the ghost to flee.
On his way back to the temple, the soldier takes the rope left behind by the ghost, but she appears on the road and demands that he give it back.
He refuses and wraps the rope around his arm, causing the ghost to transform and attack him. The soldier defends himself by flinging his own blood at the ghost, causing her to retreat. He continues his journey with the rope now part of his arm, unfazed by the encounter.
A video telling the tale of Diao Si Gui or hanged ghosts
Possible Explanations for the Diao Si Gui
It is possible that the legend of the hanged ghost came about as a way to help families come to terms with the unexpected suicides of their loved ones. It’s easier to believe that a loved one may have been manipulated in to killing them self by a spirit than it is to believe that they wanted to die.
Have you ever seen a Diao Sui Gui or Hanged Ghost? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Diao Sui Gui you might also be interested in the mysterious stain left behind by the body of Margaret Schilling or how the ghost of Teresita Basa solved her own murder.
Fofao: The Killer Doll
The creepy Fofao dolls did in fact contain a sharp spike within to support the doll’s head. Photo: Latin Folktales
An urban legend spread throughout Latin America in the late 1980s telling of a knife being hidden in Fofao dolls. It turns out it was somewhat based in reality.
Who was Fofão?
The rather spooky looking character of Fofao. Photo: Wikipedia
Orival Pessini was tasked by TV Globo director, José Bonifácio de Oliveira Sobrinho , to create a child character for the upcoming program Balão Mágico. As any character that was created would go on air, Orival was unsure of what to create, having no prior experience with children.
After contemplating various possibilities such as a dog, pig, clown, teddy bear, extraterrestrial, or human, Orival decided to combine all the ideas, resulting in the creation of Fofão.
Orival was also inspired by Steven Spielberg’s E.T, which he described as being unattractive but possessing a great heart and charisma. Therefore, he aimed to create a similar character in Fofão.
In 1983, the character Fofão made its first appearance on the morning children’s television program, Balão Mágico, as a supporting character to the children’s musical group.
Despite its minor role, the character quickly gained popularity, eventually becoming an iconic figure in Brazilian media during the 1980s. This was largely due to the high sales of a plush toy based on the character.
In 1986, following the end of the original program, Fofão was given its own solo show called TV Fofão, which aired on Rede Bandeirantes until 1989, with a brief return between 1994-1996. The character made its final TV appearance in 1998 on the CNT Gazeta channel.
During the early 1980s, he gained immense popularity among Brazilian children and became a sensation. The character had its own TV show, released albums, dolls, and various other licensed products.
The Legend of the killer Fofao dolls
A video telling the story of the creepy Fofao dolls
After Fofao’s meteoric rise to fame the Fofao dolls sold in huge numbers. Not long afterwards rumors began to spread about the dolls having a knife concealed inside them.
According to the legend, Fofao dolls were cursed and would come to life in the middle of the night. The doll’s head would then separate from its body revealing a large knife. The Fofao doll would then repeatedly stab the child sleeping peacefully next to them.
After the story of the cursed Fofao doll became widely known, many people reportedly burned their own Fofao dolls out of fear. The story has since become a popular urban legend throughout Latin America.
Spookily, the Fofao doll legend wasn’t completely made up. When the head of the doll was removed a large, sharp plastic spike was revealed. This was used as a structural support to help the doll to sit up on its own.
Did you hear the legend of the Fofao dolls when you were growing up? Tell us about it in the comments.
If you enjoyed this article about the creepy Fofao dolls you might also be interested in Okiku: The Doll with Growing Human Hair or the story of Gabriel March Granados and the world longest prison sentence.
Demon Cat of D.C
A possible Demon Cat peering over a fence in Washington D.C. Photo: Wikipedia
Several people have reported seeing a large cat lurking around the US Government buildings in Washington D.C. Some say the cat appears as a warning before significant events.
The Legend of the Demon Cat of D.C
In the mid-1800s, cats were introduced into the underground tunnels of the United States Capitol Building with the purpose of exterminating rats and mice.
The story of the Demon Cat began during this time, with the belief that it was one of these feline workers whose spirit remained in the basement crypt after its passing.
The crypt, which was meant to be a final resting place for President George Washington, is said to be the Demon Cat’s favourite hangout.
As per a Washington Post article from 1898, the Demon Cat initially appears to be a regular-sized housecat but quickly expands to the size of an elephant, causing fear in the observer’s eyes.
In a 1935 Washington Post article, a witness described the Demon Cat’s eyes as glowing with the same intensity and fierceness as the headlights of a fire engine.
In addition to the Capitol Building, the legend extends to the White House. According to the tale, when the Demon Cat is seen on the Ground Floor of the White House (previously known as the basement), it means that a huge tragedy is about to unfold.
The Demon Cat’s notoriety is largely attributed to a collection of cat paw prints that can be found on the concrete floor of the Small Senate Rotunda, located near the entrance to the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
While the Architect of the Capitol asserts that these paw prints belong to the rat-catching cats that once inhabited the building, proponents of the Demon Cat legend contest this claim.
According to them, the paw prints only materialized after the rotunda was almost obliterated by an explosion in 1898, which they attribute to the vindictive cat, although official records attribute the blast to a gas explosion. (Who is to say the cat didn’t cause the gas explosion).
These believers also allege that the initials “D.C.” etched into the same floor stand for “Demon Cat”.
Sightings of the Demon Cat of D.C
One of the cats that lurked in the basement of the Capitol Building
The first recorded sighting of the Demon Cat was in the United States Capitol in 1862 when it appeared in the basement, which was then used as a bakery to feed soldiers during the Civil War.
The cat was seen multiple times in the basement, and a guard supposedly fired a gun at it, causing it to vanish.
Since then, the Demon Cat has been spotted most frequently in the Capitol Building’s basement. While some describe it as a tabby, others claim it to be black.
A White House guard claimed to have witnessed the Demon Cat before the 1929 stock market crash, while another night watchman spotted it prior to John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
Even though no firsthand source confirms the Demon Cat’s sightings at the White House, the feline ghost is occasionally included among the “most renowned” spirits of the Executive Mansion.
Possible Explanations for the Demon Cat of D.C
A video about the Demon Cat of D.C
The legend of the Demon Cat of D.C is thought to have originated from a guardsman at the United States Capitol who had possibly consumed too much alcohol during a long night shift, as per public historian Steve Livengood from the United States Capitol Historical Society.
Livengood speculates that upon waking up from a nap, the guardsman saw a basement cat that appeared larger than life due to his lying down position, and this experience might have perpetuated the story of the Demon Cat.
Such oral ghost stories are commonplace, particularly among those who worked graveyard shifts in the Capitol and White House, and the Demon Cat legend aligns with the traditional perception of cats as mystical creatures with the power to bring misfortune.
In addition to this, cats are often associated with nefarious activities and witchcraft. As a result, the Demon Cat tale is probably an amalgamation of history, imaginative narration, and widely held beliefs, making it one of the most renowned ghost stories in the nation’s capital.
Have you ever seen the Demon Cat of D.C? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Demon Cat of D.C you might be interested in other supernatural cats like the Bakeneko or the Canterbury Panther.
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