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Top 10 Otherworldly Beings You May Encounter Around The World

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Those with a strong belief in the paranormal often speak of a thin veil between our world and the dark “realm” of spirits, ghosts, and other unearthly beings. Some claim to possess the ability to lift the veil—especially during certain times of the year or on “special” days—and see into the spectral beyond.

Others insist that they are more sensitive to spirits in specific locations around the world. In fact, some individuals maintain that paranormal entities such as ghosts never cross over to other realms. Instead, they spend their afterlives on Earth with only a select few of the living aware of their presence.

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10 Women At The Crossroads

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Should you find yourself in Mexico on traditional feast days, it would serve you well to avoid all crossroads around midnight. It is said that the Aztec Cihuateteo lie in wait at crossroads on these days. They hope to grab their next victim and mercilessly inflict illness, paralysis, or seizures.[1]

It is believed that the Aztec Cihuateteo are the spirits of women who died during childbirth and that young children are their favorite victims. If a child does not cross their path during feast days, they settle for men they can seduce. Then the Cihuateteo show their true forms—skeleton faces, claws in place of hands, and horned headdresses. They are also naked from the waist up.

As the ancient Aztecs looked upon women who died during labor and birth as fallen warriors, the Aztecs gave these women permission to enter the Heaven of the Sun, where they remained for four years. Once these years had passed, the women made the clouds their home and were turned into Cihuateteo.

9 The Shackled Murderer

Moscow has its own dark side consisting of vindictive spirits, headless spooks, and vengeful specters that appear just before terrible events occur. Once of these restless ghosts can be found on the Gorky Highway.

It is alleged that a murderer was marching along in a penal convoy en route to a Siberian penal colony. He did not survive the trip. As there was no time to bury him, his body was simply left at the side of the road.

Many drivers claimed to have encountered the spirit of the murderer on the side of the road. He has a beard and is dressed like a homeless man. He also walks as though his feet are still shackled.

If a driver stops next to the apparition, he will be asked to “forgive me.” If the motorist does not reply with “God will forgive you” and drive away without looking back, the ghost will drag the motorist into the afterlife.[2]

8 Creepy Kids In Your Home

In Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa, stands the now-derelict shell of what used to be Kempton Park Hospital (later known as Kyalami Hospital). For reasons still unclear, the hospital was completely abandoned and shut down on Boxing Day 1996. All patient files and medical equipment were left inside the hospital where they can still be found today.

Those who love a thrill often visit the spooky building in search of ghosts. Residents of the surrounding neighborhood, however, do not have to step on the hospital grounds to encounter some of its creepy inhabitants.

One family claimed to have experienced poltergeist activity in their home, while others have watched in fear as their curtains opened and closed of their own accord and doors slammed for no earthly reason.[3]

Yet another family is said to have found small, wet footprints trailing throughout their home. Meanwhile, a married couple in the area claims to have entered their children’s bedrooms only to find unfamiliar youngsters playing with toys and looking up at the adults with blank eyes. The spooky children vanished soon after being discovered.

The high number of creepy-kid hauntings in the area is attributed to a “doctor” who managed to successfully fake being a qualified pediatrician at the hospital before being caught. Unfortunately, several young children and babies died before he was sentenced to 18 years in prison in May 1992.

7 The Wailer That Will Blind You

An old Mongolian legend says that a nomadic traveler died long ago after being overcome by hunger and thirst as he tried to cross the Gobi Desert. His spirit never left the vast arid landscape and still wails loudly, lamenting his fate.

Those who wish to visit or travel through the Gobi Desert are warned to avoid laying eyes upon the deceased traveler, better known as the Gobi Desert Wailer, if they hear his mournful cries. It is said that any living person who looks at the Wailer will start bleeding from the eyes and become blind.

An unnamed victim claimed to have looked at the Wailer, saying that he saw a gaunt spirit with empty eye sockets who wore frayed clothing. Soon after he saw the apparition, blood started streaming from the victim’s eyes and he became blind.[4]

6 The Goat-Legged Woman

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The story of Aisha Kandisha is said to be the Moroccan version of the popular Bloody Mary legend. There are several versions of the tale, but it is widely claimed that Aisha Kandisha appears near water sources. She uses magic to look beautiful so that she can lure men to her before driving them insane or killing them.[5]

Whereas Bloody Mary can be summoned by whispering her name three times in a dark room, Aisha Kandisha will appear if you pour boiling water down a drain. She also materializes in other forms, such as a freaky-looking mermaid or a topless woman with the legs of a goat.

Before she attacks and possesses unsuspecting men, she turns into an ugly old witch. Men who survive the attack become impotent and severely depressed.

If you gaze into a body of water in Morocco, you might just see Aisha Kandisha staring back at you. Also, if you hear chains rattling along the ground, you’d better get out of there immediately. The sound of chains is believed to announce Aisha’s presence in the vicinity.

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5 The Woman In The Black Sari

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In Jammu and Kashmir lies the Jawahar Tunnel (aka the Banihal Tunnel). Before you get to the tunnel, you must travel along the Khooni Nala stretch of road. It is infamous for a high number of accidents resulting in driver and passenger deaths.

There is also the danger of boulders falling onto vehicles from the mountains alongside the road. A steel mesh structure has been erected to protect motorists. But another threat lurks, and there is seemingly no protection against it.[6]

Some travelers claim to have seen a woman wearing a black sari and carrying a baby. The woman stands on the side of the road, flags down drivers, and asks for a lift. If a driver refuses, he is instantly cursed by the woman and will soon die in a car accident.

4 Dead Sailors Looking For A Place To Stay

Many people consider the isolated Sandwood Bay to be the most beautiful beach in Scotland, if not the whole of Britain. It lies 6.4 kilometers (4 mi) from the nearest parking area and is flanked by massive sand dunes and a freshwater loch. Its coastline is believed to be one of the earliest inhabited areas of Scotland.

Sandwood Bay is also considered by some to be Britain’s most haunted beach. A multitude of ships wrecked off its shores in the absence of a lighthouse, and many sailors’ lives were lost. A lighthouse was eventually constructed at Cape Wrath during the early 19th century.[7]

Between the beach and Sandwood Loch stand the ruined remains of Sandwood Bay Cottage. A long time ago, when the cottage was still in use, inhabitants would be awakened on stormy nights by the sound of a ghostly sailor knocking on the windows.

An old fisherman claimed to have seen the face of a bearded sailor looking at him through the window after he heard footsteps approaching the little cottage. Some believe that the bearded sailor is the restless spirit of local hermit James McRory Smith who lived in the area for 32 years.

Other guests at the cottage have awakened to the walls shaking as a herd of wild phantom horses stamped their hooves and stormed past the cottage.

3 Specters That Rise From The Mist

The city of Kilkenny in Ireland has been named one of the five most haunted places in Europe. The iconic Foulksrath Castle is reportedly so haunted that ghost hunters from BBC arrived in 1992 to see if they could catch some specters in action.

Other haunted sites include the stone tombs of the Black Abbey, Rothe House, and the Kilkenny Prison. Kilkenny is also believed to be the site of Ireland’s first witch trial.[8]

The creepiest story, however, tells of a flood that occurred in the area in 1763. Sixteen people lost their lives after falling into the River Nore when a bridge collapsed beneath their feet because of the swollen floodwaters.

In modern times, locals and tourists have reported seeing specters float in the mist covering the River Nore as the Sun rises above it.

2 The Girl From The Gap

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Gaps in wardrobe doors, in drawers, and between walls are common in houses, especially older ones. While most simply need fixing up, it is believed that an evil spirit takes up residence in a gap in a Japanese home. The spirit takes the form of a little girl who is always seeking a playmate.[9]

Once an inhabitant or visitor notices the little girl’s eyes watching from a gap inside the house, the spirit will ask whether the person wants to play hide-and-seek. Whether or not the invitation is accepted, the person will be dragged into another dimension if he or she looks at the girl a second time. That other dimension is believed to be Hell, and the unfortunate person will never be seen again.

1 The Hopping Jungle Spirit

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Although Thailand is most popular among tourists for its breathtaking beaches and mesmerizing architecture, the country also has magnificent jungles filled with diverse plant and animal life and jaw-dropping waterfalls. These jungles call out to the adventurous and those who love camping.

If you are lucky enough to visit these wilderness areas, make sure you look out for Phi Kong Koi. This Thai jungle ghost hops around on one leg and shouts, “Koi, Koi, Koi.”

Those who have encountered the ghost report that it is very ugly with a bulging belly. It hunts down campers and other travelers who stay overnight in the jungle. That way, it can suck blood from their toes while they sleep. Crossing your feet or keeping them together is said to provide protection against the Phi Kong Koi.[10]

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fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.