Pontianak are the ghosts of women who died while pregnant.
Crying in the Night...
Description: Described as being a pale skinned woman with long (mostly dark) hair, the vampiric Pontianak is also often dressed in light to white coloured clothing giving an absolutely frightening appearance when standing out in the dark.
The Pontianak (also Kuntilanak, not sure if there is a difference) are the twisted former spirits of women who died while pregnant (specifically while pregnant and not dying during child birth itself – that scenario presents a different spirit). They prey largely on men (then pregnant women) and as such can also present as beautiful women.
The Pontianak wants to kill and does this through disembowelling their victims with their sharp fingernails / clawed hands. If the victim is male, as they often are, it is the sexual organs that are the first to go before death is granted.
There are several ways to tell if the Pontianak is near. The first is if the neighbourhood dogs are howling there could be one near, if the howling turns to whimpering it means the Pontianak is nearby.
Another way to tell is through the call of the Pontianak itself – it can make the sounds of a baby crying... however when the calls are close it means Pontianak is far away and if the calls are distant it means it is nearby. This is an unsettling thought as the first action most would do on hearing a babies cry is to seek it out, they may sound close at first but as you get closer to the source they get more distant causing you to quicken pace and then bringing you to Pontianak sooner.
If you are ever visiting regions where the Pontianak is reported it is wise not to leave your clothes outside, even to air dry on the line, as it is the scent carried on the clothing that draws them near.
Pontianak is also the name of a city in Indonesia. Also known as Equator City due to the city centre only being a few kilometres from the equator, it received its original name after its founder fought off a Pontianak that haunted the land (or after he fell victim to the ghost after refuting its existence – depending on who you ask).
(Differing regions and communities may have varying details to these legends)
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