We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Aswang?

By Wanda Albano
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An aswang is a creature of Philippine myth. Sometimes called a tik-tik or a wak-wak because of the sound they may make as they approach, the aswang is typically a therianthrope with the appearance of a shy, elusive person during the day, and a monstrous, slightly anthropomorphic bird or bat at night. In some legends, the aswang is also capable of transforming itself into other animal forms, such as a pig, cat, or dog.

Aswangs are drawn to blood and raw flesh, particularly organs like the heart and the liver. In human form, most aswangs can be found working as butchers, morticians, or gravediggers. The beast hunts at night, preying on most people that cross its path if they appear to be particularly vulnerable. Inebriated men and women, lone commuters, and small children are all said to have been preyed upon by the aswang. Its favorite victims by far, however, are pregnant women. Some stories about the aswang describe winged monster-witches perched on top of a roof under which a woman with child may reside. When it chances upon its mark, it will extend an uncommonly long proboscis into the female's belly and suck the unborn baby from the mother's womb.

Aswangs are said to lead incredibly long lives and are credited with all sorts of powers. These powers come from a special kind of stone, which is passed on from generation to generation. Aswangs usually come from witching families, and siblings may share one stone among themselves. The effects of the stone on normal human beings is unspecified.

To detect an aswang in its human form, one must look at a person's eyes. Due to the aswang's nocturnal hunting activities, the aswang's eyes will be bloodshot. An aswang's eyes are also said to reflect images in an upside down manner.

To fight an aswang, one must arm one's self with a buntot ng pagi, or the tail of a stingray, holy water, and salt. These "weapons" are the only things that can effectively inflict wounds on an aswang.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By BoatHugger — On Feb 24, 2011

@medicchristy -- There are so many different stories about the Aswangs and different Aswang sightings. I read an article by Micha Lindemans that says that the most common Aswangs are the female variety. She says they appear looking like an ugly old woman with long, tangled hair, long nails, blood-shot eyes, and a long, black tongue.

It is also said by some that the Aswang can be revealed by using special oil made of coconut and other plant parts. Supposedly, special prayers are said and when an Aswang comes near the house at night, the oil with start to boil and keep boiling until the Aswang leaves the area.

By medicchristy — On Feb 22, 2011

Can anybody give me more detail on what these supposed creatures look like? They sound creepy, but I'm having kind of a hard time picturing an anthropomorphic bat in my head. Anyone else have any details?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.