Monthly Archives: October 2013

#29 – Popobawa

It’s not unusual for cryptozoology to cross over with all sorts of other paranormal pursuits, some far more ridiculous and unbelievable. While there are plenty of proper zoologists who take the search for undiscovered animals very seriously indeed, and rightly so, it’s a field often discredited by paranormal enthusiasts muddying the waters with hoax or poorly researched supernatural ‘evidence’ that bears little relation to scientific pursuit. Unfortunately, as I’m writing a comedy blog and not a research paper, it’s pretty much inevitable that I will be one of those bastards every now and then, because some stories are just too bizarre and hilarious to not include here. I give you exhibit A – the Popobawa, a shape-shifting entity from Tanzania:

Be grateful you can't see the bottom half of this picture.

Just be grateful you can’t see the bottom half of this picture.

So far, so standard right? It’s just another flying monster-bat, right? I’ll just lock the windows and doors, ignore that funny smell and the scraping on the roof and tuck myself up in bed and everything will be fine, right? WRONG, pal. Unless of course your idea of ‘fine’ involves a glass of Chardonnay and a distinctly unpleasant evening spent figuring out the most comfortable way to accommodate an oversized demonic penis in your Bovril-chute.

The Popobawa is a shetani (a Swahili word for ‘evil spirit’), and the name translates literally to ‘bat-wing’. This doesn’t necessarily relate to the actual form of the creature, which can apparently shift and often presents itself as human, but to the shape of the dark shadow it casts when it goes romancing unsuspecting victims at night. By the way, you should take it as a given that for this entry I’m using the John Leslie edition of the Oxford Dictionary, where ‘romancing’ equates to ‘forcibly sodomising’.

ALLEGEDLY. Jesus Christ.

ALLEGEDLY. Jesus Christ.

In terms of legendary creatures, the Popobawa is a curiously recent phenomenon and only dates back around forty years or so. It first emerged on the island of Pemba following its political revolution, and periods of mass panic caused by apparent attacks have come and gone with the election cycle in Zanzibar ever since (presumably because efforts to encourage voter apathy in that part of the world go a little further than Russell Brand belching a thesaurus of ideals into Jeremy Paxman’s rage-contorted scrotum of a face). Sightings have been reported in the daytime but ol’ Pops generally attacks homesteads at night, often going through all the sleeping members of a family one by one before moving on to the next. Said attacks vary in severity from poltergeist-like activity right up to forceful bum-raping if you’re unfortunate enough to be the adult male in the house.

As a general rule of thumb, anal rapists of any sexual persuasion tend to be less than savoury people, but in a truly dick move the Popobawa is said to become enraged and intensify its attacks if its existence is denied. Meaning that the best thing you can do if you find yourself a victim is tell all your friends about it, making the Popobawa a sort of demonic curse that you have to pass on. Which is basically The Ring, ironically the one bodily muscle you won’t have following an attack.



Although obviously not likely to have any biological basis in reality, the Popobawa still has very real and definite effects on the human psyche in Tanzania. Reports of the shetani’s activities periodically spark mass panics that have spread from Pemba throughout the Zanzibar archipelago on to urban centres on the East African coast. During such panics whole families sleep outside around large fires, thought to be the best protection against the monster, as well as placing charms at the bases of fig trees and making animal sacrifices in an attempt to preserve the integrity of their fudge-tunnels. Because nothing says “please don’t bum me!” better than a dead goat.

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#28 – Mothman

First of all, I apologise for the impromptu month-long hiatus I’ve just taken from the blog. My grand intentions of knocking out an update every Monday have dwindled like a fading erection, due in part to my own work schedule and also because my laptop has been so entirely unreliable recently that every time I’ve turned it on I’ve come close to a Hulk-like rage and nearly smashed the fucking thing into dust. Thankfully I’ve now managed to strip it of all the malware crap that was hoofing so much metaphorical sand into my vagina and with any luck, I can rinse myself out and reasonably normal service can resume. Although it would be obvious nonsense of me to say I can definitely stick to a new blog every Monday, as I’m evidently as reliable as a British Gas engineer (who, coincidentally, have recently been attempting to fit an entire rockery in my vagina), I promise I’ll at least try to get a blog out at some point every week, but they might not be as regular as they once were. If you’re desperate to get them as soon as I put them up there’s a Follow button somewhere on the page, why don’t you shitting well click that? Now CAN WE PLEASE JUST GET ON WITH OUR LIVES?

His weakness - giant lightbulbs.


One of the more famous cryptids thanks to the 2002 movie The Mothman Prophecies, the strange occurrences and historical sightings that spawned the Mothman legend began in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia in the mid-1960s. Motorists reported encountering a seven-foot figure on the roads with enormous wings that would take to the air as they approached. A woman living near the Ohio River reported that her son claimed to have seen an angel when out playing. Another witness claimed to have encountered a giant butterfly. And because apparently digging a grave isn’t a creepy enough exercise in itself, the Mothman also decided to be a total dick and terrify five men working in a cemetery near Clenendin by swooping down from the trees and flying close overhead, before presumably heading off to either defecate on a child’s birthday cake or take a hot piss on the roof of a bus full of nuns.

As is often the case with cryptid sightings, the Mothman is also tied up with all sorts of reports of bizarre supernatural activity and UFO sightings. Over the year or so that the creature was most active radios and television sets cut out or behaved bizarrely, strange lights were seen in the sky and dogs went missing. The seven-foot monster with the glowing red eyes set in its neck was seen most often in an area of West Point known as the “TNT Area”, because hey, if you’re a supernatural demon-bastard, you may as well live somewhere entirely sinister for good measure:

And on his eleventy-first birthday, he grew wings and started acting like a proper wanker.

And on his eleventy-first birthday, he grew wings and became a horrifying omen of death and despair. With hairy feet.

A large tract of land adjacent to a 3,500 acre wildlife park covered in forests and steep hills, the TNT area is littered with concrete igloos used to store ammunition in World War 2 and honeycombed with the sort of subterranean tunnels you’d have to be a suicidal fruitcake to want to go exploring in. In short, it’s a horror-story orgasm, and the perfect place for a monster to make its home.

The Mothman apparently wasn’t content with simply nesting down or making a nuisance of itself, however, and the legend became forever linked with the tragic collapse of the nearby Silver Bridge in November 1967. 31 cars plunged into the icy waters of the river that day and 46 people lost their lives.


And you thought you had it bad because moths ate your cardigan.

Sightings of the creature faded pretty abruptly following the tragedy, leading to speculation that the Mothman was either directly responsible (presumably as preemptive revenge for the invention of the bug-zapper) or simply an omen of death warning of the collapse. On the other side of the argument there are plenty of sceptical explanations for the creature, ranging from a hoax by construction workers who attached red lights to helium balloons at the height of the panic, or a disoriented sandhill crane, a bird which has characteristic red patches around its eyes and an enormous six-foot wingspan:

"Come at me bro!"

“Come at me bro!”

Whatever the explanation, the Mothman is now a tourist attraction, complete with its own park, statue and annual festival featuring hayride tours of the TNT area. And of course the aforementioned movie, which went all-out in order to secure a major Hollywood star. And then failed and hired Richard Gere instead.

This poor little guy is about to honeycomb some subterranean tunnels of his own.

This poor little guy is about to honeycomb some subterranean tunnels of his own.