One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in eastern Caribbean folklore) a malignant witch believed to shed her skin by night and suck the blood of her victims.
- ‘The thing that puzzles me to this day is when ole people used to talk about seeing soucouyants.’
- ‘Some in Trinidad say the soucouyant is an old woman - a crone who takes the form of a fireball at night and steals the breath of children to add more years to her unnatural life.’
- ‘The only way to kill a soucouyant is to salt her skin when she leaves it to make her nightly flight.’
- ‘You can tell you've been bitten by a soucouyant if you see two little bite marks side by side, anywhere on your body in the morning.’
- ‘The soucouyant can be kept out of a house by hanging a special wreath of acacia, thorns and herbs from the doors and windows, but the only way to destroy her is to find her desiccated skin and fill it with salt and pepper so that it becomes too itchy to put back on.’
West Indian creole.
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