Myths and Folklore Wiki

Pontianak is the dangerous spirit of a woman which is from Malay and Indonesian mythology.

Myths & Legends

Pontianaks are women who died during childbirth, and are also known as vampiric ghosts. They are active at night, while during the day, the Pontianak spirit resides inside banana trees.

Pontianak locate their prey by sniffing clothes that are left out to dry, which is the reason Malay's refuse to keep their clothes outside at night. They kill their victims by digging their sharp nails into the victim's stomach and devouring their organs.

They usually announce their presence through baby cries. It's said that if the cry is loud, she is far away, but it it soft, then she is near by. Though it is also said that if you hear a dog/wolf howl then she is far away, but if it's whimpering, she is near by.


They are described to be paled-skinned with long hair and dressed in white. They also have long, sharp nails and have an awful stench.


To fend off a Pontianak you must plunge a nail into her neck. It is said as long as the nail is there, she will become a good wife, until the nail is removed.