Werewolf Fact of the Day

Werewolf Book 2e
ISBN: 9781578593675

Which legendary Malaysian creatures terrorized hunter Henri Van Heerdan?

  • They sound like something from a Hollywood monster movie.
  • They are tall, very large, and look "like demons from hell."
  • They crave fresh, red meat.
  • They are also called the "mouth men."

Santu Sakai

The Malaysian legends of the santu sakai have always sounded like something from a Hollywood monster movie to those who doubted the monsters' existence. According to the old stories, the santu sakai are werebeasts, half-humans, half-monsters, that the native people refer to as the "mouth men," because of their large fangs and their craving for fresh, red meat. When hordes of these savage creatures attack a village, they capture, kill, and eat their victims.

In June 1967, a hunter named Henri Van Heerdan claimed to have his skepticism regarding the santu sakai removed completely after a near-fatal close encounter with the beasts during a hunting trip near Kuala Lumpur. According to his account, he had bagged a number of birds for his dinner and was about half-a-mile from his vehicle when he began hearing "ugly growls and strange screams" coming from the other side of the trail. He decided to make a run for his vehicle. When he stopped at one point to look behind him, he saw "two absolute monstrosities" running toward him. They were tall, very large, and they looked "like demons from hell."

Van Heerdan reached his vehicle, and he could hear that the beasts were close behind him. He turned and raised his shotgun, intending to fire, but it was too late. The hideous "mouth men" were on top of him. One of them bit his arm with its fangs, forcing him to drop his weapon. Somehow van Heerdan managed to pick up a good-sized rock and used it to pound one of the monsters on the skull, causing it to fall in a daze. He struck another in the face and managed to get inside his car.

The santu sakai closed around the vehicle, growling, roaring, pounding at the sides and the windows. Van Heerdan's shaking hand at last managed to get the key in the ignition just as one of the "mouth men" was smashing the back window and another was crouched on the hood, banging its fist against the windshield. The car's wheels spun into motion, leaving the santu sakai to chase after him. When van Heerdan got up speed, he slammed on the brakes, sending the man-beast on the hood flying off the car and into a patch of weeds.

The hunter reported the incident to the police, but they only laughed and told him to go home and sleep it off. The next afternoon van Heerdan talked a number of his friends into accompanying him back to the scene of the attack. Those who had initially doubted his word revised their thinking when they found a number of strange humanlike footprints and splotches of blood in several places. Van Heerdan's expensive shotgun was never recovered, and he speculated whether or not one of the beasts might eventually pull the trigger and blow a hole in one of his fellow "mouth men."

From The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings, Second Edition by Brad Steiger, (c) 2012 Visible Ink Press(R) Steiger's homage to the beast within provides meaty facts for the lycanthropic in all of us.

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