TNB Night Owl – Douen & Ivunche

Jack-o-Lanterns. Photo by Mansour De Toth.

To round out our Halloween Owls, we’re ending with some obscure monsters who can be easy costume choices, provided you’re a bit of a contortionist.

The first is the Douen, out of Trinidad & Tobago.  The Douen are ghost children who died unbaptized, they have a few distinguishing characteristics… most notable among them are their feet and knees, which are backward.  The other notable feature is their lack of any face beyond a mouth, which they often hide by wearing big, floppy hats.  Beyond that, they tend to go unclothed.

For the sake of reason I must point out that these spirits are well-known mythology in the area.  So the Douen are naked children running around with backwards feet and knees… and they think that wearing a big hat is a perfect disguise.  The Douen are not the greatest of critical thinkers.

What they do have is a desire to play with other children.  They tend to try to lure kids out away from their homes into nearby forests, where the children will get lost.  As far as villainous monsters go, they’re actually fairly innocuous… but they are just children themselves, after all.

The Ivunche, on the other hand, are monsters from Argentina and Chile.  They were stolen by sorcerers as children, their heads were twisted backward and one of their legs is sewn onto their back.  They are nude and mute and scarred.  Their primary duties are to guard the caves of the sorcerers who abused them, and to freak people out.

Personally, I wonder about the value of an Ivunche as a guard.  Not being able to see what you’re striking (or where you’re defending) seems incredibly inefficient, as does trying to close with an intruder while hopping around one one leg.  Alan Moore used one of these as an effective monster during his Swamp Thing run where he invented John Constantine, but I’m inclined to believe Moore was merely showing off his incredible knowledge about weird creatures.

On second thought, while pretending to twist your body parts around is certainly a cheap costume, the whole “nude” thing would probably get you arrested.  Just enjoy some weird monster information instead, and happy Halloween!

Question of the night: What’s a good local legend?


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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.