Tiyu-an the fetus-eater


The Tiyu-an

In Philippine folklore the tiyu-an is a flightless variant of the manananggal from the Capiz province. It preys on pregnant women and sick people. It doesn’t have wings and doesn’t split its body in half. In addition, all tiyu-an are female, with some having a stooped posture due to the habit of prowling under elevated or stilt houses. A tiyu-an owns a puppy or puppies which never grow old. These puppies, which are passed from one generation to another like an heirloom, are the actual masters while the tiyu-an is their servant and must share with them the blood and flesh she gets from her victims. These puppies are also the source of her powers. She also has a familiar in the form of a small black bird, which helps her locate prospective victims after dark.
By day, a tiyu-an is a normal girl or woman but by late night her masters will lick her legs as a way of expressing their hunger and to signal that it’s time for her to hunt. So she sets out on foot, guided by the black bird, to a neighboring village or town. The bird lands on the roof of a chosen victim’s house and calls for the tiyu-an with a rapid succession of chirps. If the target is a pregnant woman, the tiyu-an jumps onto the roof undetected and positions herself directly above of the victim’s location. If the house has a thatched roof, she will look for a hole or create one. When access to the victim through the roof is impossible, she will squat under the floor (if the house is elevated or on stilts) or cling on the window. Once her position is secure she will extend her long, tubular tongue – the tip of which tapers to a sharp point akin to a syringe needle but as thin as hair – and pierce the sleeping victim’s navel. The victim won’t feel a thing while the tiyu-an’s tongue reaches for the baby in the womb. If the victim is in the late stage of her second trimester up to third trimester the tiyu-an will only suck the fetus’s blood but if she’s still in the first trimester, the tiyu-an might be able to dissolve the fetus and suck it out. Either way, this will result to the death of the child and miscarriage for the mother. If there are no pregnant women to prey on, a tiyu-an will go after sick people, especially those who suffer tuberculosis, whose phlegm and saliva she loves to consume. She may worsen the sickness of a person or even hasten his death by sucking the victim’s life force through licking and sniffing.
Some tiyu-an have the ability to take the form of a black pig.