Sundel bolong

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Sundel bolong
GroupingLegendary creature
Sub groupingVengeful ghost, nocturnal, undead
Similar creaturesTai Thang Klom
RegionSoutheast Asia
HabitatHaunted house, graveyard, area where death took place

The legend of the Sundel Bolong mainly originated from the Javanese mythology. In Indonesian mythology, a Sundel Bolong is a mythical ghost from the archipelago which is a woman with beautiful long hair and a long white dress (her form is similar to Kuntilanak). The myth is closely linked to prostitutes, meaning a "prostitute with a hole in her", in reference to the large hole which is said to appear in her back.


The name "sundel bolong" derives from the physical appearance of the ghost. The word "sundel" which means "prostitute" or "whore" and "bolong" in Javanese which literally means "hole." Modern folklore studies believe that the myth was developed in Java culture to deter prostitution that developed during the Dutch East Indies colonization.


In folklore, Sundel Bolong is the soul of a woman who died when she was pregnant outside of marriage and therefore gave birth in her grave, or who died during childbirth and the baby came out from her back (this is the reason why the hole was created in her back)[1] which is concealed from men by her long black hair.

Victims of Sundel Bolong spirit mainly consists of men and children. As a vengeful spirit and it is also said to be a sensitive spirit, if rejected by a man, she is said to castrate him.[1] As for the children and mainly new born babies, she is said to take as her own for it is believed that she lost her child after birth.

Sundel Bolong has appeared in a number of movies.[2] In 1981, an adult horror film, Sundel Bolong was released, directed by Sisworo Gautama Putra and in 2007, Legenda Sundel Bolong was released.[3]

Popular culture[edit]

  • In Marvel Anime: Blade, the Sundel Bolongs are depicted as an Asian vampire sub-species.
  • In the horror game "DreadOut " developed by Digital Happiness, Sundel Bolong is featured as one of the ghost.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Clifford Geertz (1976). The religion of Java. Anthropology/comparative religions Page 658 of Phoenix books. University of Chicago Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-226-28510-8.
  2. ^ Reinterpreting Identities in Indonesian Classic Films Poster
  3. ^ Legenda Sundel Bolong

External links[edit]