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Wikified as part of the Wikification wikiproject! JubalHarshaw 19:41, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Help needed[edit]

We need more help with this... Jumbee tales are few and far George the Hippy 02:32, 9 October 2006 (UTC)


Abiku? Never heard that one before... And i always thought that a moon gazer ate people. George the Hippy 20:47, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh my, these are hillarious, especially the vampire that counts rice! There doesn't seem to be much Indian influence here though, unless I'm missing something these stories would seem to be fairly consistantly African in origin. Someone must have more. --JamesTheNumberless 17:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Hilarious? How about TERRIFYING. All the old Guyanese people have more, but get the stories out of em. I don't know about the indian influences... haven't seen many. The natives have lots of stories, such as the BACKOO. It's not a stupid abiku. I'll have to look for more stories... 22:21, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
No I still say hillarious :) Old Guyanese people are a bit thin on the ground around here, especially since my Guyanese Grandparents died. They were not really the storytelling type. I suppose they're scary for kids but the rice counting vampire has a definite comic aspect. --JamesTheNumberless 15:54, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
(same guy as, and George the Hippy... too lazy to login) Perhaps the ole-hag is kinda funny. But not that moon-gazer! Suck out your brain through his palm? What madness is this!? My grandma saw a backoo... in the outback, at her family's ranch. Scary stuff. I haven't got any stories out of her though, I had a book. Didn't cite it though... alas!

Removing types?[edit]

Just curious - why take out the various types of jumbees? The information certainly seemed encyclopedic, even if it needed a little more copy editing.

I'm pasting it in here just to preserve it:

Types of Jumbees[edit]


Backoo may be derived from a Nigerian Yoruba entity called Abiku. The abiku is the spirit of a baby that has died before being named. They are usually represented by small wooden statues in Yoruba homes as a form of appeasement to the spirit of the deceased. The Guyanese backoos are described as short men with large eyes, long arms and legs, and, most conspicuously, an absence of kneecaps. [1]

This diminutive spirit pelts stones at houses and moves objects within a house. He is supposed to live on banana and milk. Stories abound of the existence of backoos in Georgetown and other areas in Guyana. The legend could have come from Suriname. The spirit is said to be trapped in a corked bottle unless released. Backoos are active mainly at night; it is said that a satisfied backoo will fulfill the wishes of its owner.


A Chudail (or Churile or Choorile) is the spirit of a woman who dies in childbirth, leaving her baby alive. Restless, owing to the separation from her baby, the chudail roams at night, crying mournfully. In Guyanese tradition, a person who cries all the time or runs around crazily like something is lost can be called "churile", after this spirit. The word chudail/churile means "witch" in Urdu and Hindi.


The Massacooramaan, also known as Sea Master, is a huge, hairy, man-like creature that lives in rivers in the interior, capsizes small boats and eats the occupants.


Ole-Higue, also known as a Soucouyant, is the Guyanese equivalent of a vampire. Ole-Higue is a female who sucks the blood of unsuspecting victims as they sleep. Her favorite victims are young children. During the day, she lives among other Guyanese as a somewhat introverted and quiet old lady. At night, this seemingly harmless old woman removes her skin, places it gently in a calabash, and travels across the sky as a ball of fire heading to the home of her intended victim. To enter the home she shrinks herself and enters through the keyhole.

Guyanese believe that there are three ways to catch an ole-higue:

  • to turn the key while she is trying to get through the keyhole. As a result even today many Guyanese lock their doors and turn their key to a horizontal position to allow an ole-higue to make it partway into the hole. The rustling of the key should wake the tenant who can then turn the key fully and crush the ole-higue. The next morning one should see a pile of bones on the doorstep.
  • to find the skin of the ole-higue in the calabash and put hot peppers inside. An ole-higue who tries to wear this skin will be burned by the pepper and then sing a well known song: "Lawd skin yuh ing kno me?… why yuh bite me?"
  • to spill rice grains in front of your door. Since the ole-higue is of Dutch and Afro-Guyanese heritage, tradition says the Dutch side makes her miserly. As the ole-higue enters your house she will be compelled to count every rice grain. The householder should make sure there a large helping of rice on the floor and no bags in sight. As a result the ole-higue will have to pick up the grains with her right hand and place counted grains in her left hand. As is to be expected, her hands can only hold so many rice grains and it is only a matter of time before the grains begin to fall back to the ground and the process begins again. When the homeowner awakes the next morning he/she should find a very tired and incredibly distressed ole-higue counting rice. At this point, tradition says it's possible to beat the woman to death with a broom.


The Moon-Gazer appears to be an unusually tall, muscular man. It stands with its legs on either side of the road, hands on hips, staring at the moon. If alerted to your presence, it will suck out your brain through its palm. Also if someone walks between the moon-gazer's widely spread legs, it will crush that person by bringing its legs together.


The Canaima is an Amerindian version of a werewolf. It is usually described as an Amerindian man with the ability to change himself into a jaguar. Canaimas can be good or bad, but are to be feared and respected regardless.

Bush Dai Dai[edit]

Bush Dai-Dai is a succubus-like Guyanese spirit of Amerindian and Afro-Guyanese heritage. The bush dai-dai takes the form of a beautiful woman who comes to the camps of Guyanese miners. After entering the camp and having sexual intercourse with the miners, the young woman is said to change into a wild animal and eat her victims as they sleep.