Vampire Vednesdays: Sasabonsam

Ashanti Sasabonsam figure

A sasabonsam is also called an asabonsam or asanbosam, a creature from Ashanti folklore. Reports of their presence in Jamaica go back to the eighteenth century.

Some people consider this creature to be a form of vampire because of its association with bats: it is able to take the form of a huge, bat-like creature (5’ tall, 20’ wingspan) with red fur, pointed ears, iron teeth, and iron hooks on feet and wings. In this form, it steals people from above and carries them away. Even when not in this form, though, the sasasabonsam is a horrible clawed and fanged monster.

As might be suspected given their hook-feet, sasabonsams are awkward on the ground. They live in the trees, dangling their limbs from the branches to snatch unwary travelers. They don’t seem particularly interested in drinking blood, but they will gladly devour the flesh of anyone who falls into their clutches. They can also inflict people with a wasting disease simply by looking at them with their deathly glare.

They sometimes work with obayifos, who are said to have the ability to summon them. On the other hand, it is sometimes said that obayifos work at the behest of sasabonsams, so the question of who is really in control in this relationship is a matter of dispute.