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Monster of the Week: The Asasabonsam

When we think of vampires, we often envision the European type, not realizing that there are all types of vampires throughout the world. One of the more interesting variations of the vampire myth is a creature known as the asasabonsam. The asasabonsam is a peculiar vampire derived from Ghana lore. The Republic of Ghana is located along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa. The word “Ghana” means “Warrior King.”

My rendition of the African vampire known as the asasabonsam.
Octavio Ramos Jr.

The legend of the asasabonsam likely comes from the Ashanti people of Southern Ghana. However, the people of Togo and the Ivory Coast also speak of a similar creature.

The asasabonsam can be of any sex or any age. They appear as normal human beings, except that they have metal hooks instead of feet and iron teeth instead of those made of bone. The asasabonsam does not go for the throat when it attacks; rather, it goes for the victim’s thumb.

The asasabonsam lives primarily in dense forests, where it uses its hooks to hang from trees. An asasabonsam then waits patient for prey, which it can grab with its short, stubby arms. Other asasabonsams tend to hang from their arms, using their hooked feet to trap a victim. They use their iron teeth to drain a victim’s blood. Some stories claim that the asasabonsam consumes the entire victim, even the bones.