Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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TIKOLOSHE

(TIC-ah-la-lish)
Variations: Gilikango, HILI, Thokolosi, Tikaloshe, Tokolosh, Tokoloshe, Tokoloshi
The Xhosa people of Lesotho, Africa, have in their lore a vampiric creature known as a tikoloshe (see AFRICAN VAMPIRE WITCH). It is an excellent familiar for a witch and many do not mind the high price that must be paid for its summoning spell to work—a family member of the witch will die within a year's time of the spell being cast. Accepting this, a tikoloshe is created by removing the eyes and tongue from a corpse, piercing the skull with a red-hot iron poker, and then blowing a magical powder, whose ingredi-ents are a well-guarded secret, into its mouth. The powder will animate and transform the corpse into an obedient and much-prized familiar.
Always male, a tikoloshe is a short, hairy, baboonlike creature with a tall forehead and a receding hairline (see HAIR). It has a single buttock and a penis so long that it keeps it slung over its shoulder. Able to use magic, the tikoloshe will create for itself a magical stone that will allow it to become invisible. It keeps the stone hidden in its mouth at all times. Although it can shape-shift into any form it wishes, there will always be a monkeylike characteristic to it. Should it need to fly, it shape-shifts into the form of a HILI, a type of vampiric bird that is also a part of the Xhosa people's mythology.
In exchange for being the witch's familiar, thetikoloshe will demand a daily supply of cow's milk, food, lodgings, and the right to have sex with the witch whenever it wants (or a woman at his disposal to fulfill his sexual needs should the tikoloshe's witch be a man). In exchange for all of this, the tikoloshe will otherwise be completely at its witch's disposal, day or night.
Very quick and as strong as a man, thetikoloshe's greatest weakness is its voracious sexual appetite that even its witch cannot control. Aserial rapist, the tikoloshe will have a collection of women that it will return to assault over and over, traveling hundreds of miles if it must. It feeds off their sexual energy, leaving its victims physically battered and emotionally drained (see ENERGY VAMPIRE). Eventually its repeated assaults will kill the women.
Source: Broster, Amagqirha, 60; Knappert, Bantu Myths and Other Tales, 173­74; Mack, Field Guide to Demons, 35; Scobie, Murder for Magic, 80­82; St. John, Through Malan's Africa, 152­53
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