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Soucouyant or Soucouya in Grenada

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

Do you remember your grandmother ever talking about Soucouya? Do you remember your auntie talking about Soucouya? Do you remember stories about blood sucking and red marks on the skin? Well, this is the Soucouya or Soucouyant.

Soucouyant or Soucouya is believed to be of female gender. She is most known for sucking the blood of her victims in the dead of the night as they sleep, leaving a bright red mark on the skin. Common places for sucking including the arms, legs, back and stomach. She comes through homes in the night, passing underneath locked door or through cracks in windows. She can return to the same home, night after night, and continue to suck the same victim. It is believed that by sucking her victims continuously, they become ghostlike and eventually evolve into Soucouya themselves.

Soucouya or Soucouyant is of West African origin and represents a vampire like creature.

There are many stories about how one can protect themselves from the Soucouya or Soucouyant. Here are three ways:

  1. Place salt along the bottom of doors and windows.

  2. Place a heap of rice in the road close to your house, and this will consume the Soucouya and would prevent her from making her way to your home. This is because the Soucouya or Soucouyant roams the road at night looking for vulnerable homes or families to prey on.

  3. Place a broom or a mop upside down (with the handle on the floor) by your doorway. The Soucouyant or Soucouya would not seek to enter into the home.

In the past, it is not uncommon for communities or villages to plan activities to capture the Soucouya or Soucouyant. Often times, she just sheds, and lives behind only her skin.

Below is the ball of fire which represents what the Soucouyant can turn into:

Grenada folk stories

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