The Sasabonsam [1]) is a vampire-like folkloric being from West Africa. It belongs to the folklore of the Ashanti of southern Ghana, as well as Côte d'Ivoire and Togo.[2] It is said to have iron teeth and iron hooks for feet and to live in trees, attacking from above.[1]

In mythology, it is usually portrayed as an archetypical ogre: according to A Dictionary of World Mythology,

…the hairy Sasabonsam has large blood-shot eyes, long legs, and feet pointing both ways. Its favourite trick is to sit on the high branches of a tree and dangle its legs so as to entangle the unwary hunter.

Both Ogre and Vampire version have iron teeth.

(Art by Kenya Marshall)

Asanbosam or Sasanbosam


Origins -Ashanti (Ghana, Cote d'Ivorie, Togo)

Forrest Dweller

A vampiric creature that hides in the tree waiting for it’s prey to walk below so it can strike by hanging off the branches with it’s iron hook feet and biting its victim with sharp iron teeth.

The descirption of this creature is differs depending on where you are. The Asanbosam is desibes as a hairy beast with red eyes or a slim with crooked eyes and can pass as a human in the dark or that it has a long snake tail that it uses to distract its prey. However the iron hook feet and sharp iron teeth are always mentioned.

In Ghana, if a person mentions its name they are destined to bring bad luck to themselves and everyone around them!

Asanbosam: Area from/nationality: Africa - southern Ghana and areas of the Ivory Coast and Togo. The Asanbosam is believed to reside in deep forests, most often encountered there by hunters. It is of general human shape, with two exceptions: its teeth are made out of iron and its leg have hook like appendages. Anyone walking by the tree in which it resides will be scooped up and killed.

I got sad so I decided to redesign one of my characters. This is Abasi, he is a side-character in the roleplay I’m in and also the biggest scaredy-cat despite being a seriously talented survivor who can totes kill creatures five times his size.

He’s a creature based heavily off of the Asanbosam, only in his world they’ve been massively stereotyped/hated and are actually highly intelligent creatures that live on drinking water/sunglight alone and are borderline immortal (they’re like metal-meat-plants). Humans are scared of them (hence the really gruesome myths) because of their metal teeth/claws, which are made of iron, and are used to protect them from supernatural predators (we have it so iron burns/hurts/kills just about all supernatural creatures).

Abasi likes candles and woodcarving. Also, again, can kill you really good if you scare him.

The Essu

Aliases:  The Quiet House, Sharks, The Shadows
Nicknames:  Ethans/Emmas, Smiles, Whispers
Nicknames (Derogatory):  Devils, Hangers, Bastards

The Essu is a deviated strain of the Abera strain, born in West Africa, in what is known as Yorubaland. The strain forced the native Abera east and for centuries there was hostility and shifting borders between the two strains.

They take their name for the Yoruba word for “Devil” and are the inspiration of the ‘hanging vampires’, the Asanbosam and Sasabonsam.


The Essu are a rabble strain and have little consideration in how they sire, usually done as a spur of the moment.  However, the Essu are known for their increased predatory drives and, as the one strain capable of consuming solid food, are known to engage in more visceral feeding.  This has led to a generally more brutal and sadistic streak, which many seek out while siring.

Unlike the Vetala, who are pack-like in mentality, the Essu tend to be loners.  They have a large feeding territory and will protect it from other strains.  They often keep to themselves, as their appearance can lead to humans noticing their vampiric nature and, as a result, they tend to work exclusively in vampiric or supernatural circles.

Interactions with Essu tend to be short.  The strain’s natural proclivity for messy feeding and predatory nature often makes for unpleasant personalities.  Many take a Darwinist approach to unlife, others simply revel in their nature.  The Essu who do not fit this mold often have some degree of guilt and are self-conscious about their conditions, often forgoing their ability to consume flesh and, instead, stick to blood only.

The normal haunts for the strain tend to be supernatural territories or districts in cities, which allows them some degree of freedom not found in human society.  Outside of this, they tend to stalk city parks or other places where they can cling and drop down on to potential prey.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The inherent strength of the Essu strain is in their sanguine.  The Essu strain’s sanguine is extremely corrosive, an acid capable of, at upper limits, dissolving metal.  This offers the Essu several unique advantages over other strains.  In particular, this allows their body to actively break down foreign matter within their system.

The acidic sanguine allows the Essu to consume solid food, unique among vampire strains.  If they consume the flesh of living (and recently dead) prey they gain more sustenance than if they feed on blood alone from the same source.  They can also consume standard human food, though this dilutes their sanguine, similar to other strains drinking anything but blood.

In addition to providing them easier meals, the acidic sanguine allows the Essu to dissolve and destroy invasive weapons.  Stakes, bullets, ingested irritants, can be destroyed and broken down within a minute, providing them with additional defense.

Essue also display the ability to cling or hang from surfaces, so long as their bare hands or feet touch.  It is, apparently, not tied to their sanguine and is a unique, secondary effect of their deviation.

The downside of this power, however, is extreme.  While the Essu can boost their sanguine potency, it still remains acidic at base, which must be contained by their own mana.  Should the Essu use their acidic blood, this containment weakens, allowing the acid to consume the vampire from within.  Any attempt to raise the acidity of their blood will result in them taking damage as well.

A minor weakness is the Essu’s physiology, namely the fangs.  While nowhere near as obvious as the Mora strain, the Essue must be mindful when in the company of humans.  This leads to them speaking in murmurs or quietly, to barely move their lips, earning them the nickname “whispers”.

Like all vampire strains, the Essu strain has a strong, negative reaction to a specific, unique kind of plant.  In this case, the wood of any cotton silk tree is proven to be poisonous.