Storytelling Matters

The Live Art and the Power of Words

Daily Ghost Post – A is for Adze

Summer Night Riverside Drive – painting by George Wesley Bellows

A is for Adze. And I don’t mean the carpenter’s tool.

In Ghana and Togo, there a folkloric creature called the Adze. It is nothing short of a vampire. And it could ruin the joys of summer if you let it.

Ah summer. One of its great delights are the delicious summer evenings. Sometimes they are so perfect that they lure you out of your home. Sitting outside in your yard or a park, it is easy to smile when a gentle evening breeze brushes your cheek. The scent of green foliage is as rich as dessert. Blissfully soft, the summer evening is just right for the companionship of friends and margaritas. Or blessed silence (and margaritas).

The cherry on that summer evening cake is the moment when you see the playful, blinking lights of fireflies in nearby bushes. The firefly light ignites your inner child, so you jump up, hands cupped like shells, and chase them. All you want to do is to see the little creature up close and watch it make your palms glow.

The moment you catch one, your heart leaps. Quickly, you glance down to see the gentle light inside your hands. But at the exact same moment, your hands are forced apart by a tremendous weight. And there, standing before you, is a hideous creature whose head thrusts forward, right toward your face! Before you can open your mouth to scream, it opens its mouth and sinks its sharp teeth into your neck and sucks your blood.

From that moment on, the creature causes you and your family a world of misery. You see, once it bites, the Adze is in charge of your very existence.

If you try to possess the Adze, the Adze will possess you.

According to African folklore, the Adze is a vampire spirit that can live in a firefly. Perhaps such stories are told as cautionary tales – it is cruel to catch and imprison creatures in your hands or jars, so leave them be and all should be well and summer is safe. It only makes sense, right? Trouble is, even if you don’t catch an Adze, it can still bite you. Yup. In its original firefly form, the Adze can squeeze in under doors or through holes in window screens and suck your blood while you sleep. That’s some good night kiss.

Pleasant dreams.

Have you heard of this creature? Have I ruined fireflies for you as I have for me? Please comment below!

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COPYRIGHT 2015 The Storycrafters. All rights reserved.

PHOTO CREDIT: George Bellows [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

SOURCES
Bunson, Matthew (1993). The Vampire Encyclopedia. Grammercy Books.
Wikipedia – Adze_(folklore)
http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/12818/11-legendary-monsters-africa

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15 thoughts on “Daily Ghost Post – A is for Adze

  1. Ed Hotaling on said:

    I have never before heard of an Adze. Let the educating commence!

  2. Oh good, fireflies are ruined and it’s only the first day of the challenge…
    😉
    Happy A to Z!

  3. This made me twitchy! Love it! We don’t really get fireflies here, so maybe I’m safe for now…

    • Yay so glad you hear you were twitchy! So, where do you live that you don’t get fireflies??? (Perhaps there is another innocent seeming creature that is also something awful in disguise…)

  4. Never heard of them before now, but that would make a great horror story. Take something seemingly innocent and give it a dark, deadly twist.

  5. This didn’t ruin fireflies for me, but I’m sure I’ll think of it every time I catch one now. Too bad I didn’t have this information when my kids were younger. 🙂

  6. storycrossings on said:

    Okay, you’ve given me a silver lining. I grew up in the Midwest, loving summer fireflies, and have always missed them since moving to Colorado many years ago. Well now I can be grateful we don’t have ’em. ! 😉 On another note, ADZE is one of my favorite Scrabble words; now it will have another meaning for me…yikes!
    Happy A-Z!

  7. Well… not pleasant dreams for me after this one… haha just kidding I love suspense and spookiness! I enjoyed so much how you introduced me to this (unknown to me as of today) creature, and not in an ordinary form, but through a goosebumps-casting story! I can’t wait to read the next one!

  8. I’m very glad we don’t have fireflies around here – none of those kind of vampires to worry about in the middle of the night 🙂
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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