The Popobawa, the name is derived from the Swahili words for "bat" and "wing", was first reported to have appeared on Pemba,
This creature is described as being small like a dwarf or goblin with a single large Cyclops eye, small sharply pointed ears, wings that resemble those of a giant bat and talons. It is said to have an acrid smell and attacks and rapes men in their beds.
Sceptics claim that these experiences are a result of a hypnotic type hallucination during a "waking dream". Paralysis, a sense of being weighted down, floating sensations, and encounters with otherworldly beings are often all unifying characteristics of this sort of experience.
Article from 2001:
Fear has struck residents of the
Many Zanzibaris are now refusing to sleep in their houses as they believe it only preys on people in the comfort of their own beds.The ghost or genie goes by the name of Popo Bawa and people believe that it sodomises its victims, most of whom are men.
In recent years the residents on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian islands claimed that Popo Bawa only visited the islanders during voting, such as in the contentious general elections in 1995 and 2000.But to the surprise of many this current ghost has reappeared when there is no polling of any kind. In the latest panic, he is said to be striking in the north of
And, so the story goes, if they do not reveal what has happened then Popo Bawa will strike the next night. A previous ghost, known for attacking children, was reported to have terrorised the islands for six months. Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1446733.stm
And this article from 2005:
Men in parts of
In the last report it also attacks women and it apparently tells it’s victims they must tell others about the attack or it will come back. It sounds like a brutal form of electioneering to me and a dash of hysteria thrown it. However you cannot dismiss people’s beliefs so easily as I have seen evidence of people believing they will die , actually die. The mind is a strange thing and we can often convince ourselves of things that have not happened are real and pass a lie detector test based on it. Being afraid of ghosts does not mean you are stupid, but are convinced they exist. I wonder also if any medical examinations were undertaken on the victims, I can find no record of that, and it would prove if they had been attacked by a person(s) or unknown creature.
An academic paper on the history of the Popobawa which says it first started in 1965. Does not come to any definite conclusions.