The Penanggalan is a vampiric monster borne of black magic. She is a normal human during the day, usually a midwife by trade, but at night she can detatch her head from her body. The disembodied head can then fly about, dangling glistening entrails behind it, which she manipulates like tentacles.
The Penanggalan flies around looking for victims to feed on, her preferences being pregnant women, women who have very recently given birth, and babies. Victims who survive having had their blood sucked by a Penanggalan develop an almost-always fatal wasting disease. After feeding, and before dawn, she returns home, where she keeps a vat of vinegar handy. She soaks her entrails in the vinegar to shrink them, so they will more easily fit back into her body. This is one way to identify a Penanggalan in daylight—she always smells of vinegar.
Methods to kill a Penanggalan:
• stringing thorny vines around doors and windows in order to snag the trailing intestines as she flies, and once trapped, dispatching her with a machete.
• pouring shards of glass into her headless body so that upon trying to reattach, her organs will be sliced up. (She cannot survive in her detached state in daylight.)
• destroying the body with fire, or otherwise preventing reattachment before dawn. Applying a garlic paste or ash to the headless torso can also kill the creature immediately.