Reappearance of Malay Mythical Creature Toyol Strikes Fear into the Hearts of Villagers

Toyol has long been regarded as a supernatural, mythical childlike creature in the Malay folklore of South-East Asia. Different regions and communities may have varying details. Still, they are often associated with some form of dark magic involving what is believed to be the spirit of unborn babies.

Some also believe that this mysterious being is a type of evil jinn. Instead of apparations, toyol has real physical bodies resembling that of a goblin. Malay folklore often describes it as a greenish figurine with big eyes and animal-like behaviour. 

Legend has it that the master of a toyol keep it for selfish, petty gains such as to steal from others because the creature is tiny, sneaky, and mischievous. This makes them perfect for getting into small spaces without being noticed. That is why stories often linked to toyols involve someone mysteriously losing money or valuables from their home.

Paranormal Malay folklore Toyol GhostA captured creepy child-like toyolImage source via

Recently, suspects of toyol at work have reemerged from villages in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. There have been several reports on the loss of money from the residents of Kampung Tok Kenali, Pulai, and Polong since the beginning of the year. This has caused stress and unease for the villagers.

Since February, around twenty families from three villages have reported themselves as victims with money missing. The highest value of cash lost reported was up to RM10,000. (Source: Utusan Malaysia)

The reoccurrence of similar cases has led villagers to believe that a toyol has sneaked into their homes to steal their money. "There were no traces of breaking and entering, and they have kept their cash secured." – Harian Metro

Sudarwaty Abdul Rajab, a forty-two-year-old civil servant, shared her story as one of the victims who has lost RM500.

"I withdrew RM1,000 from the ATM to be given to my parents. The following day, when I wanted to hand them the money, I was shocked to find that I was left with only RM500 in the bag instead."

According to the report, Sudarwaty had similar encounters before, but she has kept them to herself until she found out that the same incident had happened to many other individuals through a Whatsapp group.

It appears there are ways that the villagers have been practicing to prevent toyol from stealing their money. To avoid the same mishaps from happening, they follow some old folks' advice. That includes stapling the banknotes together, crumpling the notes, or storing them in the refrigerator.

Ways to prevent money from being stolen by a toyol

Ways to prevent money from being stolen by a toyol shared by villagers. Image source via

With the stir of toyol's mischief in the village, Sudarwaty shared that she has been tying up her notes or leaving them in a crumpled state. However, she has forgotten to do so with her recent withdrawal.

It is understood from another villager of Kamping Pulai that similar incidents have happened periodically.

Paranormal Malay folklore Toyol unborn baby ghost

A creature believed to be a toyol found in Dusun Pahauran, West Java, Indonesia. Image source via

Forty-year-old Fatimah claimed that such an incident had taken place about 10 years ago, and now toyol is stirring up the villages again.

"Before this, some residents have claimed sightings of black hairy creature early in the morning. Whenever it appears, there will be cases of stolen money."

Fatimah shared that she has tried various ways of prevention, including hiding the money in the fridge, under a mattress, or in a can and also stapling the cash, but money still disappeared. 

It was only after seeking the help of Ustaz (religious teacher) that she and her family were finally safe from being victims of toyol disturbances.

Meanwhile, Kota Bharu District Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner Abdul Rahim Daud responded that he has not received reports from the victims so far.

He advised that those who have lost their money to make an immediate report to the authorities so that investigation can be carried out. In the meantime, the police will work on increasing patrols at the villages involved.

Could it be a toyol at work when we mysteriously lose a piece of jewellery or money at home? What do you think? Nonetheless, one thing we can be sure of is that there is such a thing called karma. There is always a price to pay, so don't you go making a contract with the devil!

Meanwhile, if you are curious and keen to learn more about toyol, did you know that the HBO horror anthology series called "Folklore" has featured it? You can catch "Toyol" in the fifth episode of season 1 for the haunting of the ghost of an unborn infant!

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