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Toyol: The "Child" Demon of Malaysia

Updated on October 19, 2019
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A keen researcher about various superstitions across Southeast Asia

Origin of the Toyol

There are two versions regarding the origin of the 'toyol'. The first version mentioned that toyol came into existence as a result of a 'special' worship done for stillborn baby(firstborn) from the womb of the deceased mother (must be firstborn of her family) who died on a Tuesday.

It was beleived the the stillborn baby was roasted for 40 days along with incantations by a 'bomoh' (shaman). That's why in the past, if a stillborn (firstborn of her mother) died on a Tuesday, the grave of the 'stillborn' will be guarded by the local folks for 40 days long. After 40 days, the stillborn cannot be transformed into a 'toyol' due to the elapse of the 'prescribed' time.

The second version said that the toyol is actually the 'child' of a genie and to procure one, the person intending must either kidnap the toyol or enter into an 'agreement' with the genie. To procure a toyol, one must have tremendous mental strength. One of the rules to acquire a toyol is to feed the demon with blood from the owner's left big toe or the ring finger of the right hand


One of the main rules to acquire a toyol is to feed the demon using the blood of the owner's left big toe or the right ring finger

Toyol's Food

The main nourishment for the toyol blood. Some sources claimed that the toyol only feeds the blood of its owners. Some claims that the toyol also feeds on chicken eggs and the menstrual blood of a virgin girl

Toyol also feeds on the menstrual blood of a virgin girl

Characteristics Of The Toyol

The characterisitics of the toyol is that of a child. One of its favourites is to play with green peas, 10 cent shilling coin, and virgin girls. The intention of the toyol's owners to use 'it' to steal things from others will be spoiled should the toyol first stumbled upon those two items or a virgin girl as the toyol will be busy 'playing' with them till the sun rises and forgets what the owner commanded the toyol to do so

The toyol can be distracted from its job of stealing by green peas, 10 cent shilling coin and a virgin girl

Can money placed inside a Holy Book (Bible or Al Quran) be detected and stolen by the toyol

The answer is yes. Holy Books are for reading, not as a "safebox". There are many documented cases of money kept inside the Holy Quran which vanished without a trace (presumed to be the act of the toyol).

A Copy of the Holy Quran

Tips to avoid your money from being stolen by a "toyol"

  1. Place some green peas and 10 shilling coins outside your house.These are to distract the toyol from its ''duty" to steal money and to make it complacent as it is beleived that the toyol will play with these items till dawn before returning to its owner empty handed
  2. Keep your money in inside a chained wallet. It is beleived that the toyol will be afraid to steal money from these kind of wallets for fear of being choked by the chains
  3. Place your savings together with some nettle leaves on it. It is beleived that nettles are heavily feared by the toyol due to its "itchy" nature
  4. Read the Ayatul Kursi , The Throne Verse and one of the most powerful words in the Holy Quran and ask for the protection of Allah from all dangers including the toyol.

© 2019 Nagendra Kumar

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