“Once this baby came out premature and died, so they called it the tuyul. Really scary looking and looks like a deformed baby midget. Myth was that the dukuns – witch doctors – would have these tuyuls to steal money, they would keep them in a jar. They liked two things: money and blood. That’s how they would feed. They’d rummage through bins and stuff and look for blood remains. So women’s pads and etc. etc. SICK”

This legend is something that my informant believes as true. She does not like to tell these stories as recounting them makes her feel scared and uncomfortable, likely because she considers these to be true and what I know as another common South East Asian custom, (having grown up in Singapore) is that you are not supposed to speak of any mythical creatures/spirits/ghosts as they become aware of they’re mentioned name and will one day appear in front of you. As far as the gore of this legend, I would like to point out that this style of gore is extremely common throughout South East Asian myths and legends. I would also like to point out another version of this story, which I had heard in 2002 :

“These ghosts would be kept in jars and feed on babies. Whoever was greedy for wealth and prosperity would either offer their own child or kidnap someone else’s to feed their child with. In order to get this creature to serve you, one would had to go up to the top of a deserted hill, and promise to sacrifice a living baby” This was from a Malay woman in her 70’s and had grown up in Malaysia.

I would also like to add from another source, the following aspect regarding the legend of the tuyul:

“You keep them in a jar under your bed together with a bottle of blood, and you can ask for whatever you want. When you go to sleep at night, they go out and get whatever it is you want but because these are evil beings, they do it by mischievous ways, such as theft”

The many different versions of this story underlines the characteristics of a legend and how they vary not only geographically but from culture to culture.