Ever since seeing it in the D & D Fiend Folio, I've been a bit obsessed with the Penanggalan, a female vampire from Malaysian folklore. A good part of Agony a Go-Go was dedicated to the Penanggalan, and was, I think, one of the primary reasons people found my site, back in 1997. I noticed that my images or writings on the Penanggalan appeared on several mythology and folklore websites, including some academic sites, at the time. Not sure if I was providing a helpful service, since I had greatly embellished on the mythology.
There's just something so odd and demented about the Penanggalan. There was a similar monster in European folklore which consisted of a wizard, whose head and entrails separated from his body and floated around performing unsound deeds. The Penanggalan's purpose is pretty straight forward: it eats babies and small children.
It's preferred method of attack was to come up through the floorboards. I'm not sure if the original folktale involved her forcing her way up through the floor as we see here- perhaps she had some more discreet method that Southeast Asian architecture allowed- but I liked the idea of this disgusting thing blossoming out of the floor.
Apparently, you could protect your home from the Penanggalan by having the Jeruju thistle growing around it's perimeter. The Penanggalan would become ensnared in its barbs and be trapped until morning, where she would be vulnerable to attack. The Penanggalan uses her long hair and innards as tentacles.
Anyway, I have a whole bunch of drawings of Penanggalans, some of which I've posted to my Flickr page. The last thing I'll post here, before being rude and going on too long, is a sampling of just how demented my little obsession was: two pages of notes from a sketchbook, back in 1993: