The Outsider Episode 1

HBO’s The Outsider, El Coco, Black Annis, and Pugot Mamu

The bombshell on last night’s episode of The Outsider was that our Jason Bateman doppelgänger could actually be a demon. The episode discussed a ton of different monsters, so we have your breakdown of exactly who these demons are.

Black Annis

Annis or Anniseed not to be confused with Star Anise is a spice that grows from a flowering plant that can be found in Southwest Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean region. It has been used to protect from evil spirits and help in exorcisms. The Native Americans referred to it as “Tut-te See-hua”, which means, “It expels the wind”.

The legend of Black Annis comes from Leicester, UK. She has had many names over the years, Black Anna, Black Anny, Black Agnes, and Cat Anna. She is a monstrous beast with long sharp nails, huge teeth. This mythical creature lives in a cave and steals children and animals to eat them. She wears dresses made from her victim’s skins. Disappearances and deaths were all attributed to her, and she was used to instill fear in misbehaving children. There have been ties to the Christian concept of Hell by being a potential daughter of the Viking God Loki. He had a child named Hel who ruled an icy world similar to the current concept of Hell only you know cold.

Pugot Mamu

This Phillipine folklore monster is considered the Boogeyman. He is a headless entity who stalks and eats children by devouring them whole through space in his neck where his head should be. The cavernous place is lined with sharp fangs perfect for ingesting unlucky and naughty kids. Not to be confused with the Pugot(minus the Mamu) he is a flesh and blood entity that hunts at night.

The Pugot is a spiritual apparition that was mostly non-threatening. As time went on the legend of the Pugot merged with aboriginals legends of goblin or forest spirits who guard treasures. Often referred to as “the dark one”, “the headless one”, or “the one with hands cut off”. A shapeshifter who can assume large and small things without consequence is terrifying. Stemming from the Ifugao of Northern Luzon who used headhunting as a ceremonial and power solidifier the heads were believed to contain the soul. If a creature had no head they were soulless and evil.

Careful little child
It might hear you sneak
Careful little child
Don’t let the floor creak
Careful little child
Don’t make a sound
Careful little child
Keep your head on the ground

Quiet little child
Don’t hide under your bed
Quiet little child
Or you might lose your head
Quiet little child
It is looking for you
Quiet little child
Or you’ll turn black and blue

Run little child
It found your hiding place
Run little child
It doesn’t have a face
Run little child
It’s right behind you
Run little child
From the Pugot Mamu

The Aswang Project

El Coco

If Cryptids are more your thing El Coco is your beast of burden. This ghost/ creature from Hispanic and Lusophone countries is a stand-in for things that create irrational fear. Originating in Portugal, but also Galicia El Coco is a ghost with a pumpkinhead. From coconut, the pumpkin acts as a symbol for the gourd head. Depending on the country it is both male or female. In Brazil, the Cuca is a female alligator-type creature. In Portuguese, it is a dragon. This is another beast that parents use to make their children behave. The El Coco or El Cuca lives in dark spaces like closets and under beds. A shapeshifter that has taken many forms is a bit of an enigma. Some say he has large teeth and bat ears, others say the beast is hairy and indescribable.

In Galicia, this is the dragon who shares a kinship with Saint George. To this day in the ceremony of Corpus Christi if Saint George and his horses are scared and defeated by the dragon a terrible year is to come. The crops will wither and die and the town will starve. If Saint George defeats the dragon it will be a successful year and there will be an abundance of food and prosperity.

El Coco was first called Coco in 1274 in the book Livro 3 de Doações de D. Afonso III. It first came to the Americas with the Spanish Conquistadors. This red-eyed iteration seeks out rotten children and eats them. The El Coco has been depicted in paintings, books, and poetry. The legend persists today and many a small child is terrified to disobey their parents for fear the boogeyman will snatch them away. A version of Rock A Bye Baby is sung with decidedly different wording about El Coco.

Sleep my child, sleep now…

Or else comes the coco to eat you.

Are one of these monsters responsible for terrible murders on The Outsider? Only time and episodes will tell.

Have your say