Folklores and Fables
Our culture is filled with lots of superstitions, myths and fables. Growing up, one of the most frightening folklore for a child was the douens. A douen is thought to be the evil spirit of a child that has died before he/she has been christened (baptized). They have no faces and their feet are turned backwards. They walk around naked and have large straw hats that hide their faces. For the most part they are thought to be found playing in forests and near rivers. They approach children that are not baptized and try to lure them away with them. They can also be identified by the eerie ‘whoop whoop’ sound they make.
As a child I remember being very frightened for one of my cousins who had never been baptized as a baby. Living in a country area, especially with my house right next to a ‘bamboo patch’ the whoop whoop sound was no stranger to me. Especially late in the evening and into the night. So after a certain hour, baptism or no baptism, this little girl found herself inside out of harm’s way.
As an adult I wonder at the veracity of this tale. Being a Christian I do believe in evil spirits but if the accounts of those who’ve claimed to have encountered these beings are to be believed then I don’t think they are in fact the spirits of children who have died without the benefit of baptism they encountered but maybe just an evil spirit.