In South Africa, the Zulu and Xhosa people believe in a dwarf like creature known as the Tokoloshe. All are terrified of the mythical, mischievous spirit. There are many stories about the origin of the Tokoloshe, but in the end the local South Africans are all just as frightened of him.
It is believed the creature is called upon by malevolent people to cause trouble for others. The Tokoloshe is known to bite off sleeping people's toes so don't be surprised to find bricks under each leg of a bed. It is believed that the bricks protect both the bed and the person whom it belongs to. Very superstitious people will place more than one brick under a leg to keep them safe from the evil spirit.
The only way to get rid of a Tokoloshe is to call in the "n'anga" (the witch doctor). It may seem like a scary story that the locals tell their children but it is a legend still believed in today by both children and adults.
By Rebecca Latimer