A strange yet beautiful creature seems to be stalking the deserts and waterways of Northern Africa. Known across the region as Aicha Qandicha, a name that strikes fear into the minds of the men, and dreads to those who know of the legend.
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A female supernatural entity that has its origins rooted in northern Moroccan folklore. It is often paired with the pseudo umbrella use of the term, Jinn; being a sort of natural spirit within Islamic and Arabic practices. Which aren’t necessarily always good or evil. Yet are often agreed to be spirits that are ranked just below that of Angels or Devils.
Aisha Qandisha is typically shown as a beautiful young woman, who’s looks can easily charm any man. However she also commonly has the legs of a hoofed animal, such as a goat, but more often a camel. The overall description of her tends to vary from region to region, and by who is relying on the information. That said, the origins of the primary stories seem to come from Morocco.
Nearly all accounts of Aicha Kandicha identify her home as a nearby body of water. In Tangier, this is thought to be the sea; in Tetouan, it is the Martil River, in Fes it is a drainage canal, and among the Beni Ahsen, it is the Sebou river.
There is also general agreement that she primarily preys upon young men; whom she entices with her beauty or by shapeshifting and acting as their wives. It’s also said that she uses this seductive prowess, in order to latch onto local men. Aiming to possess and ultimately kill them. Somewhat similar to stories of how Sirens may lure sailors with their calls.
More localized beliefs about Aicha Kandicha, have her being afraid of steel knives and or needles. A good suggestion is to bring along a steel dagger if venturing into the desert. Which truthfully seems like a decent tool to have regardless of what you’re hoping to ward off in that environment.
Some accounts have her married, in a way, to a husband, or some sort of male associate, known as Hammu Qayyu. In the traditions of the Buffi Sufi order, Aicha Kandicha is only one of a number of female jinn with the given name Aicha; each of whom has its own distinctions and personalities.
The Buffis believe her to wear black garments, have camel-like feet. Causing pregnant women who see her miscarry, and cause people she possesses to help or bark like animals. Has several names throughout the region, however, I can not pronounce them, nor would I ever be. So I’ll have to leave a link below for better access.
Edvard Westermarck, who is a Finnish philosopher and sociologist, claims that Aicha Kandicha’s name is “distinctly Eastern in origin.”
Co-identifying her with the temple harlot Qetesh, within the ancient Canaanite religion. Which actually refers to the group of ancient Semitic religions, practiced by the ancient Canaanites. They were a group that lived in the region which is now modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
Westermarck also hypothesized that her legend derives from the cult of the fertility goddess Astarte. Suggesting that Phoenician colonies in North Africa were the first to have the concept of Kandicha. She was later added to Islamic traditions, while still maintaining her promiscuous nature and association with aquatic environments.
He also proposes that her associate Hammu Qayyu may be from the Carthaginian fertility god Hammon.
Alternatively, Kandicha could be from a real historical figure. Namely a Moroccan “countess” from el Jadida who resist the Portuguese by seducing soldiers, who in turn killed by Moroccan fighters lying in wait
Aicha Kandicha has been referenced in a number of Moroccan cultural works, including books, films, and songs. Very much being a cultural staple of the region, at the very least being a publicly common legend.
Aicha Qandicha also popped up in the Season 4 episode of Destination Truth titled “Haunted Island Ruins/Moroccan Succubus”, in which during the second half of the episode the crew investigates reports of recent sightings of the creature in the Moroccan desert.
Within this episode, the Aicha legend more or less resides within the Desert itself. Their research pointing to Aicha being this spell-bound succubus that lures unsuspecting men out into the desert during the dead of the night, only for them to vanish without a trace.
The stories have her as having tall, hooved, goatlike legs. With leathery bat-like wings and equipped with long sharp nails. Although she has many animals features she still has a clear female figure. In addition, she is overly gorgeous, with piercing black eyes and long flowing hair.
From the people that were interviewed, some being local experts or professors, the locals seem to believe that Aicha is in some way a physical creature. Not some sort of spirit, however, this is more or fewer people associating these legends and sightings as something that has to be real; i.e, these are highly religious or cultural individuals who have that sort of superstition still embedded within the zeitgeist.
Locals reports have her making the sound of chains dragging across the sand; and that if you happen to hear the steps of camels at night, that in fact, it’s Aicha Qandicha on the prowl. The crew ended up searching for Aicha within the Atlas Mountains, as recommended by locals; it was also noted to check abandoned structures or temples, specifically abandoned Casbahs.
The crew investigated within the Mountain Range for one overnight event. They did hear some strange noises here and there. However, they stated it could not be isolated as a specific creature or animal; it was just too vague to be conclusive evidence. Additionally, there was also one instance in which they did capture some metallic sound with their audio equipment. But again they couldn’t definitively claim it to be Aicha.
In addition, they do find some physical evidence while exploring around the Casbahs. Primarily being tooth and bone fragments, sent to an expert at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. The conclusion for the tooth was that it was clearly mammalian, but likely from a cow. Which wouldn’t align since Aicha is human-like on the upper half.
Additionally, there is the piece of bone fragment, which was identified as a piece from a lower leg bone of an animal; but while comparing to a full sample bone, a cow is once more the culprit. However, who knows if it isn’t from an Aicha-like creature. As they are supposedly having the lower half matching similar creatures.
Episode 38 – Aicha Qandicha | The Moroccan Succubus. Produced by Shane Cummings; Audio Editing & Research by Shane Cummings.
Intro & Outro music “Creepy Regrets” by AnMo.
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