Warning: this article contains graphic information that may disturb some readers

The Malawi Terror Beast is the name given to an unknown cryptid that caused widespread panic and chaos in rural Malawi during the early months of 2003. Something that gives this particular story credence, in comparison to other cryptid stories, is the fact it resulted in several deaths and prompted military action.

An eyewitness's recreation of the beast
An eyewitness’s recreation of the beast

In the district of Dowa, 100km north of the nation’s capital, Lilongwe, reports emerged of a rabid animal, with hyena like features, attacking and mauling members of the region. The unidentified creature attacked 19 residents of Malawi, killing three. While this might not seem too insane for a country plagued with wild animal attacks, it was the brutal ways in which these people were killed and maimed that has struck fear into the hearts of the entire nation. The three deaths were of two elderly women and a three year old baby; each had their skulls completely crushed in and their intestines and private parts devoured by the beast. Those lucky enough to survive their attacks suffered horrific disfigurements which local scientists analyzed in an attempt to identify the beast. Several victims lost both legs and hands and two lost both ears and eyes. One unfortunate woman had her nose and mouth torn out by the creature. This gruesome style of selective disfigurement is more reminiscent of the sadistic human killings than those by any crazed animal. In the wake of the attack over 4,000 people left the Dowa area to take refuge in town halls, only returning home under armed guard and a sustained presence by local game keepers, the police and factions of the Malawian Army.

A photo of a victim's skull
A photo of a victim’s skull

Those who saw the animal dismissed claims it was a Hyena, due to its large hind legs. Many local residents believed that the unknown animal is the soul of a similar beast that was killed a year before, after it slayed 5 people, and that it returned to exact revenge upon those that claimed its life. To this day what the beast was, or where it went, remain unsolved.

Below is the link to a BBC news report about the mysterious monster: