Destination TruthCreatures

Translated from Swahili, this creature's name means "bat-wing," and it refers to the shadow it is said to produce when it roams the land by night. The Popobawa variously is said to be a shape-changer, an ogre or a ghost. In most accounts, it boasts huge, scalloped wings.

The first reported encounters with the Popobawa were recorded in 1971. Witnesses have said that they thought it was a demon that had been unleashed by witches or by a djinn. Subsequent sightings have occurred every few years, including a noteworthy panic in 1995.

A Popobawa invades a home and tends to attack adult men in their own beds. The creature's presence typically is announced by the scraping of its claws on the roof before it enters the home, and a distinctive, sharp odor is often noted as it nears it victim.

Once it has an individual in its grasp, the Popobawa terrorizes the victim for upward of an hour. Local superstitions hold that the demon will return for longer and more violent visits if the victim does not spread word of his experience to others.

Skeptics insist that reports of such attacks are more likely nightmares brought on by episodes of sleep paralysis.

Tell us what you think about your favorite NBCU programs by becoming a TV panel member.