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Al Basti or Al Kardai is a very old female spirit that personifies guilt and thrives on the Caucasus Mountains, according to the folklore that originated in Sumerian mythology.

In Caucasus and Middle Eastern Folklore

In Sumerian Folklore

During the Sumerian times, Al Basti is another name given to Lilith, the first wife of Adam who became an outcast from the Paradise due to her stubbornness and self-reliance.

In Turkish Folklore

Often times, Al Basti has been thought as a Mare, a Succubus and other female spirits that are believed to enter a man’s wet dream in the Middle East. However, Al Basti is not a sexual spirit. She only visits people with guilty souls or those who belong to a family that committed violent crimes and were unpunished.

Özhan Öztürk, a scholar, claimed that the people who have been visited by Al Basti wake up with a high fever. The Al Basti also steals horses that are found sweating and are too tired for a regular day’s work. Because she makes her victims suffer, she is also known as the “red mother”.

In Armenian Folklore

In Armenian folklore, Al Basti is a variation of Al, a childbirth demon. The Al is capable of blinding unborn children, causing miscarriages and stillbirths to women who committed crimes and were unpunished. She appears in a form of a spirit of flame with snake-like hair, brass fingernails and iron teeth. The Al usually hides in damp places.


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  • Baring, Anne and Jules Cashford, eds. The myth of the goddess: Evolution of an image. Viking Adult, 1991. ISBN 0140192921.
  • Coulter, Charles Russell and Patricia Turner, eds. Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities. Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7864-0317-9
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