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El Naddaha is a kind of banshee who calls men to the Nile, most likely to their death.

Etymology

From Arabic النداهة‎ translated the caller. Also called ginneyya in Egyptian Arabic.

Origin

It is unknown when exactly the legend was first told, or what was the incident that caused its rise. The story became popular around the 1950s where Egypt was less urban than it is now, and people would spend more time closer to the Nile. Children would play by its shores after school had released them, and young men would chat there at night. It has become less popular at present though it's still familiar to the youth.

Description

Nobody can get close enough to the Nile to get a glimpse of what the creature looks like and run away. Those who pretend to have escaped described her as a very beautiful white female; tall, slender, and with long flowing hair down her back. She stands steadily very near to the bank of the river, her hands placed at her sides, and wearing a loose long semi-transparent dress. In many instances she's described as having a semi-transparent body. Thus, thought by many people to be a genie. Her voice is calm and soft, yet loud.

Legend

The legends tells the story of an amazingly beautiful female who appears accidentally to men walking by the Nile at night. The men are usually two, where the creature calls one by his first name, rendering him speechless, hypnotized, and totally obedient to her voice which he blindly tracks, while the other man is not affected, and tries to pull the called man back, under severe resistance from the latter. The creature keeps calling in a soft, sleepy, hypnotizing voice until the second unaffected man succeeds in reviving the called man from his hypnosis, and the two run away as fast as they can, hearing her voice still echoing as they run.

In rural Egypt, the creature may call for men in their homes (being situated along the shore of the Nile) who would then eagerly attempt to go out for her. In other tales, the affected man would not immediately try to go out; rather he'd enter a state of disturbed consciousness for a few nights, after which he would eventually leave late at night. People in rural Egypt believe that a man who is called for by El Naddaha is doomed, curing him from the curse is impossible, and the process irreversible.

Not a single instance has been recorded where a man was seen devoured by her. But many old local citizens believe she consumes or fiercely pulls her victims into the Nile and drown them.

In Ahmed Khaled Towfik's tale The Legend of Al Naddaha, he mentions that a man who prevents the called man from reaching the creature by any means would be the next to be called.


Source

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.