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An Obayifo in the Ashanti lore (deriv. bayi, synonymous term: ayen), is the spirit of a male or female witch that is able to leave its body and flies around at night feeding on young children.


This vampire originates amongst the Ashanti tribes living on the Gold Coast although it does reappear under different names amongst neighbouring tribes. For example, In Dahomean folklore it is called the 'Asiman'.


These witches are supposed to be very common and a man never knows but that his friend or even his wife may be one. When prowling at night they are supposed to emit a phosphorescent light from the armpits and anus. An obayifo in everyday life is supposed to be known by having sharp shifty eyes. They can also be recognized by their undue interest in food, especially meat, always prowling around when cooking is going on.


This vampire is also said to cause blight in crops: as well as drinking blood, the 'Obayifo' is partial to the juice of some fruit and vegetables Besides sucking the blood of victims, they are supposed to be able to extract the sap and juice of cropsand, destroying whole fields if it is thirsty... (Cases of coco blight are ascribed to the work of the abayifo.)

In Ashanti, the okomfo is a white wizard who openly combated the obayifo as a matter of principle, and he had the whole force of Ashanti religious traditions and public sentiment to support him.