Depok villagers behead ‘babi ngepet’ shapeshifting boar demon accused of stealing money

Video screengrab of the captured wild boar believed to be a “babi ngepet” in Depok, West Java.
Video screengrab of the captured wild boar believed to be a “babi ngepet” in Depok, West Java.

A shapeshifting boar demon was beheaded in Depok, West Java after it stole money and valuables over the past month.

At least, that’s what the residents of Badahan village in Sawangan sub-district believe, but their story about a babi ngepet terrorizing their village has become national news in a country with deep supernatural traditions as Indonesia.

In Indonesian lore, a babi ngepet is a person who uses a black magic-infused cloak to transform into a wild boar. In boar form, they would sneak into people’s homes and rub their bodies on the walls and furniture, which would magically draw the household’s money and valuables. When the babi ngepet shifts back to human form, the stolen fortune is contained in the cloak.

The villagers of Badahan were certain that only a babi ngepet could’ve been responsible for their money going missing over the past month. On Monday, 12 men of the village went butt-naked — because they believe that’s the only way they could see the demon with their own eyes, for some reason — and found the babi ngepet, which they captured and caged.

While the villagers initially wanted their fortune back, they said they saw the beast gradually shrinking. So they decided to kill it before it could vanish.

In a video that has gone viral, a respected figure at the village is seen calling on the babi ngepet’s family to come forward before the villagers execute it.

Nobody came forward, so the villagers beheaded the boar yesterday and buried the body parts separately so they don’t somehow magically fuse back together. Nobody has come forward to report any of their family members missing, presumably from their tragic babi ngepet adventures, either.

Now, we hope we don’t have to tell you that this story was entirely based on the claims of the villagers, and that nobody besides them actually saw the so-called babi ngepet. Nevertheless, the local police got involved and said that the boar they saw was just a regular swine.

“We were worried that the whole thing attracted crowds, so we dispersed them as we are still in the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sawangan Police Chief Rio Mikael Tobing said.

Yet the story still broke nationwide to the point that the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) had to come forward and say that there is no such thing as a babi ngepet.

It’s possible that the babi ngepet was made a scapegoat (or scapeboar, as it were) by the villagers who have been hit hard economically by the pandemic. If that were the case, who are we to deny them this temporary distraction from their circumstances?

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