MANGKUKULAM: Myths & Information About Witchcraft

MANGKUKULAM – Here are the myths, facts and information about witchcraft that have existed for centuries.

Deep inside the rich history of Filipino folklore exists a mysterious figure known as the “mangkukulam.” These mysterious persons, sometimes known as witch doctors or sorcerers, are cloaked in mystery and have a special power in Philippine culture.

The term “mangkukulam” is derived from the Tagalog word “kulam,” which translates to “witchcraft”. The mangkukulam is believed to possess black magic, enabling them to cast spells, create potions, and cause harm upon others.


Historically, the witch is said to have roots in pre-colonial indigenous belief systems, where shamans and healers played crucial roles in tribal societies. Witchcraft rituals and practices of vary widely across different regions of the Philippines.

Witches often use herbs and plants for medicinal purposes or to create mixtures for their spells. These remedies can be either helpful, such as herbal healing, or malevolent, used to curse individuals.

Chanting incantations or prayers is a central part of rituals. These incantations are said to summon spirits or deities to assist them in their work.


Some of them are using dolls or effigies as a means to channel their spells. These dolls may represent the target of their curse or the spirit they are calling. They also possess the ability to predict the future or find hidden truths using divination methods like as card reading or scrying.

People believe that witches can pass their black magic to their family or children.

Nowadays, kulam remains a topic of fascination, fear, and skepticism. While many people still believe in the efficiency of these practices, especially in rural and remote areas, others view kulam with suspicion and consider it superstitious or unscientific.


The influence of urbanization and Westernization has led to a decline in traditional kulam practices, but they still exist in some communities. They usually avoid people during daytime.

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