Vampiric creatures living along the African coast, the abonsam come inland at night to prey upon crabs but are said to occasionally supplement their diet by attacking sleeping children, men, and women; when this occurs, the creature inadvertently infects them with a “wasting” disease. Those afflicted by the abonsam will slowly waste away unless they visit a witch doctor for a charm which will ward the creature off from its nightly visits. A fire is lit in the room of the ill person and as the embers die out, they are mixed with a special medicine during a special ceremony. The air has now been made putrid to the senses of the abonsam forcing the creature to return to its usual food source, crabs, allowing the victim to safely recover.
The abonsam is described as looking exactly like a normal and typical person from the village so long as it keeps its skin on; when one of these creatures is discovered, one is advised to wait until it has removed its skin and departed for its nightly feeding or orgy; then slather the hide with ground red chili peppers. When the abonsam returns and tries to don its skin, the pepper will prove to be too much of an irritant, forcing the creature to abandon its pelt and flee the village