Kukuth, determinate form kukudhi, is an undead creature in Albanian mythology.
From Greek κούκουδον “core”, κουκούδι “lump, bubo, plague”.
The kukudhi is a revenant, a miser’s poor soul that haunts his house after his death. For this reason, people feared the house of a miser and would avoid staying overnight out of fear of being killed. Only a brave boy may defeat the creature and bring eternal peace to its damned soul, being appointed heir in reward.
Around Tomorr there is a legend that a lugat who is not burned in due time will become a kukudhi.
In some areas the kukudhi appears as a stocky and short-legged man with a goat’s tail. He is invulnerable and may only be strangled with a noose made of vine. Because he brings mayhem, an evil man is also called a kukudhi.
Kukuth (kukudhi) und Karkanxholji (Karkançoli, related to Greek καλλικάντσαρος) are also Gypsy undead corpses, who go around in January, laden with chains and effusing a deadly breath. Known also among the Calabrian Albanians. According to another version, the Karkançual is vested with iron clothes, which is why chainmail armor is known as këmish karkançoli in Albanian.
In Southern Albania the kukudhi is also a blind female demon of sickness, carrying the plague. Kukudhi is also the name of a sickness like cholera, but worse. Alexander the Great is said to have brought it, after having raped the corpse of a Epirote princess, who would not return his love during her lifetime. Consequently, there is a derisive Tosk saying “As të ha kukudhi!” “Not even the plague will devour you!”