The topic for this week calls for monsters BUT the group said, and I quote;
“although I used the words monsters, this can technically be any mythical creature.”
So I was all, “ok, I’m going to pick mythological monsters because nothing creeps me out more than creatures that have existed in the minds of mankind for centuries.”
Why have they existed for centuries? Why through the ages has mankind insisted on telling stories to continually frighten ourselves? Because that’s just what people do. There’s something about fear that gets your heart beating and your blood pumping.
Some of these monsters scare me and some I find more interesting as a concept of why they have been created. Because they were created by people, right? Right?
NB: I’ve tried to pick the least creepy images I could find of each monster because there are some particularly terrifying ones out there. I would say no Gerry’s were scared in the making of this blog post but that’s a lie.
We use the word Ghoul or ‘ghoulish’ to describe when something is particularly dark and macabre and to be fair these creatures from Islamic Mythology are particularly dark and macabre.
The picture above almost has them being an ugly sort of cute but rest assured, they are not. What horrifies me the most in horror is not vampires or werewolves (even though they have a tendency to eat people) but the creatures that actually eat the flesh of people but still retain some resemblance to being human.
Ghouls in the original folklore can either be one of two things:- 1) a jinn (genie) who lives in cemeteries and feasts from the dead or 2) a shape-shifting demon who lures people to their death and then feasts from the dead. Basically ghouls feast from the dead. That’s what you need to know.
Let’s keep with the macabre theme of ‘people as food’ shall we?
I first heard of Wendigo’s on an episode of Charmed if you could believe. Then I watched an incredibly creepy movie called ‘Ravenous’ which was actually very true to the ethos of the Wendigo myth. Their appearance in Supernatural cemented how much these creatures terrify me and then Until Dawn came out and I became interested in the game because it featured Wendigo’s.
The Wendigo is a creature from Native American Mythology and despite some variations as to how someone becomes one (possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo or corruption by eating human flesh) the myth is that when someone becomes a Wendigo they transform into something horrid and are driven by the relentless hunger to eat human flesh.
Celtic Mythology is rife with some horrifying tales and there’s a whole wealth of myth’s to choose from. Choose your poison; Cornish, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Breton.
We’re going to travel to Scotland where we will find the Kelpie. Do you like horses? Well, you won’t like this one.
The Kelpie is a water spirit that appears as a horse in order to lure people (usually children) to the water. If anyone touches it or climbs upon it they find that they will stick to the Kelpie and are unable to tear themselves away. The Kelpie then dives into the water where the person will drown before – you guessed it – being eaten.
The trick to noticing a Kelpie is that they will always be drenched in water. Even in their human form. Oh yeah, there’s a human form too.
Shudders once more.
The most famous of the Gorgon’s in Greek Mythology was Medusa who, I think, had a pretty tragic backstory and if I’m honest… I sort of feel for her. I would adore a feminist retelling of her story where she is the tragic anti-hero because I truly believe it would work.
The Gorgon’s were once three beautiful sisters. They still are if your idea of beauty is living snakes for hair, a face that can turn you to stone, scaled skin and clawed hands.
Because of the nature of their transformation and the reasons why they were transformed (all to do with not nice male dieties) apparently their glance only turns men to stone. It’s a strange defence/ attack mechanism.
I’m not inclined to shudder at this one because I’m more fascinated than horrified but you might feel the need.
Lilith belongs to Jewish Mythology as the first woman prior to Eve. She was kicked out of the Garden of Eden and replaced because of her refusal to be subservient to Adam as they were both made out of the same earth (as opposed to Eve who was taken from Adam’s rib).
This sense of identity and equality is seemingly not allowed and so mythology turned her into something more monstrous. Apparently she was in cahoots with the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve, apparently she had a voracious sexual appetite and apparently she went on to become the mother of legions of demons as well as being a baby-stealing and baby-eating figure of fear.
I have… thoughts. Mainly at how women in religion do not get a good deal.
I’m not shuddering at this one, I’m just more curious.
So there are my Top 5 monsters. Let me know what you think and let me know what your top 5 are!