After the “Twilight” debacle, I have come to realize that our ancestors were way more creative in making creatures genuinely frightening, here is my collection of 10 of the most terrifying ones-
We suggest you checkout our sequel list, which is about the greatest mythical heroes, if you like this subject.
“Jikininki” are from Japanese Buddhism and they mean “human eating ghosts”, and that already means that this wont end well. They are spirits of cursed individuals who were greedy in life, and are now forced to seek out and eat human corpses at night.
Jikininki are said to look like decomposing corpses, with sharp claws and glowing eyes. They also have the ability to magically disguise themselves as normal human beings and lead normal lives by day.
Source – http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/kwaidan/kwai08.htm
A cockatrice is a mythical two-legged dragon with a rooster’s head. According to Alexander Neckam’s De naturis rerum (ca 1180), the cockatrice was supposed to be born from an egg laid by a chicken and incubated by a toad. It can turn people to stone if they look at it and it can also fly. Here is a verse from the book of Isaiah about it-
“Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.”
—Isaiah 14 29
Source- Historia Naturalis viii.37.90.
The Dullahan is from Irish legends and it means “without a head”. Its a headless horseman, who rides a black horse and carries his head under his arm, and a human spine on the other hand, which it uses as a whip. The head’s eyes move around and the mouth is always in a creepy smile. Whenever the Dullahan stops riding, that means someone is about to die. It calls out the name of the unlucky individual, at which point they instantly die.
There is no way to stop a Dullahan, no lock is big enough or gate strong enough. And if you watch them while they are doing their “work”- they will throw blood on you, as a mark that you are next. The only defense against them is gold, which they are afraid of.
Another form of headless creatures, the Blemmyes; they are cannibals and have faces on their chest. They lived in ancient Libya according to Herodotus. Their name is formed using two Hebrew terms, which roughly translate to “no brain”.
Source- Herodotus, The Histories
This is from Indonesian mythology and the word literally means “woman who died in childbirth”. They are beautiful pale skinned women, who prey on men. You know its a Pontianak, when you hear a baby cry, which is how they announce their presence; the closer they get the softer the cry gets. When they get close enough to you, you can smell a very nice fragrance which is the last nice thing which will happen to you as they kill their victims by digging into their stomachs with their sharp fingernails and eating their organs. If you look at them directly they will suck your eyes out. They locate prey by sniffing out clothes which are left outside to dry which is why superstitious Malays never leave out clothing overnight. Here is a video of a reported sighting.
Source – Lee R. The Almost Complete Collection of True Singapore Ghost Stories. 2nd ed. Singapore: Flame of the Forest, 1989.
Ogopogo is the name of a lake monster reported to live in Okanagan Lake, Canada. It was seen by ‘First Nations’ people since the 19th century. Its described as a 50 foot long sea serpent. Karl Shuker (a British cryptozoologist) suggested it may be a kind of primitive serpentine whale such as Basilosaurus (Here is an illustration of them).
A Scottish fairy, said to be a messenger from the underworld to bring omens of death. It’s name literally means “washerwoman”. She wanders near empty streams washing the blood of the grave clothes of people who are about to die. It is said that they might be spirits of women who died giving birth and are doomed to do this work until the day their lives would have normally ended. They are described as having one nostril, one big tooth, webbed feet and long-hanging breasts, and dressed in green. Not the most attractive creatures. If you ask them nicely enough, they will answer three questions for you, but only after you answer three questions of their questions. She can also tell you the names of the people who are about to die. If someone sneaks up on them while they are washing and suck their breast and claim to be their foster child, he gains a wish from her.
Source- Briggs, Katharine (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies. Pantheon Books. pp. 14-16, 19-20.
Ever have a nightmare? Of course you have, according to Persian legends a Bakhtak is a creature you can blame this for. It’s invisible and it sits on the chest of its victims, turning their dreams into nightmares and it weighs so much that it also causes sleep paralysis in its victims.
A leshy is a woodland spirit from Slavic legends which protects animals and forests. It is a tall creature which can change its size, has hair and a beard made out of living grass and vines, and it has a tail, hooves, and horns. It’s skin is pale and its eyes are green. It is close to the gray wolf and bears. As a weapon it carries a club and its considered to be the lord of the forest. They also have no shadow.
They have loud cries and can imitate the voices of people. They are not really evil, but do sometimes kidnap wanderers and women and tickle them to death in their lair.
Abarimon are a legendary race of people from a country with the same name, where they live side by side with animals. They have backwards feet, and in spite of that, are able to run at great speeds.
The exact location of their country is in the great valley of Mount Imaus (now known as the Himalayan Mountains). The air was said to be unique and if breathed for a long time, it would make it impossible to breath any other type of air, so leaving the valley was impossible.
Source- Natural History of Pliny
Enough about monsters! Here are the greatest mythical heroes of all time.
Also I love historical things, creepy stuff, and videogames.
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