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Saturday, 2 March 2013

TOP 10: Weird And Scary Mythological Creatures

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Every country has a well-known tale that passes on from generation to generation about mythical creatures that roam our land. In Britain there’s the Loch Ness Monster, North American’s have Bigfoot, Transylvania has Dracula, and Latin American countries have the Chupacabra. The most popular films and books at the moment are the Twilight series, which feature a host of vampires and werewolves! In this article we’ll be taking a look at ten of some of the scariest mythological creatures from around the world.
Mythological creatures come in all shapes and sizes, but it seems the same old creatures always hog the headlines. We constantly hear about gremlins, zombies, gorgons and cyclops — but now it’s time for some lesser-known creatures to shine. 

10. The Chimera

The Chimera according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals: a lion, a serpent and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. 


9. Berserkers

Berserkers (or berserks) were Norse warriors who are reported in the Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury. Most historians believe that berserkers worked themselves into a rage before battle, but some think that they might have consumed drugged foods. Norse legend depicts these human warriors who would transform into maniacal, uncontrollable beings sometimes in the shapes of wolves, bears and wild bulls. This would improve their effectiveness in battle. They are described as having bloodshot eyes, incredible strength, and endurance. Scandinavian kings would use the Berserkers as their part of their army or as their personal bodyguards.


8. Aswang

A cross between a vampire and a witch the Aswang is popular in Filipino folklore. Almost always female the creature is a cannibalistic eater of the dead and of the living. They can transform themselves into either a black dog or a black boar. Some of the methods effective in fending them off is the use of garlic and/or holy water. During the day they are in their human form and appear as quiet, shy, elusive characters. At night though they transform into the terrifying creatures whose trademark features include very bloodshot eyes.

Like UFO stories, aswang stories are one of the favorites of sensationalist tabloids, especially when there are grave robberies, kidnapped children, strange noises, people with eccentric or peculiar habits, and other bizarre incidents that can somehow be attributed to them.

Stories of the aswang are popular in the Visayan region of the Philippines, especially in the western provinces of Capiz (a province on Panay Island), Iloilo and Antique. Capiz, in particular, is singled out by tabloids as an area of high supernatural activity: a home to aswangs, manananggals, giant half-horse men (tikbalang) and other mythological creatures. Many of those who live in Capiz are superstitiously inclined, and adorn their homes with garlic bulbs, holy water and other objects believed to repel aswang. Since the stories recount aswang eating unborn children, pregnancy is a time of great fear for superstitious Filipinos.

In Southern Luzon, the city of Antipolo is rumoured by locals to be a popular place for Aswang sightings, especially during the Holy Week, where legend says that paranormal activities are at their peak during the three days that Christ was dead.


7. Bakhtak

Suffer from excruciating nightmares? Ever wake up with a weight on your chest, unable to move or breathe? That may be the work of the Bakhtak, a creepy being of Persian folklore that sits on your chest while you’re sleeping. No one is quite sure why the Bakhtak takes such glee in filling you with bad dreams or causing near-suffocation and sleep paralysis, but we do know the Bakhtak gets around. The Bakhtak of Iranian fame is often depicted as a little goblin-like creature, but the same concept takes on the guise of an Old Hag in English folklore and is similar to the Mara of Scandinavian origin.


6. Blemmyes

Don’t invite a tribe of Blemmyes to dinner — unless you want to be on the menu. The Blemmyes was a tribe which became fictionalized as a race of creatures believed to be headless monsters. Their lack of head, however, doesn’t mean they lack a man-eating mouth. They have eyes and mouths on their chest. The Blemmyes were said to live in Africa. 

These cannibalistic creatures were first mentioned in the ancient world by Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC, and they were later noted in the work of Roman author Pliny the Elder. Blemmyes-like creatures were also mentioned as the Anthropophagi in Shakespeare’s Othello. They continue to pop up in modern literature, sometimes with traits that include a special language or armed with weapons such as blow darts and spears.


5. The Wendigo

The Wendigo is a creature appearing in the mythology of the Algonquian people. Descriptions of the Wendigo vary across culture, but they are generally described as a large alien-like canine beast. They are malevolent and cannibalistic creatures. Wendigos are strongly associated with the winter, the north, and coldness. Human beings will transform into Wendigos if they perform cannibalism. The person will become possessed by the demonic spirit of the beast, usually in a dream. Once transformed, the individual will become violent and obsessed with eating human flesh. These monsters are the embodiments of gluttony, greed, and excess. They are never satisfied with killing and consuming one person. Wendigos are constantly searching for new victims. They have been classified as giants and upon transformation the human will grow considerably in size. They populate rural and highly forested, mountainous regions. Recently the Wendigo has become a horror entity, much like the vampire, werewolf, or zombie.


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4. The Leshy

The Leshy is a male woodland spirit in Slavic mythology who protects wild animals and forests. A leshy usually appears as a tall man, but he is able to change his size from that of a blade of grass to a very tall tree. He has hair and a beard made from living grass and vines, and is sometimes depicted with a tail, hooves, and horns. He has pale white skin that contrasts with his bright green eyes. A leshy has a close bond with the gray wolf, and is often seen in the company of bears as well. He is the Forest Lord and carries a club to express that he is the master of the wood. He has blue blood, which makes his cheeks the color blue. Legend describes him as having a red scarf and his left shoe on his right foot. He also had no shadow.

Leshy is the protector of all animals and birds in the forest. Mass migration of animals supposedly happens at leshy's instruction. He is said to have the ability to shapeshift into any form, animal or plant. When he is in human form, he looks like a common peasant, except that his eyes glow and his shoes are on backwards. 

Leshies are terribly mischievous beings: they have horrible cries, and can imitate voices of people familiar to wanderers and lure them back to their caves, where the leshies will tickle them to death; they also remove signs from their posts. If a person befriends a leshy, the latter will teach them the secrets of magic. Farmers and shepherds would make pacts with the leshy to protect their crops and sheep. The leshy has many tricks, including leading peasants astray, making them sick, or tickling them to death. They are also known to hide the axes of woodcutters. If a leshy crosses the path of a person in the woods, the person will get lost immediately. To find the way out, you have to turn your clothes inside out and wear shoes on opposite feet. They aren’t always evil, but enjoy misguiding humans and kidnapping young women.


3. Incubus

An incubus is a demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death.


Victims may have been experiencing waking dreams or sleep paralysis. Nocturnal arousal or nocturnal emission could be explained away by creatures causing otherwise guilt-producing behavior. Then again, victims of incubi could well have been the victims of real sexual assault. Rapists may have attributed the rapes of sleeping women to demons in order to escape punishment. A friend or relative is at the top of the list in such cases and would be kept secret by the intervention of 'spirits.' The victims and, in some cases, the magistrates, may have found it easier to explain the attack as supernatural rather than confront the idea that the attack came from someone in a position of trust.


2. Encantado

Although they don’t look so scary when appearing in their human form many South Americans are so terrified by this Brazilian mythical creature villagers will dare not go near the Amazon River at night because that is where the creature roams in its human form – its most dangerous state. By day the Encantado lives as either a freshwater dolphin or sea snake. When they transform into humans though they behold superior musical abilities, seductiveness, and attraction to parties. Their victims can be driven to insanity, illness or even death.

Besides the ability to shapeshift into human form, encantados frequently wield other magical abilities, such as the power to control storms, "enchant" or haunt humans into doing their will or becoming encantados themselves, and inflict illness, insanity, and even death. Shamans and holy men are often needed to intervene and ameliorate the situation, but sometimes the spell is so great that it can not be completely cured. Such powers and habits make the encantado very similar to the Japanese kitsune, a supernatural fox that's famous by its shapeshifting abilities and for having children with human beings.

Kidnapping is also a common theme in such folklore. Encantados are said to be fond of abducting humans they fall in love with, children born of their illicit love affairs, or just anyone near the river who can keep them company, and taking them back to the Encante. The fear of this is so great for many people who live across the Amazon rivers area that many of them, children and adults alike, are terrified of going near the water in certain hours like 6 PM or basically alone. Some who supposedly have encountered encantados out in canoes have been said to have gone insane, although the creatures seem to have done little more than follow their boats and nudge them from time to time.


1. Seshnag

Lord Vishnu with his wife along with another goddess resting on sheshnag

Seshnag is a large thousand headed serpent often referred to as the king of all serpents in the Indian(Hindu) mythology. Though the creature is not evil but its description is a bit weird. According to the myth, it is said that all the planets of the universe are located on its heads and each time he shifts Earth from one head to another an earthquake takes place. It is said that when he uncoils, time moves forward and creation takes place. When he coils back, the universe ceases to exist.
Seshnag is generally depicted with a massive form that floats coiled in space, or on the universal ocean, to form the bed on which Vishnu(protector of universe according to Hindu mythology) lies.  Also known as Shesha which means "that which remains", from the Sanskrit because when the world is destroyed at the end of the kalpa(aeon equivalent to 4.32 billion years), Shesha remains as he is.

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  1. Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.

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  2. This is so cool!! I love sites like this!1

  3. Mythological Creatures....

    Norse Berskers.....yeah then i stop reading as i understood there that whats follows is a rubbish list. Bersekers haha yeah real myth that is.

    Check your information before posting

  4. FUCK YOU SHUBHAM. FUCK YOU. you are a bitch

  5. Thank you Shubham! I had Greek prep and this really helped ;)
    Great blog!

  6. Let me no when theres more ill give u my e-mail if u need it.

  7. woah! creepy! I used one or two of these in a book im riting!

  8. Very helpful with my school project! : |)

  9. I liked it quite a bit. I love mythology and basically anything relating to it. I liked #2 the most.

  10. O dear sweet Lord....
    Blemmyes, Aswang, and Wendigos are the creepiest things on this list. Yikes.
    The Leshy isn't that scary.... He's actually really cute....

  11. Thank u so much for having such a nice and entertaing stuff for us. I really enjoy your blog and the way you have describe your content.I also have some amazing and wonderful stuff and i wana to share it with you.
    Stories Tellers


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