Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z


 Z – ZOMBIES

Well, folks, this brings the A-Z Blog Challenge to a close. It’s been a fun and interesting month of supernatural and paranormal creatures from myths and legends all around the world. There is much information to glean from, and hopefully I’ve inspired a story or two in the process. If you need to look back at the information, please visit my archives, I would love to have you back!

In the future, I plan to have guest bloggers, book reviews, and more. There’s always a chance for some Flash Fiction each week, too. Don’t be a stranger. J

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Zombies have been made popular today by movies, television, literature, games, and music. A form of the undead, they can also be people in a trance controlled by a wizard. These types of zombies are the originals from the West African Vodun religion and Haitian Vodu and New Orleans Voodoo.



The 1968 film, “Night of the Living Dead”, brought a modern popularity that can still be seen today. Feasting on human brains, they will often be the result of a pandemic illness resulting in an apocalypse. In this scenario, people who have been bitten by zombies usually become zombies themselves. This leaves the world in disarray with little survivors and no structure to society.

Today, zombie walks, where people dress and act like zombies, are staged to bring together fans in a unique performance, and can be used for political protests.

The above information and photos were found at Wikipedia.











Friday, April 29, 2011

Y


Y –YETI

The yeti is also known as the abominable snowman. Purported to inhabit Nepal, India, and Tibet, it is one of the most famous cryptozoological creatures. It is akin to America’s Bigfoot.



In 1921, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury found footprints on Mount Everest, and the term “Abominable Snowman” was coined.

Belief in the creature was widespread until the 1960’s and has since been on the decline.

There have been many studies performed on the creature. Footprints, hair samples, and recordings of possible yeti calls have all been collected.

It still remains a mystery.

The above information and photo were found at Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X


X –XELHUA

According to Aztec mythology, Xelhua was one of the seven giants who ascended the mountain of Tlaloc to escape the flood, and built the Great Pyramid of Cholula. The pyramid was dedicated to the god Quetzlcoatl. It is the largest pyramid in the world. There were an estimated 100,000 people living there at it’s height. There is an advanced system of tunnels in place within the pyramid.



It currently resembles a hill with a church on top. It is a major Catholic pilgrimage destination. The whole pyramid has not been excavated and restored. It contains six superimposed structures, which were used for each ethnic group.

The first study on the pyramid was performed in 1881, with exploration beginning in 1931. Murals, structures, and patios have been found, as well as many altars.

It is considered archaeologically important and is well protected.

The above information and photos were found at Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W


W –WEREWOLF, WILL O’ THE WISP

Werewolves can be found in myths and folklore. Also known as a lycanthrope in Greek, they are humans able to shapeshift into a wolf once they have been either bitten by another werewolf, or placed under a curse. The cycle of shifting usually revolves around the full moon.



Having superhuman strengths and senses, werewolves can be found in literature, film, and television. The actual metamorphosis from human into werewolf varied. Swedish myth showed a special beer and incantation ritual, while Italy, France, and Germany had certain days of the week, along with a summer night’s full moon needing to be shone on the face of the person.

A more current myth has werewolves succumbing to silver bullets and weapons. Before this legends told of rye, mistletoe, and wolfsbane being used for this.

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A will o’ the wisp, also known as a ghost light or corpse candle, appears at night over swamps, bogs, or marshes. It is said to look like a flickering lamp and will recede if you go near it.



A scientific explanation could be the oxidation of methane and phosphine igniting with the oxygen in air to produce ephemeral fires. An element of decay is also usually present to catalyze.

Some cultures regarded them as spirits of the dead or other supernatural forces such as fairies, and ghosts.

The above information was found at Wikipedia.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V


V –VAMPIRES

Vampires are found in myths and folklore. They generally feed on the life essence, usually blood, of living creatures. The term vampire became popular in the early 18th century when superstitions from Western Europe caused mass hysteria. During this time, some corpses were staked and individuals accused.



The appearance of the vampire varied. In 1819, John Polidori wrote the novella “The Vampyre” which told of a sophisticated vampire. This later inspired Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” in 1897. It is from this work that modern vampires are based.

In order to identify vampires many years ago, there were different methods. In one, a corpse with a healthy appearance and little to no decomposition brought about suspicion. Another used a virgin boy on a virgin stallion led through a graveyard where the horse would balk at the questionable grave. Holes in the earth over a grave would also be considered.

Different items that were used to ward off vampires were garlic, wild rose, hawthorn, sprinkling mustard seeds on a roof, the use of a crucifix, holy water, and a rosary.  In order to destroy a vampire, many techniques were employed. Staking with ash wood in Russia and the Baltic states, hawthorn in Serbia, and oak in Silesia. The heart was the target for most, however, the mouth was the area to stake in Russia and Northern Germany, while the stomach was popular in Serbia. Decapitation, spiking the head, body, or clothes, and steel or iron needles placed in the heart, mouth, over the eyes and ears, and between the fingers were all seen. In 2006 a 16th century burial was discovered where a brick was forced into a female’s mouth near Venice in a vampire ritual.



In Hebrew demonology, Lilith was considered a demon that lived on the blood of babies. The Perians told of blood-drinking demons, while Greek and Roman mythology spoke of Empusa, the daughter of Hecate, who would drink the blood of men she had seduced.



During the Age of Enlightenment, belief in vampirism reached a mass hysteria. Most scholars believed that vampires did not exist, but some wrote in support of the phenomena. Empress Maria Theresa of Austria sent her physician to quell the rumors. His conclusions were that vampires did not exist, which allowed for the Empress to pass laws that prohibited desecrating bodies and the opening of graves, ending the debate.

Some scientific reasons could be held accountable for a local reason behind the vampire myth. A corpse will swell during decomposition, giving a ruddy or plump appearance, causing some individuals to look healthier in death than they were in life. Contracting skin and tissues cause the nails and teeth to appear as if they have grown. Premature burial and grave robbing could explain fingernail marks on the inside of the coffin, and a disordered grave. A cluster of deaths, often blamed upon a vampire, could have been caused from an illness such as tuberculosis or the bubonic plague.

Superstition and art carried the idea of vampires through the ages. A vampire lifestyle can be seen in certain occultist practitioners today. Vampires in literature abound. A resurgence has been seen since the popular Twilight series written by Stephenie Meyer.



Vampires in the film industry have been giving appearances since the iconic German silent movie, “Nosferatu”, made in 1922. Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi are also commonly known for their portrayals of Count Dracula.

The above information and photos were found at Wikipedia.

Monday, April 25, 2011

U


U –UNICORN, UNDINE

A unicorn is a creature of legend, which resembles a white horse with a spiraling horn coming from its forehead. Originating in Greece, it is popularly connected to the Renaissance period where it was thought to be a wild creature that lived in the woods, symbolizing purity and grace, and only able to be captured by a virgin. The horn was typically thought to heal the sick and make poisoned water drinkable.

 

The belief in unicorns was real, and they are therefore not found in Greek mythology. They were believed to have lived in India. One report from an Alexandian merchant in the 6th century who had traveled to India, described a set of brass unicorn figures that were in the palace of the King of Ethiopia. He also stated that the animals’ power derived from its horn.



One allegory shows a unicorn trapped by a maiden that represented the Virgin Mary, standing for the Incarnation. When the unicorn saw her, it put its head in her lap and fell asleep. This could be found in religious art. Some religious writers saw the unicorns’ death as the Passion of Christ. While the myths spoke of a creature with one horn that was only tamed by a virgin, they were translated into an allegory for the relationship between Christ and the Virgin Mary.



The narwhal is a whale with a large tusk that extends from its upper left jaw. It is resident to the Arctic. Ancient Norwegians thought the unicorn horn stemmed from the narwhal’s tusk.

In order to trap a unicorn, a virgin could be used. There were many tapestry hangings with this theme.




Unicorns became popular in heraldry from the 15th century where they were depicted with goat’s cloven hooves and beards, lion’s tails, and the usual horn. It is commonly known from the royal coats of arms of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

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The Undine, also known as the Undina or Ondine, is a mythological water nymph. Classified as an elemental, they are also seen in European folklore as a creature like a fairy. They are able to gain a soul by marry a human and giving birth to his child.



Found in forest pools and waterfalls, with beautiful voices, they are common in romantic and tragic literature.

The above information and photos were found at Wikipedia.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T


T –TROLL, THUNDERBIRD, TREEFOLK
Trolls are found in different myths and folklore. In Old Norse, they are thought to live in mountains, rocks, and caves, and are not helpful creatures. Scandinavian’s thought of them as larger than humans, and ugly. Some stories saw them as very old and strong, but slow and dim-witted. Occasionally they are thought to be man-eaters, and will turn to stone in sunlight.



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Native American legends consider thunderbirds to be supernatural birds of power and strength. Their wings beating cause thunder and stirs up wind, which can come across as a storm. Thunder would sound by the wings flapping, clouds pulled together by the wingbeats, lights flashed from its eyes when it blinked, and lightning bolts were created by the glowing snaked it carried. You should never anger one. 



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Sentient beings with the faeries, treefolk are humanoid and able to move a short distance from their tree. Rarely entire tree uproots and shuffles along. They usually resemble their tree with green hair and brown skin, or trunk-like legs, branches for arms, and bark for skin.

Knobs and odd formations on the bark could be a sign the tree contains a spirit. They despise men who cut down trees, and will die if cut down.  Oak, Ash, Single Thorn, and Holly are protective and friendly.

The above information and photos were found at Wikipedia and Mythical Creatures Guide.

Friday, April 22, 2011

S

S –SPRITE, SPHINX, SATYR

A sprite can refer to a spirit, ghost, elf, fairy, pixie, or water sprite.



The water sprites, or Neck, are shape-shifting water spirits that usually take on a human form.

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The sphinx had a human head on a lion’s body, with great wings. If you cannot solve her riddle, you would suffer a terrible fate. Egypt regarded them as benign, while the Greek’s thought of it as murderous. 



The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the most popular land structures known. The head is thought to be the pharaoh Khafra.

Said to guard the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, travelers would have to answer a riddle in order to gain passage. Later, the riddle was said to be: "Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?" If not answered correctly, she would eat the person. Oedipus solved it by answering, “Man—who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then walks with a cane in old age”.

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The Greek mythology tells of satyrs being the male companions to Pan and Dionysus, who played pipes, and roamed the woods and mountains. Often they are shown with strong builds, flat noses, large pointed ears, and long, curly hair. Also common is the depiction of having a man’s torso attached to the lower part of a goat. They love wine and women, and love to dance with nymphs. Baby or child satyrs are often seen in art and film.

The above information and pictures were found at Wikipedia.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

R


R –RED CAPS, RAVENS

A red cap is a kind of evil, murderous dwarf, goblin, elf or fairy found in folklore. Known to inhabit ruined castles on the border between England and Scotland, they are said to murder travelers who wander into their homes and dye their hats with the victims’ blood. If the dye on their hats dries, they will die, therefore they must kill often. They are too fast to outrun. 

Their description is a sturdy old man with hands bearing talons, large teeth, and red eyes. They wear the red hats and hold a pikestaff in their left hand.

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Ravens can be found in many legends. They are usually seen as a bad omen, and are connected to the dead and lost souls. While they are seen as the ghosts of murdered people in Sweden, they are believed to be souls of the damned in Germany.



The ravens named Thought and Memory sat on Odin’s shoulders to bring him news of all they saw and heard in Norse mythology.

In England, the legend goes that if the ravens that inhabit the Tower of London are removed, the Kingdom of England will fall. There have been at least 6 at home there for many centuries.

The above information and photos were found at Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q

Q –QUANLIER, QUETZALCOATL

The quanlier is a Cherokee lengend. The creature has the head of a wolf, torso of a man, arms of a dog, and legs of a jackal. It’s diet consists of humans and small animals. There are not many of them, and it’s a close relation to the werewolf. Some differences are it is not able to become human, and will not change into human form when killed. It runs very fast, and at speeds of up to 300 mph.

The above information was found at the Mythical Creatures Guide.

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The Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity. It appears as a feathered serpent.  Symbolic of fertility and internal political structures, it was also believed to be part of a triad of agricultural deities including: Tialoc, god of rain, lightning and thunder, and the goddess of the cave symbolizing motherhood, reproduction, and life, leaving Quetzalcoatl as being the feathered serpent, the god of vegetational renewal. It was also connected to Venus because of its importance as a mark of the beginning of the rainy season. 



The above information and picture are from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P


P –PHOENIX, PIXIE, PUCK

The phoenix was a bird found in many mythologies. It is a colorful fire spirit with a tail of gold and red. At the end of it’s 500-1,000 year life cycle, and builds itself a nest that ignites and burns both of them to ash where a new, young phoenix or egg will arise from. The bird’s cry is a beautiful song. It can be considered a symbol of rebirth, immortality, and renewal.



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A pixie is a mythical creature that is found in concentrations around Devon and Cornwall. There may be a Celtic origin to them. Represented by pointed ears, and frequently clothed in green and pointed hats, their eyes slant upward at the outer corners.  They can also be thought of as a fairy or sprite. 



The Swedish word pyske means “wee little fairy”, however it is not certain where the name comes from. During the Christian era it was said that pixie’s were the souls of children who had died unbaptized.

In Cornwall and Devon, before the mid-19th century, both pixies and fairies were a serious matter. Certain locales were named after certain one’s. They are still thought to be real in areas today.

In Dartmoor, they were known to play with children, be fond of music and dancing, and to be generally helpful to humans. Even so, they were also known to mislead travelers.

The appearance of pixies varies widely from beautiful to distorted or strange. The earth or tree pixies are reputed to have heart-shaped or angular faces with strong lines and a short, stocky build, while the air and water pixies are slender and can be child-sized or very tiny. They bring blessings to those who like them.

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that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene I



Puck was not only a character in Shakespeare’s play, he was also referred to as Robin Goodfellow, the emissary of Oberon, the Faery King, John Milton’s character in L’Allegro, and also in Goethe’s work Faust.

He has a distinct laugh of, “Ho ho ho!”

Generally thought of as a mischievous nature spirit, and a land spirit, he is known for leading people astray.

All of the above information and pictures were found at Wikipedia.

Monday, April 18, 2011

O


O –OGRE, ORACLE

Ogre’s are found in mythology, folklore, and fiction, and are depicted as huge, hideous beasts. They are said to feed on humans. Their bodies are strong, with large heads, lots of hair, usually a beard, and large appetites. They are closely related to trolls. 



The words itself could possibly be from the two mythical giants, Gog and Magog.

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Classically, an oracle referred to someone or something that was wise or a prophet. Also has to do with predictions, precognition, and is considered a form of divination.

An oracle was considered to be a portal that the gods used to speak directly to man. 



Only the Oracle at Delphi was a female, the rest were males. Her name was Pythia, and she was a priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. She was known for her prophecies inspired by Apollo.

Pythia, derived from Pytho, was the original name of Delphi. It was thought that she delivered the messages in a frenzy that was caused by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock. The gibberish she spoke was then translated and reshaped to form the prophecies that are found in Greek literature.

Recently scholars have argued the above theory stating that the ancient sources tell of Pythia speaking intelligibly and giving the prophecies in her own voice. Further, recent geological investigations have explained that gas emissions from a chasm could have been the cause.

Not much is known about how the priestess was chosen to be the oracle. Working as a Pythia was a high society standing, and a respectable career. At the height of the oracle’s popularity, there may have been as many as 3 women giving prophecies. The oracle would give prophecies only in the nine warmest months of each year. Fasting was used to prepare them, and on the seventh day of each month she would bathe in the Castalian Spring and drink the waters of the Kassotis, where a naiad with magical powers was supposed to live.  Afterward, she would descend and mount her tripod seat, while holding laurel leaves and a dish of Kassotis water to peer into. The omphalos was nearby and was flanked by two solid gold eagles that represented the authority of Zeus. People desiring to hear a prophecy would carry laurel branches for Apollo, bring an animal sacrifice, and a monetary fee.

The above information and pictures were found at Wikipedia.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N

N –NYMPHS, NAIADS

Nymphs are found in Greek mythology and are female nature deities associated with a location. Usually depicted as young and beautiful girls who like to dance and sing, they dwell in mountains, trees, valleys, around springs and rivers. They are unable to die of illness or old age, and able to give birth to immortal children if they mate with a god, however they can be killed in various ways. They were the frequent target of satyrs and associated with Artemis, Apollo, Dionysus, Pan, and Hermes.



Often they are identified with springs and their life-giving outflow.

The Greeks have nymphs bound to places, frequenting areas not inhabited by people. A traveler might hear their music and sneak a peek at them dancing or bathing in the water in the middle of the day or night.

The nymphs are shown as females who copulate with men or women whenever they like, and cannot be controlled by man. The modern day term, nymphomaniac, has roots buried within the nymphs themselves. Nymphomania is a term used to describe a condition in which a person engages in sexual behavior to the extreme. The term has been changed to hypersexuality today.

Nymphs mating with Poseidon bear Cyclops.

They can be classified according to where they live. There are: celestial nymphs, land nymphs, wood and plant nymphs, water nymphs, and underworld nymphs, to name a few.

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Naiads are found in Greek mythology, and are types of nymphs who watch over springs, streams, brooks, fountains, and wells.

Naiads are associated with freshwater, and Oceanids with saltwater. Nereids are associated with the Mediterranean.



The naiad would be bound to her body of water so that if the water dried, the naiad would die. In certain ceremonies, human boys and girls that were coming-of-age would give their childlike locks to a local naiad of the spring.

Naiads could be dangerous and were known to exhibit jealousy. 

The above information and pictures were found at Wikipedia.


Friday, April 15, 2011

M

M –MERMAIDS, MEDUSA, MINOTAUR, MOTHMAN

A mermaid can be found in many different myths and fables. They are creatures with a female head (normally) and torso, ending with the tail of a fish.

Mermaid can be broken down to mere, Old English for “sea”, and maid, woman. A male would be called a merman. 



They are known to sing and enchant people resulting in sometimes-disastrous consequences. Other tales give reports of mermaids carrying humans down the their underwater kingdoms. They have been depicted as beautiful and loving, or beast-like and deadly. The Greek sirens have been portrayed as mermaid-like.

The first known stories are from Assyria around 1,000 B.C. The goddess Atargatis accidentally killed a human shepherd whom she was in love with. To punish herself, she jumped into a lake with the intention of turning into a fish, however she was too beautiful for the waters to hide. This is when she took on the form of a mermaid. Early representations show her as a fish with a human head and legs, much like the Babylonian Ea.

In the Arabian “One Thousand and One Nights” there are many tales of mermaids. Their versions of mermaids look like a normal human, but are able to live and breathe underwater. They are also able to breed with humans. The offspring resulting from the unions can also live underwater.

In British folklore, mermaids were considered unlucky.

Mermen were typically not as good looking as their female counterparts, and showed little interest in humans.

Scottish mythology had a mermaid called the ceasg. This means “maid of the wave”.

Ancient tales from China put a different spin on the mermaid. She was able to shed tears, which would turn into pearls.

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Medusa, a Gorgon, was the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. She was able to turn humans into stone if they looked into her eyes and had snakes for hair. Perseus beheaded her, and used her head as a weapon. Eventually he gave it to the goddess Athena to put onto her shield. 



Later the Roman poet Ovid told of Medusa being a beautiful woman, but when she coupled with Poseidon in Athena’s temple, Athena turned her hair to serpents and her face so horrible that to look at it would turn one to stone.

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The Minotaur has the head of a bull and the body of a man. 



The story of the Minotaur is as follows: Minos struggled with his brothers in order to gain the right to rule. He prayed to Poseidon to send him a white bull as a positive sign. He was supposed to sacrifice the bull to honor Poseidon, but he decided to keep it for its beauty. For punishment, Aphrodite made Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, fall in love with the Cretan Bull, the bull from the sea. Daedalus was ordered to make a hollow wooden cow in which Pasiphae climbed into to in order to sleep with the white bull. Their offspring was the Minotaur. Because he was an unnatural combination of man and beast, he had no natural source of food, so he turned to man for sustenance. Minos received advice from the Oracle at Delphi to have Daedalus construct a labyrinth to hold it.

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Mothman is a cryptid that is rumored to live around the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia. Sightings were reported from November 12, 1966, to December in 1967. The creature is 7 foot tall with large, glowing, red eyes and wings.



November 15, 1966, Roger and Linda Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette, and Lonnie Button were all in the Scarberry’s car late at night. They witnessed the creature near Point Pleasant and described it as above. Driving away, the Mothman was said to have chased them going over 100 miles per hour. The kids drove to the local police station where a Deputy left to look for it. There was no trace of it.

The next night there was another sighting of the creature, and on November 24, several people reported a sighting with the creature flying over the original area. November 25 had the creature standing in a field, and flying away. This was also reported to the police.

On January 11, 1967, the Mothman was reported to be hovering over the town’s bridge, and was seen several other times that year. The bridge, the Silver Bridge, collapsed on December 15, 1967, and the Mothman was never seen in Point Pleasant after. Some speculate that the Mothman before disasters to warn others.

Every year on the 3rd weekend in September in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the Mothman Festival is held, featuring guest speakers, vendor exhibits, and hayride tours of the sighting areas.

All of the above information and photos were found at Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L

L –LYCANS, LOCH NESS MONSTER, LEPRECHAUN

Lycans are a variation of werewolves. The word lycan comes from the Greek lycanthrope. They have superhuman strength, coordination, reflexes, , agility, speed, endurance, durability, and regenerative abilities superior to almost all vampires. If a person is bitten by a Lycan, they will become one. 

The picture is courtesy of http://www.theblackvault.com/wiki/index.php/Lycan


The difference between a lycan and a werewolf is a lycan’s ability to change from human to creature, and vice versa, at will.

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Many people have claimed to see the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie for short, that supposedly inhabits Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is one of the most popular lake monsters.

The first sighting was reported in 1933 by the water bailiff for Loch Ness. Since then there have been many sightings. One of the most famous photographs of Nessie was taken in 1934 and is known as the “Surgeon’s Photograph”. The interesting fact about this photo was that it was the only photo to have captured a head and neck area. In 1994, the photo was proven to be a hoax.



There have been numerous studies done on the Loch since the first reports.

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A leprechaun is a type of Irish fairy who is also mischievous. They make shoes and store their gold in hidden pots at the end of a rainbow. If they are captured they will grant 3 wishes so they can be released. They are solitary and have gained their wealth by unearthing old treasure. 

 The above information and pictures were found at Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K

K –KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE

Ok, so I decided to mix it up a bit. This is nearly the middle of the challenge, and I thought I would write about this crazy movie that I love. Hey – evil clowns just may be considered a paranormal creature in this sense. And if they’re not, well, don’t worry the rest of the blog posts this month will be creatures, like I’ve been posting.

So, to cleanse the palate…



The film was made in 1988 and is considered comedy horror. Aliens who look like clowns, very evil, ugly clowns, come to Earth to harvest humans for consumption. It starts out with a couple on a date stumbling onto the Klowns who are out for blood – literally. The couple goes to the police who did not believe them. Meanwhile, the Klowns are taking people by shooting them with a gun that turns them into a cotton candy blob, which is akin to acid, eroding their bodies. 

Photo courtesy of tvgasm.com

Some of the methods the Klowns employ to trick people are hand puppets, and balloon animals. Still not believing the complaints, the police suffer fatal consequences when a Klown comes to the precinct. In a particularly gruesome scene, a Klown uses the dead policeman as a ventriloquist act, complete with its hand inside the dead man.

The hero discovers that the Klowns can be killed if they are shot in the nose. The heroine is captured, and it is discovered that the Klowns are drinking the victims through the cotton candy cocoons.

A climactic end scene with a 30 ft. tall leader Klown ensues. The hero destroys him by poking his nose. All is well.

The movie had a title song that was released by The Dickies in 1988.  

“Killer Klowns from Outer Space” eventually garnered quite the cult following. Masks, props, costumes, and toys can all be purchased.

The information and first picture were all gathered from Wikipedia.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J


J –JOINT EATER

Sorry folks, there wasn't much information to be found about this guy. But here goes...

This is a creature is a type of fairy from Celtic and Irish mythology. Another name for it is alp-luachra. It can be male or female. There are two ways it exists, either inside the body of the victim, much like a tapeworm, where it will consume most of what is eaten by the person, or it will sit beside the person while their eating and take their food.

In a story by Douglas Hyde, Beside the Fire, dated in 1890, he told of a man who had 13 of the creatures inside of him. He was directed to eat large amounts of salt beef and not drink. Next he was told to lie down above a stream with his mouth open so the fairies would jump out and drink the water. 

The above information was found here

Monday, April 11, 2011

I

I –IMPS

First, let me give you dear readers some information about upcoming events at my blog. I will be doing various book reviews here and there, and will be hosting a stop on a fellow writer’s blog tour on May 20, as well as having guest bloggers on occasion. I’m trying to spice things up a bit, and am grateful for the help from others and to be able to provide help. Stay tuned!

For some reason I wasn’t able to think of/find any creatures that start with the letter I, except for imps. It happened a few times in my alphabetic search. If anyone would like to throw out any suggestions in the comments, I would love to see what else is out there!


The Lincoln Imp at the Medieval Cathedral of Lincoln, England.


Imps are similar to faeries or demons. Coming from German folklore, they were known to be a lesser demon, but not always an evil one. They could be known for their mischief.

In appearance, they are small and not very easy on the eyes. They are uninhibited and akin to the behavior of fearies. Throughout time, it became commonplace to consider faeries as good creatures, and imps as their counterpart. This isn’t necessarily true because both are culprits of pranks from time to time. Myth says they can be injured and kept away with certain charms.

Thought to be lonely, imps sought friendship with humans. Their mischievous nature would often deter the human, leaving them solitary once again. They only did these things because it was simply who they are, not out of spite. This gives way to the term “impish” when describing a person with a joking quality.

Associated with hell and fire, they were known to play with temperatures, and to be servants of witches. They were sought as proof of witchcraft during the witch hunts, and black cats, toads, etc, were thought to be imps in disguise.

Some stories find them bound to objects, and having a genie quality of gifting wishes.

They can be found in architecture hiding under eves or in other small, tucked away places.

The above information was found at Wikipedia

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H

H –HYDRA, HOBBITS, HARPY

The Hydra is a serpent bearing many heads found in Greek mythology. It had poisonous breath, and each time one head was cut off, two more grew back in its place.

According to the myth, Gaia, the earth goddess, had two offspring, Typhon and Echidna, who bore the Hydra. Traditionally, the Hydra was slain by Heracles. 



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J.R.R. Tolkien created the race of Hobbits. They are between 2 to 4 feet tall, dress in bright colors, and are very shy. Their large feet are covered with hair and they can live to be up to 130 years old. They, like elves, have pointed ears.

More information can be found at Wikipedia.

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The Harpy was also from Greek mythology. They are widely known as the creatures who would abduct people and torture them on the way to Tartarus. They were vicious beings.

They had the body of a bird, and the head of a woman.



 The above images and information are from Wikipedia

Friday, April 8, 2011

G

G –GARGOYLES

Gargoyles in architecture were sculptures used to direct water away from roofs and keep it from running down the side of the wall. A cut in the back of the gargoyle directs water down through its mouth, usually. The length of the gargoyle determined how far away the water was directed from a building.

Besides this practical use, gargoyles have also been used to protect a place from evil spirits. Not all gargoyles were scary. Some were reminiscent of monks, animals, and people. 

The church used gargoyles to represent evil because literacy was uncommon. They wanted to scare people into coming to church, and to show that evil was outside of their walls. 



A more famous building with gargoyles is the Notre Dame de Paris. Also, the Chrysler Building in NY can be found hosting gargoyles. The Washington National Cathedral is host to a large collection.

There was an animated TV series titled, “Gargoyles”, that ran from 1994-1996.

Many different websites offer various gargoyle items available for purchase.

The above information and image is from Wikipedia

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F

F –FAE

This term can be used to describe many different magical creatures. In Middle English it is spelled faierie, in Old French it is faerie, and means the land or realm of legendary people of folklore.

They are usually human in appearance. Folklore shows them to be malicious and humans have used various means of protection to keep them away. They would supposedly steal human babies and leave changelings in their place (as mentioned in a previous post).  Wings were rarely depicted. They flew by means of magic.

The folk beliefs of faeries included the belief that they were the dead, elementals, demoted angels, demons, humans, a babies’ laugh, or a pagan deity.

Long thought to be pranksters, many taught their children to stay away or avoid them. Sudden death and tuberculosis were once blamed on faeries.

Some ways avoid keeping them away are the use of a cold iron, running water, bells, St. John’s wort, and four leaf clovers. Faery trees and Faery mounds are protected areas today and held in high regard. They can supposedly use magic to disguise their appearance, if need be.  

A famous reference to a faerie is in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”. One of my earliest introductions to them was in the book “Peter Pan”.

During the Victorian era paintings of faeries became popular.

One of my favorite representations of the fae are from Brian Froud, the first of his books I purchased was "Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book". It is breathtaking in its beauty. I highly recommend his works.

This information was found at Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E

E –ELF, ELEMENTALS

Elves are from German mythology. Usually possessing magical powers, they are forest dwelling. Commonly pictured with pointed ears and wearing hats, they have been featured in many books and legends.

A Norse myth has them breeding with humans. Some English myths explained them as beautiful and helpful. Anglo-Saxon had them aligned with demons.

Christmas elves supposedly live in the North Pole making the toys for Santa to bring.

J.R.R. Tolkien is but one author who uses elves in their writing. 

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There are four types of Elementals:

1.     Gnomes – Earth
2.     Nymphs – Water
3.     Salamanders – Fire
4.     Sylphs – Air

Lacking a defined form, some say Elementals wings are butterfly-like. They are considered to be nature spirits, and the Angels keep over them. Their homes are in the natural elements, such as the forest, trees, and creeks.

The information above and more in-depth information can be found on this website.

 Much of the above information was referenced at Wikipedia


Monday, April 4, 2011

D


D –DEMON, DRAGONS, DOPPELGANGER

Demons, today, bring about thoughts of possession and exorcism. There have been many movies and books about them. One of the more popular movies, The Exorcist, shows a young girl possessed. It is shocking and terrifying, and when it was released it shed light on the Catholic church and the role it plays in exorcisms, which are performed to rid the person of the demon. Different religions have different views on demons. These views have changed throughout history, as well. Some feel they are fallen angels, others believe they are the spirits of the Nephilim, the offspring of the angels and human women. They can be called upon and made to do one’s bidding, according to lore.

John Zaffis, only one of many demonologists, has spent years researching and working in the field of demons. He has had many real-life encounters with others who claim to be possessed. He has written books detailing his accounts, and has appeared on TV.




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Dragons are mythical creatures with lizard-like bodies, wings, and the ability to breathe fire. Since Arthurian legends, dragons have been wonderful creatures that is revered and feared. They have a wild beauty and deadly grace. Again, movies and books abound with them. Sometimes they are depicted as brutal beasts and in others, friendly creatures.

Brave knights were dispatched to kill them and save villages from their terror. Their hides and other body parts were usually valuable. Dragons’ lairs were usually deep caves in the bowels of the earth which were lined with the bones of their victims. Sacrifices to keep them appeased were common in tales.






Photo on Wikipedia.


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A Doppelganger is an exact replica of a person. In German it means “double walker”. They are usually seen by the persons’ relatives or friends many miles away from where the person really is. Legend holds that if you see your own doppelganger, it may mean your death is to come.



Sunday, April 3, 2011

C

C –CHUPACABRA, CENTAUR, CHANGELINGS

Ok, ok, I admit it. I want to believe in the Chupacabra. Or maybe it’s just really fun to say the word with a little tongue roll on the r. With a name like that, it has a lot to live up to, no?

One of my first experiences with the Chupacabra was an episode of The X-Files. Man, I really loved that show and I still do. It can be watched streaming on Netflix and I have been able to see every one of them again. Yeah, I’m smiling right now.

The actual meaning of the word Chupacabra is “goat sucker”. Their sightings have ranged from all over the United States to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and many other countries. Reports of livestock animals being found dead, drained of their blood through small puncture wounds are what accompany Chupacabras. In recent years, there have been various pictures of what people claim to be Chupacabras, however, analysis has shown many of these deceased animals are coyotes with a form of mange. 



No matter what the lab reports show, there are always going to be believers in the creature.

Photo found here.

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The Centaur can be found in Greek and Roman mythology. A Centaur takes on the form of a man’s head, arms, and torso, attached to the body of a horse. They have been immortalized on pottery and in sculptures. Many times they are thought of as warriors, or even brutal, dangerous creatures. 



Authors have used them in various ways. Some may see them as wise and others arrogant. They can be feared or respected, perhaps both.

The mystery of the Centaur is left to the myths and legends.


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A Changeling is a legend of a supernatural creature that is left behind in the place of a kidnapped child. Here, a parent may notice a child acting suddenly different, and claim that they have a Changeling. This originated in Europe.

The Changeling could be identified by it’s strange skin color, or mannerisms that included a hearty appetite and speaking with an accent. Many present day diseases were more than likely the explanation of Changelings. There were ways you could trick one into admitting it’s a Changeling. The children that were thought to be one usually lived hard lives and sometimes suffered death.




The information above and more can be found at Wikipedia


How to Get Published

Ok folks, I found this awesome flowchart link on a writer's group I am a part of, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

It's wonderful and other writers just might get a kick out of it!

The chart is courtesy of Kate Hart. I highly recommend you check her out.



Friday, April 1, 2011

B

B – BANSHEE, BOGEYMAN

The banshee is traced back to Irish origins, but can also be found in Scottish, American, and Welsh folklore. It is usually perceived to be a woman in form. A messenger, usually foretelling death, or other messages from the Underworld, people who claimed to have had an experience with a banshee report intense feelings of fear and oppression. The sound of the banshee, perhaps its most memorable feature, is heard in conjunction with an imminent death and can be connected to wooded areas. 



The descriptions range from them as human women dressed in white with long hair to taking on different animal forms. For the Welsh it would be known as the Hag of the Mist. 



Don’t go out in the woods at night, the Bogeyman will get you! I heard things similar to this growing up in the mountains of east Tennessee by my grandmother who was of Irish heritage. My best friend’s grandmother, who lived with her, would tell us not to do many things because the Bogeyman was apparently waiting on us to slip up just so he could have a midnight snack, I suppose. It was all adult trickery to keep us children in line, wasn’t it?

Well, it turns out the Bogeyman’s roots go farther back than I realized. In Scotland, it may be called a boggart, or bugaboo. Curiously, it can scratch on windows, or manifest in a green fog, all depending on what part of the United States you live in. Furthermore, each household can have it’s own version of where it hides and waits, what it does, and what it looks like. My personal Bogeyman lived in my closet, and I believe he still does.

In Spain, this creature carries a sack that he puts the bad children in and takes them from their parents. Yikes! In the Honduras, there was a real man in the 16th and 17th centuries called the Hombre del Saco, whose lot in life was to collect orphan babies in bags or baskets to take to the orphanage. By the time he would reach the orphanage, many of them would have died due to the conditions during transport.

In Armenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, and the Netherlands, there are all stories of a man with a sack who takes naughty children in some form.

I personally cannot justify telling my children that if they do not behave or do not go to sleep that something will come and take them away forever, or that they will be eaten by a monster, but maybe it’s just me. Some of these myths had me looking over my shoulder. The power of the tales.

I always make sure my closet door is shut. I suppose I always will.

The above information was taken from Wikipedia as well as the Bogeyman image. More information concerning other myths can be found there. I encourage you to read them as they are fascinating.

The Banshee image is from here.


A-Z Blog Challenge

I have signed up for a blog challenge that goes through the month of April. Each day, except for Sundays, there will be a blog post about a different letter of the alphabet.

What I have decided to do with this project, to make it a little of my own, is to make each entry about paranormal or supernatural creatures or elements. Who else is excited! Um, well, maybe just me, but anyway, it should be interesting. Check back to see what each letter brings.

To start off the month is the letter A.

The subjects for today are Angels, and the Abominable Snowman! :)

Let's do this...

A – ANGELS, ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN

Angels are the messengers of God. The word itself is a derivative of an ancient Green word meaning ‘messengers’ and a Greek verb ‘to bear a message, bring news’. They have been depicted as human looking, babies, with wings, without wings, floating in the air, well, in so many ways. A lot of times they have a glow around their head, which is known as a halo, or some even speculate, their aura.

Able to bring messages from God directly to humans, they are thought to carry them through dreams, daily experiences, and even intuitively.

There are different ranks among the angels, such as archangels, cherubim, and seraphim.

Their names usually end in –el. This can be traced back to Biblical terminology. Some of the more familiar angels are: Gabriel, Ezekiel, Ariel, Gabriel, Lucifer, Raphael, and Michael. Other lesser known are: Metatron, Raziel, and Melchizedek.



Many people have given accounts of their experiences with angels here on earth. From dreams, to physical contact, they vary widely along with the descriptions.

Guardian angels are a concept that is very familiar in Christianity. They supposedly are assigned to a person at birth and remain with them until death. During times of crisis, or near death experiences, they are rumored to be able to intervene. Also, some people claim to have contact with them. There are meditations available for people to reach them individually. 

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The Abominable Snowman, or otherwise known as the Yeti, has been made popular through various TV shows , ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, and movies. Cryptozoology fans have long searched for evidence to prove its existence. Parallel to the American Bigfoot, it is rumored to live in the harsher, cold climates of the Himalayas.



Images are by http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/dec21o.html   and   
http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/digital-entertainment/m/videos/50025.aspx