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.
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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.
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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.
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A legendary mythical creature that is believed in by the Algonquian people. Different cultures offer different descriptions of the Wendigo but generally they are said to be large alien-like canine beasts associated with the winter and the cold. Humans can become Wendigo’s themselves if they carry out an act of cannibalism. The demonic spirit of the beast will then take over the human’s body and turn them into a violent, human flesh craving beast. Most Wendigos are thought to dwell in mountainous areas or highly forested regions.
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A male woodland spirit from Slavic mythology that protects wild animals and the forest itself. Often it will lead humans astray to its cave where it can make them sick or possibly even tickle them to death. Known for its mischievous behaviour it often takes the form of a peasant but can be spotted by its glowing eyes. In its normal state it has a beard made from living grass and vines, and is often depicted with a tail, hooves and horns. They also have the ability to shrink themselves down to the size of a blade of grass or to the height of the tallest trees.
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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.
6. The Chimera
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The Chimera was a monstrous female creature from Greek mythology that could breathe fire. It was composed of different animals: it had a lion’s body with a tail that ended with a snake’s head as well as a goat’s head that arose from the center of its back. The Chimera was briefly described by Homer in the Iliad and was thought to be the offspring of Typhon and Echidna.
7. Bean Nighe
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The Bean Nighe is a Scottish fairy popular among Irish folklore. The creature is seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld. She is described as a being that sits by deserted streams washing the blood from the grave-clothes of those who are about to die. The creatures are thought to be the spirits of women who died giving birth and are doomed to do this work until the day their lives would have normally ended. They have one nostril, one big protruding tooth, webbed feet and long hanging breasts.
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In Hungarian mythology the Ördög was a demonic figure who was associated with the devil. It was said to look like a black faun with hooves, horns and a ponytail. It lived in hell where it stirred a giant cauldron filled with human souls. If he ever needed to venture out into the world then he would take the form of a fox, a dark flame or a Hungarian shepherd with dark, sparkling eyes.
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Greek mythology told of gorgon creatures that were terrifyingly scary female beings. Often described as three sisters who had snakes growing from their head and a horrifying gaze that turned those who beheld it to stone. Two of the sisters, Stheno and Euryale, were immortal but Medusa was not and was slain by the mythical hero Perseus. The name Gorgon actually derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means “dreadful”.
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An Incubus was a mythological demon who preyed on sleeping women in the night in order to have sex with them. The purpose of this action was to have the woman father its child. Repeated intercourse with an Incubus led to a serious deterioration of health, or even death. There was also a female equivalent of the Incubus as well who preyed on sleeping men, which was known as a Succubus.