We’re onto part two of our ghosts and ghouls series. We’ll be covering the not so well known or surprising things/beings that can be considered monstrous and horrifying. I also want to give you a heads up on what’s coming up for next week/months topics. Next week you’re getting three posts! Surprising, I know.
So, on Tuesday I am honoring Halloween with a post dedicated to the holiday and I am also releasing a short story of mine in the early hours (3 am my time) that day. The Halloween post will appear at my regular posting time. On Thursday, I am going to start off the month with some posts about war – I do think it is important to honor those who fought in the variety of wars this world has seen.
Now, onto our regularly scheduled program.
Alright, the Irish are an interesting and superstitious bunch and because of this they have a lot of interesting beings and legends within their folklore. Some of the beings featured in their folklore are benevolent and some of them are not.
Here are couple of them to consider:
- Fairies and the Fae:
- There are a bunch of different stories associated with this group of magical beings. Some of them are good stories and others are bad.
- Typically theses beings like to be left alone.
- They live among the trees, flowers, and bushes. They also are known to live underground or in other realms/dimensions.
- Do not piss them off. If you do bad luck is going to fall upon you and they can be quite a disruptive force within your life.
- You can find them in fairy burrows – magical holes in the ground; they’re considered portals to the fairy world, in sacred fairy circles, and in forested areas.
- Learn more about fairies here.
- The Banshee:
- Is the spirit in the form of a wailing woman.
- If you hear her cry then you will be the next person to die.
These are just two of the many different examples of Irish supernatural beings. If you want to know some more this site will be a good starting point for your research.
Besides the risk of a natural disaster happening or drowning – intentional or not – water holds a lot of strange creatures. Plus, a lot of the ocean has yet to be explored due to both its depth and breadth of area. This makes making up a horrify creature pretty easy; however, here are some suggestions of you need some help:
- These being have been around for as long as we’ve been sailing on the water.
- Depending on where you are, they generally inhabit either lakes or the ocean.
- They lure and kill their prey by singing to sailors and wrecking their boats on sharp rocks and then pull them down into the depths of Davy Jones’ Locker.
- There are two different kinds of sirens – light and dark. Light ones don’t use their singing powers for ill while the dark ones do.
- The Kraken:
- Has also been around for as long as man has been travelling on the ocean.
- Is known for coming up out of the depths of the ocean and dragging ships down into the water effortlessly.
- Some speculate that this creature is the pet of Davy Jones. Others think that it could be the real life squid – they can get very big and have been known to attack ships which have been mistaken for food.
- The Kraken has been known to have tentacles. How many has varied from different accounts.
- I am proud to claim that I have been to where this monster resides. My parents actually have property right on this lake.
- The Ogopogo resides in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada.
- Sightings started in the early 19th century by the First Nations people in the area.
- He’s supposed to be 40-50 ft long and serpent-like.
- There is a bit of doubt as to whether this creature exists – some people believe that it is a supernatural being that has significance within First Nation culture while others think it is a very real and living creature.
- I have not ever seen this creature, so I cannot attest to its existence (sorry everyone!). I do know people who claim to have seen its wake though.
There are a lot of these types of creatures waiting for you to tell their tales (no pun intended). Turkey, Iceland, South Africa and Thailand all have their own version of a river or lake monsters, while off the coast of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, the Ri mermaid is terrorizing the fishermen. Just remember to do your research into the areas and customs surrounding these water dwelling creatures.
The woods can be very freaky – especially at night. There are also a lot of things that are out to get you in the woods – like the animals that live there. Add supernatural elements or a psychopathic killer and you’ve got a good horror classic in the works.
Now, I know I’ve touched on werewolves and ghosts last week and they’re good for scaring your audiences in this sort of setting. However, what would happen if you also made the forest your villain? It’s easy to get lost in and it can hide things from your characters. or you can take my suggestion very literally and have the forest be the culprit of people’s deaths. For example, there’s a TV show called Haven, based off of the Stephen King novel called The Colorado Kid, that featured nature in a bad way. If you get the chance check the show out.
Here are some crazy forests that are known to be haunted and pretty spooky:
- Aokigahara Forest — Mount Fuji, Japan. This forest is also called the “Death Forest” or “Suicide Forest”. Every year people go there to commit suicide or they get lost in the forest and are never seen again. The number of deaths that happen here has actually gained the attention of the Japanese government and there are numerous signs throughout the area asking people to reconsider.
- Hoia-Baciu Forest — Transylvania, Romania. Also known as the Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania, it has been famous since 1968 when biologist Alexandru Sift captured a photo of a disc-shaped UFO flying above it. The local refuse to go in it after dark and will warn people against entering it. They say that if you go in you may never return.
Whether you’re a monotheistic believer or not, there was a time, and still is, where there were/are multiple gods and goddesses ruling us from somewhere in the cosmos. Again, these gods are going to vary between religions and cultures.
Many gods and goddesses, have different areas they have been assigned to look over. They also have a lot of petty arguments and feuds between them, which means that there is going to be a lot of different stories for you to read and get inspiration from. (I love Wikipedia, they have a good list, as a starting point, for you to look into the different religions and cultures and what their deities are.)
So, look into the myths and legends behind them to see what type of a god or goddess they were and create your story around that. Or you can look into how they were worshiped or punished their human followers to help you create a dire situation. Also look into the various animals they pushed or turned people into for more inspiration on other creatures.
Whether you think they’re real or not, they have captured our minds. They can invade our planet easily and they can be more advanced than us – making it very hard for us to beat them. We never know what their intentions are. They light up our skies with UFOs and they appear to us in unusual ways. They even have been known to conduct experiments on us.
Common areas they’ve been sighted:
- The United States — A lot of sightings occur in the United States. Mostly around Texas. Also, area 51 is said to be an alien hot spot (according to conspiracy theorists) and is located in Nevada.
- Chile — They get the most UFO sightings in the entire world. Here is an article on a sighting the Chilean Navy caught earlier this year.
Let your imaginations run wild with this one!
Well my tips are going to be pretty similar to last weeks, but I shall leave them here as a reminder:
- RESEARCH! This is crucial, especially if you’re going to be playing on a tradition or you’re setting your story up in a certain area. You don’t want to ignore certain traditions or folklore in the area. It’ll help add to the suspense of your novel and it’s going to be something your readers may expect to happen.
- Read! Go through the myths and legends of creatures you do not know are not familiar with. Read about the ones you do know or would like to know more about. Know those traditions and then use those in your stories.
- Don’t be afraid of experimenting and avoid cliches. Come up with creatures that have never been seen before. Maybe mix different myths and legends together to create something new. Stephen King’s novel, Christine, is such an interesting idea. No one ever thought that the car as a killing machine would ever be as fearsome as it could be. Maybe not have your mermaids be bad, but good or have them pitted against one another and have human lives stuck in the middle.
- Make sure there’s motivation for your creatures. They need a reason to act. They’re not just going to go around killing people for no reason.
- Treat them as a certain character type. If they’re the bad guy then make them the bad guy or vice versa. I have a lot of posts from July and August this year explaining what to do with protagonists and antagonists – go check them out! They’ll tell you how to make a good or bad character amazing.
I want to leave you guys off with a “complete” list of various legendary creatures thanks to the lovely Wikipedia.
Don’t forget to check in next week for not one, not two, but three blog posts. Two on Tuesday and our regularly scheduled post on Thursday. Also, let me know what you think I’ve missed or if you want to share any interesting legends or creatures with me.