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The Beast of Bodmin, like The Beast of Exmoor, is a phantom wild cat which is purported to range in Cornwall in the United Kingdom. Bodmin Moor became a centre of these sightings with occasional reports of mutilated slain livestock: the alleged panther-like cats of the same region came to be popularly known as the Beast of Bodmin Moor.
In general, scientists reject such claims because of the improbably large numbers necessary to maintain a breeding population and because climate and food supply issues would make such purported creatures' survival in reported habitats unlikely. A long held hypothesis suggested the possibility that alien big cats at large in the United Kingdom could have been imported as part of private collections or zoos, later escaped or set free. An escaped big cat could not be reported to the authorities due to the illegality of owning and importing the animals.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food decided to conduct an official investigation in 1995. The study's findings decided there was "no verifiable evidence" of exotic felines loose in Britain, and that the mauled farm animals could have been attacked by common indigenous species. The report stated that "the investigation could not prove that a 'big cat' is not present."
However the police have released classified pictures of large cats shot by farmers.
The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is a mythological creature and an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology. Stories of the Yeti first emerged as a facet of Western popular culture in the 19th century.
The scientific community largely regards the Yeti as a legend, given the lack of evidence, yet it remains one of the most famous creatures of crypto zoology. The Yeti can be considered a parallel to the Bigfoot legend of North America.
Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is an alleged a Mokele Membe the living dinosaur
pe-like creature purportedly inhabiting forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Bigfoot is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid.
The scientific community considers Bigfoot to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoaxes, rather than a real creature. In general, mainstream scientific consensus does not support the posited existence of megafauna cryptids such as Bigfoot, because of the improbably large numbers necessary to maintain a breeding population and because climate and food supply issues would make such purported creatures' survival in reported habitats unlikely. Despite these facts, Bigfoot is one of the more famous examples of a cryptid within cryptozoology.
Bigfoot is described in reports as a large ape-like creature, ranging between 6–10 feet (1.8–3.0 m) tall, weighing in excess of 500 pounds (230 kg), and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. Alleged witnesses have described large eyes, a pronounced brow ridge, and a large, low-set forehead; the top of the head has been described as rounded and crested, similar to the sagittal crest of the male gorilla. Bigfoot is commonly reported to have a strong, unpleasant smell by those who have claimed to have encountered it. The enormous footprints for which it is named have been as large as 24 inches (61 cm) long and 8 inches (20 cm) wide. While most casts have five toes—like all known apes—some casts of alleged Bigfoot tracks have had numbers ranging from two to six. Some have also contained claw marks, making it likely that a portion came from known animals such as bears, which have five toes and claws. Proponents have also claimed that Bigfoot is omnivorous and mainly nocturnal.
The bunyip (usually translated as "devil" or "spirit") is a mythical creature from Australian folklore. Various accounts and explanations of bunyips have been given across Australia since the early days of the colonies. It has also been identified as an animal recorded in Aboriginal mythology, similar to known extinct animals. Descriptions of bunyips vary widely. It is usually given as a sort of lake monster. Common features in Aboriginal descriptions include a dog-like face, dark fur, a horse-like tail, flippers, and walrus-like tusks or horns or a duck like bill. According to legend, they are said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes.
A changeling is the offspring of a fairy, troll, elf or other legendary creature that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. The apparent changeling could also be a stock, a glamorized piece of wood that would soon appear to grow sick and die. The motivation for this conduct stems from the desire to have a human servant, the love of a human child, or malice. Most often it was thought that faeries exchanged the children, and simple charms, such as an inverted coat, were thought to ward them off.
According to some legends, it is possible to detect changelings, as they are much wiser than human children. When changelings are detected in time, their parents have to take them back. In one tale of the Brothers Grimm, there's an account of how a woman, who suspected that her child had been exchanged, started to brew beer in the hull of an acorn. The changeling uttered: "now I am as old as an oak in the woods but I have never seen beer being brewed in an acorn", then disappeared.
Some people believed that trolls would take un-baptized children. Beauty in human children and young women, particularly blond hair, attracted the fairies. In Scottish folklore, the children might be replacements for fairy children in the tithe to Hell; this is best known from the ballad of Tam Lin. Some folklorists believe that fairies were memories of inhabitants of various regions in Europe who had been driven into hiding by invaders. They held that changelings had actually occurred; the hiding people would exchange their own sickly children for the healthy children of the invaders.
Cherubim is the plural of cherub. They are winged beings, sometimes portrayed as a child, or a child's head. Descriptions from the Scripture differ- describing them as in the shapes of men, eagles, oxen, lions or a combination of them. There are two gold cherubs on the cover of the Ark of the Covenant. The cherubim of heraldry and art are different that those described in the Scriptures.
Josephus, in his description of the Ark of the Covenant- "Upon its cover were two images, which the Hebrews call Cherubims; they are flying creatures, but their form is not like that of any of the creatures which men have seen, though Moses said he had seen such beings near the throne of God."
The Chupacabra or Chupacabras (pronunciation: /tʃupa'kabɾa/, from the Spanish words chupar, meaning "to suck", and cabra, meaning "goat"; literally "goat sucker"), also called El Chupacabras in Spanish, is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated more recently with sightings of an allegedly unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities.
The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1990 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile. It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail.
Biologists and wildlife management officials view the Chupacabra as a contemporary legend.
The first reported attacks occurred in March 1995 in Puerto Rico. In this attack, eight sheep were discovered dead, each with three puncture wounds in the chest area and completely drained of blood. A few months later, in August, an eyewitness, Madelyne Tolentino, reported seeing the creature in the Puerto Rican town of Canóvanas, when as many as 150 farm animals and pets were reportedly killed. In 1975, similar killings in the small town of Moca, were attributed to El Vampiro de Moca (The Vampire of Moca). Initially it was suspected that the killings were committed by a Satanic cult; later more killings were reported around the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. Each of the animals had their bodies bled dry through a series of small circular incisions.
Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Pérez is credited with coining the term chupacabras soon after the first incidents were reported in the press. Shortly after the first reported incidents in Puerto Rico, other animal deaths were reported in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Brazil, United States, and Mexico.
The crocotta (or corocotta, crocuta, or yena), is a mythical dog-wolf of India or Ethiopia, said to be a deadly enemy of men and dogs.
This beast was first written about by Pliny in his work Natural History (book VIII, chapter 30). He simply described the crocotta as a combination between dog and wolf with impossibly strong teeth and instant digestion. Other mythologies have described the crocotta as a gluttonous beast that digs up the buried dead and prowls around farms at night.
It was said that the crocotta would lure dogs to their death by imitating the sound of a man in distress. When the dogs heard the cry they would follow the sound, only to be attacked and devoured. The beast was also said to occasionally hide in bushes at the edge of the forest listening to the farmers talking and calling each other by name. The crocotta would then repeat one of the names to lure the person into the woods. When the man approached, it would draw back into the brush and speak his name again. As the man followed, the creature would continue to draw deeper into the woods. When the victim was beyond help, the animal would leap upon him and devour him. Other legends ascribed the crocotta with the ability to change its colour or gender at will.
Some legends said that animals that attempted to stalk it would freeze in their own tracks. The eyes of a slain crocotta were said to be striped gems that would give the possessor oracular powers when placed under the tongue.
The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes (Greek γίγαντες) of Greek mythology.
In various Indo-European mythologies, gigantic peoples are featured as primeval creatures associated with chaos and the wild nature, and they are frequently in conflict with the gods, be they Olympian, Hindu or Norse.
There are also other stories featuring giants in the Old Testament, perhaps most famously Goliath. Attributed to them are superhuman strength and physical proportions, a long lifespan, and thus a great deal of knowledge as well.
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:4-5 (KJV).
The Bible tells of men of extraordinary size in the pre-flood world, calling them Nephilim. The Nephilim are said to be the hybrid offspring of angels materialized into human form that had sexual relations with women on Earth (Genesis 6:1,2,4). The global flood of Genesis was said to have destroyed all life on earth which would include the Nephilim (Genesis 6:17; 7:17-21), however, in Numbers, some of the spies of Israel report that the Anakites, descendants of the Nephilim, were still living in Canaan (Numbers 13:28-33).
The Anakites (Numbers 13:28-33), the Emites (Deuteronomy 2:10), and the Rephaites (Joshua 12:4) were giants living in the Promised Land. The Bible also tells of strife between David and the giant Goliath, ending with the defeat of the latter.
According to the King James Bible, Goliath was "six cubits and a span" in height—over nine feet tall, (over 2.75 m) (1 Samuel 17:4 KJV). The much older, original Septuagint Hebrew Bible (Greek), followed by the historian Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls gives Goliath's height as "four cubits and a span," (approximately 2.00 m or about six feet seven inches). This proves that in time Goliath grew at the hand of narrators and scribes.
Goliath's height (King James Bible version) is comparable to Robert Wadlow, who reached 8 feet 11.1 inches (2.72 m) and Leonid Stadnyk who has reached 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m).
Also, Gog and Magog are usually considered to be giants, and are also found in the folklore of Britain.
In Hinduism, the giants are called Daityas. The Daityas (दैत्य) were the children of Diti and the sage Kashyapa who fought against the gods or Devas because they were jealous of their Deva half-brothers. Since Daityas were a power-seeking race, they sometimes allied with other races having similar ideology namely Danavas and Asuras. Daityas along with Danavas and Asuras are sometimes called Rakshasas, the generic term for a demon in Hindu mythology. Some known Daityas include Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. The main antagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayana, Ravana was a Brahmin from his father side and a Daitya from his mother side. His younger brother Kumbhakarna was said to be as tall as a mountain and was quite good natured.
In Greek mythology the gigantes (γίγαντες) were (according to the poet Hesiod) the children of Uranos (Ουρανός) and Gaea (Γαία) (The Heaven and the Earth). They were involved in a conflict with the Olympian gods called the Gigantomachy (Γιγαντομαχία), which was eventually settled when the hero Heracles decided to help the Olympians. The Greeks believed some of them, like Enceladus, to lay buried from that time under the earth, and that their tormented quivers resulted in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Herodotus in Book 1, Chapter 68, describes how the Spartans uncovered in Tegea the body of Orestes which was seven cubits long—around 10 feet. In his book The Comparison of Romulus with Theseus Plutarch describes how the Athenians uncovered the body of Theseus, which was of more than ordinary size. The kneecaps of Ajax were exactly the size of a discus for the boy's pentathlon, wrote Pausanias. A boy's discus was about twelve centimeters in diameter, while a normal adult patella is around five centimetres, suggesting Ajax may have been around 14 feet (~4.3 meters) tall.
In Norse mythology, the giants (jötnar in Old Norse, a cognate with ettin) are often opposed to the gods. They come in different classes, such as frost giants (hrímþursar), fire giants (eldjötnar), and mountain giants (bergrisar). Jotun are different from other giants, that they usually aren't taller than most humans. The English, in lacking a proper word to describe such creatures, made use of the Greek derivative 'giants'; in a similar fashion, ogres are called trolls(pl. trolde) in Danish.
The giants are the origin of most of various monsters in Norse mythology (e.g. the Fenrisulfr), and in the eventual battle of Ragnarök the giants will storm Asgard and defeat them in war. Even so, the gods themselves were related to the giants by many marriages, and there are giants such as Ægir, Loki, Mímir and Skaði, who bear little difference in status to them.
Norse mythology also holds that the entire world of men was once created from the flesh of Ymir, a giant of cosmic proportions, which name is considered by some to share a root with the name Yama of Indo-Iranian mythology.
A bergrisi appears as a supporter on the coat of arms of Iceland.
In folklore from all over Europe, giants were believed to have built the remains of previous civilizations. Saxo Grammaticus, for example, argues that giants had to exist, because nothing else would explain the large walls, stone monuments, and statues that we now know were the remains of Roman construction. Similarly, the Old English poem Seafare speaks of the high stone walls that were the work of giants. Even natural geologic features such as the massive basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway on the coast of Northern Ireland were attributed to construction by giants. Giants provided the least complicated explanation for such artifacts.
In Basque mythology, giants appear as jentilak and mairuak (Moors), and were said to have raised the dolmens and menhirs. After Christianization, they were driven away, and the only remaining one is Olentzero, a coalmaker that brings gifts on Christmas Eve.
Medieval romances such as Amadis de Gaul feature giants as antagonists, or, rarely, as allies. This is parodied famously in Cervantes' Don Quixote, when the title character attacks a windmill, believing it to be a giant. This is the source of the phrase tilting at windmills.
Tales of combat with giants were a common feature in the folklore of Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Celtic giants also figure in Breton and Arthurian romances, and from this source they spread into the heroic tales of Torquato Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto, and their follower Edmund Spenser. In the small Scottish village of Kinloch Rannoch, a local myth to this effect concerns a local hill that apparently resembles the head, shoulders, and torso of a man, and has therefore been termed 'the sleeping giant'. Apparently the giant will awaken only if a specific musical instrument is played near the hill.
Many giants in British folklore were noted for their stupidity. A giant who had quarreled with the Mayor of Shrewsbury went to bury the city with dirt; however, he met a shoemaker, carrying shoes to repair, and the shoemaker convinced the giant that he had worn out all the shoes coming from Shrewsbury, and so it was too far to travel.
Other British stories told of how giants threw stones at each other. This was used to explain many great stones on the landscape.
Giants figure in a great many fairy tales and folklore stories, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body, Nix Nought Nothing, Robin Hood and the Prince of Aragon, Young Ronald, and Paul Bunyan. Ogres and trolls are humanoid creatures, sometimes of gigantic stature, that occur in various sorts of European folklore. An example of another folklore giant is Rübezahl, a kind giant in German folklore who lived in the Giant Mountains (nowadays on the Czech-Polish border).
Giants in the West
Aside from mythology and folklore, remains of giants have been claimed to have been found in America. Giants are usually classified as human-like remains that are 7' 5" (2.26 meters) or more in height. The book Forbidden Land by Robert Lyman (1971) recounts the following alleged finds:
A decayed human skeleton claimed by eyewitnesses to measure around 3.28 metres (10 feet 9 inches tall), was unearthed by labourers while ploughing a vineyard in November 1856 in East Wheeling, now in West Virginia.
A human skeleton measuring 3.6 metres (12 feet) tall was unearthed at Lompock Rancho, California, in 1833 by soldiers digging in a pit for a powder magazine. The specimen had a double row of teeth and was surrounded by numerous stone axes, carved shells and porphyry blocks with abstruse symbols associated with it.
Several mummified remains of humans with reddish hair claimed to range from 2-2.5 metres (6.5 feet to over 8 feet) tall were dug up at Lovelock Cave, (70 miles) north-east of Reno, Nevada, by a guano mining operation. These bones supposedly substantiated claims for legends by the local Paiute Indians regarding giants which they called Si-Te-Cah. However, there appear to be no verified Paiute legends about giants or that call the Si-Te-Cah giants. Some of these artifacts can also be found in the Nevada State Historical Society's museum at Reno. Adrienne Mayor states that these skeletons are normal sized. She also points out that hair pigment does not stay stable after death, and that ancient very dark hair can turn rusty red or orange due to a variety of conditions such as soil condition, temperature, etc.
A 9' 11" (3.02 meters) skeleton was unearthed in 1928 by a farmer digging a pit to bury trash in Tensas Parish, Louisiana near Waterproof. In 1931 a 10' 2" (3.1 meters) skeleton was unearthed by a boy burying his dog in 1933 in Nearby Madison Parish.
Aside from in Forbidden Land, we can find other unverified examples or legends about the remains of giants:
A 9' 8" (2.95 meters) skeleton was excavated from a mound near Brewersville, Indiana in 1879 (Indianapolis News, November 10, 1975).
In Clearwater, Minnesota, the skeletons of seven giants were found in mounds. These had receding foreheads and complete double dentition.
A mound near Toledo, Ohio, held 20 skeletons, seated and facing east with jaws and teeth "twice as large as those of present day people", and beside each was a large bowl with "curiously wrought hieroglyphic figures." (Chicago Record, October 24, 1895; cited by Ron G. Dobbins, NEARA Journal, v13, fall 1978).
Near the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario there is a span of mountains five miles long that is in the shape of a man wearing a headdress lying down on his back. The span is called "The Sleeping Giant" from local Ojibway legend that identifies the giant as Nanabijou, the spirit of the Deep Sea Water, who was turned to stone when the secret location of a rich silver mine, now known as Silver Islet, was disclosed to white men.
Patagons of Patagonia in South America, are giants claimed to have been seen by Ferdinand Magellan and his crew. Drake reported only finding people of 'mean stature' although his Chaplain reported giants. However, even before Magellan, a Spanish romance called Primaleón of Greece was published in 1512 in which a dashing explorer discovers savages, one named Patagon, whose descriptions are very similar to those of Magellan.
A hellhound is a demonic dog of Hell, found in mythology or in fiction. Hellhounds typically have features such as an unnaturally large size, a black fur color, glowing eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, and sometimes even the ability to talk. They are often assigned to guard the entrance to the world of the dead or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting down lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure.
A black dog is a spectral being found primarily in British folklore. The black dog is essentially a nocturnal spectre, and its appearance was regarded as a portent of death. It is generally supposed to be larger than a physical dog, and often has large, glowing eyes.
It is often associated with electrical storms (such as Black Shuck's appearance at Bungay, Suffolk), and also with crossroads, places of execution and ancient pathways. Its Welsh form is confined to the sea-coast parishes, and on the Norfolk coast the creature is supposed to be amphibious, coming out of the sea by night and travelling about the lonely lanes.
The origins of the black dog are difficult to discern. It is impossible to ascertain whether the phantom originated in the Celtic or Germanic elements in British culture. Throughout European mythology, dogs have been associated with death. Examples of this are the Cŵn Annwn, Garm and Cerberus, all of whom were in some way guardians of the underworld. This association seems to be due to the scavenging habits of dogs. It is possible that the black dog is a survival of these beliefs.
Black dogs are almost universally malevolent, although few (like the Barghest) are held to be directly harmful. Most are a portent of death, or are in some way associated with the Devil. Some, however, like the Gurt Dog in Somerset and the Black Dog of the Hanging Hills (below) may sometimes act benevolently.
The Jersey Devil, sometimes called the Leeds Devils, is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations. The Jersey Devil has worked its way into the pop culture of the area, even lending its name to New Jersey's team in the National Hockey League. There are many possible origins of the Jersey Devil legend. The earliest legends date back to Native American folklore. The Lenni Lenape tribes called the area around Pine Barrens "Popuessing", meaning "place of the dragon". Swedish explorers later named it "Drake Kill", "drake" being a Swedish word for dragon, and "kill" meaning channel or arm of the sea (river, stream, etc.).
The most accepted origin of the story as far as New Jerseyians are concerned started with Mother Leeds and is as follows:
"It was said that Mother Leeds had 12 children and, after giving birth to her 12th child, stated that if she had another, it would be the devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a horse's head, bat wings and a forked tail. It growled and screamed, then killed the midwife before flying up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exorcised the devil for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890."
"Mother Leeds" has been identified by some as Deborah Leeds. This identification may have gained credence from the fact that Deborah Leeds' husband, Japhet Leeds, named twelve children in the will he wrote in 1736, which is compatible with the legend of the Jersey Devil being the thirteenth child born by Mother Leeds. Deborah and Japhet Leeds also lived in the Leeds Point section of what is now Atlantic County, New Jersey, which is the area commonly said to be the location of the Jersey Devil story.
Some skeptics believe the Jersey Devil to be nothing more than a creative manifestation of the English settlers. The aptly named Pine Barrens were shunned by most early settlers as a desolate, threatening place. Being relatively isolated, the barrens were a natural refuge for those wanting to remain hidden, including religious dissenters, loyalists, fugitives and military deserters in colonial times. Such individuals formed solitary groups and were pejoratively called "pineys", some of whom became notorious bandits known as "pine robbers". Pineys were further demonized after two early twentieth century eugenics studies depicted them as congenital idiots and criminals. It is easy to imagine early tales of terrible monsters arising from a combination of sightings of genuine animals such as bears, the activities of pineys, and fear of the barrens.
Outdoorsman and author Tom Brown, Jr. spent several seasons living in the wilderness of the Pine Barrens. He recounts occasions when terrified hikers mistook him for the Jersey Devil, after he covered his whole body with mud to repel mosquitoes.
Not surprisingly, the Jersey Devil legend is fueled by the various testimonials from reputable eyewitnesses who have reported to have encountered the creature, from precolonial times to the present day, as there are still reported sightings within the New Jersey area.
Many contemporary theorists believe that the Jersey Devil could possibly be a very rare, unclassified species which instinctually fears and attempts to avoid humans. Such elements that support this theory include the overall similarities of the creature's appearance (horselike head, long neck and tail, leathery wings, cloven hooves, blood-curdling scream), with the only variables being the height and color. Another factor that supports the cryptozoological theory is the fact that it is more likely that a species could endure over a span of several hundred years, rather than the existence of a single creature living for over 500 years.
Some people think the Sandhill Crane (which has a 7 feet wingspan) is the basis of the Jersey Devil stories.
The physical descriptions of the Jersey Devil appear to be mostly consistent with a species of pterosaur such as a dimorphodon.
Reportedly in 1778, Commodore Stephen Decatur visited the Hanover Iron Works in the Barrens to test cannonballs at a firing range, where he allegedly witnessed a strange, pale white creature winging overhead. Using cannon fire, Decatur purportedly punctured the wing membrane of the creature, which continued flying – apparently unfazed – to the amazement of onlookers. Dating on this encounter is incorrect, as Decatur was not born until 1779.
Joseph Bonaparte (eldest brother of Emperor Napoleon) is said to have witnessed the Jersey Devil while hunting on his Bordentown, New Jersey estate around 1820.
In 1840, the devil was blamed for several livestock killings. Similar attacks were reported in 1841, accompanied by strange tracks and unearthly screams. The devil made an 1859 appearance in Haddonfield. Bridgeton witnessed a flurry of sightings during the winter of 1873. About 1887, the Jersey Devil was sighted near a house, and terrified one of the children, who called the Devil "it"; the Devil was also sighted in the woods soon after that, and just as in Stephen Decatur's encounter, the Devil was shot in the right wing, but still kept flying.
Evans gave a descriptive account as follows: "It was about three feet and a half high, with a head like a collie dog and a face like a horse. It had a long neck, wings about two feet long, and its back legs were like those of a crane, and it had horse's hooves. It walked on its back legs and held up two short front legs with paws on them. It didn't use the front legs at all while we were watching. My wife and I were scared, I tell you, but I managed to open the window and say, 'Shoo!' and it turned around, barked at me, and flew away."
Two Gloucester hunters tracked the creature's perplexing trail for twenty miles. The trail appeared to "jump" fences and squeeze under eight-inch gaps. Similar trails were reported in several other towns.
During this period, it is rumored that the Philadelphia Zoo posted a reward for the creature's capture. The offer prompted a variety of hoaxes, including a kangaroo with artificial wings.
n addition to these encounters, the creature was seen flying over several other towns. Since the week of terror in 1909, sightings have been much less frequent.
Werewolves, also known as lycanthropes from the Greek λυκάνθρωπος, λύκος (wolf) and άνθρωπος (human, man), are mythological or folkloric humans with the ability to shift shape into wolves or anthropomorphic wolf-like creatures, either purposely, by being bitten or scratched by another werewolf, or after being placed under a curse.
This transformation is often associated with the appearance of the full moon, as popularly noted by the medieval chronicler Gervase of Tilbury, although it may have been recognized in earlier times among the ancient Greeks through the writings of Petronius.
Werewolves are often granted extra-human strength and senses, far beyond those of both wolves or men. The werewolf is generally held as a European character, although its lore spread through the world in later times. Shape-shifters, similar to werewolves, are common in tales from all over the world, most notably amongst the Native Americans, though most of them involve animal forms other than wolves.
Werewolves are a frequent subject of modern fictional books, although fictional werewolves have been attributed traits distinct from those of original folklore, most notably the vulnerability to silver bullets. Werewolves continue to endure in modern culture and fiction, with books, films and television shows cementing the werewolf's stance as a dominant figure in horror. Description and common attributes
Werewolves were said to bear tell-tale traits in European folklore. These included the meeting of both eyebrows at the bridge of the nose, curved fingernails, low set ears and a swinging stride. One method of identifying a werewolf in its human form was to cut the flesh of the accused, under the pretence that fur would be seen within the wound. A Russian superstition recalls a werewolf can be recognised by bristles under the tongue.
The appearance of a werewolf in its animal form varies from culture to culture, though they are most commonly portrayed as being indistinguishable from ordinary wolves save for the fact that they have no tail (a trait thought characteristic of witches in animal form), and that they retain human eyes and voice. After returning to their human forms, werewolves are usually documented as becoming weak, debilitated and undergoing painful nervous depression. Many historical werewolves were written to have suffered severe melancholia and manic depression, being bitterly conscious of their crimes. One universally reviled trait in medieval Europe was the werewolf's habit of devouring recently buried corpses, a trait which is documented extensively, particularly in the Annales Medico-psychologiques in the 19th century. Fennoscandian werewolves were usually old women who possessed poison coated claws and had the ability to paralyse cattle and children with their gaze.
Serbian vulkodlaks traditionally had the habit of congregating annually in the winter months, where they would strip off their wolf skins and hang them from trees. They would then get a hold of another vulkodlaks skin and burn it, releasing the vulkodlak from whom the skin came from its curse. The Haitian jé-rouges typically try to trick mothers into giving away their children voluntarily by waking them at night and asking their permission to take their child, to which the disoriented mother may either reply yes or no.
Becoming a werewolf
Various methods for becoming a werewolf have been reported, one of the simplest being the removal of clothing and putting on a belt made of wolfskin, probably as a substitute for the assumption of an entire animal skin (which also is frequently described). In other cases, the body is rubbed with a magic salve. To drink rainwater out of the footprint of the animal in question or to drink from certain enchanted streams were also considered effectual modes of accomplishing metamorphosis. The 16th century Swedish writer Olaus Magnus says that the Livonian werewolves were initiated by draining a cup of specially prepared beer and repeating a set formula. Ralston in his Songs of the Russian People gives the form of incantation still familiar in Russia.
In Italy, France and Germany, it was said that a man could turn into a werewolf if he, on a certain Wednesday or Friday, slept outside on a summer night with the full moon shining directly on his face.
In other cases, the transformation was supposedly accomplished by Satanic allegiance for the most loathsome ends, often for the sake of sating a craving for human flesh. "The werewolves", writes Richard Verstegan (Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, 1628), are certayne sorcerers, who having annoynted their bodies with an ointment which they make by the instinct of the devil, and putting on a certayne inchaunted girdle, does not only unto the view of others seem as wolves, but to their own thinking have both the shape and nature of wolves, so long as they wear the said girdle. And they do dispose themselves as very wolves, in worrying and killing, and most of humane creatures.
Such were the views about lycanthropy current throughout the continent of Europe when Verstegan wrote.
The phenomenon of repercussion, the power of animal metamorphosis, or of sending out a familiar, real or spiritual, as a messenger, and the supernormal powers conferred by association with such a familiar, are also attributed to the magician, male and female, all the world over; and witch superstitions are closely parallel to, if not identical with, lycanthropic beliefs, the occasional involuntary character of lycanthropy being almost the sole distinguishing feature. In another direction the phenomenon of repercussion is asserted to manifest itself in connection with the bush-soul of the West African and the nagual of Central America; but though there is no line of demarcation to be drawn on logical grounds, the assumed power of the magician and the intimate association of the bush-soul or the nagual with a human being are not termed lycanthropy. Nevertheless it will be well to touch on both these beliefs here.
The curse of lycanthropy was also considered by some scholars as being a divine punishment. Werewolf literature shows many examples of God or saints allegedly cursing those who invoked their wrath with werewolfism. Those who were excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church were also said to become werewolves.
The power of transforming others into wild beasts was attributed not only to malignant sorcerers, but to Christian saints as well. Omnes angeli, boni et Mali, ex virtute naturali habent potestatem transmutandi corpora nostra ("All angels, good and bad have the power of transmutating our bodies") was the dictum of St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Patrick was said to have transformed the Welsh king Vereticus into a wolf; Natalis supposedly cursed an illustrious Irish family whose members were each doomed to be a wolf for seven years. In other tales the divine agency is even more direct, while in Russia, again, men supposedly became werewolves when incurring the wrath of the Devil.
A notable exception to the association of Lycanthropy and the Devil, comes from a rare and lesser known account of an 80-year-old man named Thiess. In 1692, in Jurgenburg, Livonia, Thiess testified under oath that he and other werewolves were the Hounds of God. He claimed they were warriors who went down into hell to do battle with witches and demons. Their efforts ensured that the Devil and his minions did not carry off the gran from local failed crops down to hell. Thiess was steadfast in his assertions, claiming that werewolves in Germany and Russia also did battle with the devil's minions in their own versions of hell, and insisted that when werewolves died, their souls were welcomed into heaven as reward for their service. Thiess was ultimately sentenced to ten lashes for Idolatry and superstitious belief.
A distinction is often made between voluntary and involuntary werewolves. The former are generally thought to have made a pact, usually with the Devil, and morph into werewolves at night to indulge in nefarious acts. Involuntary werewolves, on the other hand, are werewolves by an accident of birth or health. In some cultures, individuals born during a new moon or suffering from epilepsy were considered likely to be werewolves.
Becoming a werewolf simply by being bitten by another werewolf as a form of contagion is common in modern horror fiction, but this kind of transmission is rare in legend, unlike the case in vampirism.
Even if the denotation of lycanthropy is limited to the wolf-metamorphosis of living human beings, the beliefs classed together under this head are far from uniform, and the term is somewhat capriciously applied. The transformation may be temporary or permanent; the were-animal may be the man himself metamorphosed; may be his double whose activity leaves the real man to all appearance unchanged; may be his soul, which goes forth seeking whom it may devour, leaving its body in a state of trance; or it may be no more than the messenger of the human being, a real animal or a familiar spirit, whose intimate connection with its owner is shown by the fact that any injury to it is believed, by a phenomenon known as repercussion, to cause a corresponding injury to the human being.
A mermaid is a mythological aquatic creature with a human head and torso and the tail of an aquatic animal such as a fish. The word is a compound of mere, the Old English word for "sea," and maid, a woman. The male equivalent is a merman, however the term mermaid is sometimes used for males. Various cultures throughout the world have similar figures, typically depicted without clothing.
Much like sirens, mermaids would sometimes sing to people and gods and enchant them, distracting them from their work and causing them to walk off the deck or run their ships aground. Other stories have them squeezing the life out of drowning men while attempting to rescue them. They are also said to take humans down to their underwater kingdoms. In Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid it is said that they forget that humans cannot breathe underwater, while others say they drown men out of spite.
The sirens of Greek mythology are sometimes portrayed in later folklore as mermaid-like; in fact, some languages use the same word for both bird and fish creatures, such as the Maltese word 'sirena'. Other related types of mythical or legendary creatures are water fairies (e.g. various water nymphs) and selkies, animals that can transform themselves from seals to humans. Ancient Near East
The first known mermaid stories appeared in Assyria, ca. 1000 BC. Atargatis, the mother of Assyrian queen Semiramis, was a goddess who loved a mortal shepherd and in the process killed him. Ashamed, she jumped into a lake to take the form of a fish, but the waters would not conceal her divine beauty. Thereafter, she took the form of a mermaid — human above the waist, fish below — though the earliest representations of Atargatis showed her as being a fish with a human head and legs, similar to the Babylonian Ea. The Greeks recognized Atargatis under the name Derketo. Prior to 546 BC, the Milesian philosopher Anaximander proposed that mankind had sprung from an aquatic species of animal. He thought that humans, with their extended infancy, could not have survived early on. This idea reappeared as the Aquatic ape hypothesis in the twentieth century.
A popular Greek legend has Alexander the Great's sister, Thessalonike, turn into a mermaid after she died. She lived, it was said, in the Aegean and when sailors would encounter her, she would ask them only one question: "Is Alexander the king alive?" (Greek: Ζει ο βασιλιάς Αλέξανδρος;), to which the correct answer would be "He lives and still rules" (Greek: Ζει και βασιλεύει). Any other answer would spur her into a rage, where she transformed into a Gorgon and meant doom for the ship and every sailor onboard.
Lucian of Samosata in Syria (2nd century AD) in De Dea Syria ("Concerning the Syrian Goddess") wrote of the Syrian temples he had visited:
"Among them - Now that is the traditional story among them concerning the temple. But other men swear that Semiramis of Babylonia, whose deeds are many in Asia, also founded this site, and not for Hera Atargatis but for her own Mother, whose name was Derketo"
"I saw the likeness of Derketo in Phoenicia, a strange marvel. It is woman for half its length, but the other half, from thighs to feet, stretched out in a fish's tail. But the image in the Holy City is entirely a woman, and the grounds for their account are not very clear. They consider fishes to be sacred, and they never eat them; and though they eat all other fowls, they do not eat the dove, for she is holy so they believe. And these things are done, they believe, because of Derketo and Semiramis, the first because Derketo has the shape of a fish, and the other because ultimately Semiramis turned into a dove. Well, I may grant that the temple was a work of Semiramis perhaps; but that it belongs to Derketo I do not believe in any way. For among the Egyptians, some people do not eat fish, and that is not done to honor Derketo."
The Arabian Nights (One Thousand and One Nights) includes several tales featuring "Sea People", such as Djullanar the Sea-girl. Unlike the depiction in other mythologies, these are anatomically identical to land-bound humans, differing only in their ability to breathe and live underwater. They can (and do) interbreed with land humans, the children of such unions sharing in the ability to live underwater.
In another Arabian Nights tale, "Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman", the protagonist Abdullah the Fisherman gains the ability to breathe underwater and discovers an underwater submarine society that is portrayed as an inverted reflection of society on land, in that the underwater society follows a form of primitive communism where concepts like money and clothing do not exist. Other Arabian Nights tales deal with lost ancient technologies, advanced ancient civilizations that went astray, and catastrophes which overwhelmed them.
In "The Adventures of Bulukiya", the protagonist Bulukiya's quest for the herb of immortality leads him to explore the seas, where he encounters societies of mermaids. "Julnar the Sea-Born and Her Son King Badr Basim of Persia" is yet another Arabian Nights tale about mermaids. When sailors come the mermaids would sing, but some men are led straight to their doom. If they follow the mermaids' lovely and beautiful voices, they do not know what they are doing or where they're going.
Mermaids were noted in British folklore as unlucky omens - both foretelling disaster and provoking it. Several variants of the ballad Sir Patrick Spens depict a mermaid speaking to the doomed ships; in some, she tells them they will never see land again, and in others, she claims they are near shore, which they are wise enough to know means the same thing. They can also be a sign of rough weather.
Some mermaids were described as monstrous in size, up to 2000 feet.
Mermaids could also swim up rivers to freshwater lakes. One day, in a lake near his house, the Laird of Lorntie saw, as he thought, a woman drowning, and went to aid her; a servant of his pulled him back, warning that it was a mermaid, and the mermaid screamed after that she would have killed him if it were not for his servant.
On occasion, mermaids could be more beneficent, giving humans means of cure.
Some tales raised the question of whether mermaids had immortal souls to answer it in the negative. The figure of Lí Ban appears as a sanctified mermaid, but she was originally a human being transformed into a mermaid; after three centuries, when Christianity had come to Ireland, she came to be baptized.
Mermen were also noted as wilder and uglier than mermaids, but they were described as having little interest in humans.
Mokèlé-mbèmbé: meaning "one who stops the flow of rivers" in the Lingala language, is the name given to a large water dwelling cryptid found in legends and folklore of the Congo River basin. It is sometimes described as a living creature and sometimes as a spirit. It could be considered loosely analogous to the Loch Ness Monster in Western culture.
Several expeditions have been mounted in the hope of finding evidence of the Mokèlé-mbèmbé, though without success. Efforts have been covered in a number of books and by a number of television documentaries. The Mokèlé-mbèmbé and its associated folklore also appear in several works of fiction and popular culture.
According to the traditions of the Congo River basin the Mokèlé-mbèmbé is a large territorial herbivore, approximately the size of a small elephant or a large hippopotamus. It is said to dwell in the Congo river and the surrounding swampland, , with a preference for deep water, and with local folklore holding that its haunts of choice are river bends.
Descriptions of the Mokèlé-mbèmbé vary. Some legends describe it as having an elephant-like body with a long neck and tail and a small head, a description which has been suggested to be similar in appearance to that of the extinct Sauropoda, while others describe is as more closely resembling elephants, rhinoceros, and other known animals. It is usually described as being gray-brown in color. Some traditions, such as those of Boha Village, describe it as a spirit rather than a flesh and blood creature.
According to the writings of biologist Roy Mackal, who mounted two unsuccessful expeditions to find it, it is likely that the Mokèlé-mbèmbé is a reptile. Of all the living reptiles, Mackal argues that the iguana and the monitor lizards bear the closest resemblance to the Mokèlé-mbèmbé, though, at 15 to 30 feet (9.1 m) long, the Mokèlé-mbèmbé would exceed the size of any known living examples of such reptiles, writing, "I believe the description of the Mokèlé-mbèmbé is accounted for in all respects by an identification with a small sauropod dinosaur".
The BBC/Discovery Channel documentary Congo (2001) interviewed a number of tribe members who identified a photograph of a rhinoceros as being a Mokèlé-mbèmbé. Neither species of African rhinoceros is common in the Congo Basin, and the Mokèlé-mbèmbé may be a mixture of mythology and folk memory from a time when rhinoceroses were found in the area.
The Mongolian Death Worm is a cryptid purported to exist in the Gobi Desert. It is generally considered a cryptozoological creature; one whose sightings and reports are disputed or unconfirmed.
It is described as a bright red worm with a wide body that is 0.6 to 1.5 meters (2 to 5 feet) long.
In general, scientists reject the possibility that such mega-fauna cryptids exist, because of the improbably large numbers necessary to maintain a breeding population and because climate and food supply issues make their survival in reported habitats unlikely.
The Mongolian name is олгой-хорхой (olgoi-khorkhoi) where olgoi means large intestine and khorkhoi means worm, so full name means "intestine worm" because it is reported to look like the intestine of a cow. It is the subject of a number of extraordinary claims by Mongolian locals—such as the ability of the worm to spew forth sulphuric acid that, on contact, will turn anything it touches yellow and corroded (which would kill a human), and its purported ability to kill at a distance by means of electric discharge.
One investigator of that animal is Czech author Ivan Mackerle, who said in Fate Magazine (June 1991) that it reportedly kills its victims by electrocution. British zoologist Karl Shuker brought it to the general attention of the English speaking public in his 1996 book The Unexplained, followed a year later by his Fortean Studies paper on this subject, which was reprinted in The Beasts That Hide From Man in which it was hypothesized that the death worm was an Amphisbaenid. Loren Coleman also included this animal in Cryptozoology A to Z.
A joint expedition in 2005 by the Centre for Fortean Zoology and E-Mongol investigated new reports and sighting of the creature. They found no evidence of its existence, but could not rule out that it might live in the deep Gobi Desert along the prohibited areas of the Mongolian/Chinese border.
The most recent expedition was in 2006–2007, conducted by the reality-television series, Destination Truth. A New Zealand Television reporter, David Farrier (of TV3 News), has announced he is taking part in another expedition in August 2009.
The Mothman is a creature reportedly seen in the Charleston and Point Pleasant areas of West Virginia from November 12, 1966, to December 1967. Most observers describe the Mothman as a winged man-sized creature with large reflective red eyes and large moth-like wings. The creature was sometimes reported as having no head, with its eyes set into its chest.
A number of hypotheses have been presented to explain eyewitness accounts, ranging from misidentification and coincidence, to paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories.
November 15, 1966
On November 15, 1966, two young, married couples from Point Pleasant, David and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, were traveling late at night in the Scarberrys' car. They were passing the West Virginia Ordnance Works, an abandoned World War II TNT factory, about seven miles north of Point Pleasant, in the 2,500 acre (10 km²) McClintic Wildlife Management Area, when they noticed two red lights in the shadows by an old generator plant near the factory gate. They stopped the car, and reportedly discovered that the lights were the glowing red eyes of a large animal, "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back", according to Roger Scarberry. Terrified, they drove toward Route 62, where the creature supposedly chased them at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. However, as quoted in Keel's The Mothman Prophecies, the Scarberrys, despite driving more than 100 miles per hour, claimed to have noticed a dead dog on the side of the road, and in fact made such accurate note of its location that they claimed to have gone back the very next day and looked for it. Explanations for how they were able to make so accurate a mental note at a time of such great distress, or why they would go back to look for the dead dog, are not included in Keel's book.
A plaque on the Mothman statue provides a version of the original legend: "On a chilly, fall night in November 1966, two young couples drove into the TNT area north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, when they realized they were not alone." Driving down the exit road, they saw the supposed creature standing on a nearby ridge. It spread its wings and flew alongside the vehicle up to the city limits. They drove to the Mason County courthouse to alert Deputy Millard Halstead, who later said, "I've known these kids all their lives. They'd never been in any trouble and they were really scared that night. I took them seriously." He then followed Roger Scarberry's car back to the secret ex-U.S. Federal bomb and missile factory, but found no trace of the strange creature. According to the book Alien Animals, by Janet and Colin Bord, a poltergeist attack on the Scarberry home occurred later that night, during which the creature was seen several times.
The following night, on November 16, several armed townspeople combed the area around the TNT plant for signs of Mothman. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wamsley, and Mrs. Marcella Bennett, with her infant daughter Teena in tow, were in a car en-route to visit their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Thomas, who lived in a bungalow among the igloos (concrete dome-shaped dynamite storage structures erected during WW-II) near the TNT plant. The igloos were now empty, some owned by the county, others by companies intending to use them for storage. They were heading back to their car when a figure appeared behind their parked vehicle. Mrs. Bennett said that it seemed like it had been lying down, slowly rising up from the ground, large and gray, with glowing red eyes. While Wamsley phoned the police, the creature walked onto the porch and peered in at them through the window.
November 24, 1966
On November 24, four people allegedly saw the creature flying over the TNT area.
November 25, 1966
On the morning of November 25, Thomas Ury, who was driving along Route 62 just north of the TNT, claimed to have seen the creature standing in a field, and then it spread its wings and flew alongside his car as he sped toward the Point Pleasant sheriff's office.
November 26, 1966
On November 26, Mrs. Ruth Foster of Charleston, West Virginia reportedly saw Mothman standing on her front lawn, but the creature was gone by the time her brother-in-law went out to investigate. Further, on the morning of November 27, the creature allegedly pursued a young woman near Mason, West Virginia, and was reported again in St. Albans the same night, by two children.
January 11, 1967
A Mothman sighting was again reported on January 11, 1967, and several other times that same year. Fewer sightings of the Mothman were reported after the collapse of the Silver Bridge, when 46 people died. The Silver Bridge, so named for its aluminium paint, was an eyebar chain suspension bridge that connected the cities of Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio over the Ohio River. The bridge was built in 1928, and it collapsed on December 15, 1967. Investigation of the bridge wreckage pointed to the failure of a single eye-bar in a suspension chain due to a small manufacturing flaw. There are rumors that the Mothman appears before upcoming disasters, or that the Mothman causes disasters.
After the event
The word "Mothman" was an invention by an Ohio newspaper copyeditor, after the first news stories of the "Big Bird" sightings appeared.
A large collection of first-hand material about the Mothman is found in John Keel's 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, in which Keel lays out the chronology of the Mothman and what he claims to be related parapsychological events in the area, including UFO activity, Men in Black encounters, poltergeist activity, Bigfoot and black panther sightings, animal and human mutilations, precognitions by witnesses, and the December 15 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge spanning the Ohio River.
Keel's first book was the basis of a 2002 film, The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Debra Messing, and Will Patton, directed by Mark Pellington. A companion book called The Eighth Tower, also released in 1975, was derived from material edited from The Mothman Prophecies by the publishers.
In the May-June 2002 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, journalist John C. Sherwood, a former business associate of UFO hoaxer Gray Barker, published an analysis of private letters between Keel and Barker during the period of Keel's investigation. In the article, "Gray Barker's Book of Bunk", Sherwood documented significant differences between what Keel wrote at the time of his investigation and what Keel wrote in his first book about the Mothman reports, raising questions about the book's accuracy.
Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, in conjunction with Sony/Screen Gems studio and as noted in the documentary film by David Grabias, "In Search of the Mothman", served as one of the fictional movie's two publicity spokespersons (Keel being the other, although Keel's involvement was limited by health concerns).
Andy Colvin, a photographer and documentary filmmaker who claims to have seen the Mothman, has produced two books and a reality series on Mothman called The Mothman's Photographer, featuring John Keel and almost 50 witnesses. Colvin's sister took a snapshot of him in 1973 that allegedly shows a Garuda in the background.
There are several theories concerning the Mothman phenomenon.
John Keel claimed that Mothman was related to parapsychological events in the area, including UFO activity, Men in Black encounters, poltergeist activity, Bigfoot and black panther sightings, animal and human mutilations, precognitions by witnesses, and the December 15, 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge spanning the Ohio River.
One of the early theories is that the Mothman was a misidentified Sandhill Crane, which, in the late 1960s had been a problem in surrounding regions. Sandhill cranes have an average wingspan of 5.3 feet (up to 7 feet), average overall length of 39 inches and have the general appearance described, glide for long distances without flapping, and have an unusual shriek. Other theories suggest the possibility of the Mothman being a Barn Owl, an albino owl, or perhaps a large Snowy Owl (based on artists' impressions). Skeptics suggest that the Mothman's glowing eyes are actually red-eye caused from the reflection of light, from flashlights, or other light sources that witnesses may have had with them.
In Episode 2 of the short-lived TV series X-Testers, the researchers on the show attempted various ways to duplicate various photographs of what is said to be Mothman on bridges. The researchers concluded that a recent photo of an unidentified object on the bridge is possibly just a black garbage bag, and earlier photos are possibly just camera tricks.
The Loch Ness Monster is a creature reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next. Popular interest and belief in the animal has fluctuated since it was brought to the world's attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much disputed photographic material and sonar readings. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking. Despite this, it remains one of the most famous examples of cryptozoology. The legendary monster has been affectionately referred to by the diminutive Nessie (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag) since the 1950s.
The term "monster" was reportedly coined on 2 May 1933 by Alex Campbell, the water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time journalist, in a report in the Inverness Courier. On 4 August 1933, the Courier published as a full news item the claim of a London man, George Spicer, that a few weeks earlier while motoring around the Loch, he and his wife had seen "the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life", trundling across the road toward the Loch carrying "an animal" in its mouth. Other letters began appearing in the Courier, often anonymously, with claims of land or water sightings, either on the writer's part or on the parts of family, acquaintances or stories they remembered being told. These stories soon reached the national (and later the international) press, which talked of a "monster fish", "sea serpent", or "dragon", eventually settling on "Loch Ness Monster".
On 6 December 1933 the first purported photograph of the monster, taken by Hugh Gray, was published, and shortly after the creature received official notice when the Secretary of State for Scotland ordered the police to prevent any attacks on it. In 1934, interest was further sparked by what is known as The Surgeon's Photograph. In the same year R. T. Gould published a book, the first of many which describe the author's personal investigation and collected record of additional reports pre-dating the summer of 1933. Other authors made claims that sightings of the monster went as far back as the 6th century
Champ or Champy, is the name given to a reputed lake monster living in Lake Champlain, a natural freshwater lake in North America, partially situated across the U.S.-Canada border in the Canadian province of Quebec and partially situated across the Vermont-New York border. While there is no scientific evidence for the cryptid's existence, there have been over 300 reported sightings. The legend of the monster is considered a draw for tourism in the Burlington, Vermont area.
Like the Loch Ness Monster, some authorities regard Champ as legend, others believe it is possible such a creature does live deep in the lake, possibly a relative of the plesiosaur, an extinct group of aquatic reptiles.
Lake Champlain is a 125-mile (201 km)-long body of fresh water that is shared by New York and Vermont and just a few miles into Quebec, Canada.
The Champ legend is unquestioned by many in the area and has become a revenue-generating attraction. For example, the village of Port Henry, New York, has erected a giant model of Champ and holds "Champ Day" on the first Saturday of every August.
As the mascot of Vermont's lone Minor League Baseball affiliate, the Vermont Lake Monsters, Champ became more prominent after the team was renamed from the Vermont Expos to the Vermont Lake Monsters. Champ has been the primary attraction of the New York - Penn League affiliate since their inception. Several nearby establishments, including a car wash, use "Champ" as a logo.
History of the legend
Two Native American tribes living in the area near Lake Champlain, the Iroquois and the Abenaki, had legends about such a creature. The Abenaki called the creature "Tatoskok".
An account of a creature in Lake Champlain was ostensibly given in 1609 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Québec and the lake's namesake, who is supposed to have spotted the creature as he was fighting the Iroquois on the bank of the lake. However, in actuality no such sighting was recorded, and it has since been traced back to a 1970 article.
The first reported sighting actually came in 1883 when Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney claimed that he had seen a “…gigantic water serpent about 50 yards away” from where he was on the shore. He claimed that he was so close that he could see “round white spots inside its mouth” and that “the creature appeared to be about 25 to 30 feet in length”. Mooney’s sighting led to many eyewitnesses coming forward with their own accounts of Champ sightings. Mooney’s story predated the public Loch Ness controversy by 50 years.
Champ became so popular that the late P. T. Barnum, in the early 19th century, put a reward of $50,000 up for a carcass of Champ. Barnum wanted the carcass of Champ so that he could include it in his epic World’s Fair Show.
Many believe that Champ may be a plesiosaur similar to “Nessie”, claiming the two lakes have much in common. Like Loch Ness, Lake Champlain is over 400 feet (120 m) deep, and both lakes were formed from retreating glaciers following the end of the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago. Believers also claim both lakes support fish populations large enough to feed a supposed sea or lake monster. This legend would require either a single 10,000 year old animal, or a breeding population of thirty.
Nyai Loro Kidul has many different names, which reflect the diverse stories of her origin in a lot of sagas, legends, myths and traditional tellings. Other names include Ratu Laut Selatan ("Queen of the South Sea," meaning the Indian Ocean) and Gusti Kangjeng Ratu Kidul. Many Javanese believe it is important to use various honorifics when referring to her, such as Nyai, Kangjeng, and Gusti. People who invoke her also call her Eyang (grandmother). In mermaid form she is referred to as Nyai Blorong.
Actually the Javanese word loro literally means two - 2 and sneaked long ago into the name of the myth about the Spirit-Queen born as a beautiful girl/maiden, in Old Javanese rara, written as rårå, (also used as roro). In the course of time the Old-Javanese rara changed into the New Javanese lara, written as lårå, (means ill, also grief like heartache, heart-break). It is told the coincidence of this change got by chance, while the Dutch changed lara into loro (used here in Nyai Loro Kidul). So an illness turned into the subsist of two names for nyai, the Old Javanese Nyi Rara and the New Javanese Nyai Lara.
Nyai Loro Kidul is often illustrated as a mermaid who has a mermaid tail as well the lower part of the body of a snake. These mythical creatures take your soul for any wish of material matters addressed to them.
Sometimes Nyai Loro Kidul literally is spoken of as a "naga", a mythical snake. It is Nyai Loro Kidul's association with snakes although this idea may have been derived from some myths concerning a princess of Pajajaran who suffered from leprosy. It is obvious that the skin disease mentioned in most of the myths about Nyai Loro Kidul does refer to the shedding of a snake's skin.
Although it is the beauty of the Javanese Spirit-Queen that became a popular motif, and got related with the beauty of Sundanese and Javanese princesses, and their ability to change shape several times a day. Nyai Loro Kidul, with nine changes daily, surpasses all ordinary mortals, and became famous for her beauty.
Nyai Loro Kidul controls the violent waves of the Indian Ocean from dwelling place in the heart of the ocean. Sometimes she is referred as one of the spiritual queens or wives of the Susuhunan of Solo/Surakarta and the Sultan of Yogyakarta and corresponding to Merapi-Kraton-South Sea axis in Solo Sultanate and Yogyakarta Sultanate. Especially the colour of green, gadhung m'lathi in Javanese, is referred to her, which is forbidden to wear along the south-coast of Java.
Origin and history
It is not known that Nyai Loro Kidul has been named in Javanese history. It was Panembahan Senopati (1586-1601 AD), founder of the Mataram Sultanate, and his grandson Sultan Agung (1613-1645 AD) who named the Kanjeng Ratu Kidul as their bride in the Babad Tanah Jawi (the creation story of Java).
One original Sundanese folks telling is about Dewi Kadita of the Pajajaran Kingdom, in Western Java, who desperately sought the Southern Sea after black magic had hit her. She jumped into the violent waves of the Indian Ocean where the spirits and demons crowned the girl to the legendary Spirit-queen of the South Sea.
While another Sundanese folks telling shows how Banyoe Bening (meaning clear water) becomes Queen of the Djojo Koelon Kingdom and, suffering from leprosy, travels to the South where she is taken up by a huge wave to disappear into the Southern Ocean.
A very complicated story goes about the Ajar Cemara Tunggal (Adjar Tjemara Toenggal) on the mountain of Kombang in the Pajajaran Kingdom. He is a male seer who actually was the beautiful great aunt of Raden Joko Susuruh. She told him to go to the east of Java to found a kingdom on the place where a maja-tree just had one fruit; the fruit was bitter, pait in Javanese, and the kingdom got the name of Majaphait. The seer Cemara Tunggal would marry the founder of Majapahit and any descendant in first line, to help in all kind of matters. Though after he (the seer) would have transmigrated into the "spirit-queen of the south" who shall reign over the spirits, demons and all dark creatures. After all it is because of these traditions that the myth about Nyai Loro Kidul got a Sundanese, West-Javanese origin. See Babad Tanah Jawi, by Dr. J.J. Ras.
Reptilian humanoids are a common motif in mythology, folklore, science fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theories, and the pseudosciences of cryptozoology and ufology. Depending on context they are known by many names, including Snakepeople, Reptoids, Dinosauroids, Lizardfolk, Lizard People, or Lizardmen.
Reptilian humanoids of varying depictions have appeared in the myths and legends of various cultures.
Cecrops I, the mythical first King of Athens was half man, half snake. This is illustrated, for example, on a frieze on the Pergamon Altar in Pergamum. In these images from Pergamum, some of which depict gigantomachy, one sees the giant Klyteros with huge serpents between his legs. Boreas (Aquilon to the Romans) was the Greek god of the cold north wind, described by Pausanias as a winged man with serpents between his legs. The ancient Greek cult of Glycon worshipped a snake god who had the head of a man. The Lamia, a child-devouring female demon from Greek mythology, was half woman, half serpent.
In Indian scriptures and legends, the Nāga (Devanagari: नाग) are reptilian beings said to live underground and interact with human beings on the surface. In some versions, these beings were said to have once lived on a continent in the Indian Ocean that sank beneath the waves. Indian texts also refer to a reptilian race called the "Sarpa" (Devanagari: सर्प). The Syrictæ of India (not to be confused with the Sciritae of ancient Greece) were a legendary tribe of men with snake-like nostrils in place of noses and bandy serpentine legs.
In China, Korea and Japan, underwater realms are referred to where the Dragon Kings and their descendants live, as well as a lineage of humans descended from a race of dragons. This lineage was often claimed by East Asian emperors, who were believed to be able to change from human to dragon form at will.
In the Book of Genesis, God punishes the serpent for deceiving Eve into eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil by decreeing, "Upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of your life" (Genesis 3:14 KJV).
Traditionally, many have felt this implied that the serpent (a snake or reptile) had legs before then. It is therefore sometimes portrayed in Western art as a humanoid with a snake's tail, and sometimes lizard-like feet, as in a detail from Bosch's Last Judgement.
Satan and His Fallen Angels have a seedline or (offsprings children) here on the earth.
"...they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men."
They are mixed in with the Humans so you sometimes can't tell. According to the bible it started in the Days of Noah and possibly before that!
The field is the world; the GOOD SEED are the children of the kingdom; but the TARES ARE The CHILDREN OF THE WICKED ONE;
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
This is a Must Watch Video, The Scripture of the Bible are clear, Fallen Angels have slept with the Humans and Created Hybrids. They were the Giants in the Time Past, & the Mythical Creatures and Gods, and Even Aliens of the Present Day. Although, Egygptians depict Aliens on there walls so that isn't Mordern. They have a "secret" agenda, but the bible lets you know if you want to know, what that is. Lets learn and research this together. Here's what I know according to the bible...
other names for Nephilims and what they mean are...
(Nephilim) means "Those who fell, or ... the fallen ones"
Nephilim translated by King James as Giants
Rephaim - from the root rapha = spirits, shades Gen.
Anakim - race of giants Num. Descendents of Nephilim
Emim - the proud deserters, terrors, race of giants Gen.
Zuzim- the evil ones, roaming things Gen.
Zamzummims - the evil plotters, Deut. 2:20
Zophim - watchers, angels who descended Num. 23, distinct from "holy watchers" aligned with God
A theoretical reptilian humanoid has also been the focus of a widely discussed thought experiment in speculative evolution. In particular, in 1982 paleontologist Dale Russell, curator of vertebrate fossils at the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa, conjectured a possible evolutionary path that might have been taken by Troodon Stenonychosaurus dinosaurs had they not all perished in the K/T extinction event 65 million years ago. The essence of this thought experiment was that bipedal predators (theropods) which existed at that time, such as Troodon, could have evolved into intelligent beings similar in body plan to humans. Over geologic time, Russell noted that there had been a steady increase in the encephalization quotient or EQ (the relative brain weight when compared to other species with the same body weight) among the dinosaurs. Russell had discovered the first Troodontid skull, and noted that, while its EQ was low compared to humans, it was six times higher than that of other dinosaurs. If the trend in Troodon evolution had continued to the present, its brain case could by now measure 1,100 cm3; comparable to that of a human. Troodontids had semi-manipulative fingers, able to grasp and hold objects to a certain degree, and binocular vision.
Russel proposed that this Dinosauroid, like most dinosaurs of the troodontid family, would have had large eyes and three fingers on each hand, one of which would have been partially opposed. As with most modern reptiles (and birds), he conceived of its genitalia as internal. Russell speculated that it would have required a navel, as a placenta aids the development of a large brain case. However, it would not have possessed mammary glands, and would have fed its young, as birds do, on regurgitated food. He speculated that its language would have sounded somewhat like bird song.
Russell's thought experiment has been met with criticism from other paleontologists since the 1980s, many of whom point out that Russell's Dinosauroid is overly anthropomorphic. Gregory S. Paul (1988) and Thomas R. Holtz Jr., consider it "suspiciously human" (Paul, 1988) and argue that a large-brained, highly intelligent troodontid would retain a more standard theropod body plan, with a horizontal posture and long tail, and would probably manipulate objects with the snout and feet in the manner of a bird, rather than with human-like "hands".
Some adherents to the science of cryptozoology, which focuses on proving the existence of creatures considered fictional by science, argue for the factual existence of reptilian humanoids. They point to three main claims: the rumoured Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp in South Carolina; a set of claims regarding a reptilian humanoid known as the Thetis Lake monster they posit to have surfaced in the 1970s in Thetis Lake, Canada; and the Loveland Frog, a set of alleged reports of a humanoid froglike creatures around Loveland, Ohio, since the 1950s.
In many of the modern claims of encounters with reptilian humanoids, a UFO is part of the encounter; alien abduction narratives sometimes allege contact with reptilian creatures. One of the earliest reports was that of Ashland, Nebraska police officer Herbert Schirmer, who claims to have been taken aboard a UFO by humanoid beings with a slightly reptilian appearance, and who bore a "winged serpent" emblem on the left side of their chest.
According to writer David Icke, 7-foot (2.1 m) tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the star system Alpha Draconis are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy directed at humanity. He claims that the reptilians maintain their control through the generation of fear and negative emotion, which is food to these entities, by manufacturing conflicts, primarily wars. He contends that most of the world's leaders are in fact related to these reptilians. Icke's theories now have supporters in 47 countries and he frequently gives lectures to crowds of 2,500 or more.
Icke draws connections between the reptilian aliens in his theories and the Annunaki depicted in Zecharia Sitchin's 12th Planet, which has led to other conspiracy theorists referring to reptilian humanoids as the "Annunaki"; however, Sitchin himself has always described his Annunaki as purely humanoid.
Seraphim (plural of Seraph) are an order of angels with fervent zeal and religious ardor. They are described as having three pairs of wings, one of which covers their faces as a token of humility, one of which covers their feet as a token of respect and one of which allows them to fly.
Generally like the figure of a man, with six wings. In heraldry, the body is not shown.
King James Bible Isaiah 6: 1-2 - "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly."
Shapeshifting is a common theme in folklore, as well as in science fiction and fantasy. In its broadest sense, it is a change in the physical form or shape of a person or animal. Other terms include metamorphosis, morphing, transformation, or transmogrification.
Popular shapeshifting creatures in folklore are werewolves and vampires (mostly of European, Canadian, and Native American/early American origin), the fox spirits East Asia (including the Japanese kitsune), and the gods, goddesses, and demons of numerous mythologies, such as the Norse Loki or the Greek Proteus. It was also common for deities to transform mortals into animals and plants.
Although shapeshifting to the form of a wolf is specifically known as lycanthropy, and such creatures who undergo such change are called lycanthropes, those terms have also been used to describe any human-animal transformations and the creatures who undergo them. Therianthropy is the more general term for human-animal shifts, but it is rarely used in that capacity.
Other terms for shapeshifters include metamorph, skin-walker, mimic, and therianthrope. The prefix "were-," coming from the Old English word for "man" (masculine rather than generic), is also used to designate shapeshifters; despite its root, it is used to indicate female shapeshifters as well.
Almost every culture around the world has some type of transformation myth, and almost every commonly found animal (and some not-so-common ones) probably has a shapeshifting myth attached to them. Usually, the animal involved in the transformation is indigenous to or prevalent in the area from which the story derives. It is worthy to note that while the popular idea of a shapeshifter is of a human being who turns into something else, there are numerous stories about animals that can transform themselves as well.
In Native American and Norse legend, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires. Similar creatures can be found in numerous cultures' lores all over the world, closely related to beliefs in werewolves (also known as lycanthropes) and other "were" creatures (which can be described as therianthropes). The Mohawk Indian word "limikkin" is sometimes used to describe all skin-walkers. It is also known as the Yenaldooshi.
The shape shifters of the supernatural universe are a breed of their own. The “SN Shifter” is a shape shifter capable of transforming itself into anyone, taking on one’s physical appearance and vocal patterns. . "It generates it’s own skin. It can shape it to match someone else’s features… you know, tall, short, or male.” These shape shifters are also capable of taking on the memories of the body it shifts into, in a process that resembles the Vulcan Mind-Meld. In order for the shape shifter to shift from one person to the next it has to go through a painful process of shedding its own skin. The person that it shifts into can be alive or dead, there is no preference. "Kills them. Doesn’t kill them. I don’t think it really matters.” Sometimes the shifter takes its victim to their underground lair such as the sewer systems. “They like to layer-up underground. Preferably the sewers.” The only way to easily detect a shape shifter is by its laser eyes that appear off of a camera feed. "Same retinal reaction to video… eyes flare at the camera.” "It’s human, more or less… has human drives. In this case, it’s money.” Thus far, most shape shifters that have appeared have turned to a life of crime whether it be murdering young women or robbing banks to attain money. “This thing was born different, hideous and hated; until he learned to become someone else.”
"Remember the old werewolf stories? Its pretty much came from these. Silver’s the only thing that kills em’
Shapeshifting, also known as transformation and transmogrification, is a change in the form or shape of a person, especially a change from human form to animal form or a change in appearance from one person to another. “Every culture in the world has a shapeshifter lore- legends of creatures who can transform themselves into animals or other men.” Usually, the animal involved in the transformation is indigenous to or prevalent in the area from which the story derives. It is worthy to note that while the popular idea of a shapeshifter is of a human being who turns into something else, there are numerous myths about animals that can transform themselves as well.
Described by Ezekiel as having the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox and the face of an eagle, each with four wings, and the hands of a man under the wings. The tetramorph also had wheels that "turned not when they went", and eyes everywhere.
Thunderbird is a term used in cryptozoology to describe large, bird-like creatures, generally identified with the Thunderbird of Native American tradition. Similar cryptids reported in the Old World are often called Rocs. Thunderbirds are regarded by a small number of researchers as having lizard features like the pterosaurs and Pteranodon. Although reports of Thunderbird sightings go back centuries, due to the lack of scientific evidence or fossil record the creature is generally regarded as a myth.
This article deals with modern sightings (the last 200 years) of such a creature, reported as real, as opposed to mythological accounts, though believers in the phenomenon often use the Native American legends in attempts to support their claims.
There is a story that in April 1890, two cowboys in Arizona killed a giant birdlike creature with an enormous wingspan. It was said to have had smooth skin, featherless wings like a bat and a face that resembled an alligator. This description has some similarity to that of a prehistoric pterodactyl, an animal whose existence was known at the time. They are supposed to have dragged the carcass back to town, where it was pinned with wings outstretched across the entire length of a barn. A picture of this event may have been published in the local newspaper, the Tombstone Epitaph. It should be noted that Cryptozoology.com has an account of this story with the events taking place in the state of Texas.
According to Mark Hall, the Epitaph did indeed print a story about the capture of a large, unusual winged creature, on April 26, 1890. Beyond this single story, however, no one has made historic corroboration that this event ever occurred; it is usually considered an urban legend. Utterly fictional tall tales were not an uncommon feature in newspapers during this era.
No one has ever produced a copy of the "thunderbird" photograph, though numerous people, Ivan T. Sanderson being one of the better known, have made claims to its existence. Sanderson claimed to have once owned a copy of the photo, which vanished after he loaned it to an acquaintance in the 1960s. The television program Freaky Links staged a similar photo, giving new life to the "Thunderbird Photograph" legend.
Jerome Clark speculates that the description of the basic image in question (men standing alongside a winged creature nailed to a barn), is evocative enough to implant a sort of false memory, leading some people to vaguely "remember" seeing the photo at some distant, imprecise time.
There have also been Thunderbird sightings more recently. On occasion, such reports were accompanied by large footprints or other purported evidence.
Among the most controversial reports is a July 25, 1977 account from Lawndale, Illinois. About 9 p.m. a group of three boys were at play in a residential back yard. Two large birds approached, and chased the boys. Two escaped unharmed, but the third boy, ten-year-old Marlon Lowe, did not. One of the birds reportedly clamped his shoulder with its claws, then lifted Lowe about two feet off the ground, carrying him some distance. Lowe fought against the bird, which released him.
Viewed by some as a tall tale, the descriptions given by the witnesses of these birds match that of an Andean condor: a large black bird, with a white ringed neck and a wingspan up to 10 feet. Loren Coleman and his brother, Jerry, interviewed several witnesses after the reported event.
In 2002, a sighting of a large birdlike creature, with a wingspan of around 14 feet, was reported in Alaska. Scientists suggested the giant bird may have simply been a Steller's Sea-Eagle, which have a wingspan of 6-8 feet.
As recently as 2007, sightings have been claimed in the area around San Antonio, Texas.
As mentioned above, some cryptozoologists have theorized the ancient Thunderbird myth to be based on sightings of a real animal with a mistaken assessment of its apparent size. Some skeptics have claimed such a large bird could never have flown, but several flying creatures with huge wingspans are indeed known. The prehistoric vulture-like Argentavis magnificens had a wingspan of around 7 m (21 feet) and was capable of flight. The massive Cretaceous-era pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi was the largest known flying creature in history,with a wingspan of around 12 metres (39 ft). however the thunderbirds identity as a pterosaur is unlikley because the thunderbird is invariably shown having feathers. A pterosaur's wings were made of a membrane of skin stretched over a bony finger.
San Antonio based cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard theorizes it could be a creature slightly less extinct — a pteratorn. “These are the surviving ancestors of modern condors and vultures. They lived up until 6,000 years ago, we know for sure, in parts of North America.” Gerhard said. “In fact, over 100 specimens have been recovered from the La Brea tar pits in California.”
Cryptozoologists also posit that the Thunderbird was associated with storms because they followed the drafts to stay in flight, not unlike the way a modern eagle rides mountain up currents. Cryptozoologist John Keel claims to have mapped several Thunderbird sightings and found that they corresponded chronologically and geographically with storms moving across the United States.
Angelo P. Capparella, an ornithologist at Illinois State University, argues that the existence of such undiscovered large birds is highly unlikely, especially in North America. There is not enough food, Capparella says, in many areas where abnormally large birds are reported. Perhaps more important, according to Capparella, is the lack of sightings by "the legions of competent birdwatchers ... scanning the skies of the U.S. and Canada" who sometimes make "surprising observations" with cameras at the ready (see for example 20th-century sightings of the Eskimo Curlew). Were there breeding populations of large, unknown birds, Capparella contends they could not remain unknown very long.
There is one genus of extinct flightless-birds from the Americas that has been named Brontornis, whose name literally means "thunder-bird", however few, if any, cryptozoologists regard this bird as the origins of the thunderbird because of its flightlessness.
In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays pranks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and norms of behaviour. While the trickster crosses various cultural traditions, there are significant differences between tricksters in the traditions of many Indigenous peoples and those in the Euro-American tradition:
"Many native traditions held clowns and tricksters as essential to any contact with the sacred. People could not pray until they had laughed, because laughter opens and frees from rigid preconception. Humans had to have tricksters within the most sacred ceremonies for fear that they forget the sacred comes through upset, reversal, surprise. The trickster in most native traditions is essential to creation, to birth".
Native tricksters should not be confused with the Euro-American fictional picaro. One of the most important distinctions is that "we can see in the Native American trickster an openness to life's multiplicity and paradoxes largely missing in the modern Euro-American moral tradition".
The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually, albeit unintentionally, with ultimately positive effects. Often, the rule-breaking takes the form of tricks (eg. Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks.
An example of this is the sacred Heyoka, whose role is to play tricks and games and by doing so raises awareness and acts as an equalizer. In many cultures, (as may be seen in Greek, Norse, or Slavic folktales, along with Native American/First Nations lore), the trickster and the culture hero are often combined. To illustrate: Prometheus, in Greek mythology, stole fire from the gods to give to humans. He is more of a culture hero than a trickster. In many Native American and First Nations mythologies, the coyote (Southwestern United States) or raven (Pacific Northwest, coastal British Columbia, Alaska and Russian Far East) stole fire from the gods (stars, moon, and/or sun) and are more tricksters than culture heroes. This is primarily because of other stories involving these spirits: Prometheus was a Titan, whereas the Coyote spirit and Raven spirit are usually seen as jokesters and pranksters.
Frequently the Trickster figure exhibits gender and form variability, changing gender roles and engaging in same-sex practices. Such figures appear in Native American and First Nations mythologies, where they are said to have a two-spirit nature. Loki, the Norse trickster, also exhibits gender variability, in one case even becoming pregnant; interestingly, he shares the ability to change genders with Odin, the chief Norse deity who also possesses many characteristics of the Trickster.
In the case of Loki's pregnancy, he was forced by the Gods to stop a giant from erecting a wall for them before 7 days passed; he solved the problem by transforming into a mare and drawing the giant's magical horse away from its work. He returned some time later with a child he had given birth to--the eight-legged horse Sleipnir, who served as Odin's steed. In some cultures, there are dualistic myths, featuring two demiurges creating the world, or two culture heroes arranging the world — in a complementary manner.
Dualistic cosmologies are present in all inhabited continents and show great diversity: they may feature culture heroes, but also demiurges (exemplifying dualistic cosmogony in the latter case), or other beings; the two heroes may compete or collaborate; they may be conceived as neutral or contrasted as good versus evil; be of the same importance or distinguished as powerful versus weak; be brothers (even twins) or be not relatives at all.
Vampires are mythological or folkloric creatures, described as undead beings who feed by draining the blood of humans. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in most cultures, the term vampire was not popularised until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire folklore into Western Europe from the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Folkloric vampires were depicted as revenants who visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighbourhoods they inhabited when they were alive. They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy or dark countenance, markedly different from today's fanged vampire.
It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, though there are several elements common to many European legends. It was usually reported as bloated in appearance, and ruddy, purplish or dark in colour; these characteristics were often attributed to the recent drinking of blood. Indeed, blood was often seen seeping from the mouth and nose when one was seen in its shroud or coffin and its left eye was often open. It would be clad in the linen shroud it was buried in, and its teeth, hair and nails may have grown somewhat, though in general fangs were not a feature.
Other attributes varied greatly from culture to culture; some vampires, such as those found in Transylvannian tales, were gaunt, pale and had long fingernails, while those from Bulgaria only had one nostril, and Bavarian vampires slept with thumbs crossed and one eye open. Moravian vampires only attacked victims while naked and the vampires of Albanian folklore wore high-heeled shoes. As stories of vampires spread throughout the globe to the Americas and elsewhere, so did the varied and sometimes bizarre descriptions of them: Mexican vampires had a bare skull instead of a head, Brazilian vampires had furry feet and vampires from the Rocky Mountains only sucked blood with their noses and from the victim's ears. Even broad descriptions were implemented, such as having red hair. From these various legends, works of literature such as Bram Stoker's Dracula, and the influences of historical figures such as Gilles de Rais and Vlad Tepes, the vampire developed into the modern stereotype.
Vampirism is the practice of drinking blood from a person/animal. Vampires are said to mainly bite the victim's neck, extracting the blood from the carotid artery. In folklore and popular culture, the term generally refers to a belief that one can gain supernatural powers by drinking human blood. The historical practice of vampirism can generally be considered a more specific and less commonly occurring form of cannibalism. The consumption of another's blood (and/or flesh) has been used as a tactic of psychological warfare intended to terrorize the enemy, and it can be used to reflect various spiritual beliefs.
The Wendigo (also Windigo, Windago, Windiga, Witiko, and numerous other variants) is a figure appearing in Algonquian mythology. In these legends, it is a malevolent cannibalistic spirit into which humans could transform, or which could possess humans. Humans who indulged in cannibalism were at particular risk, and the legend appears to reinforce this practice as taboo.
Windigo Psychosis is a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that one will turn into a cannibal. This once occurred frequently among Algonquian Indian cultures, though has declined with the Native American urbanization.
Recently the Wendigo has also become a horror entity of contemporary literature and film, much like the vampire, werewolf, or zombie, although these fictional depictions often bear little resemblance to the original mythology.
The Wendigo is part of the traditional belief systems of various Algonquian-speaking tribes in the northern United States and Canada, most notably the Ojibwa/Saulteaux, the Cree, and the Innu/Naskapi/Montagnais. Though descriptions varied somewhat, common to all these cultures was the conception of Wendigos as malevolent, cannibalistic supernatural beings (manitous) of great spiritual power. They were strongly associated with the Winter, the North, and coldness, as well as with famine and starvation. Basil Johnston, an Ojibwa teacher and scholar from Ontario, gives one description of how Wendigos were viewed:
"The Weendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tautly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Weendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disenterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody [....] Unclean and suffering from suppurations of the flesh, the Weendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption."
At the same time, Wendigos were embodiments of gluttony, greed, and excess; never satisfied after killing and consuming one person, they were constantly searching for new victims. In some traditions, humans who became overpowered by greed could turn into Wendigos; the Wendigo myth thus served as a method of encouraging cooperation and moderation.
Wendigos were said to be giants, many times larger than human beings (a characteristic absent from the Wendigo myth in the other Algonquian cultures). Whenever a Wendigo ate another person, they would grow larger, in proportion to the meal they had just eaten, so that they could never be full. Wendigos were thus simultaneously constantly gorging themselves and emaciated from starvation.
A zombie is a reanimated corpse. Stories of zombies originated in the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief system of Voodo, which told of the dead being raised as workers by a powerful sorcerer. In modern horror fiction, zombies are generally undead corpses brought back from the dead by supernatural or scientific means, and are rarely under anyone's direct control. They typically have very limited intelligence, and hunger for the flesh of the living.
In the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed that the souls of the dead could return to earth and haunt the living. The belief in revenants (someone who has returned from the dead) is well documented by contemporary European writers of the time, such as William of Newburgh and Walter Map. According to the Encyclopedia of Things that Never Were, particularly in
"Father give me the Bull of Heaven,
So he can kill Gilgamesh in his dwelling.
If you do not give me the Bull of Heaven,
I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,
I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down,
and will let the dead go up to eat the living!
And the dead will outnumber the living!"
According to the tenets of Voodoo, a dead person can be revived by a bokor or Voodoo sorcerer. Zombies remain under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their own. "Zombi" is also another name of the Voodoo snake god Damballah Wedo, of Niger-Congo origin; it is akin to the Kongo word nzambi, which means "god". There also exists within the voudon tradition the zombi astral which is a human soul that is captured by a bokor and used to enhance the bokor's power.
In 1937, while researching folklore in Haiti, Zora Neale Hurston encountered the case of Felicia Felix-Mentor, who had died and been buried in 1907 at the age of 29. Hurston pursued rumours that the affected persons were given powerful drugs, but she was unable to locate individuals willing to offer much information. She wrote:
"What is more, if science ever gets to the bottom of Voodoo in Haiti and Africa, it will be found that some important medical secrets, still unknown to medical science, give it its power, rather than gestures of ceremony."
Several decades later, Wade Davis, a Canadian ethnobotanist, presented a pharmacological case for zombies in two books, The Serpent and the Rainbow (1985) and Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie (1988). Davis traveled to Haiti in 1982 and, as a result of his investigations, claimed that a living person can be turned into a zombie by two special powders being entered into the blood stream (usually via a wound). The first, coup de poudre (French: 'powder strike'), induced a 'death-like' state because of tetrodotoxin (TTX), its key ingredient. Tetrodotoxin is the same lethal toxin found in the Japanese delicacy fugue, or puffer fish. At near-lethal doses (LD50= 5-8µg/kg), it can leave a person in a state of near-death for several days, while the person continues to be conscious. The second powder, composed of dissociative like datura, put the person in a zombie-like state where they seem to have no will of their own. Davis also popularized the story of Clairvius Narcisse, who was claimed to have succumbed to this practice. There remains considerable scepticism about Davis's claims, although there is wide belief among the Haitian people of the existence of the "zombie drug". The Voodoon religion being somewhat secretive in its practices and codes, it can be very difficult for a foreign scientist to validate or invalidate such claims.
Others have discussed the contribution of the victim's own belief system, possibly leading to compliance with the attacker's will, causing psychogenic ("quasi-hysterical") amnesia, catatonia, or other psychological disorders, which are later misinterpreted as a return from the dead. Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing further highlighted the link between social and cultural expectations and compulsion, in the context of schizophrenia and other mental illness, suggesting that schizo genesis may account for some of the psychological aspects of zombification.