Our history is filled with all sorts of stories and legends about ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other mythical creatures, legendary monsters, and supernatural beings. Most of them, of course, are fiction, others – probably too, but, it’s possible that a tiny part of those stories is true. Instead of talking about the same old Hollywood monsters like the aforementioned vampires and werewolves, we’ll look at some little-known, but just as mysterious creatures from legends and mythos of different countries, cultures and continents.
According to the lore, dwarves prefer the cold snowy mountains, but the Menehune, aka the Hawaiian dwarves, got lucky with the climate. Just like their cave-dwelling brethren, the Menehune were said to be incredibly talented craftsmen. Apart from this tidbit, though, not much is known about this race of humanoids. When the first Polynesians arrived to Hawaii, they saw remnants of relatively advanced civilization with roads, temples and amazing statues spread across multiple islands. To this day there are no physical remnants or direct evidence of the Menehune.
What do you get if you try to combine a lion’s head, six short bear legs, an ox-like body covered with a turtle shell, and a scaly tail with a scorpion’s stinger? Nightmares, that’s what you get. Nightmares and Tarasque – a hell demon (at least I think it is) that terrorized France a long time ago, before being tamed by a wandering Christian named Martha. She sprinkled Tarasque with some holy water and it became her pet. That it until she went back to the town of Nelruc to show the people that it won’t do them any harm, and they’ve stoned the poor fella before she could even open her mouth. People are so stupid in these old legends.
In the Mesopotamian mythology and legends, the Lamassu is a protective deity with a body of a bull (or a lion), eagle’s wings, and a man’s head (or a woman’s). Some people think that the inconsistency in the description is a disproving factor, but I see at least two genders, and possibly sub-species with different body types. Too bad we’ll never know the truth. But my guess is – aliens!
I first heard of draugr when I played Skyrim, and just like in that game draugrs, according to Norse folklore and mythology, are incredibly powerful undead humanoids. Just like any other proverbial zombie, these guys loved nibbling on human flesh and drinking blood (Jason Voorhees, anyone?). What’s even more disturbing is that they were said to be able to enter their victim’s dreams and torture them psychically (Freddy Krueger anyone?). And yeah Jason and Freddy were partially inspired by the draugr. The more you know!
Deep in the Russian tundra lives an old witch with powers you’ve never seen: the power of transformation lets her change her appearance and confuse people, she has a magical flying device, her house stands on a giant chicken leg and she eats babies for breakfast! At least that’s what the folk tales say about her. If you wander out into the woods and see an old hag with a bag of babies landing her stoop near a house with a chicken leg – well, it was nice knowing you.
Dullahan is the original headless horseman from the Irish folklore but he’s just as terrifying as the American one. He was said to be the harbinger of death, galloping a dead horse with his own chopped of head tucked under his arm. That’s a sight you won’t forget soon.
It may seem as though the Abatwa are giant ants, but In Zulu mythology, they are actually tiny humans said to be able to hide beneath a blade of grass and to be able to ride small bugs and, of course, ants. If you travel to Africa and happen to see one of these guys, tell them you saw them from far-far away, because otherwise they’ll try to kill you unless you’re a 4 year old kid, a pregnant woman or a wizard. Not even joking. Those Zulu legends are insane!
More Irish mythological rascals – the Fomorians are a semi-divine race of immortal beings that somewhat resemble the Greek Titans and there were a lot of them. Most of them were said to have goat hearts, one arm, one leg and one eye, while others were beautiful. According to the legends the Fomorians were the gods of nature and wild nature, as opposed to the gods of everything human – Tuatha Dé Danann.
Take a big bowl, throw in a head of a rooster, body of a lizard, legs of a T-Rex (probably) add some flying and breathing fire and, voila! – your homemade cockatrice is ready! It’s basically a fire-breathing dragon chicken, which means it’s probably tasty as hell.
And finally the most horrifying creature of them all – the leshy. It can change its size, has hair and a beard made out of grass and vines, a cow-like tail, hooves (to match the tail), and, of course, horns. He’s known as the lord of the forest, and protects the trees and the wild life from humans and their noisy machines. So, what’s so scary about this creature? While they’re not evil, they can mimic anyone‘s voice and lure people into their lair… to tickle them to death. That a way to go, huh?