When crypt doors creak and tombstones quake, you better beware! The creatures of shadow are rising. World mythology is filled with some of the most terrifying monsters ever imagined, and these are six of the spookiest!
THE JERSEY DEVIL (bottom left): In 1735 when a poor mother of twelve learned she would have yet another child, she angrily yelled, "Let it be a devil!" This apparently cursed the child, for when she gave birth to it, it was a hooved monster that immediately killed her and escaped into the night. Locals still say the creature haunts the nearby New Jersey swamp.
THE MOTHMAN (top left): In 1966 residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia began sighting a large, winged creature with red, glowing eyes. This creature's arrival was followed by men in black suits (the original Men in Black) showing up in town and questioning the residents about these sightings. The Mothman's appearances lasted several months and climaxed when the nearby Silver Bridge came crashing down, killing 46 people. After this event, the Mothman was never seen again.
THE KITSUNE (center): Devilish and devious, the Kitsune is a Japanese fox-like creature with many tails. A young Kitsune can take almost any shape: It can disguise itself as other animals, grow as tall as a tree, or even appear as the moon hanging in the night sky. But only when the Kitsune has reached one hundred years of age does it turn especially deadly because then it can take on human form. Beware! Kitsune love to murder innocent people by taking on a familiar face.
BABA YAGA (top right): An infamous witch who lives in the forests of Russia, Baba Yaga is an especially nasty customer. She lives in a cottage supported by live chicken legs and surrounded by a fence made from human bones. She loves to fly through the air in her giant mortar, steering herself with a giant pestle and looking for victims to make her supper. After all, human bones are the flour she uses to make her bread!
CHUPACABRA (bottom middle): When farmers in Central America began finding their goats murdered with the blood drained from their bodies, they knew something sinister was prowling their. Soon their suspicions were confirmed when they caught sight of the Chupacabra, a scaly, glowing-eyed monster, whose name means "goat-sucker." After a few sightings (and a few drained herds of goats), the Chupacabra disappeared. Some say the beast may have just been a diseased coyote that had lost its fur. Others have their doubts and keep a wary eye out for the Chupacabra's return.
THE BANSHEE (bottom right): When ghostly wailing is heard on an Irish moor, it can mean only one thing: A banshee is signaling a future death. Banshees are wailing spirits with tear-stained eyes, whose cries indicate the impending death of the hearers themselves or someone close to them. For this reason, their mournful cries are dreaded above all things.
Did you enjoy these spooky creatures? Learn more about these shadowy creatures (and many more including the Wendigo, Zombies, and the Yeti) in Merlin's Guide to Mythical Creatures from Many Lands. The book features SIX CATEGORIES OF CREATURES including two dedicated solely to spooky and mysterious creatures: "Creatures of Shadow" and "Creatures from Beyond Our World." Find out more about the book by clicking here!