Under-represented Monsters

So, I’ve been doing a little Wiki-reading (a fine way to throw away a few hours) about wherever the Wiki-clicking has taken me, which is often tangential little adventures into Austrian hamlets or the Wikipedia page for Wikipedia (don’t click this link, it seriously is just the Wiki page for Wikipedia.) I’ve also stumbled across a few very interesting pages, though, and one of these in particular has got me thinking about forgotten monsters. Speculative Fiction (and it’s horrid love child with Romance – Supernatural Romance) seems to have monsters covered, from the all too ubiquitous Vampires (pale imitations they are) to zombies, ghosts, little mermaids and ferocious little gremlins. Forgotten monsters, left sheltering on the sidelines. I haven’t read any Sasquatch stories, thank goodness. But here’s some if you’re interested (ugh!) Where’re all the manticores at? Probably hiding in Sword and Sorcery novels, I suppose.

Forgotten monsters, like the Hugag. American lumberjacks invented a host of these monsters, more as a means to test the credulity of new recruits than as things that actually existed in the dark, unexplored forests they found themselves surrounded by. They would swap myths as often as they swapped campfires, and these fantastical creatures grew in the imagination. More famous examples would include animals like the Jackalope and the ol’ wristwatch-wearing, Beatles-impersonating Sasquatch. Some of these animals have, in fact turned out to have real-life counterparts, like the Upland Trout, which nests in rotten trees on the edges of swamps (real life: the Mangrove Kilifish.) Most don’t, and seem to be crying out for a cameo in a Neill Gaiman novel. Or in the work of some up-and-coming writers (that’s us you guys!)

Forgotten monsters, like Gef the Talking Mongoose. Yes, you read that correctly. Go back and have another little look at those words – Gef. The Talking Mongoose. He haunted a Manx household – a poltergeist, who was a mongoose. Where’s his Neverwhere? He used to help out around the house, choosing which food would be his payment, eating it whenever he thought no-one was looking.

Seriously, people thought this little guy was real. Newspaper journalists flocked to the island, desperate for a sighting…

 I love this photo.

Too awesome, Mr. Jackalope, too awesome.

The Bake-zōri – an ancient Japanese legend about a Ghost Sandal.

The Assyrian Shedu and numerous other half-lion, half-something-else hybrids from Mesopotamia, or, as Wikipedia less than glamorously describes them: Centauroid Hybrids.

The Gamayun – a Russian bird with the head of a man and capable of predicting the future.

Blemmys – those dudes from Medieval manuscripts who have no heads, rather their faces are in their torsos.

Leyaks from Bali, the Cherokee Ewah, the Pita-Skog.  The creatively named Terrible Monster of Jewish myth.

Basically, what I’m saying is, there are so many awesome monsters out there who are under-represented.

Get on that.

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24 thoughts on “Under-represented Monsters

  1. Marian Green says:

    Loved this! Especially the jackalope!

  2. […] Under-represented Monsters […]

  3. I’ve heard of the Gef legend before! … It may or may not have been while I was aimlessly browsing Wikipedia.

  4. […] The Gamayun lay prostate on the bench, squawking prophesies of doom and vengeance. Wearily Rhiannon turned, catching sight of the brilliant jet of blue flame slicing through the bulwarks. […]

  5. […] not too long ago I was talking about those monsters who reside now only in folk histories, unread, […]

  6. John Xero says:

    Keep an eye out for Dreams and Shadows, forthcoming from C. Robert Cargill. None of the rarities you’ve mentioned above, but a whole host of under represented types… Kelpies, Redcaps, Changelings for example, amongst others of the seelie court. A Djinn too. And I’m only half way through. =)

    http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/Books/detail.page?isbn=9780575130098

    • I’ll have to check it out John, thanks for the heads up! Those British Isles exclusive little monsters really capture my attention too, things like kelpies in particular (they’re basically were-seals, right?)

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  8. […] story written for the A to Z Challenge, for which I’ve been writing about under-represented monsters. I know that Terry Pratchett has written a few stories about golems, but I like them too. And I […]

  9. […] short story written for the A to Z Challenge, part of my series on under-represented monsters. I also managed to squeeze in a few of the BeKindRewrite prompts, namely fresh smoke, an ounce of […]

  10. […] as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The Kallikantzaroi (the plural form) are mythological creatures […]

  11. […] story in my series on under-represented monsters, written for the A to Z Challenge. Today’s story is about the Lambton Worm (<— […]

  12. […] little Japanese tale for my series on Under-represented Monsters, written for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. If you head to the Wikipedia page for Mokumoku-Ren, […]

  13. […] I know, I know – another Japanese monster for my series on Under-represented Monsters (written for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.) I grew up in Japan, and am currently on holiday in […]

  14. […] for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters. Technically Odei is not a “monster”, more a personification of a force of nature […]

  15. […] said, I love this monster. This story was written for the A to Z Challenge, as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters. The Pollo Maligno is a Columbian monster, who lures hunters deeper into the forest before […]

  16. […] as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters, for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The Quinkins were the subject of a book (which itself was a […]

  17. […] (thirty-three words as well as the words century, lost and charge) as well as for my series on Under-represented Monsters for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The Rokurokubi is a terrifying monster, her neck stretches and […]

  18. […] as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters, for the A to Z Challenge. Shirime (尻目) literally translates as “buttocks eye.” […]

  19. […] for the A to Z Challenge as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters. Thought I’d go for something a bit more ‘traditional’ and this Germanic monster […]

  20. […] Written for the A to Z Challenge, as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters.  […]

  21. […] the seemingly endless reappearance of the same monsters. I called out for more stories about the Under-Represented Monsters in the world – here was  a perfect opportunity to explore these […]

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