There are tales all over the world that speak of creatures so terrifying that they almost become real in the hearts and minds of children and adults alike.
Whether these monsters sport creepy extra appendages, possess the ability to swallow multiple human bodies all at the same time, or merely mean-tempered, they invoke fear so great that they have practically crossed over from their mythical origins into the real world. So who (or what) are they? Below are the ten most bad-ass mythological creatures of all time:
1. The Philippine Aswang
A list of mythological creatures is never complete without this particular being. With the ability to literally suck the life out of its victim and the tendency to feast on the living and the dead alike, the Philippine Aswangs surely put to shame all the seemingly terrifying creatures of modern vampire and werewolf shows. The Cullens of the Twilight saga, for instance, can’t hold a candle to these bloodcurdling night creatures which, in the day, could be living undetected amongst normal humans.
Legends have it that the Aswang is even capable of temporarily splitting its body into two distinct parts – the lower half and the upper half. Will the recommended talismans of holy water and garlic be enough to fight them off? You better hope you don’t have to find out.
2. The Pontianak
The Philippines isn’t the only Asian country that harbors scary mythological creatures; Indonesia also has a few of them, the most notable of which is the Pontianak. The Pontianak is an undead creature that treads the earth looking for its next victims, which may include soon-to-be mothers and easily seduced men. These creatures often appear as unnervingly beautiful ladies clad in white gowns.
So how do you tell them apart from the gorgeous members of the human race? Well, aside from their fragrant-turned-putrid odor, Pontianaks announce their presence with cries before they rip their fingernails into your body and feed on your vital organs. Is the distinction clear enough?
3. The Chimera
With a goat’s head arising from the center of a lion-like body as well as a tail that sported a snake’s head at its end, this fire-breathing monster truly deserves to be a part of this list of mythological creatures. It hails from ancient Greece and even enjoys a brief description in Homer’s Iliad.
According to the myths, the Chimera is borne from the union of Echidna and Typhon. Was the monster produced outside of wedlock? Who knows or cares? The only logical reaction to this creature is to stay away from it, not get closer to the knowledge of how it came to be.
4. The Pope Lick Monster
This monster, which they say can be found in the Pope Lick Creek in Louisville, Kentucky, is rumored to have been fathered by a farmer with his beloved goat as the mom. An exemplary product of interspecies breeding, the Pope Lick Monster mostly looks like its dad but got the legs and horns of its mom.
The creature’s unique ability to lure in its victims, either by putting them under hypnosis or imitating the voices of their beloved, is what aids the monster’s goal of killing. Oh, and, before you decide it isn’t that bad, the Pope Lick Monster also yields an enormous axe to finish its victims off.
5. The Encantado
If you get right down to it, the Encantado doesn’t appear as frightening as the others that are on this list. This entrancingly beautiful creature isn’t what you would expect of a monster, yet she can be just as lethal, if not more. The Enchanted One, which is the English translation of this Brazilian creature’s name, appears as a harmless sea snake or dolphin at daytime. However, when they take on their deadliest form – the human form – they exercise their seductive powers in order to drive victims to the brink of insanity or worse, to a final death.
The name Gorgons may not be familiar, but the name Medusa should be. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Call to mind films showing crazy female characters whose heads, instead of being covered with thick manes of hair, had scores of squirming snakes on them. Well, those were inspired by the Greek mythological creatures Gorgons. Usually depicted as 3 sisters, of whom Medusa was one, Gorgons have the power to turn victims who stared directly at them into stone. In that way, they’re like the basilisk that starred in the 2nd book of the Harry Potter series.
7. Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp
As far as lizards go, the little creatures aren’t really bad enough to garner a place on this particular list of mythological creatures. Yet, with a towering height of 7 feet, a superhuman strength capable of ripping into vehicles, and a talent for scaling walls, the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp is definitely a formidable being to beware of. Most recently (and allegedly) sighted in the year 2008, this creature is said to have made the swampy areas of South Carolina its very own residence.
8. The Bean Nighe
Sometimes called a banchee, the Bean Nighe is a mythological creature that originated from the Irish. Described as a Scottish fairy with sagging breasts, webbed feet, one large protruding tooth, and one nostril, the Bean Nighe is a far cry from Disney fairies. This particular being is known for being a sign that death is coming. It is said that she can be found washing grave clothes of the soon-to-be-dead by deserted streams.
9. The Incubus
Unlike most modern day rapists, an Incubus has sex with sleeping ladies in order to impregnate them with its child. Now, unwanted pregnancy aside, why should the Incubus be considered such a terrifying creature? Well, the answer is that frequent intercourse with such a creature will eventually lead to illness, and yes, even the loss of one’s life. Men, don’t be so lax. The Succubus, which is the Incubus’ female equivalent, is also waiting for the opportune moment to take your virtue and life.
10. The Berserker
Ever wonder where the word berserk came from? Well, it may or may not be derived from this creature’s name. According to Norse legends, Berserkers were human warriors who had the power to turn into wild bulls, bears, or wolves and had the tendency to be out of control. Owing to their unbelievable strength and endurance, Berserkers were often employed by Scandinavian kings as their own bodyguards as well as their soldiers.