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The Mythology Snob: Top 10 Most Horrifying Humanoid Monsters in Mythology Series/ Part 2: Europe


Let us continue…

To be specific, this top 10 will cover all of Europe excluding the British Isles. Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology will be featured here since they aren’t -quite- as nightmare-fuely. However, the nightmare-tastic Abrahamic myths will show up here. Oh joy.

10: Leshy – Death by Laughter: Eastern Europe

I’m starting off my list of European creepers with something fairly innocent. Leshies are generally benevolent guardians of nature, sometimes playing tricks such as hiding woodsmens’ axes and mimicking voices. Why are they on this list then? Well, imagine hearing your friend calling out for help and struggling to catch up with them only to end up lost and alone in a cave and the last thing you ever hear is your own laughter as you are tickled…to DEATH. Not so innocent now, are they?

Why are they scary? : Imagine being tickled so much that you die and having no idea what is happening to you. That has to be horrifying.

9: Scylla- The Original Eldritch Abomination: Greece

Picture this. You are having a nice day sailing and you see a beautiful woman the size of an island emerge from the water. Pretty cool huh? That’s when the multiple hideous heads around her waist come out of the water to eat you and your crew. One of my favorite monsters from Greek Mythology, Scylla had to make it on this list simply because of how screwed up she is. She however, isn’t any higher because she isn’t quite as horrifying as the other ladies and gents higher up…which is saying something considering the whole multiple people-eating heads business.

Why is she scary?: Multiple people-eating heads. Need I say more? Also, she got cursed and turned into this by a jealous witch. Witches are bad news. Witches that can turn you into…this are worse news.

8: Nachzehrer- Auto-cannibalistic Vampires: Germany

Exactly what it says on the tin. These are vampires that eat themselves. If they eat themselves though, why are they on this list? Well, you see, as they consume their own flesh, their burial clothes, and even the wood from their coffins, their own family starts to wither and die. Sometimes these creatures are said to attack and devour their families outright, but it is much more common for them to do so through auto-cannibalism. This makes them scarier than modern conventional vampires as if they rose out of the grave, they would often have no skin and sometimes have huge chunks ripped out of their bodies. Yuck.

Why are they scary?: These guys can doom you without even getting their hands on you. That is utterly horrifying. Also they are REALLY gross.

7: Draugr- Viking Metal Zombies: Norse Mythology

Nope, it’s not what you think, although Vikke  of Lollipop Chainsaw was indeed based on these horrifying abominations. Hideous, decaying, and bearing fatal wounds of battle, these huge, hulking zombies would attack anyone that dared go near their graves in search of treasure. They would also attack farms and kill animals by riding them to death. The worst part about these things were that they were immune to weapons and also possessed magic powers, being able to enter the dreams of the living and even control minds. They can kill humans with their weapons, drive them to madness and suicide, and in extreme cases, devour them alive. The only Norse mythological monsters on my list, these fallen men of war deserve a spot here.

Why are they scary?: Super intelligent super strong zombies. Need I say more?

6: Strigoi- The Original Vampires: Romania

So what were vampires before their reputation was completely destroyed by Twilight? Horrifying as hell, that’s what! Reanimated corpses of the dead that would seek out entire families and drain their life energy either through drinking their blood or absorbing their essence through the air. Strigoi could be fresh corpses or…not fresh in the least and are generally susceptible to typical vampire weaknesses, with the exception being sunlight. They avoid the sunlight to mask their hideous appearances, but do not wither and die in it. There is absolutely nothing romantic about these monsters and perhaps most horrifying of all is that their targets were generally their own families.

Why are they scary?: Imagine a family member dragging themselves out of their grave, showing up at your house and violently killing you or slowly leeching away at your energy until you die of weakness and become just like them. Yeah…

5: Doppelganger- It’s You But Not: Germany

Imagine that you are walking down a street one night and out of the corner of your eye you catch someone that looks EXACTLY like you. However, there is something off about them…something evil. Enter the doppelganger. Besides looking exactly like you, they are also an omen of death or misfortune in a way similar to Black Shuck and Banshees of the British Isles. What exactly this spirit does, however, is up to interpretation based on region. However, the Germanic version is the original, and the most disturbing.

Why are they scary?: Someone who looks just like you, but with evil intentions? That opens up a whole bowl of wax when it comes to scary things that could happen.

4:Lady Midday- The Personification of Heat Stroke: Eastern Europe

Lady Midday is quite similar to Kuchisake-Onna, who was Number 2 on my Asia list. She will ask those she comes across a question, and if they fail to answer correctly, she will kill them. She, however is slightly more benevolent than the Slit-Mouth Woman in that she genuinely cares for her crops and their well-being. This woman, however is a bit of a sadist. She targets exhausted workers in the middle of the day and expects to have complex discussions with them. A form of boogeyman, Lady Midday was used to explain many different horrors experienced in the field from equipment accidents, to heat stroke, to sudden illness.

Why is she scary?: You try answering Jeopardy questions while you are sweating profusely and trying to work. I’m sure it wasn’t that easy.

3:Maenads- Angriest Drunks: Greece

What could ever be terrifying about lovely drunken women to merit a spot this high on my list? Well, they’re not exactly the nicest drunks in the world. They had a tendency in their drunken fury to tear living animals limb from limb and devour them raw. In several instances, these deranged women tore human beings apart if they acted against Dionysus’s wishes, their most famous victim being Orpheus. On some occasions this would even extend to their own children. The worst part is that Dionysus brainwashed these women to commit these acts just for the fun of it and the women cursed to be Maenads would be rendered utterly insane for the rest of their lives.

Why are they scary?: The Maenads are one of the most horrifying groups in Greek mythology, scarier than the giants, the cyclopes, and the titans. The most unsettling thing about this is that they were normal women with normal lives before they were addled and literally minutes later they’d be insane enough to tear human beings apart. *shudder*

2: Incubus- Don’t Go to Sleep: Christian Mythology

These things are terrifying, no matter how much fanservice they get from women who misunderstand their mythology. To be specific, these demons only exist to rape women while they are sleeping. The most horrifying variations of this include the Mare of Germanic folklore that also causes sleep paralysis by pinning women to their beds and suffocating them. Like the more commonly known Succubi, Incubi will also slowly draw from their victim’s life energy, weakening them. What happens next varies. Either the woman will become pregnant with a soulless monstrous child, she will wither from sickness and die, or she will go mad and be driven to suicide. Either way, they’re probably one of the scariest things that has ever been thought up.

Why are they scary?: Rape is horrifying, evil, and the most reprehensible act that can be committed. These creatures literally do NOTHING but rape people. You do the math.

And the Number 1 scariest humanlike creature in European mythology is…

1: Chernobog- He Who is All Evil: Slavic Mythology

An entity as shrouded in mystery as he is shrouded in pure evil, Chernobog is the “Black God” of early Slavic myth. He was so widely feared by early Slavic tribes that they dared not even speak his name, let alone worship him. This is because Chernobog was the representation of and cause of all evil in the world. Chernobog was the equal and opposite of the “White God” Belobog and the two would be constantly locked in a stalemate. Chernobog could not fully engulf the world in evil, but Belobog could not banish him entirely from the world either. A dark, accursed being in the vein of Satan and Rangda, he nonetheless is powerful and horrifying to behold. No representation of this evil force has shown up in early artwork, however pop culture representations range from Disney’s massive black demonic figure to Shin Megami Tensei’s graceful but hideous interpretation, (pictured above). All around, a very scary guy who deserves this spot at number 1.

Why is he scary?: Chernobog is literally the cause of all evil in the world. He can also spread ill will and bad luck with the mere mention of his name. Also, he cannot be defeated. Not even by the biggest force of good in the world.

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