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A Sampling of Monsters (Or: Five Mythological Beings I Hope You Never Meet)

Baba Yaga – Slavic

Images via Shutterstock

The Baba Yaga is a common mythologic figure in Russia.  She’s the quintessential witch – she’s ugly, flies through the air, has a long gross nose, lives in a hut, and eats people who she doesn’t like.  What’s not to love?

Her nose is so long — here’s where you ask, “How long IS it?” — well it’s so long that when she sleeps draped over top of her giant brick stove her schnoz scrapes the ceiling tiles as she snores, making the horrible racket even more raucous.  She has iron teeth, and unlike many witches you’ve probably met, she does NOT ride on a broomstick, but she rides in a mortar, pushing herself along the ground with a pestle.  Her cottage sits up on top of a couple of chicken feet, and sometimes becomes airborn.  When it’s not flying, it’s sitting on the ground surrounded by a fence made of bones, and just may hover and spin about as you watch.

Sometimes Baba Yaga is seen with her two sisters, both of the same name.  That would get a little confusing at family reunions, methinks…

Bonnacon – Macedonia, north of Greece


Image by unknown (medieval) author ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Bonnacon has the body and mane of a horse with the head of a bull.  It also sports some pretty cool curved horns.  They curve inward, making them useless for self defense, so it has another way to scare off predators:  Fire Farts!!  If you startle this beast, it’ll shoot acidic poo at you, burning your skin and everything else nearby, and grossing you the hell out to boot.  The Firepoo can be launched as far as a couple of acres, so let’s just hope your new neighbor down the street doesn’t own one!

Akaname – Japanese


Image by Utagawa Yoshikazu (歌川芳員, Japanese) (scanned from ISBN 978-4-7959-1955-6.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

IMHO, this is probably the most disgusting demon of all time.  Little gremlins with very long slimy tongues, the Akaname is also known as the “filth licker” because of their foul habit of licking up the congealed goo, poo, gunk, and other junk found in unclean bathrooms.  He inhabits only the dirtiest homes and public bathrooms, so if you see one of these running around your new boyfriend’s apartment, I’d get in the car and leave without so much as a “See ya.”

It’s often described as having red skin, with one toe on each foot and a nasty, gnarly nail growing from that one toe.  Someone buy that gremlin some shoes, please?

Aswang – Phillippines


Image by H.M.Bec [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons

The Aswang of Phillipine legend is kinda part werewolf, kinda part vampire.  Sounds like a Twilight movie theme if you ask me!  It loves to eat unborn fetuses and small children.  It even uses its very long nose to suck the babes right out of mum’s tum while she sleeps!  One description I read mentioned that the ghoul replaces the deceased with bananas after consuming them.  Hmm…was that really my baby brother in the banana costume  or did the Aswang strike our house!?

If you have someone in your town who looks pretty normal, but is shy and keeps to him or herself, he or she *could* be an Aswang.  By day they look like normal folk, but at night they assume the shape of a bat, crow, wild boar, black cat, or, most commonly, a big black dog.

How do you know if your neighbor is Aswan?  Stand with your back to the person, bend over, and look at them through your legs.  Is their upside-down image different than their right-side-up image?  If so, it’s an Aswang.  If not, you look hella goofy.

Dullahan – Ireland


Image via Shutterstock

I’m sure the legend of Ichabod Crane had at least some of its origin rooted in the story of the Dullahan, a headless rider who carries his or her head under one arm.  This demon, however doesn’t have a pumpkin head, but rather a head that looks like moldy cheese.  I don’t know about you, but I think I’d prefer the pumpkin.  A hideous grin adorns the Dullahan’s visage:  think of The Joker from Batman here, with a grin that *literally* goes from ear to ear.

In case the Dullahan wasn’t scary enough for ya, he or she uses the spine of a human corpse for a whip.  And remember that movie “Speed” where Keanu Reeves has to keep that bus moving over 50 mph or it blows up?  Well when the Dullahan stops, someone dies too.

in case you thought you might want to keep this scary monster out of your closet, it’s important to know tha there is no way to keep the Dullahan out — all locks and gates open as soon as they show up.  And whatever you do, don’t watch them, or they will either throw a bucket of blood in your face or lash out your eyes with their whips.  Not very nice AT ALL.

Hope you enjoyed my little tour of some of the lesser-known mythological creatures out there!  Tell me something about your favorite mythological beasties, and stay safe people!!

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