Before I start, allow me to comment on the featured image. Ahem. What’s Skeletor’s deal? He’s got a skull head, but the guy’s got a physique like a body builder. Was he a Serbian power lifter that tragically lost all of his face skin and muscle but somehow survived? Or is he a skeleton in a muscle suit? Just something to ponder.
Now on to the blog.
These days, it’s hard to make it far without encountering a zombie. Whether in movies, on TV, or the guy Jeff in the cubicle next to you who’s trying to give up coffee, zombies are everywhere and they want to eat your brains (Jeff included). However we sometimes forget that zombies aren’t the only monsters out there that refuse to die.
he obvious undead monster number two is the vampire, but a certain “saga” already ruined vampires for a generation by turning them into bloodsucking rhinetones, so we can just gloss over those.
Next up is the mummy but–surprise–we already covered that too! Man, at this pace this is going to be a short blog!
Never to be dissuaded, we power on. There are liches in the lore as well. These bad dudes were so bad in life–raising corpses do do their bidding and what not–that not even death would take them, so they wander the earth as an undead sorcerer type dude, raising up corpses in a mega-tizzy. It’s a skeleton making more skeletons, so sort of like a one-man replacement for a team of rabbits, only the cute little rabbits are flesh-eating zombies.
After liches we get to the big group of undead creatures that are mostly notable for having funny names, like draugar (dead Vikings), fexts (dead Slavs), manananggals (easily the most terrifying fetus-eating, body splitting vampire I’ve ever read about), nukebkubis (your average disconnecting, flying head monster), pontianaks (a crotch-eviscerating monster that proves once and for all that Southeast Asia has the freakiest monsters), and mylings (Dead Viking baby hitchikers).
I’ll let you research those on your own free time. For now, we’ve got two more.
First off: the ghoul.
The ghoul first showed up in Arabian Nights, where it was portrayed as a shape shifting demon. This rather sour fellow would lure people into the desert and wait for them to starve to death before devouring them, which seems like a terribly convoluted diet but–y’know–whatever works, right?
And the ghouls who diet the best? Well maybe one day they can be skeletons. This last undead monster owes its fame to two things: human physiology and dungeons and dragons. The first is pretty simple. Look at your arm. All that flesh sure looks nice right? Well it would look less nice anywhere else, so a cleaned off skeleton is just downright scary. As for Dungeons and Dragons, they’re really only scary unless you have a cleric. Unlike the zombie apocolyspe, which can be fought with guns, the skeleton uprising is particularly frightening in the latter example because, quite frankly, clerics are a dying profession.
Bright side, skeletons are not exactly the most structurally sound of the monsters we’ve looked at. In fact, with nothing to really bind them together, most can be undone with a soft breeze. Just remember that for the next time you run into one.
- Zombies v. The Undead (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- The Undead (ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com)
- 10 of the Grossest and Most Grotesque Vampires from Folklore [Superlist] (io9.com)