My Favorite Monsters.
October is the time for spooky stuff, what with the promise of Halloween at the month’s conclusion. Halloween is synonymous with monsters for me and many others, so for today’s blog I’d like to talk about my favorite monsters. I won’t be talking about specific monsters from movies or literature (i.e. Godzilla or Frankenstein’s monster) but rather monster types that I enjoy.
Let’s get vampires and werewolves out of the way. When I was a kid I was all about vampires and werewolves. When I was a little kid, vampires and werewolves were problems. When I was a teenager, popular culture began to turn them from out-of-control beasts to sophisticated aristocrats and shapeshifting warriors. The latter has remained the trend over the years, and with vampires and werewolves becoming so damn popular I’ve gotten tired of them. So, vampires and werewolves used to be my favorite monsters.
Zombies get another special mention for monsters I used to enjoy but have become tiresome for me, for similar pop culture reasons.
Let’s move on to monsters I actually enjoy in October! First, one of the most underrated of the classic monster types: the mummy. Mummies are fascinating monsters to me because they’re not always evil. Sometimes they’re avenging protectors awakened to chase down those who have defiled an ancient resting place. Other times, yeah, they’re jerks who have been sealed away and reawakened by unfortunate circumstance. Whatever the mummy’s motivation, the image of the shambling creature with burial wraps swaying off its undead body is one of my favorites.
Sea creatures. From the Creature from the Black Lagoon to H.P. Lovecraft’s Deep Ones, sea creatures hold an unsettling quality rooted in reality. The ocean is weird, and gets weirder the deeper you go. Creatures from the hidden, dark depths of the crushing deep are especially creepy… in that we are afraid of what may emerge from beneath the waves, and that it may drag us down with them.
Witches. I mean the cartoon, Halloween portrayal of the witch, not the actual religion, and I think everyone reading this knows the distinction. I like Halloween witches in all their forms; from the cute, benevolent spellcaster with her black cat perched on her broom, to the monstrous devil-worshipper luring hapless children to their doom with promises of sweets. The former representation isn’t exactly “monstrous,” but I’m a sucker for a spritely sorceress in a witch hat.
And finally, my hands-down favorite type of Halloween monster: the creation. The science experiment stitched together from corpses. The man-thing molded from clay and given animation through ancient magic. The clockwork robot. The swamp come to life as a tangle of weeds and leaves. There are so many variations on this theme that the creative potential alone makes me love it. The creation also embodies the misunderstood monster, which is my favorite archetype. I find the misunderstood monster compelling, whether its innocence is betrayed and it turns on a world that hates and fears it, or it finds a compassionate soul willing to help it understand the world around it. I usually prefer the latter because I’m also a sucker for a happy ending, but I like to indulge in a good tragedy now and then.
There are countless other October monsters to enjoy, and I’m sure I missed a type or two. Whatever you like to give you a good scare, I hope you have a pleasantly spooky month!