10 – Zombies (A lot of Fiction)
I’ve covered these guys in a post all their own, but when it comes to humaniod creatures, these are probably the most well-known. Everybody has seen or read something about zombies, and their patterns and behaviours are common knowledge. Zombies walk the line between what we know and what we don’t, and are constantly forcing us to question our relations with them. Probably the most fear worthy zombies I’ve ever encountered were in the early Resident Evils (1-3), and also recently in FEED. These examples also showed the best, most human aspects of transforming, as well as the deathly science behind such matters, correlating to military needs, and scientific progress. I think I still find something terrifying about the walking undead, both on an overt and subtle level, despite the fact that they’re becoming common place in fiction. Zombies will always have relevance to who we are as people, because they represent mankind at it’s most beastly, and that’s why they make number ten.
9 – Slenderman (Slenderman)
This guy is a fairly recent revelation to the world; it’s astonishing he came into existence thanks to a cooperative effort on a popular forum sight, but it just goes to show that often what scares one person will scare another. Slenderman is just freakish; he’s basically a oversized, over-stretched man, and he has NO FACE! The idea of being trapped alone in a forest with him is horrifying, but it gets worse when you discover his penchant for following and subsequently making children disappear. There’s also the ambiguity of what he does after capture – with not so much as a hint in the game, he leaves so much to the imagination it’s fantastically painful. You can’t tell what he’s thinking, and you can’t comprehend what he might do, a combination that’s devastating to the nervous system making Slenderman worthy of spot nine.
8 – Virals (The Passage)
Vampires don’t really do it for me; I mean, even aside from all the crappy, dark-romance characters, there’s just not much investment in vampires for me personally. However, when I first read about the virals, in their early stages, I was genuinely freaked out. They’re twelve criminals used for experiments, and the results are vampire-like creatures, with rows of needle teeth, that even go as far as to dangle upside-down. Knowing they’ve been convicted of crimes worthy of the death-penalty adds a very creepy psychological aspects to these monsters, who were devastating enough to literally cause the apocalypse, without so much as dent. Not only that, but the original Twelve have conscious thinking, even the capabilities of plotting. Creeepy!
7-The Other Mother (Coraline)
What’s worse than a monster that just outright kills you? One that lures you in with everything you desire, sews buttons into your eyes, and then slowly sucks the life out of you, all the while genuinely believing that means she loves you. Great lords of heck is that horrible. This is true cunning, forcing you to give up your life by playing on the greed and self-seeking, which of course we’re all capable of. What’s worse, as with Slender from above, she aims for children, who are often still learning to deal with negative emotions. She more camouflages herself as a human to meet her ends, but she still looks like a cross between a woman and a spider, so it counts as humanoid. The other mother was actually inspired by La Belle Dame Sans Merci (The beautiful lady without mercy), a poem by John Keats, about a woman who draws men in with her beauty. The idea of having someone turn our weaknesses against us, whilst being able to make us feel comfortable and even delighted, is unsettling to say the least. She’s manipulative, clever, and proffering cake… anyone feel that chill in the air?
6- Frankenstein’s Monster (Frankenstein)
While most people know how and why this creature came into existence, few people actually know that the monster was very sympathetic for a time. This beast was driven mad by neglect and suffering; he was probably the first fictional creature to actually go insane due to cruelty. Of course, he looks the part, an eight foot man, constructed from the rotting flesh of multiple corpses. A modern Prometheus, Shelley sought to convey what happened when men played with the proverbial fire, acted as God by way of divine creation, and boy do we get it wrong. I may cover this in more detail in a later post, but essentially, unable to handle the mere appearence of his new life, Frankenstein basically abandons the poor thing, and goes about denying his very existence. In retaliation, for his neglect, Frankenstein’s refusal to perfect a bride, and after quite a few more incidences involving unwarranted meanness from more social contact, the monster starts a killing spree. The most interesting and unnerving thing about this, is the tragedy formed by the notion that he could have been a friendly, happy triumph of science, if only humanity had accepted him warts and all. The book is a fascinating social study, the monster is a classic, and the story is both frightening and sad, making Frankenstein’s Monster the ideal beast for number six.
5 – Long Lankin (Long Lankin)
This was another recent find, but an incredibly spooky one none the less. I was genuinely taken aback by the design and descriptions of Long Lankin, even down to the way he crawls spider-like down stairs… yck. He’s another one that targets children, specifically young children, and actually used to be human. If you combine that with the creepy ballad his character is based on, and the fact he sniffs out his victims like a demented dog, you have one monster you certainly don’t want to meet in a dark alley. Or a church-yard as the case may be. It’s interesting the amount of religious connotations he carries with him; themes surrounding ancient traditions and their legitimacy are questioned through the character. With all that context behind the substance, it’s hard not to find even a slight glimpse at him horrifying. A worthy candidate for the mid slot.
4 – Nemesis (Resident Evil 3)
I suppose he technically counts an excelled zombie, but Neme was the first monster I remember keeping me up at night. Violently mutated by an experiential virus, Nemesis was once, believe it or not, a human being, and you can definitely still see it in his design. Now he’s a huge rotting beast, with his flesh pulled back to expose his gums, pipes weaving through his body, and pale slits for eyes. And also he’s packing a five foot rocket launcher. Acting as an assassin for the corporation which created him, Nemesis roams Raccoon city hunting you down. He could literally turn up anywhere at any time. The music would change, and if he got close enough you’d hear him proclaim ‘Stars’, and if you didn’t get out of there fast enough he’d either blast you, or grab you with his mutated arm. Face to face, he was petrifying, and most of the time all you could do was run. No way to defend yourself. It takes a nuclear missile to take this guy down. He’s become something of a nostalgic terror to me; I still get the chills when I see him, but I know I’m not alone on that front either.
3 – Engravers (Fatal Frame III)
These made me scared to shower, and given that I find showers to be one of the best simple pleasures in the universe, that’s pretty big. Engravers are hideous, probably beyond most things further on in this list; they have ropes crossed through their empty eye sockets, and spikes protruding from their lower arms. So that they understand the pain they then have to inflict on someone else. Not to mention the pins on the ends of their fingers. You meet several of these things throughout the latter half of the game, but none of them are identified as individuals- even though we’re given information which tells us they’re highly skilled in the craft of tattooing (enough to seemingly do it blind), and once taken for their purpose are never let out again. They’re silent when they appear, coming bang out of no-where at the most inconvenient of times. Even though they’re blind, they can still use a host of other very acute senses to hunt you down. Not only are they sacred tattooists, but also shrine guards often standing in pairs beside large ominous doorways. Always twinned together, these women are vague, mysterious and downright haunting. And they better stay away from me and my shower … lest I … run away in terror.
2- Steel Inquisitors (Mistborn Series)
Even their names are creepy, suggestive of the cunning and obsession that consume the minds of these once humans. Mostly they do maintain some semblance of who they were, but the power and overwhelming abilities, plus the obligation to the lord of the world, have driven them almost insane. Almost. They even retain most of their human shape; the only real difference being the spikes that are driven through several spots in their torso, and both eyes! Much like the Engravers from above, this renders them blind, but they have a host of superhuman senses which means you won’t escape. They carry spear like axes and can manipulate metals with the prowess of Magneto. They’re fast, fixate on their prey, and merciless, and have a range of ways in which to kill and torture. What’s worse, they know what they’re doing, and can scheme like a hive mind to perform complicated missions. Throughout their host series, they nearly murder the protagonist five separate times. Their creation is bloody, their lives are gruesome, and their nature cruel. And I hate them!
1 – Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)
This thing is my living nightmare. A large, red man, with a pyramid for a head… what is with that? I’ve commented that some creatures above me no longer have eyes, but this guy doesn’t even have a face. Add that fact to his slow and steady manor, of his pale yet semi-muscular body, and there is no way to read any emotion at all – if he even has emotions, anyway. An enigma, brought into being by someone’s need for justice, Pyramid Head’s only real deal is serving punishment, but he’s clever about it, really providing a means for self-punishment, forcing a person to face themselves by pushing them to the limits of their endurance, and cruelty. The most unnerving thing, is his tendency to stratagise his attacks based on given situations; he’s highly cunning, sometimes attacking all out, and at others standing back and simply watching. You know he’s thinking, but you’ll never know what, and since we’re all guilty of some form of crime, we all have the possibility to conjure him up.
This entry was posted in Books, Comment, HorrOctober, Life, Video-Games and tagged Coraline, Engravers, Fatal Frame 3, Frankenstein, Long Lankin, Mistborn, My Top-Ten Scariest Humanoid Monsters, Nemesis, Other Mother, Pyramid Head, Resident Evil 3, Silent Hill 2, Slenderman, Steel Inquisitors, Virals, Zombies.