Myths and Legends Part 2

Today we’re taking a look at 3 more of the spooky legends that surface around Halloween each year.

Werewolves:
Countries around the world and throughout history all have legends and stories about werewolf type creatures.  There are actually 3 types of werewolves: the shapeshifter (can change form at any time), the wolfman, and true werewolves (who transform during the full moon).  One legend says that there is a spirit-god named Wisakachek in Native American Mythology who was a shape-shifter who lived in the woods and was a friend to humans.  He turned the first people into werewolves to help them be better hunters when he saw that they were struggling so much.  Some werewolf stories can be attributed to hypertrichosis, which creates unusually long hair on the face and body; and a second condition, porphyria, which is characterized by extreme sensitivity to light (thus encouraging its victims to only go out at night), seizures, anxiety, and other symptoms.  (Learn more here and here)

Vampire:
Most often Romanian prince Vlad Tepes from the 1400’s is credited as the basis for the Dracula story, but others believe that the gods Apollo and Artemis can be credited for the first vampire. And while many people are familiar with the concept of vampires being humans who return from the dead, others believe that vampires aren’t human in any way, but supernatural beings even as far back as Ancient Egypt.  Vampires are always believed to drink blood, regardless of what other characteristics they may be believed to have (like turning into bats or having a reflection that aren’t universally believed).  Interestingly, vampires were one easy answer to the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people.  Some traditions believe that iron bars are just as effective as wood because vampires are known to fear iron.  If you’re thinking of becoming a vampire, you may want to think twice because “anyone who consumes blood regularly runs a real risk of haemochromatosis (iron overdose), which can cause a wide variety of diseases and problems, including liver and nervous system damage.”  (Learn even more here.)

Lake Monsters:
There’s an extensive list of monsters that live in bodies of water.  There’s Champ in the US/Canada, Nessie the Loch Ness monster, the Kraken, mermaids, Ogopogo in Canada, Nahuelito in Argentina, and other supposed monsters in many countries around the world. Sea/lake monsters are notoriously hard to see and identify because of the water that they supposedly live in and the number of things that could be seen instead of the monster that people think they’re seeing such as deer, logs and even just waves.  If people are seeing what they think they’re seeing they are in the forms of fish, serpents, crocodiles, turtles and other sea/water animals, but much larger.  Of all the scary creatures in the world I think they’re one of the best that have a chance of being real.

What spooky creatures capture your attention?

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