Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #31

Because I can't think of anything scarier than a fish with the face of Bob Hope.

Also, this post marks the end of Halloween Countdown 2009!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone who followed along, and thanks for your patience during the lull in the middle of the month. Next year (insert part where I say I'm going to prepare ahead of time; but in reality I'm just as likely to be caught unprepared again next year,) so tune in October 1st 2010 for more Halloween goodness!

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monsters #26, #27, #28, #29, and #30.

Because dammit, I'm gonna finish this countdown BEFORE November 1st!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #25

[Illustration of Dog-Boy based on eyewitness accounts.]

Dog-Boy was abandoned as a baby and raised by a pack of feral dogs. Taking on all the attributes of the dogs that raised him, Dog-Boy's brain has developed and solidified as he has aged; he cannot ever truly re-enter human society in any normal sense. Not that he isn't intelligent; he can speak and could easily attain a job, own a home, speak, roll-over, and fetch.

It's his utter disdain for pants that really holds him back.

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #24

The Phantasmagore appears to children when they enter their school's restroom, turn out the lights, shut their eyes and spin in front of the mirror chanting "Phantasmagore, Phantasmagore, Phantasmagore, Phantasmagore!"

When the spinning stops and the child looks into the mirror, the demonic Phantasmagore appears and eats their soul.

These children grow up to become lawyers.

[Illustration of Phantasmagore based on unsealed court documents.]

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #23



Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #22

[Illustration of The Waterloo Alien based on hundreds of eyewitness accounts.]

This strange "alien" creature was witnessed by hundreds of townspeople as it strode confusedly down Main Street in Waterloo, Iowa at mid day, January 17th 1956.

No one knows what it was, where it came from, or where it went after it's fifteen minute stroll. Mass hallucination on such a large scale has been deemed highly unlikely by the scientific community. While a hoax seems the most likely explanation, the dozens of bullets fired at the creature by the town's police force had absolutely no effect. Personal bulletproofing on that scale is near impossible today; it was unheard of in 1956. Add to that the then unheard of special make-up and maskmaking effects that would have been required to hide any man made components, or the still impossible task of preventing tears in fabric or broken pieces from the gunfire. The creature strolled slowly, and was in plain daylight view for many minutes - more than enough time for witnesses to get an excellent view from all angles. By all accounts the creature was as alive and real as a deer or a bear that would have stumbled into town, albeit far greater in strength and alien in appearance.

Then suddenly, as quickly as it began, the creature rounded the corner of Main and Broadway...and simply vanished. No further sign, no trace of the creature was left, no follow up appearances; it was simply never to be heard from or seen again.

Later dubbed "The Waterloo Alien" by the media, this creature will forever remain one of America's greatest mysteries.

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #21

The great Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton forged into the icy abyss with knowledge of a Snow-Lizard of myth and legend, but gave the stories little heed; there was enough to worry about with the elements and the morale of his men; why also concern oneself with rumors of monsters?

Shackleton's journal makes one passing mention of the beast; while describing three of his men who apparently slipped into madness (and later died,) Shackleton recounts their terror-stricken states and their babbling claims of a snow beast with scales like a lizard and humanoid proportions.

It is unknown how the mere sight of the ice-lizard could cause such madness, or how three men of otherwise excellent constitution could succumb to the same delusions all at the same time. It could all be excused as nothing more than the mysteries of the human mind, if not for four modern cases of spontaneous madness recorded at Antarctic Science Bases since 1982.

One involved a Norwegian botanists, one involved a Japanese Computer Specialist, one involved an American Zoologist and one involved a Canadian Photojournalist. All on separate occasions, all at separate Polar Stations, all slipped into terror stricken madness. All claimed to have witnessed a snow beast with scales like a lizard and humanoid proportions.

[Artist rendition of the Snow-Lizard. The artists who rendered this illustration later slipped into unexplained madness.]

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #20

[Illustration based on urban legend.]

The city of Chicago has a colorful history; of which speakeasies, bootlegging and mobsters were dominant components in the early 1900s.

Citified rum-runners often feared not only the authorities, but a poisonous and malicious hanger-on they referred to as the Beerfly.

The Beerfly was rumored to live in the oak wood which barrels of hooch were often constructed. It would normally stay dormant in the wood if the barrels were treated as intended: as mere storage vessels for any number of alcoholic beverages. But bouncing wildly in the trunks of souped up Fords and Chevrolets combined with the fumes of gasoline, oil, rubber and asphalt that accompanied the harried journeys was rumored to cause the Beerfly undue stresses which it would seek to alleviate by swarming upon the occupants of the vehicles in question, flying into their ears, noses and mouths, all the while stinging them wildly with their scorpion-like tails.

Many mob drivers who did not die from the attacks blamed their wrecks and/or captures on the Beerfly. Although most Mob bosses assumed these were mere excuses for poor driving, or delusions from a gullet-full of bad alcohol, it is said that Al Capone himself not only believed in the Beerfly, but kept one pickled in formaldehyde in a mayonnaise jar by the side of his bed.

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #19

[Illustration of Death-Rattle-Worm based on legend.]

Many Caribbean Island "ghost-tales" tell of a three foot long snake/worm/leech like creature that feasts on the brains of victims both human and animal alike. If a full, living Rattle-Worm were ever captured and analyzed, it could prove the scientific basis for the myth of human and animal zombification.

The stories culled from island legend and fable tell of the Death-Rattle-Worm entering the bodies of it's victims while they sleep. It stretches it's three foot length down the nasal passages and into the victim's stomach, while it's jaw-less teeth latch onto the victims spinal cord at the base of the skull. A slow secretion of digestive acids eats away at the gray matter of the victim over the course of a week to ten days.

Most victims would obviously die immediately; but some, depending on the way their head is tilted and the flow of the digestive acids, could retain enough brain matter to "function" in ways conscious and unconscious, controlled and uncontrolled. This state would be temporary and quickly deteriorate as the Death-Rattle-Worm feasted, but scientists speculate that the actions of an individual in this state of decay would closely resemble those of the stereotypical zombie and could have given rise to the Risen Dead of legend and lore.

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #18

[Illustration of the "Screaming Spore" based on eyewitness accounts.]

There is a centuries old home in Milford, Delaware haunted by the soul of a former maid. The apparition will only manifest through filth - giving itself mass via a grease spot, dust bunnies, or a patch of mold or mildew growing beneath the bath.

As long as the home is kept spotless the soul remains at rest; but once corporeal, the apparition will scream non-stop until the mess has been eliminated.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #16

[Illustration of Poodlezilla by someone who did not have an Eiffel Tower reference photo with them at the time.]

For a brief time during the 1950s France conducted nuclear bomb tests in the Bay of Biscay. These tests took a tragic turn in 1954 when a giant nuclear charged monster poodle rose from the ocean depths and rampaged the French countryside headed straight for Paris.

The French army tried valiantly to stop the onslaught but proved no challenge for the unstoppable beast. They quickly surrendered and returned to their regular scheduled ennui.

A brilliant scientist by the name of Gaston LaDuBourdeax finally succeeded in driving the giant monster back into the sea. In a brilliant maneuver, Dr. LaDuBordeaux flew his experimental saucer shaped aircraft around the monster like a giant frisbee. The creature soon followed him into the depths from whence he rose. Sadly Dr. LaDuBordeaux did not survive.

Over the subsequent decades, Poodlezilla has returned to stomp France for thirty six sequels, and one American made farce with crappy CGI.

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #15

[Illustration of Molluscus Chernoblus based on stolen KGB documents.]

The meltdown of the Soviet nuclear reactor at Chernobyl was a nightmare for people and governments alike; a nuclear meltdown in less-than-forthcoming Soviet Russia did not help the world sleep easy during the Cold War chill of the months and years that followed the devastating event.

Operatives from organizations the world over redoubled their attention on the USSR and information regarding the real effects this event had unleashed.

Documents have recently surfaced insinuating that the flora and fauna in the surrounding areas did not simply perish in the radioactive aftermath, but may have actually mutated into heretofore unheard of species and sub-species.

One such creature described in these documents is a mutant snail, four feet in length, possessing a row of razor sharp teeth that extend under its entire head section. As it moves along the ground this creature secretes an acid that melts flesh on contact and a trail of slime which emits dangerous levels of toxic radiation.

The documents in question are claimed to be forgeries by all Russian and US athorities, but that reaction is to be expected due to the panic and mistrust such a revelation would unfurl upon the world. It is postulated that all mutant flora and fauna have been secreted away from the Chernobyl area and that the governments of the world keep a tight lid on their existence - while at the same time experimenting on them in the name of "science."

God help us all if they ever break free, or if any creatures eluded capture and were able to spawn in the wild over the past two decades.

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #14

[Illustration of the Zeboon based on tribal myth.]

Possessing the strength and ferocity of a Baboon and the cunning and agility of a Zebra, the Zeboon is said to stalk the forested edges of the Serengeti.

Believed to be the product of a mad witch doctor's spell, the Zeboon is also believed by the local tribes to have a mind as sharp as any human. There are even tales that describe the Zeboon as having the ability to speak; a skill it uses to hypnotize it's human victims into the canopy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #13

Man eating plants have been a part of Brazilian folklore for centuries. Luckily these plants, as plants tend to be, were always generally passive. Peacefully awaiting their unlucky prey, they stood rooted in the ground until some aimless passer-by stumbled into their gaping petals and stuck, unable to pry themselves loose until the acids and poisonous perfumes did their duty.

In recent years the sightings have taken a frightening turn. Possibly due to decades of toxic factory runoff, or maybe it's simple evolution and survival of the fittest. Whatever the cause, some carnivorous plants now seem to be capable of uprooting themselves and moving about, even running and overtaking men and beasts.

The largest of all has been designated Botanicus Merderus and has been reported to grow over ten feet high and can run faster than a man at full speed. Filling it's largest jaw-pod with a full grown human in one swoop, it then seals it's mouth with a gluelike secretion and the victim soon suffocates. That's when the digestive secretions begin their job. Soon the pod breaks off and dries up, revealing a full, perfectly bleached skeleton, while a new pod grows to dominance.

[Illustration of Botanicus Merderus based on eyewitness accounts.]

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #12

[Sketch based on eyewitness accounts.]

Rumors of snakes taking on extraordinary attributes are nothing new. Snakes are frightening enough in their own right, and from Africa to America to Australia to India rumors of extra large, extra intelligent, or extra poisonous snake creatures scare even the toughest of men.

The Amazon already boasts a wide range of deadly creatures. Many scientists believe that less than half of the animals that live there have been scientifically documented. The encroachment of man and the elimination of the pristine forest is forcing many otherwise secluded creatures to become known, and not always to man's benefit.

One rumored beast is a cobra snake who has evolved it's hood into wings similar to that of a bat, allowing it not only to glide, but to hover and fly under it's own power. Witnesses tell stories of the creature zooming in out of nowhere and adhering itself to the face of its victims, whose last horrific thoughts follow them into death as the venom quickly takes hold.

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #11

[Dogtopus Illustration based on seafarer legend.]

We've all heard the legend of the seafarer Davey Jones, and the term "Davey Jones' locker" has permeated western culture, but few know of Davey Jones' Cocker Spaniel, "Rusty."

Rusty was a true and loyal companion, who followed his master everywhere...including death and legend. His spirit fusing with that of a demon Octopus, Davey Jones' Cocker Spaniel howls with a gurgling, otherworldly echo that portends his master's arrival. Pirates and honest merchants know the howl means certain doom, and often try superstitiously to "pay off" Davey Jones' Cocker Spaniel with dry biscuits and other food scraps thrown overboard on moonless nights.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #10

[Illustration based on eyewitness accounts.]

In the past eight years over one hundred confirmed reports of a strange "Pig Beast" have been collected by authorities in the wooded town of Barre, Vermont. Often spotted by hikers or campers, many respectable and reliable witnesses claim to have caught a glimpse of a pig-like creature, usually during the quiet, dimly lit hours of dawn and dusk. Never reported as a nuisance or threat, the sight of a six-foot pig faced humanoid is still an unsettling shock to those lucky (or unlucky) enough to spot it.

The creature, although terrifying in appearance, is by all accounts shy and docile, and flits away into the woods before witnesses are able to regain their composure enough to pursue it.

Previous amateur expeditions have so far produced no concrete evidence of the Pig Beast's existence, but a new expedition by the famous monster-hunter Dr. Wilhelm Schneider is planned for the spring of 2010.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #9 (right on time)

Montana is known for it's Rocky Mountain majesty, it's pristine wilderness, it's harsh winters, and it's abundant wildlife. Hunters, explorers and trappers have been braving the woods and mountains for decades in search of Earth's bounty; others seek solitude and a simpler life; while others still search for the legendary "Twin Peak," a two-headed mountain goat rumored to hold dominion over the wilds of western Montana.

Although mountain goats typically have a lifespan of less than twenty years, sightings of Twin Peak have been reported for more than a century. Could there be a whole new species breeding and thriving deep in the wilderness, or is Twin Peak merely the figment of a crazed mountain man's mind?

[Illustration based on multiple eyewitness accounts.]

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #8 (a day late)

Basque country holds many wonders; a beautiful landscape, fascinating culture, centuries old traditions, and unique folk stories and legends. One folk story warns of a headless goat that roams the countryside seeking shepherds who have fallen asleep or otherwise mis-tended their flock. This haunted goat is said to scare the shepherd into such a state of confusion, shock and terror that he immediately slips into incurable madness.

[Illustration based on Basque folk legend.]

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #7

[Artist sketch based on eyewitness account.]

The Great White North holds many mysteries. One of the most unusual involves a large spider-like being reported in a letter to one Miss Abigail McCarthy of Boston Massachusetts sent by a man named John Campbell in the Fall of 1896.

The letter reads like a typical cordial correspondence of the times, but one line stands out above the rest:

"...began normal enough...was alighted upon by the strangest of beings...creature out of the most dire and forgotten nightmares...walking like a man but possessing limbs and features like that of an insect..."

Seven feet tall with six full limbs and multiple eyes glowing fiercely in the dark, this creature was not given a name by it's gold seeking discoverer, but the description does closely match the child god Chokko-Amba of Inuit legend.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #6

[Illustration of "The Treacham" based on eyewitness accounts.]

Completely lacking rear appendages, the strange creature dubbed "The Treacham" pulls itself along the ground with powerful claw-tipped paws at the end of sinewy front arms. Rumored to be capable of moving just as swiftly in water, most reports find this creature dragging itself along dry land, waiting for an unsuspecting goat, small cow, or even a human being who may have stumbled unknowingly into its domain.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #5

For over a century a creature known only as "The Gromb" has haunted those who would wander out into the rocky sun-baked areas of Western Nevada naive enough to think that the harsh elements were the worst of their fears.

Early silver miners told a tale of a bear-sized beast with fangs as long as pick-axes and paws the size of wagon wheels hiding among the shadowed crevasses and natural rock caves that jutted the bleak landscape.

Most assume the stories were concocted to keep would-be claim jumpers and other competition away from the promise of silver and other valuable minerals, but others believe the stories hold some ancient truth, and that the spirit of a long forgotten Indian totem haunts the land seeking retribution for the sins of western settlers.
[Artist Sketch of "The Gromb" based on several eyewitness accounts.]

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #4

[Artist sketch of "Squishy" based on several eyewitness accounts.]

Often appearing on cloudless mist-shrouded nights, "Squishy" has been haunting the wheat fields of Hutchinson Kansas since the mid 1950s. Often explained away by officials as "swamp gas" emitted from nearby marshes, sightings of the glowing apparition are often accompanied by unexplained electromagnetic phenomenon and have also been known to coincide with reports of crop circles and similar otherworldly signs.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #3

Sailors have spun yarns about mermaids, ghost ships, haunted fog, and assorted sea monsters since the day after we ourselves crawled out of the primordial ocean and turned right around in an attempt to conquer the sea that birthed us.

One such mythic creature, sung in fisherman song and legend for thousands of years, is the ghost crab; a crustacean with claws of human skulls said to be those of men who did not heed the ghost crab's warnings.

Indonesian legend holds that ghost crabs are minions of the demon Noka-ai', and fishermen believe the mere sight of a ghost crab portends certain death if they do not cast off their nets and return immediately to shore. Even then, safety is not guaranteed and the demon Noka-ai' may still take umbrage upon the vessel and sailors that received the demonic warning.

[Illustration of the ghost crab based on ancient legend.]

Friday, October 02, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009: Monster #2

Known as "Ducktopus" to residents living near seaside Oso Flaco Lake, this strange creature was first mentioned in the Spring 1974 issue of Strange but Really Real Science magazine.

Further reports have been sparse, lending most in the really really real scientific community to posit that the creature was not a monster and, barring a complete fabrication of the story, was in fact an ordinary octopus eating or resting on top of a dead seagull, duck or other local water fowl.

[Artist Sketch of "Ducktopus" based on eyewitness account]

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Halloween 2009: Monster #1

Reports of a 6' leech-like creature with long claws and eyes below it's gaping maw began quietly with a one line article in The Heber Springs Tribune Issue 6 Volume 64, March 11th 1926.

Sightings became more frequent as the early century progressed, with at least three a month by the mid nineteen-forties.

Not ironically, these reports also coincided with an ever increasing tourist boon for nearby Greer Lake.

"He done got a mouth on his forehead, an big 'ol glowin' eyes!" Reported Hick Heber, a local restaurateur, in a 1936 sighting. "I thunk I was dunfer."

Later dubbed "Mouthy McGee" by an entrepreneurial local named Rick Heber, "'ol Mouthy" began appearing on billboards, T-Shirts, and even as the mascot for nearby Heber Elementary School.

[Artist Sketch of "Mouthy McGee" based on several eyewitness accounts]

Greer Lake dried up for a few years in the late sixties, and so did the tourist trade. The lake has returned, but the tourists never did.

The last reported sighting of Mouthy McGee was over twenty years ago.

"It's a beautiful lake and a wonderful town," says Nick Heber, current resident. "We'd like to leave "Mouthy" in the past where he belongs. He's dunfer."


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