Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature

I wonder if any of our parents knew what they were doing to us when, on those dark, cold nights they decided to tell us scary stories? It’s probably the most pleasant form of torture. I remember myself and my brother being horrified by what we were hearing, but some strange and irresistible force kept us immersed in the story. For all those who would like to re-experience those feelings, here is a list of the 10 scariest monsters in literature.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 10. The Giant Squid – “20,000 Leagues under the Sea”

Captain Nemo’s famous ship, the Nautilus, was equipped with the most advanced technology available to the XIXth century engineer, but nonetheless encountered an enemy that almost defeated it. The Giant Squid, despite its size not being described in detail, was able to damage the great vessel and kill one of its crew members. The truly scary part is that similar creatures actually do exist in our Oceans, some measuring up to 27 feet long.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 9. The Minotaur – Greek Mythology

The Minotaur is the son of Queen Pasiphae and a white bull. Half-man and half-beast, the Minotaur was a monstrosity feared by all of the kingdom’s inhabitants. He was eventually exiled to the center of a labyrinth built especially for him by Daedalus. In order to keep him appeased, the King ordered that 7 men and 7 women be sent each year as a sacrifice.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 8. The Wendigo- Algonquian Mythology

The Wendigo is a mythical creature present in many of the stories told by the Algonquian tribes, including the Cree, Montagnais and Ojibwa tribes. He has the appearance of a walking corpse, with dry and putrid skin, prominent bones and an appetite for human flesh. The Wendigo could also possess humans and take various shapes and forms.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 7. Pennywise the Dancing Clown

Despite often taking the form of a clown, Pennywise is in fact an ancient alien creature who enjoys the taste of human flesh, especially the flesh of children. He assumes the appearance of a clown when he wants to get closer to his victims. He can, in fact take, any form he wants. If he wishes to scare his victims, he may take the form of a vampire, or a giant spider, but I must admit the clown form is by far the scariest.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 6. Fenris- Norse mythology

Fenris, also known as Fenrir, is a giant black wolf that is said to be destined to kill Odin in the days of the Ragnarok, the Norse equivalent of the Armageddon. Fenris eats human flesh and grows constantly with each new victim. It was believed by the Nordic people that when the days of Ragnarok will come upon them, Fenris will be the size of an entire continent with his lower jaw touching the ground and his higher jaw touching the clouds. Vithar, Odin’s son, will defeat the wolf, but only after the creature consumes his father.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 5. Scylla - “The Odyssey”

Circe informs Odysseus that for his ship to reach the end of the journey, he must be ready to confront the Scylla, an enormous aquatic creature with six heads, four eyes, twelve tentacles and a cat’s tail. Despite losing a lot of men, the expedition survives its encounter with the Scylla and continues onwards.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 4. Medusa - Greek mythology

Medusa, the daughter of the sea gods Phorcys and Ceto, was in fact the victim of Zeus and Athena. It is said that she used to be so beautiful that Zeus raped her in the Temple of Athena. The Goddess, witnessing the sacrilege, transformed Medusa into a snake-haired monster so horrible that anyone who would gaze into her eyes would turn into stone.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 3. The Balrog- “Lord of the Rings”

The Balrog is a gigantic demon creature wielding a fire whip and a flaming sword. He survived the First Age War of Wrath and retreated to the depths of the Misty Mountains. The Balrog awoke when dwarfs mining for mithril disturbed his slumber. He defeated the dwarfs and forced them out. The orcs and goblins sent by Sauron were allowed to reside there, but they lived in absolute fear of their underground neighbor. It was only after he encountered Gandalf at the bridge of Khazad-dum that Balrog was finally defeated, and even so it took a fight that dragged on for around 10 days to get the job done.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 2. Grendel – Boewulf

Grendel is the son of Cain, the first of humanity’s murderers, whose descendants are curse to be horribly deformed. All that is said about Grendel’s appearance is that it is “very terrible to look upon”. In any case, it is his appetite that we should fear rather than his look since he is able to devour 30 men at a time. Only Boewulf, the greatest warrior of that period, was able to defeat the horrible monster. The hero is sent to Heorot by King Hrothgar to kill the beast which he does after a very difficult battle.

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Literature 1. The Jabberwocky – “Through the Looking-Glass”

The Jabberwocky is terrifying because its creator gave all of us a great degree of freedom in imagining him. He can take the shape of our greatest fears, becoming the most personal of monsters. Lewis Carroll intentionally uses words that do not have any meaning in the description of the mysterious Jabberwocky so as to let us “create” him. For a small demonstration of this technique, here is a fragment from the famous poem "Jabberwocky": “'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves/ Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;/ All mimsy were the borogoves,/ And the mome raths outgrabe”.



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