My Favourite Monsters A-Z – Banshee

October 4, 2012 at 1:30 am (horror, Magic University, writing) (, , , , , )

I consider the banshee a classic. A different kind of death omen than the Ankou and Irish in origin (I have Irish blood in me too), the banshee warned of impending death with its piercing wail. A form of undead, and supposedly the ghost of a female Sidhe (an Irish elf/fairyfolk – pronounced “shee”,) her haunting moan would predict someone’s doom. I chose to make reference to this monster in Magic University:

“After the phantom enemy had moved on, Shetland recoiled backwards, clutching at the wall. He glanced down at his device and was surprised to see only nine of the lights extinguished. He had managed to avoid some of the damage.

So focused was he on this minor victory that he failed to notice the creature solidifying before him. He only became aware of the horrific monster’s presence as the banshee actually screamed. The sound startled Shetland to attention. He screamed as well, bolting a few feet back down the tunnel before recovering his senses. He checked his scorekeeper. Only twenty-six lights remained.

Shetland was breathing heavily as he rounded the corner into the next section. He groaned, wishing he did not have to endure the remainder of the Trial to pursue his goal.”

And here above you’ll see my interpretation of this scary screamer.

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My Favourite Monsters A-Z: Ankou

October 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm (horror) (, , , , , , , )

I decided, in honour of Halloween, that I’ll be presenting a short post a day (aside from my review Mondays) of my favourite monsters – one for each letter of the alphabet. We’re not talking unicorn and pixies here, but real monsters…the scary kind. These will be short blurbs on what they are and why it’s a favourite of mine. I start today with the Ankou.

This is a precursor to the grim reaper that originated in Brittany. My Acadian heritage (on my father’s side) can be traced back to this part of France, so I feel attuned to this nasty. It was also popular with the Normans and my British heritage (on my mother’s side)has roots there. While only a henchman of death, the skeletal grave-watcher was known to wear a dark robe, a hat that hid its face and carried a scythe. He also was responsible for collecting dead souls. Every parish in Brittany supposedly had one.

And up there is my own little interpretation of what one of these death omens might have looked like.

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