When it came to scaring the socks off of kids at bedtime, ghosts were not the only non-living subjects of nighttime stories, campfire tales, and terrifying myths. For centuries, there has been a slew of unknown creatures believed to inhabit the earth, woods, or underneath your bed. From all over the world, these entities have been the subject of countless folklore, myths and tall tales. In this article, you will learn about the origins of well known monsters.
Japanese mythology is responsible for the giant creature known as the oni, which are popular creatures that appear in Japanese art, literature and theatre. Usually depicted with horns, the creature often appears in a human-like form. Sometimes, they have extra body parts, such as eyes, fingers or toes. The color of their body may appear in an array of colors – but mostly red or blue. In their hand, they may carry a club made out of iron (called kanabo). The Oni also closely resembles the traditional depiction of Satan.
Depending on the context that the Oni is depicted, the creature could also be portrayed as:
• Giant with unbecoming features
• Sharp claws
• Wild hair
• Possess invincibility and hard to defeat
Some villages hold ceremonies to drive away the oni. They are most likely held at the start of the spring season. The Setsubun festival is a time where people toss soybeans outside of their homes while shouting, "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!," which translates into "Oni go out! Blessings come in!" The Japanese view monkey statues as a way to keep the oni away. In some folklore tales, holly is thought to guard against the Oni.
In recent years, the original view of oni has lost some of its ability to strike fear into the hearts of the Japanese. The figure has become less wicked, and in some cases, the creature is even seen as a protector. For instance, it is not uncommon to see men dress in oni costumes to lead the way in Japanese parades – warding off bad luck. Also, in almost the same purpose as gargoyles appearing in Western architecture, oni-faced tiles on the roofs of buildings are believed to keep away bad luck.
The ancient Egyptians preserved the corpses of their dead using resins and spices in an attempt to send them off to the afterlife with purpose. There was a method to their madness, which turned the bodies into mummified statues encased in tombs that would later become the stuff of legend. So, how did the undead gain a position in the world of horror movies? It is thought that mummy tales most likely originated from the curses believed to occur if you violated the tomb of a mummy.
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