“And so it came to pass that while Man ruled on Earth, the

gargoyles waited, lurking, hidden from the light.  Reborn

every 600 years in Man’s reckoning of time, the gargoyles

joined battle against Man to gain dominion over the Earth.

In each coming, the gargoyles were nearly destroyed by Men

who flourished in greater numbers.  Now it has been so many

hundreds of years that it seems the ancient statues and

paintings of gargoyles are just products of Man’s

imagination.  In this year, with Man’s thoughts turned toward

the many ills he has brought among himself, Man has forgotten

his most ancient adversary, the gargoyles.”

Myth or Fact?

Gargoyles might not be just stone carvings or lovable Disney characters.  In an article for Unknown magazine entitled “We Saw a Gargoyle,” Ron Bogacki recounts how he and several other young adults met face-to-face with a gargoylesque creature.  The encounter took place in 1981 in an Elmhurst, Illinois park.  Hanging out on a summer night around the park’s gothic mausoleum, the four teenagers were awestruck by an incredible creature sitting atop the mausoleum’s stone wall.  They described is as being large – perhaps 9 feet tall, with dark gray leathery skin, a muscular body with strong arms, golden horns on its head, huge wings and a long curling tail.  They were close enough to have smelled its breath, which they described as “full of the stench of decay and sulfur.”  It soon flapped its wings, flew straight up, and disappeared into legend.

The word “Gargoyle” shares a common root with the word “Gargle”; which comes from “gargouille”, an French word for “Throat”.  A true gargoyle is a waterspout.  The word “gargoyle” is also a derivative from the Latin word, “gurgulio”, which had a double meaning, “throat”, and the “gurgling” sound water makes as it passes through a gargoyle.  Legend has it, that a fierce dragon named La Gargouille described as having a long, reptilian neck, a slender snout and membranous wings lived in a cave near the river Seine.  The dragon caused much fear and destruction with its fiery breath by spouting water and devouring ships and men.  Each year, the residents of Rouen would placate the Gargouille with an offering of a victim, usually a criminal, though it was said the dragon preferred maidens.  On or about the year 600, the village was saved by St. Romanis, who promised to deal with the dragon if the townspeople agreed to be baptized and to build a church.  Romanus subdued the dragon by making the sign of the cross and then led the now docile beast back to town on a leash made from his priest’s

robe.  La Gargouille was then burned at the stake, it is said that his head and neck were so well tempered by the heat of his fiery breath, that they would not burn.  These remnants were then mounted on the town wall and became the model for gargoyles for centuries to come.

Gargoyles as the stone creatures were known to stand guard and ward off evil spirits and frighten away other creatures that sought to do us harm.  The more hideous and frightening in appearance is all the better to scare off other dark creatures.  At night they come to life and protect us while we sleep.  As the sun rises the Gargoyles resume their place once more to serve as guardians during the day when their fierce visage can be seen and frighten off those that gaze upon them.

Griffins are mythological creatures having the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.  They are nonsense, according to the skeptics, but, believe it or not, there HAVE been eyewitness accounts of bizarre creatures that were likened to gargoyles and griffins.  And it’s hard to dismiss the comparisons to chupacabras.  In fact, one witness described chupacabras as being a “gargoylesque creature.”

A griffin was said to be captured by a scientist who traveled with the great explorer Captain Cook in the 18th century.  There are many unanswered questions about such monsters, the primary one being:  Are any of them real at all?  Or are they the product of mass hysteria – myths fueled by panicked imagination?

The Jersey Devil has been blamed over the years for a number of mysterious livestock deaths and eerie cries in the darkness.  The first sighting in the 20th century occurred in 1909 when a Pennsylvania postmaster allegedly saw a glowing monster flying over the Delaware river.  A month later, the flying creature was spotted by a policeman in Burlington, NJ. 

Note these descriptions of the Jersey Devil as compared to gargoyles:

“Ram-like head with curled horns”

“long, thin wings”

“four short legs, the hind ones being longer than the forelegs”

“walks on its back legs and holds up two short front legs with paws on them”

“glowing eyes”

“alligator-like skin”

“able to breathe fire”

“three feet high” (sometimes much larger)

“hoof-like feet”

Could the Jersey Devil be a Gargoyle?

In 1985, an Englishman named Kevin Chippendale spotted an unknown creature flying near the rooftop of an apartment building.  He described it as looking like “a dog with wings” and “having a long muzzle and four legs with what looked like paws.”  Being of the British culture, he likened it to a griffin – in fact, the creature has become known as the Brentford Griffin.  But we have to wonder if the very same sighting had taken place in Puerto Rico or Chile what the witnesses would call it.

Throughout May, 2001, paranormal researchers had their hands full with the sightings and antics of a bizarre creature that was terrorizing villagers in India.  It was no laughing matter; a few deaths were attributed to the panic surrounding these sightings.  The first attacks took place in East Delhi and soon spread to other cities and villages.  The entity was quickly dubbed “Monkey Man” because of its size and simian-like agility.

Animal experts have pointed out that the creature most probably was not a monkey since the Indians were quite familiar with monkeys, which are commonplace there and frequently come into the villages.

The similarities between all these interactions raises the possibility that the subjects might be the same or related creature.  Their sporadic appearance, bizarre description, fierce attacks and elusive behavior have elicited many theories as to their origin, including genetic mutants, aliens, living dinosaurs, demons and interdimensional beings.  What they are exactly we cannot be sure, but based on the increase of activity, one day we could know a lot more.  Until then we must satisfy ourselves with these sketchy reports and perhaps some fokelore as taken from the below rhyme:

“The Gargoyle often makes his perch

On a cathedral or a church, 

Where, mid ecclesiastic style,

He smiles an early-Gothic smile.”

– Untitled poem.