Images via 123RF, DeviantArt, Reedsy, AbeonClips, VectorStock
Images via 123RF, DeviantArt, Reedsy, AbeonClips, VectorStock
For centuries, we have believed in supernatural deities and afflictions caused by malevolent spirits. But these dark beliefs have proven to be more than simple evil; they serve as plot devices in their own ancient histories and sources. And in modern days, we still feature demonic characters both serving the good and bad. Here are the top three demons in mythology that have inspired various works of fiction.
Image Via Nestor Avalos
Azazel is a very well known name throughout the world. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all recognize the name in some way, shape, or form. However, the name Azazel is most commonly noted as one of the many fallen angels who followed Lucifer in his downfall.
Azazel is noted also as being one of God’s strongest and most intelligent lieutenants in the angelic army. After supposedly being cast out, the demon is referenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Azazel was primarily held responsible for teaching man the ways of brutality and warfare. With his influence, the fallen angel supposedly corrupted most of humanity.
The name Azazel has been given to a number of characters and works over the years. Both Marvel and DC have characters with the name that exist in their separate universe, and there are various literary works with the title such as the novel series by Boris Akunin or the 2008 novel by Youseff Ziedan.
Image Via Brian Godawa
Many people fear the ocean, and we may have this huge bestial force for instilling this fear into us. The Leviathan is mentioned several times in different mythologies and stories of old. Most often, it is depicted as an enormous fish or other huge sea dwelling animal.
The Leviathan’s role is seen as somewhat of a rampaging beast, as well as a victory or sacrifice during the end times. It is hinted that when the world will end, the Leviathan will perish and feed humanity. Yeah, that’s how big it’s supposed to be.
This huge demonic being has been an inspiration for countless sea monsters in literature, film, and even history. Many sailors wrote about their encounters in strange new seas with unknown, huge monsters that dwell just below the waves. The Leviathan has inspired the likes of the Kraken and features in a multitude of films.
Image Via Kappa – The Kappapedia
The Oni are a class of supernatural spirits of Japanese myth and folklore. As a type of yōkai, these beings are able to accomplish feats that humans can only dream of. Oni are born when corrupt and immoral humans die and are reincarnated in one of the Buddhist Hells.
Oni are usually depicted as enormous, hulking ogres that mainly carry around huge clubs as weapons. They are often depicted as antagonistic towards humans and are mainly villainous in their roles in many stories. They terrorize mankind any way possible, and will even resort to eating humans as a form of consumption as well as spite.
The Oni have gone on to inspire even more stories about themselves as years have passed. They have been included in many Japanese fairy tales such as Momotaro among others.
Featured Image Via Gizmodo
Evil mummified hands, dental hygiene, and dirty, disembodied Japanese foot spirits. Here are ten tweets about folklore around the world.
Ever wonder where the tooth fairy came from? A similar traidtion, tand-fé (tooth fee), is mentioned in the 13th century Icelandic Eddas. Vikings, believing a child’s first tooth to be especially lucky, would buy and string them into necklaces to wear into battle #FolkloreThursday pic.twitter.com/DrFPFUiJLE
— Eleanor Fleming (@AnthroElle) August 30, 2018
In some German folklore the act of kissing a donkey is said to be a cure for toothache! And similarly in Greek folklore drinking donkeys milk would promote strong, healthy teeth. I hope it’s only the donkeys face you need to kiss – look at these cuties! #FolkloreThursday pic.twitter.com/R99ceAjDrA
— Siân Esther Powell (@SianEsther) August 30, 2018
‘Hang moles feet in bag around baby’s neck to cure fever or toothache’.
— CreativeHistories (@CreativeHists) August 30, 2018
It’s #FolkloreThursday! The mummified hand of an executed criminal holding a candle made from the malefactor’s fat was once believed to render the person who carried it invisible. It was called the “Hand of Glory.” This one is from the Whitby Museum. pic.twitter.com/EtcCJBuub3
— Lindsey Fitzharris (@DrLindseyFitz) August 30, 2018
The ashiarai yashiki is a huge foot that crashes through the roof and demands to be washed. Found in the Honjo district of Tokyo, it was one of the Seven Wonders of Honjo #FolkloreThursday #yokai https://t.co/x3fFfevJ3g art by Utagawa Kuniteru pic.twitter.com/6HSqOk3UVX
— Yokai Parade (@Yokai_Parade) August 30, 2018
According to folklore, the Huntsman’s Leap coastal chasm in Pembrokeshire was named when: “A huntsman jumped the opening on horseback. On looking back and seeing the fearful chasm over which he had risked his life, he fell back and died of fright.”#folklorethursday #wales pic.twitter.com/C7lyhEDChw
— Mark Rees (@reviewwales) August 30, 2018
In Finnish mythology Kalma is the goddess of death and decay with her name meaning “The Stench of Corpses.” Her favourite places to linger are graveyards and cemeteries; in fact, one Finnish word for graveyard is “kalmisto,” which is derived from her name. #FolkloreThursday pic.twitter.com/MgqCcsMu29
— Clare Farmer (@ClareMFarmer) August 30, 2018
“Vampires in folklore were made not only by a bite, but also if they were once a werewolf, practiced sorcery, were an illegitimate child of illegitimate parents, died before baptism, ate the flesh of a sheep killed by a wolf, or -in Greece- by being a red head”#FolkloreThursday pic.twitter.com/CZ9uFcBWs1
— Mark Rees (@reviewwales) August 30, 2018
It’s #FolkloreThursday and I’ve just been cataloguing this incredible collection of Scandinavian fairy tales which includes these beautiful illustrations by Danish artist Kay Nielsen. The illustrations first accompanied the 1914 edition though it was originally published in 1910. pic.twitter.com/DQFuKxtbWd
— Orkney Library (@OrkneyLibrary) August 30, 2018
#FolkloreThursday The phrase “Peeping Tom” comes from the historical story of Lady Godiva, who rode naked through the streets of Coventry. The townspeople all kept their shutters closed, except for Tom the Tailor, who couldn’t help peeping, and was struck blind. pic.twitter.com/iOQfaTh2lB
— Kim McGreal (@kimsfic) August 23, 2018
Just a reminder that zero out of ten dentists recommend kissing a donkey for strong teeth. Happy Folklore Thursday!
Feature Image Via Renegade Tribune
Iman Joy El Shami-Mader has been drawing a creature a day since October 2017, and posting the illustrations on her Instagram.
She told Atlas Obscura “It all started with the book Phantasmagoria—which is great—but there are many creatures that are only mentioned in passing or without any description at all.”
guys, one amazing thing after the other is happening and I’m serisouly just gobsmacked by it all?.. I cannot find the words to thank you all!❤️❤️❤️ . today another creature from the USA! here’s… Champ/Tatoskok . In American folklore, Champ or Champy is the name given to a lake monster supposedly living in Lake Champlain, a 125-mile (201 km)-long body of fresh water shared by New York and Vermont, with a portion extending into Quebec, Canada. The legend of the monster is considered a draw for tourism in the Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York areas. Over the years, there have been over 300 reported sightings of Champ. Legends of a creature living in Lake Champlain date back to Native American tribes in the region. Both the Iroquois and the Abenaki spoke of such a creature. The Abenaki referred to it as “Tatoskok”. “Champ,” has allegedly been seen by hundreds of witnesses over the years. Descriptions of Champ vary, but most suggest a creature between 20 and 80 feet long, with a series of distinct humps on its back and a serpentine body. Some say the head looks like a snake or a dog. . Thank you Martin H. for telling me about Champ! . I was serious in my insta story btw – anyone know @realgdt … send him my way ?? . . . . . #phantasmagoria #creature #monster #champ #champy #lakemonster #monster #champlainlake #newyork #vermont #canada #serpent #snake #inkdrawing #drawing #illustration #fantasticbeasts #arkart #beautifulbizarre #blackwork #scales #bestiary #originalart #copicmarkers
She has asked her Instagram followers to send her ideas of beasts to draw at firstname.lastname@example.org, and has received and drawn suggestions spanning many time periods and cultures, as well as several characters from fiction such as a porg from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and an Owlbear from Dungeons & Dragons.
El Shami-Mader began the project as a stress reliever while working five jobs.
I felt extremely drained and worn-out all the time. I really needed something to balance out the lack of creative expression I was feeling and to get my mind off things, at least for an hour a day… A few years back I did a series of fairytale illustrations and came across many amazing creatures, like the Bøyg in Per Gynt. Since I always wanted to deepen my knowledge about these creatures, I ordered the book Phantasmagoria by Terry Beverton and it arrived on my doorstep on September 30, just in time for me to begin a daily monster-drawing challenge I’d set myself for the month of October.
She says that she feels mythical creatures show “humanity’s need to have a reason for both good and bad things happening. Sometimes they are a ray of hope, the only thing able to cure an incurable illness; other times they bring plagues and death. They are wise helpful spirits, and they are malicious tricksters. It can also be really funny—you can tell that some only exist because of the bad descriptions the scholars wrote down.”
had an extremely stressfull day catching up on all the work that piled up while I was living the good life on my mini-break in Vienna! so today I had very little time to get a good drawing done and as often, I’m really unhappy on how this little guy turned out… I’ll re-draw it soon, ’cause I do think the general idea can look nice! The Leshy . The Leshy (Russian: Ле́ший, IPA: [ˈlʲeʂɨj]; literally, “[he] from the forest”) is a tutelary deity of the forests in Slavic mythology. The plural form in Russian is лешие, leshiye (retaining the stress on the first syllable). As the spirit rules over the forest and hunting. Leshy are masculine and humanoid in shape, are able to assume any likeness and can change in size and height. He is sometimes portrayed with horns and surrounded by packs of wolves and bears. In some accounts, Leshy is described as having a wife (Leshachikha, Leszachka, Lesovikha) and children (leshonki, leszonky). He is known by some to have a propensity to lead travelers astray and abduct children, (which he shares with Chort, the “Black One”) which would lead some to believe he is an evil entity. He is however also known to have a more neutral disposition towards humans, dependent on the attitudes and behaviours of an individual person, or local population, towards the forest. Some would therefore describe him as more of a temperamental being like a fairy. . . . . . . . . . . #leshy #creature #monster #demon #evilspirit #forestspirit #darkforest #darkart #darkfairy #fairy #beautifulbizzare #fantasy #myth #folklore #mythologyart #inkonpaper #ink #blackwork #blackworknow #illustration #originalart #bestiary #humanoid #copicmarkers #copic
El Shami-Mader told Atlas Obscura that she would love to turn her illustration into a series of books, adding, “For now there is only an idea, but a friend of mine is a composer and we were thinking of collaborating on a trilingual ‘monsters set to music’ book. My current priority, however, is finding as many mythical creatures as possible.”
Illuyanka . In Hittite mythology, Illuyanka was a serpentine dragon slain by Tarhunt, the Hittite incarnation of the Hurrian god of sky and storm. It is known from Hittite cuneiform tablets found at Çorum-Boğazköy, the former Hittite capital Hattusa. The contest is a ritual of the Hattian spring festival of Puruli. The dragon was the symbol of the goddess and she was destroyed. In one version, the two gods fight and Illuyanka wins. Teshub then goes to the Hattian goddess Inaras for advice. Having promised her love to a mortal named Hupasiyas in return for his help, she devises a trap for the dragon. She goes to him with large quantities of food and drink, and entices him to drink his fill. Once drunk, the dragon is bound by Hupasiyas with a rope. Then the Sky God Teshub appears with the other gods and kills the dragon. . what are your favourite mythologies? which ones should I still check out?? . . . . . . . #phantasmagoria #creature #monster #snake #serpent #dragon #illuyanka #hittites #mythology #fantasy #fantasticbeasts #beautifulbizzare #darkart #ink #inkdrawing #drawing #originalart #blackworknow #blackwork #scales #bestiary #creatuanary2018 #legend #mythicalcreature #mythologyart #gods #goddess #teshub #hattusa
Feature Image Via Iman Joy El Shami Mader