A phenomenon transcending all cultures and time periods is the inclusion of monsters in the Zeitgeist. Because (most) monsters are created in the minds of humans, they exist as a way to teach lessons, explain the unexplainable, or simply scare the pants off of others.
Monster Monday is a collaborative mini-gallery where different artists synthesized their talent with my concepts to create unique, original monsters inspired by the traditional folklore of different cultures. This gallery is a constant work in progress. Though only select monsters have illustrations, be sure to check in from time to time to enjoy new monsters and new artwork.
The monsters in this gallery are sneaky, humorous, sinister, peaceful, and everything in between.
Remember, monsters are not just extensions of our fears, but extensions of ourselves.
Dame des Brunnens / The Water Maiden
If you’ve traveled the roads that connect the smallest villages in southern Germany, you may come across a woman with waterlogged skin, a wrinkled dress, and a vacant look in her deep grey eyes. The WaterMaiden appears at dawn when the dew has settled in the grass. She carries two very heavy jugs of water balanced on a pole that rests on her shoulders; the same jugs that she was told to gather before she fell into a well and drowned. Apparently, she preys on young girls and boys who refuse to do their morning chores.
الكتف شيطان (Alkatf Shaytan) / Backfiend
The Backfiend is a hunting demon that feeds on fear. While technically harmless, it terrorizes unsuspecting victims by keeping pace in the shadows directly behind whomever it chooses to prey on. The Backfiend is impossible to directly see, but it does let itself be glimpsed in its victim’s peripheral vision, inciting them to turn around. Attempting to see the creature never results in success, so the exact physical descriptions of the creature are unknown. The Backfiend is mostly active at sundown when shadows are longest.
This Industrial era creature found almost exclusively in England is said to be created when the smoke of meat processing plants and textile plants meet in the sky, forming solid masses from living grime that drop from the sky. Chimney Throats hang around the top of smokestacks and feed off of the pollution emitted. They extend their hyper-long jaws and fully envelop around the tops of smokestacks to inhale the debris. Older Chimney Throats have powerful enough mouths that they can suck out excess debris that sticks inside the smokestack. For this reason, many factory workers keep them around to save money on chimney sweeps.
Síceoir Fréamhacha / Tree Bleeder
The Celtic Tree Bleeders are ancient elementals who move exceptionally slow. They are bipedal creatures with glowing eyes and bodies covered in petrified wood. Tree Bleeders hibernate from Winter to late Summer, attaching themselves to dead trees and blending into the bark. When they wake up, they prepare for their next near year-long hibernation by traveling to patches of forest that are dense with trees, anchoring their roots into the ground, and sucking the life out of the trees. It was believed that Tree Bleeders were the reason that tree leaves change color and fall in Autumn. After Tree Bleeders have consumed enough energy, their petrified skin comes back to life and they move faster; that is, until they begin their next hibernation.
American Garbage Trolls live in mass junkyards and landfills all across the United States. Their days consist mainly of eating rotting food and collecting thrown out objects which they consider worth keeping. Despite their diet, Garbage Trolls have exceptionally long lifespans. While Garbage Trolls are hostile to others of their own species, (they are very paranoid that their treasure will be stolen) they are very friendly with humans, some even learn how to speak English so they can barter. Garbage Trolls have squat features and flat faces, often times dressing in thrown out dresses or Hawaiian shirts.
HeartThrob / Vampiro de Amor /
Le Harceleur Romantique / Il Batticuore
The HeartThrob is a vampyre that can be found in cities all across Europe and the Americas. HeartThrobs have both a romantic and gourmet obsession with consuming hearts. Every waking moment of their lives is spent in pursuit of gaining the immediate love and trust of a human and eventually, eating their hearts. HeartThrobs insist on only preying exclusively on humans who are in love with them, because hearts that are in love are the most delicious. For every heart consumed by the HeartThrob, the more universally attractive their face becomes. When a HeartThrob consumes a heart, it swallows it whole and eventually, a beating heart like growth appears on its back, stomach, or arms. Well fed HeartThrobs have beautiful faces but throbbing, growth covered bodies, inspiring the vampyre to normally wear a trench coat to cover up its imperfections.
主雑草 (Zassō Omo) / Weed Lord
Found only in the Wakayama Prefecture of Japan, Weed Lords are Faeries who take the form of balding old men with insect-like wings. They fly around dense forests carrying seeds in satchels affixed to their backs. The seeds they plant grow into powerful weeds strong enough to thrive even in the most competitive, lush, environments. Weed Lords often hold friendly competitions with each other, seeing who can plant more of their specific weeds than the rest.
Enfants du MiroiR / The Children of the Mirror
One day in 1783, hundreds of wealthy parents all across France found their children mesmerized by their own reflections. After being pulled away from mirrors, ponds, and other sources of reflections, the children became emotionally devoid and distant. These children, named 'The Children of the Mirror' were believed to have had their souls taken away from them by their reflections. The Children of the Mirror ranged from 7 to 13 years old and each had very troubled relationships with their parents before having their souls taken away.
مسالا ڈیمن: (Alkatf Mirch) / Pakistani Spice Demon
The Pakistani Spice Demon is a trickster demon that appears before two or more chefs that are locked in a bitter rivalry. Spice Demons offer their allegiance to each chef and whoever promises a better deal to the demon’s liking (generally in the form of cream based sweets) gains the power to curse every dish their rival may cook with unbearable heat and spice. Most every victim of a Spice Demon’s curse is driven to retirement, but some prodigious cooks have managed to adapt and become spicy food specialists, much to the Spice Demon’s surprise and delight.
རོང སྦལ་པ / Tibetan Gulch Jumper
The Tibetan Gulch Jumper lives along the outer rim of the Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon in the region of Tibet. This humanoid feline climbs along the edge of the massive Yarlung Canyon, hunting small to medium-sized animals that fall off the cliffs. It can thrust itself from one edge to another, easily jumping over 40 meters at a time. While the Gulch Jumper avoids animals larger than itself, there have been reports of the creature saving humans from falling to their deaths.
WheomakimakI / Coral Ape
Mauri Guardians of coral reefs, these golems made of multi-colored coral only come to life when small oceanic ecosystems are threatened. Before human interference, Coral Apes kept the natural balance of coral-based environments, making sure predator, prey, and plant did not overpower one another. The human invention of the boat changed the focus of most Coral Apes from internal threat to external. Coral Apes are known to attack humans and ships that fish too often in their territory. Coral Ape flesh is so durable and sharp, a single Ape can carve a hole through the hull of a modern ship. Sadly, with the increase of water pollution, Coral Apes have begun to die out.
Ke Aliʻi Mō'ī / Surfer King
The Surfer King used to be a man known as Dante Richards. In his life, Richards was a pro surfer, being a key innovator of the sport during the 1950’s. Richard’s passion for surfing was only surpassed by his tenacious and intense superiority complex over his peers. One summer morning in 1954, Richards was flung off his board and hit his head on an underwater rock, knocking him unconscious, resulting in him drowning. 10 days after his death, night surfers spotted a skeleton picked clean of flesh with a cracked skull walk out of the ocean, pull out Richards’ seaside tombstone, and walk back into the ocean. Since then, the walking skeleton has appeared before the best surfers in the world, challenging them for surf supremacy. Known as The Surfer King in America and Ka Mō'ī Nalu in Hawaii, this being has remained undefeated and uses its own tombstone as a surfboard.
Mothmin is the Mothman’s overlooked little brother.
That's literally all he is.
Sock Imps are a nocturnal breed of imp found in American suburbs and small cities. They make their nests in the walls of homes and only come out in the middle of the night to feed. Their diet consists mainly of children’s socks that have been left out on the bedroom floor. Sock Imps are very picky, only eating one sock out of a pair. Such a diet has resulted in many children being grounded for ‘losing’ their socks.
Мечтатель (Mechtatel) / The DreamWatcher
The DreamWatcher, reported mostly in central Russia, is a mysterious spirit that only manifests in the dreams of humans. The DreamWatcher makes itself known in every dream it inhabits, but rarely interacts with the dreamer, often times placing itself in the distance or corner. It is unknown what the DreamWatcher’s motives are, but so many people have seen it, that groups of people in Moscow meet every week to discuss recent sightings. They call themselves “The Fans of the DreamWatcher” and their numbers grow every week.
The Canadian PineMouth is a four-legged canine-like creature that can be found all across North America. Generally spotted around hiking trails of the United States and Canadian National Parks, PineMouths prey on isolated hikers and tourists. They stalk their prey for miles, waiting for them to tire. They generally go for more fit prey, enjoying stringy, high protein, muscular hikers over beginners and tourists. PineMouths get their name from the numerous needlelike teeth that they have, as well as their affinity for nesting in pine trees.
Elang Meniru / Mimic Hawk
The Mimic Hawk is found exclusively on the Indonesian islands. A fierce carnivore, this creature has a wingspan of 4 meters and chooses to confuse and lure prey into its clutches rather than outright attacking. Mimic Hawks can shift their facial structure to closely resemble that of their prey. The familiar sight confuses and lightly hypnotizes the Mimic Hawk’s prey, allowing the bird to confidently and calmly snatch it up. Mimic Hawks are active in the morning and normally feast on livestock. In the 1900’s, Indonesian farmers hunted Mimic Hawks to near extinction.
Dybdehender / Depth Hands
Depth Hands are eel-like creatures that live in the midnight zone of the Atlantic ocean. Discovered first in Norway, Depth Hands get their names from their eery semblance to severed human arms. Their heads have five finger-like digits that they use to grab prey. At the center of their head is a single eye that can see over 100 meters in sunlit water. Depth Hands hunt fish that swim in shallow waters; propelling themselves like missiles from below, grabbing their prey, and pulling them back into the abyss. It is unknown exactly how Depth Hands eat as it seems that they have no mouths. Depth Hands have been known to rarely attack humans, but due to their rather large size, they generally let go of humans a few feet down after grabbing them.
Faʻailoga Tagata / The Slate Man
The Slate Man is a half man/half eel who resides in the forests of Va'a-o-Fonoti, Samoa. The Slate Man has lived in the same forest pond for hundreds of years and if approached by someone who comes to him on foot, he will converse with the spirits of the dead for them. Samoan people often come to him when a family member has died and when they wish to say some last words. The Slate Man may be the Samoan god of the underworld, Saveasi'uleo.
吸煙龍 (Xīyān lóng) / The Smoking Dragon of Taiwan
The Smoking Dragon of Taiwan is an aquatic dragon that has slender, smooth scales, is over 7 meters long, and is over 3000 years old. The Smoking Dragon sleeps underwater for 200 years long periods and only rises when it has a particularly good dream. On waking up, it swims to the surface and floats on its back, feeding on krill, playing with large fish, and singing. When the dragon rises to the surface, it releases smoke from its pores, guarding it from being seen by any humans that may endanger it. Though very few people have ever seen the Smoking Dragon, they describe its singing as slow and beautiful.
Red Mother: Red Mother is a metaphysical Vampyre who preys on humans infected with a rare strand of the West Nile Virus called ‘Red West Nile.’ When a human is infected with Red West Nile, they release mosquito aphrodisiac from their pores, experience light sensitivity, rapid dehydration, and believe that they hunted by a being named “Red Mother.”
Red Mother appears as two beings connected by an umbilical cord. The puppet or ‘Mother’ takes the shape of a walking female corpse covered in blood. The host or ‘Child’ appears as a prematurely born baby. Red Mother’s appearance varies from person to person, but generally retains the form of Mother and Child. The Child is carried by the Mother and silently gives orders to the her to stalk its prey.
Victims of Red Mother have been known to attack other humans, attempting to suck their blood to quench their dehydration.