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On Spotlight: Ghouls Around the Globe

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Monsters. Scary creatures of the night who haunt our dreams (and maybe the dark corners of our rooms or forests). These creatures are often depicted as malicious or mysterious beings that remain hidden or erased from the annals of history.

Creatures like witches, ghosts and cryptids may exist across the world, but their depictions and origins are very different depending on the region or country:

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(The Dark Witch of England)

Also known as “Black Agnes”, Black Annis is a blue skinned crone who would roam the countryside of Leicestershire, England. Her favorite foods included lambs and children, the latter skinned and worn as a flesh belt around her waist. A macabre fashionista, indeed. Her claws were said to be made of iron and were used to scratch out caves from solid rock.

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(The Wight Ladies of France)

These ladies are spirits dressed in bony white that lurk in narrow places such as ravines, fords, and on bridges, and try to attract passerby attention, especially those of men. They will then proceed to ask them to dance. Should the man accept, they will proceed to dance and she will send you on your way with no danger. Refuse her, though, and you’ll find yourself thrown off the bridge or be tortured by her goblins, owls or cats.

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(The Towering Bone Pile of Japan)

The scary factor for this creature is simple yet effective: It’s a gigantic skeleton. The gashadokuro is the result of thousands of skeletons from those who suffered starvation during hard times combining into a single bony giant. They prowl dark and isolated places during midnight, catching travelers, biting their heads off, drinking their blood and then adding their bones to the pile. Don’t break your curfew if you don’t want to meet this scary titan.

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(The unmarried ghosts of Korea)

In traditional Korea, women aspired to be married and serve their husbands, which was considered to be their role in society. Young girls who died before they could be married would thus turn into these unkempt spirits. Since tying your hair up was a right you earn upon marriage, these scary young ladies roamed the mortal plane with their hair let down. Samara from “The Ring” is considered one.

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(Clay Protectors of the Hebrew) While not necessarily a monster, the thought of bringing a large, man-shaped lump of clay to life is a fearful thought on its own. Golems were often said to be the earthy protectors of the Jewish people. It was only through divine means that they are brought to life, though the stories vary on their creation. It is possible for these creatures to go mad and rampage, causing damage buildings and even killing people.

Do you think you have the gall to face these horrifying creatures across the world? Halloween nights are said to be the season for dark spirits and nasty creatures to come out and roam the earth, so who knows when you might catch a glimpse of these scary and mysterious individuals.


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