No, for once this post is not about vampires. As much love as I have for them, they are not one of the scariest monsters to me. Demons are.
From the beginning of time, mankind has been plagued by these evil spirits, though they weren't called demons. The word demon is derived from Greek daimon, which means lesser god or divine spirit. They weren't always evil, but a lot of daimons were connected to the Greek Underworld. Later the Church used it to mean “unclean spirit.” Which is the kind I’m talking about.
Despite the name, these things have existed through tales from Babylonia, Sumeria, Middle Age Europe, and today. They have many names but they still plague humanity throughout time. Take the bangungot, for instance, a demon who would sit on the chest of a sleeping person until he/she suffocated to death. I had someone recently tell me that they have experienced this. He said it literally felt like something was sitting on his chest and he couldn't get up. He was told it was sleep paralysis, but he said he was awake.
So, why do they scare me? In most cases these are beings that have no physical form. That means you can’t hurt them, much less kill them. Salt and iron have been known to deter them because of the interference they cause the ethereal and salt is a purifier. Still, they seem to have no problem affecting you. Spiritual faith and magic seem to have the most effect on these beings, but what if you don’t have either? You’re pretty much screwed.
I have heard personal accounts about encounters with demons from a few people I know. They’re stories were enough to keep me awake at night, unlike most horror movies and novels. Stories about demons that come in the middle of the night disguised as something the person trusts to try and lead them astray. I can’t go into real details on that one, but I can present a scenario.
Imagine, you’re in bed, curled up under your blanket, warm and safe. Something wakes you. You see an eerie glow from you hallway. Your grandmother enters our room, looking like you remember from your childhood, except, something is not quite right. Are her fingers a little longer and sharper than they used to be? Are her teeth more crooked? She beckons you with one hand. Wait, is that a claw?
“Let’s go play,” she says. “ I've baked your favorite cookies.”
A chill runs down your spine.
Luckily, we have fiction to give us a fighting chance. Demons can be killed, heroes can win the day. We have hope.
If you like stories about demons, be sure to check out “APrescription for Delirium” available on December 1st, 2012 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
So, what about you? What type of monster scares you the most?