Monsters. The mainstay of horror, aren’t they? Vampires, werewolves, mummies–these are the creatures that everyone turns to when they hear the word “monster.” Perhaps that should be qualified–these are the stereotypical creatures that American readers/writers turn to automatically. And that’s why they inundate the pages of books and the frames of films we are familiar with.
But there are other dark things in the world, and some of those are fascinating. For example, here is one list of Asian monsters, and this one is specifically Japanese. Here is a list of creatures from Indian mythology.
Celtic mythology is rife with incredible creatures. They even have their own television series. Here is a list of specifically Irish mythological creatures.
African monsters are often animalistic in nature rather than humanoid.
Australian folklore has some interesting creatures to consider.
Even if you want to stick to American monsters, Native American myths are full of unusual beings.
The point is that there are so many under-used monsters in the world that putting aside the vampires, mummies, werewolves, and ghosts for awhile and exploring these lesser-known creatures in our fiction and film might be to everyone’s advantage. 😉
Here are some resources for further study:
World Mythology: The Illustrated Guide
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition Deluxe, Illustrated, Anniversary Edition
The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore
Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales
The Complete World of Greek Mythology
Gods and Heroes from Viking Mythology