Monthly Archives: October 2017

Monster Week: Let’s give it up for the ghouls

Drawing Monster Week to a conclusion after a truly epic run, is the ghoul. Ghouls come to us from Arabian mythology and folklore, where a ghoul was believed to be a nasty djinn sired by the devil. Ghouls live in … Continue reading

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Of mice and men

The evolution of mice and humans has converged so nicely that mice keep home with us, often quite literally. We discovered fire and built central heating, and mice gathered around and kept warm by our sides through the long, cold … Continue reading

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Monster week: Cthulhu

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” When it comes to monsters, nothing outmonsters Cthulhu himself. Created by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story “The Mountains of Madness,” Cthulhu is one … Continue reading

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Rescuing the tropical cow from extinction

Years ago, I told my children about the tropical cow, and how it had nearly been driven to extinction through loss of habitat due to extensive reforrestation efforts. But, I noted, conservationists had been clearcutting the Amazon to create more … Continue reading

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That time I used a ouija board with some friends

So there was one time a few years ago that I used a ouija board. We were in a production of “The Uninvited” at Somerset Valley Players, where in the final scene the characters hold a seance to unmask the … Continue reading

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Monster week: Smurfs

Smurfs are a type of monster indigenous to Belgium, where they are known as Schtroumpfs. Standing about “three apples high” when full grown, Smurfs are native to a village of psychadelic mushrooms. The singing of Smurfs causes insanity, particularly in … Continue reading

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Monster week: Werewolves

Like that other famed monster that does not sparkle, werewolves come to us from European folklore. Because of the age of the legend — the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans recorded accounts of people who became wolves, sometimes magically and … Continue reading

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Monster week: succubus

The succubus is a creature that comes from Medieval folklore. Succubi prey upon sleeping men and seduce them, leading to the man becoming sick and potentally dying. Lilith, the extrabiblical first wife of Adam, is said to have become a … Continue reading

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Monster week: manticore

A frequent customer-service employee at mid-level department stores like Target during the holiday shopping season, the manticore originally comes from Persian mythology, where it was depicted with the body of a lion and the head of a man. Some stories … Continue reading

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Monster week: wendigo

The wendigo comes to us from the Algonquian Indians, native to the Northeastern United States, from the Atlantic coast over to the Great Lakes. The wendigo is a malevolent spirit, gaunt and emaciated, with sunken eyes and gray skin, noted … Continue reading

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