Thursday, September 8, 2011

Catoblepas and Other Myths

No, that wasn't a sneeze :)

I ended up being at a loss for a solid mythical creature that causes blindness when you make eye contact. Apparently finding something was a must before I could continue with Book Two. At the time, I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what the snake was in Harry Potter (a basilisk, big fat duh).

While scanning massive amounts of content on mythical creatures I had never even heard of, I learned several things:

1.  A banshee does not actually shriek, she laments. And there are multiple types of banshee, the most common being the "friendly" and the "hateful".

This knowledge is forcing me to reconsider the statement that I use to describe female temper tantrums: "She screams like the loudest banshee in Ireland..."

2.  Even though I already knew this, a basilisk does NOT cause blindness. It causes death. (Except in Harry Potter, when it only puts you in a stone state if you see it's reflection.)

3.  Lilith was actually considered to be a goddess of fertility in certain mythological circles. Way weird - I don't recall ever coming across that in my research for Unclean.

4.  The Death's-Head Hawkmoth (I believe best known for its appearance in Silence of the Lambs) is still just as creepy looking as always. And also, as one legend has it, in France, it was believed that this harbinger of all things evil (war, death, etc) could cause blindness if the dust from the wing made it into the eye.

5.  Catoblepas ("The down looking") -- one of many new finds for me. A cross between a buffalo and a hog with a scaly back, the head of this beast always looked down; a good thing, since it was said that both the eyes and the breath would cause death. Or turn you to stone. (Like that is any better?)

I am not sure what is going to fit in best to the single sentence I need it for, but I sure am having fun reading the thousands of legends.

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