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“In her outward appearance, [she] matched the natural beauty amid which she lived. Her fair tresses flowing in an eddying, endless stream, her fine features framing her fathomless eyes. Simply to see her was to ache with desire.”
-Charles Phillips, “Spirit Masters and Little Demons.”
(Author’s Note: Though the description for these beings is that used for Byakhee in the Call of Cthulhu rulebook and Malleus Monstrum, this author and others believe the creatures in Lovecraft’s “The Festival” are not Byakhee as envisioned by Derleth. This entry provides a distinction between the monsters.)
“There flopped rhythmically a horde of tame, trained, hybrid winged things that no sound eye could ever wholly grasp, or sound brain ever wholly remember. They were not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor vampire bats, nor decomposed human beings; but something I cannot and must not recall. They flopped limply along, half with their webbed feet and half with their membranous wings…” – H.P. Lovecraft, “The Festival” Continue reading
I jerked violently and dropped the coat. I’d seen that kind of “parchment” before. I’d seen dozens of them, blowing down the deserted streets of the abandoned neighborhood that day I’d gotten lost in the fog, all different shapes and sizes. I remembered thinking that there must be a defunct paper factory somewhere nearby with broken windows.
But it hadn’t been paper blowing past me—it had been people. Or what had been left of them, anyway. And that day, if I’d not made it out before nightfall, I would have become one of these… these… dehydrated rinds of human matter, too.
I backed away. I didn’t need to peer beneath any more coats to know those husks were all that was left of Rocky O’Bannion and fifteen of his men, but I did anyway. I lifted three more, and that was all I could take. The men hadn’t even been able to see what was killing them. I wondered if the Shades had attacked simultaneously, waiting for all of them to get out of their cars, or if only the front two men had stepped out of each car and then, when the two in the rear had seen them go down, sucked into little scraps of whatever it was the Shade palate found indigestible in humans, they too had lunged out, guns blazing, only to fall victim to the same unseen foe. I wondered if the Shades were clever enough to wait, or merely driven by mindless, insatiable hunger.
From Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. Continue reading
“The men were described as having huge eyes and hands out of proportion to their small bodies. The visitors were wearing what looked to be metal plate…One of the strange little men was in the nearby tree, another on top of the house. A blast from Sutton’s shotgun knocked another one of the men down but he did not appear hurt.” Kentucky New Era – August 22, 1955.
“At the foot of the bed, sitting and facing away from us, there was what appeared to be a naked man, or a large hairless dog of some sort…
In a flurry of motion, the creature scrambled around the side of the bed, and then crawled quickly in a flailing sort of motion right along the bed until it was less than a foot from my husband’s face. The creature was completely silent for about 30 seconds….just looking at my husband. The creature then placed its hand on his knee and ran into the hallway, leading to the kids’ rooms. I screamed and ran for the light switch, planning to stop him before he hurt my children. When I got to the hallway, the light from the bedroom was enough to see it crouching and hunched over about 20 feet away. He turned around and looked directly at me, covered in blood. I flipped the switch on the wall and saw my daughter Clara.
The creature ran down the stairs while my husband and I rushed to help our daughter. She was very badly injured and spoke only once more in her short life. She said ‘he is the Rake’” – Eyewitness testimony, 2006 Continue reading
“It was like a big owl with pointed ears, as big as a man. The eyes were red and glowing. At first, I thought that it was someone dressed up, playing a joke, trying to scare us. I laughed at it, we both did, then it went up in the air and we both screamed. When it went up you could see its feet were like pincers…It was horrible, a nasty owl-face with big ears and big red eyes. It was covered with grey feathers. The claws on its feet were black. It just flew up and disappeared in the trees.” – Witnesses Barbara Perry and Sally Chapman, 1976. Continue reading
(Author’s Note: This is intended as an alternative from the Sasquatch found in Malleus Monstorum)
“I was laying in the tent trying to sleep when I kept hearing strange almost owl like high pitch noises at the bottom of the hill. After hearing my son and husband comment about hearing “an owl”, I decided that must be it. About 20 minutes later, my son had gone into his tent with his siblings, and my husband had come into our tent. He was trying to settle in and I was too, when we heard the most horrible, loud, blood curdling scream…and then a loud grunt. The scream…lasted about 3-5 seconds and then immediately was the loud grunt at the same pitch. It sounded like it was coming from the same area as the owl like sounds from a short time earlier. My husband sat up about the same time as me and we asked each other if we knew what it was. I told him, “I have NEVER heard anything like that!” He said he had never heard anything like that either. We could also hear something moving in the woods, and by that time after the scream, we were very freaked out. So we immediately got the kids up and in the car…” – Witness encounter, Taylorsville Lake State Park, Kentucky, August 2014. Continue reading
Next one of the many princes asked why Medusa, alone among her sisters, had snakes twining in her hair. The guest replied ‘Since what you ask is worth the telling, hear the answer to your question. She was once most beautiful, and the jealous aspiration of many suitors. Of all her beauties none was more admired than her hair: I came across a man who recalled having seen her. They say that Neptune, lord of the seas, violated her in the temple of Minerva. Jupiter’s daughter turned away, and hid her chaste eyes behind her aegis. So that it might not go unpunished, she changed the Gorgon’s hair to foul snakes.
-Ovid, The Metamorphoses – Book IV
The smell of ancient tomes is heady for one dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, and traversing the halls of an ancient library even more so. Dusty shelves, the smell of musty books in the dry air, dark halls lined with books… these are like ambrosia to the initiated. But the pursuit of knowledge can be fraught with peril, for hidden among these lost tomes a presence waits patiently in the dark. While the prey gently caresses the spines of arcane volumes, his stalker seeks to lure him closer.
A book falls to the floor, the startled explorer moves towards it to investigate. As he beds to pick up the book, he notices that one of the bookcases is actually a door and stands slightly ajar. The lure of hidden rooms in such a vast and amazing library is beyond temptation, and he slowly pushes open the door. Inside lies a circular room with book lined walls, and in the center stands a podium holding a massive and ornate tome.
As he opens the book, the sound of rustling paper and smell of musty books grows stronger. As he looks up, a monstrous creature places cold, dry hands against his face… its desiccated face stares down at him, it’s eyes sewn shut yet still seeming to see, words carved across its face. It seems to be hanging from the ceiling behind him, something like a cross between a man and a spider. The surface of its body covered in words and symbols, a vast torso that looks like the skin from several people had been sewn together and carved up like its face.
Before the scream can leave his throat, something hard and sharp pierces the back of his skull, and all that he was is drained away in an instant. As his companions search the halls for him, the sound of rustling pages and the smell of musty books follows them, searching for seekers of knowledge, searching for more.