Top 10 Scariest Mythical Creatures You've Never Heard Of

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Top 10 Scariest Mythical Creatures You've Never Heard Of

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
You wouldn't want to tangle with these terrifying creatures! For this list, we'll be ranking the most frightening, fearsome or otherwise fantastical creatures from various world mythologies. Our countdown includes Jorōgumo, Bulgasari, Rokurokubi, and more!
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Top 10 Scariest Mythical Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Mythical Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of.

For this list, we’ll be ranking the most frightening, fearsome or otherwise fantastical creatures from various world mythologies.

Which one gives YOU the creeps? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Jorōgumo

Jorōgumo is the quintessential Spider Lady, a creature from the Yōkai classification of Japanese spirit. Yōkai vary in temperament from friendly to malevolent, but the Jorōgumo most certainly falls in the latter category. A sinister sexuality is also closely associated with Jorōgumo. The mythical creature is described as a spider woman who can shapeshift into an attractive human woman in order to tempt and devour the living. Trickery, subterfuge and deception are common themes within the legends of Jorōgumo, with these spirits almost always either misleading or misdirecting their prey, in the hope of catching them off guard.

#9: Cockatrice

You’re probably all closely acquainted with the Greek tales of Medusa, and how her gaze was said to turn her victims to stone. However, what you might not know is that she isn’t the only mythical creature with the ability to kill through the act of looking. Stories of the Basilisk tell the tale of a reptile who can murder with a single glance. The subject of our entry, however, is perhaps even more frightening. The the Cockatrice is prevalent in English mythology, appearing as a bipedal dragon with the head of a rooster. Its eyes–and sometimes even its breath–is said to cause death, although, interestingly enough, weasels are apparently immune to the Cockatrice’s power.

#8: Strigoi

If you’re searching for the roots of the modern vampire mythos, look no further than the Strigoi. These Romanian spirits are restless bloodsuckers that rise from the grave and seek out human victims. The Strigoi also possess powers that we commonly associate with vampires, such as the ability to turn invisible, or into some kind of animal–and, of course, the blood-sucking. There are a number of origin stories for the Strigoi, with varying accounts claiming an individual could turn into one of these creatures after death, should that person take their own life, die unmarried, or simply be unlucky enough to be born the seventh in line and of the same gender as their siblings. Some Romanians were so scared of Strigoi, that they even exhumed the bodies of loved ones…y’know, just to check.

#7: Bulgasari

We’re not sure which is stranger, the origins of the mythological Bulgasari, or the real-life harrowing tale of the kidnapped director and his wife who were forced to produce a film on the creature by the North Korean government. The original myths of Bulgasari show up in both Korean and Chinese culture, with the name roughly translating to “impossible to kill.” The creature appears as a giant, four-legged beast with a clubbed tail, and arrives armed with an insatiable hunger for metal. They’re said to begis life rather small, as the creation of a Buddhist monk who builds the beast out of rice grains. The monster grows exponentially, however, destroying homes and causing chaos until he is set on fire by the local populace.

#6: Bubák

Hands up: who’s afraid of The Boogeyman? The Bubák is a Czech approximation of the creature, a malevolent stealer of children who’s believed to possess no physical form at all, but is often depicted as a terrifying scarecrow with the frame of a skeleton. You know, in order to get his general horrific nature across. (Message received, guys!) Bubák is said to whisk away misbehaving children from their homes and hide them away in his large coat. It’s a story that’s often compared to the Sack Man that appears in countries such as Poland, Portugal, Italy and Spain, the latter of which actually eats the children he catches. Yikes!

#5: Rokurokubi

The Rokurokubi is another Japanese Yōkai monster with a wild and sinister appearance. Well, sometimes. The Rokurokubi can actually appear as a normal human most of the time. The kicker, however, is when its neck gets ridiculously long and its head detaches from its body. That’s when things get weird. There are some stories that associate Rokurokubi with night attacks, specifically stories of the Nukekubi (new-KEH-koo-BEE) variety, whose heads were said to leave their bodies in search of victims to drink blood from. This behavior can also be observed in other monsters from countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, with the heads of these beasts detaching from their bodies and flying around with their entrails still connected!

#4: La Cegua

Lounge lizards and pub-crawlers beware, for that next one-night-stand you have may just be with La Cegua. This Nicaraguan legend is a cautionary tale against premarital sex. La Cegua’s origins stem from the story of a woman abandoned by a man she had intercourse with before marriage. The legend says he promised to wed her after the fact, and his lie causes her to goes insane. Now, she forever seeks out victims for revenge. Those unlucky enough to encounter La Cegua rarely live to tell the tale, since the creature’s true face is that of a skeletal horse with frightening eyes, the gaze from which her victims are driven to madness.

#3: Chupacabra

The Chupacabra is another mythological creature closely associated with the attributes of vampires, although this beast of Puerto Rican origin tends to primarily attack animals and livestock. The word “Chupacabra” translates to “goat sucker” in Spanish, and is described to have an appearance ranging from that of a small reptilian to that of a hairy bear with sharp spines. Anecdotal sightings range from places like Russia, Chile and Puerto Rico, all the way to the U.S.A.’s very own state of Maine. The Chupacabra is also a unique entry on this list due to its comparatively modern origins, with stories detailing their habitual blood-drinking and animal-slaying only dating back to the mid-seventies, and gaining steam during the nineties.

#2: Alp

You may never have your same, old, boring nightmares again after seeing the creatures described in this entry. Both the Bakhtak (bochhhh-TAGK) and the Alp are manifestations of sleep paralysis. They’re malicious creatures that typically sit on the chests of sleeping victims, preventing them from breathing. The Alp and the Bakhtak are said to cause nightmares during their attacks, and are sometimes also associated with an Incubus or Succubus, though that’s not as common. They’re said to steal blood or breast milk from their victims–all victims, that is, if you weren’t creeped out enough! Their mischief is akin to that of elves, and Alps will do things like steal and re-apply a dirty diaper upon an unsuspecting baby when the parent isn’t looking. Gross!

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are some honorable mentions!

Baba Yaga
A Forest Witch Known to Kidnap Children

Ogopogo
Canada’s Answer to the Loch Ness Monster

Ushi Oni
A Sinister Hybrid Beach-Dwelling Monster that Attacks Fishermen

La Llorona
AKA the Weeping Woman

Grootslang
A Giant Primordial Snake

#1: Manananggal

If you thought that the Rokurokubi’s habit of detaching its head was weird, just wait ‘til you get a load of Manananggal. This creature from The Philippines actually separates its entire torso in two, before growing giant wings and going out on a nocturnal hunt for blood. The Manananggal’s vampiric behavior often focuses on pregnant women, and they’ll use their long tongue to suck the fetus’ heart while the mother is asleep. Luckily, the Manananggal also seems to possess the same weaknesses that vampires do, so garlic and holy water will do the trick, should you ever encounter one!
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