A Brief History Of Some Scary Things: Zombies

1903 words - 8 pages

Zombies. As we see them today on television shows like "The Walking Dead" they are mindless, undead, brain-eaters. We see it as a living being infected by being bitten, scratched; as a disease. Most people don't know that zombies originated from Haiti known as zombi or zombii. There the zombification was caused by voodoo and were simply reanimated. Though it wasn't well known elsewhere until the short story The Unknown Painter was published
Mermaids. Mermaids (mer=fish maid=young woman) are known to be beautiful half-human half- fish creatures who end up eating men once they've fallen to their deaths. Mermaids have also been seen as lonely and have drug the fisherman down in wish of a companion, only to have them drown every time. In the Disney movie The Little Mermaid Ariel falls in love with a human and the sea witch is killed (whereas in the Grimm version she takes her life and turns into sea foam because she lost her love to another woman- not the witch- as was the noblest thing to do). The first supposed 'sighting' of a mermaid was in 1495
Sirens. Sirens are noted in Greek and Roman mythology and are often confused with mermaids. Sirens are fish-human-bird hybrids; they have been depicted as either beautiful or disgusting. They were known as the daughters of the river god Achleous (Phorcys for Roman) and were “called upon” in Euripides play Helen and also Homer's Odyssey. Their names, later writer’s state, were Perthenope Ligeia, and Leucosia or Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia, or Thelxinoe, Molpe, and Alglaphonos, etc. The amounts of sirens seem to fluctuate and they have many more names. They were the company of Persephone, but when she was captured they were given wings by Demeter, although, according to Fabulae of Hyginus says that Demeter curses the Sirens for not stopping the kidnapping of Persephone. Sirens are known to lure men to their deaths by crashing into the rocky coast with their alluring voices, as the muses of the lower world. Also some later writers insinuated that they were cannibals based on Circe's description in the Odyssey.
Dragons. In nearly every culture throughout history there have been sightings or myths about dragons, roots of the mythology were in ancient Near East, typically the dragons had reptilian traits. The word “dragon” comes up in the thirteenth century. As a large part of culture in China, they are seen as deadly, yet wise creatures. During the Zhou dynasty the dragon’s amount of claws meant different things; 5 claws meant sons, 4 claws meant nobles, 3 claws meant minister. During the Qin dynasty and “s” shape meant an emperor and a dragon with 4 and 3 claws meant commoners. Japanese dragons were elliptical in shape with 3 claws. In 217 A.D. the Greek Pythagorean philosopher and teacher Flavis Philostatis discussed dragons in India in The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, but dragons were first mention in Greek culture in the Iliad. In many cultures they see serpents as a symbol of immortality. The...

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