For someone who gets scared easily, I–perhaps paradoxically–love reading about the monsters and creatures that stalk the pages of SFF. They always fascinate me, and I find them more terrifying than a human villain ever could be. As the veil begins to thin, take a look at this list of monsters I’ve lost sleep over. The ones that caused me to slam my book shut in hopes it can’t reach out and grab me. Join me in my sleepless quest to scare myself shitless this month, and learn some tips to protect yourself along the way. Just be sure to leave on a light.
1. Omoluzu – Black Leopard, Red Wolf: There are enough horrors in this book to complete the entire list, but I’m featuring the first monster that wisely made me put my guard up for the rest of the story. These shadowy demon assassins are violent beings that can only materialize on the ceiling. If that wasn’t creepy enough, the Omoluzu’s relentless energy to track you down and gut you like a fish will certainly put things in perspective.
- They can and will find you with a particular set of skills that rivals Liam Neeson.
- Has the upper hand. Hehe, get it?
- Your newfound desire to never walk under a roof ever again.
- The sky either doesn’t have a ceiling or is way too high for them to reach you so go enjoy the outdoors. Forever.
2. Striga – The Last Wish: While the written account of Geralt’s battle with the Striga didn’t necessarily scare me, it was episode 3 of The Witcher on Netflix that had me running up the stairs that night after I turned off the lights. It’s the ominous slide of a coffin lid. The echoing screams in an abandoned castle. The abnormally long arms and decayed body. Don’t even get me started on the Striga’s incestuous origins. Everything about this monster is the stuff of nightmares.
- Freaky fast and strong enough to give even a Witcher a run for his coin.
- Unnerving ability to scale walls and jump higher than I deem necessary.
- Failure to get a full day’s worth of beauty sleep in her stone coffin.
- Geralt and only Geralt.
3. Sandworms – Dune: Maybe I’m showing my deep-seated fear of Tremors here but the thought of this giant monstrosity underneath the sand makes me never want to touch the ground again. How does one evade a 400-meter sandworm? The answer is you don’t unless you somehow befriend the Fremen which is just as unlikely as outrunning this galactic-sized worm.
- Bigger than it has any right to be.
- Can hear better than the corporations spying on you through your iPhone.
- The Fremen – good luck with that friend request.
- Water, even a small dose of it will do. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
4. Ra’haam – Aurora Rising: As your friendly neighborhood germophobe, the idea of a highly infectious parasitic plant monster that melts your brain into its hive mind is truly something that keeps me up at night. All you have to do is breathe in its pollen and you’ve unwillingly joined an alien plant cult bent on destroying the galaxy. I don’t think calling your dad will get you out of this one, Murderinos.
- Emits a highly infectious pollen that can absorb any living organism into its hive mind.
- Dramatically extends the life span of any living thing under its control. Bottle that up and sell it. Hive mind terms and conditions apply.
- The Eshvaren alien race is about 99% effective. Oh and also they’re extinct.
- Ahem. A mask.