Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Creatures, Crawlers, and Shapeshifters by C.J. Burright

Halloween is my favorite holiday because it gives me a valid excuse to dress up and scare people, no judgment. Add in copious amounts of chocolate, and it’s a win-win. But along with all the personal fun, Halloween also draws people to the scary and supernatural. Maybe it has something to do with the time change, less daylight, and the rumored thinning of the veil between worlds. Whatever the reason, it’s a great time to explore some paranormal, and one of my favorite creepy creatures are the shapeshifters in all their various forms.
  

Shapeshifting mythology has roots in many different countries, and most of the stories link shapeshifters with trickery and deceit, hunting and killing weak humans. Sure, werewolves and vampires are common knowledge, but there are more variations than a fanged dead dude who transforms into a bat or a sexy beast of a man who becomes a slathering wolf at the full moon. Here are a few of my favorite, lesser known shapeshifters.

Leshy – Slavic. Hang out in forests and usually appear as tall men, but can change into plant or animal form, from moss to the mightiest oak. If you see a peasant with glowing green eyes, watch out! He might tickle you…to death.

Kitsune – A Japanese fox that can take human form, usually a beautiful woman, girl or grandpa. Not only can they clone your appearance, the can manifest in dreams. Worse, they have the ability to weave an illusion so real, their victims believe the alternate reality, sometimes going mad. Have a pet dog? Take it with you. Kitsunes hate the puppies.

Skinwalkers – Navajos call them yee naaldlooshii (don’t ask me to pronounce it). They are a variety of witch who can not only take the forms of wild animals, but also steal your face. If you lock gazes with them, they’ll go all bodysnatcher on you. And they might decide just to murder you…with poison powder made from corpse dust, ground infant bones, to be exact.

Rakshasa – nasty Hindu creatures who eat human flesh. If you’re a Supernatural fan, you might remember the episode with the Rakshasa who changed into a clown, followed children home from the circus, and until the Winchesters showed up, let’s just say there weren’t any fun balloon animals. Clowns are scary. Don’t trust them. Period.

V’alkara – from my Dreamcaster world. Not only do these guys feed off nightmares, they can change into the very creatures in their victim’s dream, from fanged, fuzzy bunnies to fire-breathing demon horses. They aren’t afraid to kill if someone gets in their way, and some of them have a serious sweet tooth, so fair warning. Don’t steal any candy from something that looks like it belongs in a nightmare.
 Wonderfully Wicked

With trick-or-treating adventures around the corner, shorter days, and magic seeping through from other realms, you never know what might be behind the masks, human appearance or not.

What’s your favorite type of shifter?

16 comments:

Author GE Stills said...

Hi CJ

Great post. Shared to my FB page which also shares on Twitter.

CJ Burright said...

Thanks, GE! :)

Nightingale said...

I really enjoyed this post, and your shifters sound intriguing. I'm polishing a manuscript about a shifter for entry in the SARA Merritt contest.

CJ Burright said...

Thanks so much, and good luck in the contest! <3

Diane Burton said...

Fascinating post, C.J. I never thought about all the different types of shapeshifters. The clown is really creepy-esp. since some people in clown costumes recently have been terrifying people. The V'alkala reminds me of the boggart in Harry Potter books. Different names for old legends.

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Yes, I remember the V’alkara, from your Dreamcaster book 1. At first I didn't know what the heck was going on. (I'm a little slow when it comes to the supernatural.) I loved it though.

Fun post. Thanks for the info. Now I know what to avoid. I think.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

CJ Burright said...

Diane - those clowns have shown up very, very close to my hometown. I would shoot first, ask questions later. I'm not much of a Harry Potter fan (I know, *GASP*), but I'll have to check out the boggart. Sounds interesting!

CJ Burright said...

You never know where those supernatural creatures might show up, Patricia...maybe even a certain bed and breakfast in your neck of the woods. :)

Victoria Craven said...

Great post. Lot's of information. Creepy clown though, I won't be forgetting that before bed time.

J Hali Steele said...

I love shifters... and I like the clown :)

Maureen said...

Love the post- clowns get more and more creepy...

CJ Burright said...

What can be worse than a clown shapeshifter, right?! *Shudder*

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

EWwwww, no, not clowns, anything but clowns! Great post! I love shapeshifters, too, and always love learning about them!

CJ Burright said...

I'm with you, Elizabeth - after watching Stephen King's It...nope. No clowns. No way.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

No clowns. NO. I do like kitsune but skinwalkers scare me the most.

CJ Burright said...

Clowns are just WRONG! :)