Thursday, March 15, 2012

Creature Corner: The Mare and Windigo

In Norwegian myth, there is a terrifying female shape shifter called the Mare. She is known as a tormentor, mainly of men, and only wreaks havoc at nightfall. Though this shape shifter takes on the form of a horse, she is able to enter a dwelling through a keyhole or a wall crack.

Once inside she mounts the chests of her victims, making it difficult for them to breathe, causing extreme pain and frightful dreams. In America she is known as the nightmare.

In daylight hours she roams in the form of a woman, usually someone’s wife or mother, without any characteristics or markings to distinguish them as anything but human. While they can shift into other creatures, it predominately chooses to become a horse.

It’s suggested that a horseshoe hung over the bed, or another type of iron/metal object, can discourage the Mare. Should she not find a human to victimize, she will torment livestock by riding them roughly. To keep livestock protected, it is best to tie a bell around their necks, or hang metal around the barn.

I believe the Mare has visited me. I've woken with my chest heavy, gasping for air, and near tears from a terrifying dream. Maybe I should consider investing in a horseshoe. Mare be gone!

And onto a seasonal, subarctic maneater with a heart of ice - otherwise known as the Windigo:

It is said these ruthless creatures were humans at one time, who became possessed cannibals. With trees used as snowshoes they roam forests of the north, hunting for human flesh. Blizzards follow their path of bloody destruction.

They’re described as tall giants with gaunt forms, glaring eyes, and a shriek that paralyzes its prey. In seconds the ice creature rips out all vital organs and feeds. Even the creature’s own family is considered prey.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not run into one. I’m uncoordinated when it comes to walking in snow, so I doubt I could run or get away from some demon-like thing that has the munchies. Then again, I'm not a fan of snow so I can't imagine why I'd be out walking in it to begin with. But I've said that about other things, so who knows ;)

In my research little is said about how to escape a Windigo. You can attempt to throw excrement at the creature to buy some time, but flinging poo wouldn’t be my first choice.

~Ann Cory

1 comment:

Morgan said...

I love a good fantasy when I can find one... these creatures sound like they'd be fantastic characters ;)