The monsters of Halloween just seem so rote this year. I mean, you can only go through so many All Hallows' Eves with Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolfman phoning in the frights on October 31, glad-handing with trick-or-treaters, drunk off of Universal Studios ducats and stoned out of their gourds on the Mummy's homegrown "Kushite Kush."
Face it, the iconography of Halloween is not open to monstrous outsiders. When's the last time you saw the dreaded giant Japanese boner skeleton (link not safe for work) smiling and waggling on a bag of M&M's? Never, and that's a crime.
What I'm suggesting here, dear readers, is that we as a society make a concerted effort to open the season's Monster Mashes and Dracula Discos (see here) to those underappreciated horrific creatures. And I can think of no abominations less unheralded than those of pioneering 16th century Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi and his Monstrorum Historia (here's an edition via the University of Oklahoma).
Monstrorum Historia collects Aldrovandi's many descriptions of mythical animals and sets them to illustration. (Along with all the sea serpents and cyclopes, there are also more than a few conjoined animals and drawings of people with conditions like hypertrichosis.)
Using the "monsters" of past editions of Monstrorum Historia for inspiration, let us create a new Halloween canon, free from the tyranny of all those vampires, witches, and slutty Berts. (DISCLAIMER: My Latin begins and ends with "Quid facit?" so know that we just drove on the off-ramp toward Contextcluesylvania!)
1. The Terrible Two-Torsoed Tabby!
2. The Conjoined Kitten of Menace!
3. The Excessively Polite Naked Man Panther!
4. The Biped Bovine!
5. The Gasp-Inducing Fruit Elk!
6. The Ambiguously Flaccid Hound!
7. The Elephant Man Who Judges Your Outfit But Evades Sartorial Criticism By Wearing Nothing!
8. The Busty Dragon-Fox-Bird!
9. The Incredulous Triangle Dog!
10. The Cow That's Always Hugging Itself!
11 & 12. Spider-Dog And His Sidekick, Pig-Boy With Head Wound!
13. Someone's New Heavy Metal Band Logo!
14. Flamingo Haberdasher!
15. The "I Have No Fucking Clue" Beast!
BONUS: Deer Heads!
RELATED: The Joys of Struwwelpeter!