Mythical creatures have been a part of human culture for centuries. They are a popular subject in movies, books, and folklore. The idea that these beings live alongside humans is what makes them so terrifying.
In this article, we will discuss the scariest and creepiest mythical creatures and beasts known to us today!
Top 30 Scariest and Creepiest Creatures List:
Medusa is usually portrayed as a beautiful woman with snakes coming out of her head instead of hair. She is one of the Gorgons in Greek mythology and is known for her ability to petrify anyone she looks directly at and to turn them into stone.
Mythical creatures that can be both good and bad are the kentauros – centaurs. These appear in multiple books and movies and can be recognized by having half a human body and half the body of a horse. The centaurs are considered unpredictable and many drink too much, yet they are known to be charming.
3. The Chimera
The fire-breathing chimera is a mythological creature in Greek mythology, and it is made up of the parts of various animals. While considered scary and dangerous, it is a creature you can’t take your eyes off of.
Greek mythology is filled with strange and mysterious creatures, and three of them are cyclopes. The cyclopes were Arges, Steropes, and Brontes, and they each only had one eye in the middle of their foreheads.
Basilisks pop up in all kinds of European tales, and they are known to be large snakes that can kill simply by looking you in the eye. They are difficult to beat and incredibly dangerous, and one of their few weaknesses is the weasel’s odor. It is sometimes also described as a large snake that leaves a venomous trail behind it as it slithers past.
6. The Kraken
Almost everyone has heard of the Kraken – a gigantic sea monster that terrorizes ships and sailors off the coast of Greenland and Norway. It is mostly present in Scandinavian folklore, and the Kraken is described as a very large squid-like creature that pulls entire fleets down to the bottom of the sea.
7. The Minotaur
Picture the head and the tail of a massive bull, yet the body of a man, and there you have it – the Minotaur. In the stories, this terrifying and vicious creature would rip up and eat any human that was thrown into a large labyrinth, where he would be waiting right in the middle.
This three-headed dog goes by many names! In most stories, it guards something, and it is large, vicious, and unpredictable. A massively sized dog with three snapping heads, each ready to rip into whoever comes too close.
Nowadays many hear of mermaids and associate them with children’s stories, but they were once considered to be a bad omen when out at sea – an omen of shipwreck. Sirens and mermaids were also believed to present a real danger to men, who would be seduced by their beauty and eventually drowned.
Typhon is one of the greatest enemies of Zeus, and while he was eventually defeated, he was considered an extremely deadly creature in Greek mythology. The son of Gaia and Tartarus, he is known for having had 100 snakeheads resting on his shoulders.
These bird-like creatures have the body of birds but the faces of women, and they kidnap and torture their victims. The Harpies would snatch their prey on the way to Hade’s domains as if the trip wasn’t already bad enough as it is.
12. The Lernaean Hydra
Whenever someone in Greek mythology would encounter one of these monsters, they would almost certainly lose the fight. It is pictured as a creature with many heads, and if you were to cut one off – two new heads would take its place.
Everyone has surely heard of dragons, as they exist in stories all over the world. These are similar to dinosaurs, but they could both fly and breathe fire!
This screeching creature is believed to bear an omen of the death of a family member. A beautiful woman with a horrifying scream, who can be found in Irish folklore stories and beliefs.
The mother of all monsters, as she is often called, and the one that gave birth to some of the best-known monsters in Greek mythology.
A Scandinavian myth tells the story of a demon-like creature that sits in streams playing the violin. He will lure his victims into the water and drown them.
17. Scylla and Charybdis
Not unlike the Kraken, these two sea monsters were believed to present a danger to sailors! Some have associated the monsters with the saying “the lesser of two evils.”
18. The Furies
Revengeful chthonic deities in Greek mythology, would take out horrible vengeance on men for, supposedly, their suffering.
The story goes like this: Lamia’s children were all killed by Zeus’ wife, and after the horrible incident – Lamia turned into an evil creature whose mission was to hunt down and kill the children of others.
20. The Sphinx
A human head and a lion’s body make up what is known as the Sphinx. The only way to get past the Sphinx is to correctly answer a riddle. If the answer to the riddle is incorrect or if you take too long with your reply – she will kill and eat you. While a mythical creature – the statue actually exists.
Lurking in Japanese rivers and ponds are the Kappas! These creatures are described as human-like reptiles, and while evil and dangerous to humans and animals – they are described as peculiarly polite and well-mannered. In Japan, the kappas are known by over 80 different names.
If a dead person’s soul gets lost or dislocated, Jewish mythology believes that these can go on to possess the bodies of other people. This phenomenon is called a Dybbuk, and exorcism is often used to drive the souls out of their hosts.
In Indonesian mythology, there is something called a Pontianak – an evil spirit with the ability to take on different forms. They are usually seen as beautiful women, who will use their beauty to lure their victims, and some believe them to be the spirits of childless women.
24. Loch Ness Monster
A creature many believe to actually exist is the Loch Ness Monster, and many claims to have seen it in the lake of Loch Ness. Pop culture and old tales talk of a sea monster with multiple humps that will occasionally protrude through the surface of the water, and a long slim neck.
Sasquatch, another name for Bigfoot, is a large creature believed to live in the North American forests. This creature is believed to be ape-like and unusually large, and there have supposedly been many sightings, yet no real evidence.
In Japanese folklore, an oni is a type of demon or troll, and they are considered evil and mean-spirited. These will usually be creatures with horns (one or more) and a hunched-over body position. The oni cause harm and terror, and they are known to eat humans in the stories.
Jewish folklore talks about creatures that come to life through specific sequences and placements of Hebrew letters, along with ritual incantations. They are made from inanimate objects and matter, such as dirt and dust.
As mentioned above, Medusa is one of the Gorgons, but there are another two as well – Euryale and Stheno. All three are known for the venomous snakes replacing their hair, but neither of the two sisters is as well-known as Medusa.
29. The Aqrabuamelu
The upper part of the aqrabuamelu is supposedly a man while the lower half is a scorpion, and these scorpion men guarded outside of Shamash’s gate. Some myths claim they were so tall they could reach up to the sky, and possibly also kill people with a single glance – putting “if looks could kill” into perspective.
With stories dating back to the middle ages, this European folklore certainly has been long-lived! Grotesque looking, small but surprisingly malicious for their size, these greedy little goblins appear in anything from fairytales to horror stories.