Monsters That Never Took Off
The tradition of telling scary stories has to have started when cavemen gathered around the first campfire. In all those centuries, there must have been millions of stories. The most popular have survived and thrived – we’ve all heard of vampires, werewolves, ghosts and mummies. But, what about the attempts to terrify that failed?
It’s a little-known fact that the first attempt to scare with a vampire story failed because the undead, coffin-dwelling beast didn’t drink blood. Instead, he licked sweat off the necks of sweaty, overweight men. Instead of fangs, the vampire had tiny sponge-teeth to help gather the perspiration. He liked to hang around lumberjacks, bakeries and steam rooms. Since the men didn’t die from the sweat-licking, the original vampire wasn’t considered especially scary, just kind of creepy.
Another bizarre attempt to create a monster that would join the pantheon of greats was an attempt by a man in northern Ohio to pass off his gastric distress as a “trouser ghosts.” As he emitted mysterious noises following his evening meal, he told a story about how his pants had been possessed by evil demons and their tormented souls were crying out in the eternal torture of damnation. A disturbing story, but certainly not scary.
One story from Colonial America was about a chef that made delicious candy, but in reality, he made his candies from babies instead of sugar. His name was Chef Kinderessen and he would sneak into houses and stuff babies into empty sacks of sugar. This was based around the idea that babies were sweet, so they would taste sweet. After a few rough, long winters, there was a general understanding that babies were only sweet in nature and that the story wouldn’t make any sense because the candy would be awful.
The story of the werecat, a man that turned into a half-cat, half-man during a full moon should have been scary. Instead, because it was true to the nature of cats, the werecat didn’t eat people so much as ignore them, except for occasional moments when it would allow a human to rub it behind the ears. Also, the fact that it sprayed its victim’s house to mark its territory crossed a line most people weren’t willing to go along with.
Here’s a quick list of a few more ideas that failed:
If only one of these monsters had caught on, the entire landscape of monsterdom would have been changed forever. A black-and-white movie about any one of them would be a classic. At least this article will be published before Halloween and there is always a possibility that someone use them as a costume idea and for a brief, shining moment, that creature will live again!