We wish some fictional characters would make the leap from the movies to real life. If science actually read the dozens of letters we send them each day, they would have turned Christian Bale into Batman a long time ago.
Instead, the socially maladjusted high school students and scientists of the world seem to be banding together to try to turn reality into a lame version of a horror movie. Here's how that's been going ...
As anyone who has read Anne Rice can attest, the world of the vampire is a melodramatic, fancy boy orgy of ennui, lazy sex and disinterest all accented by ridiculous clothing and long winded soliloquies. Who among us wouldn't want that to be real?
In fact, a good number of misguided souls want that for themselves and, on a day to day basis, live out their lives as vampires. While we may not be legally able to dole out psychological diagnoses in online comedy articles, we can take a shot in the dark and guess that these people may have never been hugged as children, or possibly hugged too often. We don't know what exactly, but something has to ring your bell pretty hard to make you think you're a vampire.
"I crave human blood and my parents' respect!"
It's arguable whether or not some of the people who claim to be vampires actually suffer from Renfield's syndrome, a mental disorder of dubious veracity characterized by the desire to drink blood. The fact that very few cases have ever been recognized that aren't associated with some other disorder (like being a complete nutter) makes it a hard label to stick to someone.
Sanguinarius.org, your vampire forum to end all vampire forums is designed specifically for real vampires only. None of you losers who only pretend to be vampires; you have to be a real blood drinker, or at least a psychic vampire. No really, it says that right on the site.
And just look at this logo. Vampires aren't the only things around here that suck, are we right?
Some of the folks on the site claim to be "energy vampires" and say they can feed off of crowds. Not because they're evil of course but because they, like any vampire, have a deficiency. And so, rather than getting a vitamin B shot, they choose to act like high school art students well into their 40s. After all, needles are actually scary.
Some people want to eschew the pomp and pageantry of fancy monsters like vampires and just go for something basic and primal, like the wolf man. After all, werewolves get to run around naked and eat live prey, something you simply can't do as just a random Wal-Mart cashier without getting written up and demoted to working in the pet section.
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, a 19 year-old man who apparently really dug Underworld had convinced himself and the 16 year old girl who had sex with him that he was a werewolf (and also part vampire). For proof, he demonstrated his canine teeth to police officers who then pointed out that canine teeth don't necessarily make him a creature of the night, and even if everyone else on the planet didn't have teeth like his, he still wouldn't be a werewolf, because they are fictional. He did show all the common signs of being an asshole, though, so there's that.
In Fond Du Lac, a 39 year-old man was arrested after breaking into a woman's house and claiming he too was a werewolf, indicating that the common theme amongst those who think they're lycanthropes is that they're also piss poor criminals.
In the world of normal folks, the disease called hypertrichosis is also known as werewolf syndrome, because boring Latin names will never be able to stand up to the mildly insulting pop culture names we can think up for diseases. It's characterized by the growth of thick hair over the entire body including the face. Sadly, few of the people who suffer from it have ever ripped a man to shreds under a full moon, though several took up work in the Mexican circus which we hear is almost as bloody.
Few movie monsters will ever be as cool as zombies because zombies, unlike every other creature out there, clearly don't give a shit. They're physically incapable of giving a shit. They hobble about like couch potatoes who've lost their couch, only bothering to speak when they want to eat something. Zombies are the sleepy, fat, old guys of monsters.
It's natural then, with all the glitz and glamour of zombie life, we'd want to introduce that to our real, living world as soon as possible. Why endure work and stress and social interaction when you can just leak fluids from open wounds, moan and eat a neighbor? Why indeed.
Plus, hey, zombie bitches.
Under the guise of trying to save lives, researchers at the Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research have put an ungodly amount of time into seeing how long after death they can bring a person back to life. A few years back they successfully managed to drain all the blood from some dogs, keep them iced for three hours, then bring them back to life. If you can think of a cooler pet than a dog that's had all of its blood drained, replaced by freezing saline and then brought back to life three hours after dying, it better be a monkey butler because nothing else fits the bill.
One of the goals for the Safar Centre is to be able to treat soldiers injured on the field where they wouldn't be able to get standard medical treatment. Long story short, this means a soldier who dies in battle can then be brought back a few hours later. This means they want the US to have a zombie army. This is, in turn, awesome.
On the less spectacular side of things is the belief in Voodoo zombies, which some attribute to being a drug-induced state brought on by a bokor (which roughly translates to "fucked up Voodoo dude who wants to convince people you're a walking corpse for some reason"). Sadly, research into how to make zombies with magic is harder than you might expect, so no one knows for sure if anyone has ever really made a zombie or how they would have done it if it happened at all.
The monster made by Frankenstein never really got a lot of love, probably because he would have smelled like heinous, rotten ass (They never mention that in the book). Still, he's a tragic figure, the creation of a madman brought into a life of pain and torment that he never asked for and with no place of his own where he could ever fit in. The end result is an escape to the solitary North and murdering his creator. Would any scientist ever want to reproduce something like that in real life? Fuckin' a.
More than any other monster, Frankenstein's gets a lot of play in the real world because you don't need to be a monster to get it to work, you just need to think like one. Numerous scientists, from Johann Dippel (believed to be the inspiration for the doctor in Mary Shelley's book), up through to the modern age have thought that sewing corpses together and making them move would be awesome both at work and parties.
"Hey guys, is it cool with you if I just sort hang onto some of these organs when we're done, here?"
Notable doctors of mayhem have included Vladimir Demikhov who decided to sew an extra head onto a dog and see what would happen. The following video pretty much sums it up:
If you weren't paying attention at the 1:20 mark feel free to rewind. That was both heads of a two-headed dog drinking.
In the US, Robert White decided dogs weren't extreme enough and made himself a paralyzed two-headed monkey. The paralysis may not have been planned, but both heads seem to work like a charm and could see, eat, look around and scream in abject horror. The transplants were so successful, despite the paralysis, it was believed the two-headed monkey could have lived indefinitely, or at least until one face became mortal enemies with the other and a brutal bite fight ended them both.
The big idea behind this was to perfect head transplants for humans which, if they worked, would cure you of any below the head disease you may have been suffering from and leave you with the creepy sensation that someone else will always and forever be wiping your ass.
Ever since The Exorcist came out, being possessed by the devil has been a fabulous way to let loose with vulgar language, vomit on clergy and pleasure yourself with religious paraphernalia. Admittedly, the idea of possession stems back ages and often was a quick and easy way for church officials to denounce anyone they didn't like without having anything like reason or proof to support them. In modern times we've come to appreciate it for the incredible mishandling of mental illness that it makes possible.
Thanks to Hollywood we're never too far away from hearing about another person who up and died because of demon possession. The recent, forgettable film the Exorcism of Emily Rose sort of documents one exorcism gone awry back in the 70s, in which Anneliese Michel died of what doctors determined to be dehydration and malnutrition (as opposed to the fiery scourge of Satan).
"Mom, I'm not possessed, please, just give me some water."
Though many people genuinely believe she was possessed by demons, the fact that she had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for a variety of reasons, prescribed many drugs she refused to take and came from a deeply religious family might lead one to believe that perhaps something beyond the Devil was taking an interest in this particular German teenager.
At the time of her death, Annaliese's knees were completely blown out due to her being forced to do thousands of genuflections over the course about a hundred exorcisms in 10 months, indicating the priests involved were fairly positive that about a year's worth of high impact knee smashing was the best way to force demons to flee the premises.
Similar stories pop up around the world from time to time, with most of the details remaining the same. Apparently tying a person to a bed and not feeding them really seems to be the best weapon anyone has come up with to fight the Devil. If the anti-Christ ever arrives and plans to destroy the world, we can only hope everyone has a spare mattress and some bungee cord available to save our souls.
Because the Internet is the refuge of the socially maladjusted and scorned (folks like Internet comedy writers and witches) this entry is likely to get lambasted by someone named Priestess Vagamite for being wholly inaccurate, but oh well.
Since way back when, any time someone had a beef with a woman and no real evidence that they'd done anything wrong or even a real reason to be angry, they'd accuse them of witchcraft and often the end result would be some manner of stoning or drowning or burning or exile to Florida. These days, now that tying your neighbor to a stake and setting them ablaze isn't politically correct, witches keep coming out of the woodwork and calling themselves Wiccan. At least they have been since 1954 when the term was invented by this character.
Most modern adherents of Wicca are actually just hippies and art students who really enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer and apply the name to anyone who has a passing interest in Neopagan beliefs or a kind of Earth Spirit mentality. There are a few organized groups who trace their roots back through various channels to Hogwarts or wherever witches used to gather back in the day who might get to be called real witches, insofar as they're organized when they get together to cast spells and venerate their god and goddess. This is much the same as saying if Superman fought Spiderman for real, Superman would win.
While it's arguable if burning sage is going to grant you invisibility or good fortune or whatever the hell witches think they can get by casting spells, for the most part modern Wiccan seem to be just really naturey people who are into recycling and eating soy products, which probably isn't cause for setting anyone on fire.
A modern witch wouldn't touch that unless it was completely organic and never treated with pesticides.
More of Fortey's stuff can be found at ScenicAnemia.com.
For more lame monsters check out The 7 Most Easily Escapable Movie Monsters and Gay Bigfoot & the 7 Weirdest Mythical Creatures in the World.