Browsing posts tagged: Supernatural Myths

What are angels? Where were they first encountered? Can we distinguish angels from gods, faeries, ghosts, and aliens? And why do they remain so popular?In this introduction to the history of angels, David Albert Jones outlines some of the more prominent stories and speculations about angels in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and post-Christian spiritualities. He reflects […]

Tales of Superhuman Powers

This book is a collection of 55 folktales that feature supernatural abilities. These tales represent powers–from invisibility to shape-shifting–that people have dreamed of, conjured up and strived for through the ages. Many of the powers are present in popular culture, making the superheroes who wield them the direct descendants of characters such as the princess […]

On Monsters

Hailed as „a feast“ (Washington Post) and „a modern-day bestiary“ (The New Yorker), Stephen Asma’s On Monsters is a wide-ranging cultural and conceptual history of monsters–how they have evolved over time, what functions they have served for us, and what shapes they are likely to take in the future. Beginning at the time of Alexander […]

Dracula and Philosophy

Twenty-four nocturnal philosophers stake out and vivisect Dracula from many angles, unearthing evidence from numerous movies and showsmacabre, terrifying, tragic, and comic. Altmann decides whether Dracula can really be blamed for his crimes, since it’s his nature as a vampire to behave a certain way. Arp argues that Dracula’s addiction to live human blood dooms […]

Hawaiian Legends of Ghosts and Ghost-Gods

Of special value to all who are concerned with the study of comparative folklore an entertaining dip into Hawaiian mythologyFor all who enjoy or who study folklore, the republication of these books will be welcomed.”South China Morning PostHawaiian Legends of Ghost and Ghost-Gods is a series of richly entertaining Hawaiian folk tales. The legends of […]

Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America

Like a bird-watching guide… only for monsters Monsters represent the dark side of humanity&#150the primal, animal impulses that reside in every single one of us. They have preyed upon our imaginations and our fears since the dawn of civilization.North America is home to a wide array of fearsome beasts, including hairy monsters, flying monsters, lake […]

Gothic Tales

Elizabeth Gaskell’s chilling Gothic tales blend the real and the supernatural to eerie, compelling effect. ‚Disappearances‘, inspired by local legends of mysterious vanishings, mixes gossip and fact; ‚Lois the Witch‘, a novella based on an account of the Salem witch hunts, shows how sexual desire and jealousy lead to hysteria; while in ‚The Old Nurse’s […]

From Demons to Dracula

In blood-soaked lore handed down the centuries, the vampire is a monster of endless fascination: from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this seductive lover of blood haunts popular culture and inhabits our darkest imaginings. The cultural history of the vampire is a rich and varied tale that is now ably documented in From […]

The White Devil

From Ovid’s Lycaon to Professor Lupin, from Teen Wolf to An American Werewolf in Paris, the lycanthrope, or werewolf, comes to us frequently on the page and the silver screen. These interpretations often display lycanthropy as a curse, with the afflicted person becoming an uncontrollable, feral beast during every full moon. But this is just […]

Frankenstein and Philosophy

Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus sparked into life a fascination with science-gone-awry that refuses to die. From 1818 to present-day Hollywood, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his reanimated, stitched-together corpse has inspired (some would say) the very idea of modern science fiction and countless essays, movies, novels, songs, comic-books, and TV shows […]