Faeries aren't just supernatural. Some of them are downright scary.
I'm not into super scary Halloweens. Even as a child, I tended to like the pumpkins and cute ghost decorations to the skeleton bones and monster masks. But I did enjoy that song "Monster Mash" and the all-in-good-fright movies that weren't too terrifying for kids and grown-ups weren't phased by at all.
As I got older, I was better able to watch monster movies without tossing the popcorn over while jumping out of my seat. After all, said everyone, they aren't real.
Or are they?
Much as I was frightened by these things as a child, as an adult I love stories about legendary creatures or things-that-go-bump-in-the-night. I can handle fake scares in small doses, mostly because I don't necessarily believe any of these monsters are real...but one never really knows. That's the beauty of Halloween...that "what if" that gives you a little chill in this cooling weather.
There are sightings reported throughout history of strange creatures. One might call them monsters, but the people of Scotland, Ireland, Britain, and Wales call them faeries. Here are what I consider to be the scariest faerie "monsters" in mythology in and around the United Kingdom.
The Red Cap
Personally, I think the red cap is the scariest of the faerie people. These are spirits who perished in battle and who go wherever there are wars. They enjoy the gruesomeness and even their "red cap" is red for a reason. I'm sure you understand my meaning. These faeries can cause deaths, be omens for deaths, or simply enjoy being around it, which is reason enough for me to stay away from them.
Technically, this grim reaper is supposedly the last person to have died in the previous year in a town. I guess this would mean every town had their own ankou. I'm not afraid of spirits of dead people (they would technically still be people, right?), but this grim reaper figure collects souls and only appears to those who are going to die, so I'd rather not see one. What's really creepy about this fae is that it's supposedly most powerful around Halloween.
Barguest, a.k.a. Black Dog of Death
Most dogs are lovable, cuddly creatures, but I would not cozy up to the barguest. This large, black dog has mangy fur, glowing red eyes, sharp teeth and claws. And, if a prominent person in a town is going to die, this faerie will gather up all the dogs in town and lead them on a procession - a death procession - up and down the streets in the night. They are not only omens of death, but some believe that they can cause deaths, too. This makes them a terrifying fae, in my opinion.
This faerie is known as the "people-eater." It's got no head and just a giant mouth on its torso. You've already guessed from the name - it's eats people. They supposedly live high up in mountains, so I guess I'm not doing any mountain climbing - at least not without a lot of caution.
These are giants with hairy bodies and everything in singular - one eye, one ear, one arm, one leg. And they're so ugly the sight of them could stop a human's heart. These terrifying creatures are part of Scottish and Irish folklore and are said to be very aggressive. So, if you see one, run!
These are my top five terrifying faeries, but there are plenty more on Faeriepedia and The Scary Fairy Bestiary on YouTube if you're into spooky specters. Or, you can always read The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries for more fabled fae monsters, but don't worry, Moss Hill's ankou is actually kind. In fact, he might object to being on this list.
Thanks for reading!