Unseen Monsters

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Unseen Monsters cover image.

Do you remember the monster under your bed? What about the one in your closet, or that creature in the basement? For some reason it’s really bugging me that I never found out what they looked like. I’m sure, as a child, had I actually seen the monster, it wouldn’t be something I’d forget. At the same time, though, not seeing the monster can be much more terrifying.

That’s where books and movies come into play. Have you ever watched a movie with a monster in it, only to be disappointed when the showed it? Or, in other occasions, the movie becomes less scary after the monster is revealed? After the big unveiling it’s all about the running and the screaming and the chasing and the eventual conquering of the monster. In my experience, any monster worth talking about is the monster that no one has seen.

It’s scarier that way. Sure, it’s incredibly frustrating. The suspense of waiting to see the monster throughout the entire movie really starts to weigh on you, but, regardless of that fact, as soon as the monster’s shown on screen, the magic’s gone. There’s nothing to look forward to anymore. The monster is real, so there’s no longer any doubt from anyone, and the only thing left to do is to defeat the dreaded beast.

Now, back to the monster under the bed, if you could see it, if you could imagine it up and describe it to someone, what would it look like? Would it have wings and talons, or would it be more like a snake with two arms and razor sharp teeth? Is it covered in scales, slime or fur?

When I was a kid, I had a reoccurring nightmare every Christmas Eve. It was of a sasquatch that lived in my parents’ room, in my mother’s green trunk. However, every single year, on Christmas Eve, it would come for my family. It would take them into the trunk with it and… well, beyond that was usually pretty unclear. I’m guessing it was collecting them to eat. I mean, if you’re stuck in a trunk for 364 consecutive days, you’re probably going to want a snack.

Anyway, the sasquatch, though the memory is a little fuzzy after all these years, looked a lot like Chewbacca, except more like his evil twin. He had greasy white fur that was tangled and knotted, deep, blood red eyes and pointed bat-like ears. Its fingers were old and wrinkly, long and disgustingly sharp. They reminded me of rusted knives.

The monster under my bed, however, was the monster I never got to see. In my mind, it has thousands of shapes and sounds and incarnations. There was no limit to what it could look like, and that seemed to make it even scarier.