The jaws that bite.

I am having one of those days, and today that day is one of those which involves trying to come up with a great long list of creatures (probably mythological or folkloric) which are particularly associated with biting or human-eating (most often corpses, but I am willing to be flexible).

Off the top of my head:

  • Ghouls. I don’t feel this one needs elaboration, except to point out that I do not mean D&D ghouls.
  • Redcaps, if the terrible bite schtick actually predates White Wolf’s Changeling: The Dreaming. I can’t actually find a cite for that (yet), and simply having huge teeth doesn’t count.
  • Aswangs. Creatures from Filipino folklore that eat human meat–corpses, but also the living, or unborn fetuses.
    (Fetusii? >googles< No, fetuses. Right, then–carry on.)
  • Zombies, the movie version. (The light of my life actually had to point this one out to me. I have no idea why.)
  • Werewolves, not because the bite is (sometimes) infectious, but strictly for the killing and eating of humans when it shows up. Also a hat-tip to CS Lewis and the classic line “Where I bite, I hold till I die, and even after death they must cut out my mouthful from my enemy’s body and bury it with me.”
  • Related to that, the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. Not one I would have initially thought of, but the swallowing of bodies whole and in such rapid succession is impressive, even if they were alive. I may be being swayed by the fact that in some versions of the story, LRRH is actually called “Red Cap”.
  • Wendigos. Which I also do not feel needs elaboration.

Vampires specifically do not count, because of all the surviving/not noticing of the bite (at least the first time) and the distinction between drinking and eating.

Anything else coming to mind?

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5 thoughts on “The jaws that bite.”

  1. Polyphemus the cyclops eats several of the Argonauts in the Odyssey. Dragons are also fairly frequently involved in eating people, especially if they happen to be female and tied to a rock

    1. Ohh, thanks. Should probably add ogres/giants in general. And thanks for the mention of dragons.

      Looking, it seems that Wikipedia has an entire page on the “princess and dragon” trope, and it covers some other examples of… anthropophagy, I guess? Or is that only when it’s humans eating humans?

  2. Jikininki, Japan, Kappa, Manananggal. tooth fairies *hellboy) qahwah – they tend to be very grumpy in the mornings and half sharp to teeth. They use bones to grind coffee beans and use your soul as a creamer.

    1. Ohh, thanks especially for the Jikininki and Kappa.

      Confused by the qahwah, since that’s the Arabic word for coffee–I’m not sure if you’re saying that they’re a Hellboy creation, or that the tooth fairies in Hellboy eat humans, or that the tooth fairies in Hellboy are also called qahwah?

  3. Ohh, thanks especially for the Jikininki and Kappa.

    Confused by the qahwah, since that’s the Arabic word for coffee–I’m not sure if you’re saying that they’re a Hellboy creation, or that the tooth fairies in Hellboy eat humans, or that the tooth fairies in Hellboy are also called qahwah?

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