For this Top Ten Tuesday list, basically everything we tried to do to stick with the assigned topic (Ten Books That Feature Characters_____) somehow seemed to end up being books that would fit in with a diversity posting. After a few false starts though, we started thinking about some of favorite characters in horror and realized that sometimes our favorite characters aren’t really even human at all! So here are our 10 favorite nonhuman characters in horror. They make the books stand out in circumstances while they might normally have not.
As usual, Top Ten Tuesday topics are brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.
10 Favorite Nonhuman Characters in Horror
Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn – The entity responsible for the woman in white. While I didn’t care much for the book, I was fascinated by that entity and wanted to know more!
The Fireman by Joe Hill – Dragonscale has to be one of the most interesting fungi/spore infections that I’ve seen in horror books. From the beautiful marks on the skin, to the way it yearns for unity, and, of course, the burning.
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – The store itself was just awesome. Once you enter, you never leave. And the way things get progressively weirder? I don’t remember the characters, but I do remember the store!
14 by Peter Clines – Inadvertently continuing with the building thing, the apartment building itself is just neat. While it doesn’t have any real personality of itself, the fact that it’s a giant Lovecraftian buildling is awesome. Part of me thinks I’d love to just explore it. The rest of me thinks I’d be terrified, even if it was in a safe mode.
Monstrum from Ann Christopher – It’s been like a year since I read this book, and I still remember the monster from this book. It seemed so gleefully evil that even though it doesn’t do anything but kill, it left a long-lasting impression on me.
The Shining – Stephen King: The Management – A great many ghosts act as go-between with Jack and The Manager. So it makes me wonder…Just who is The Manager?
Ghost Story – Peter Straub: Alma Mobley, Anna Mostyn, Anna-Marie – from the names she gives she sounds perfectly human. But she’s not. She’s ancient and evil. She calls herself several different things throughout the novel but they all seem to be terms that she’s playing with, not using as actual descriptive terms. But rather than being a scary generic Big Bad she has a playful sense of humour that interests me.
Nightmare Seasons – Charles L. Grant: In the first story (Part 1: Spring, 1940 – Thou Need Not Fear My Kisses, Love) Samantha has a suitor. She tries to give him the brush off but he’s very insistent with flared hair, dusky, patterned skin and a reptilian gaze. Basically the dude’s a were-snake. Not a common were-animal and it makes me wonder how he became so. A bite? Born that way? It never says and I’m very curious.
Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin: Rosemary’s Son, Andy – True, he’s at least half-human but I still think he counts. I have always been curious about how he grew up. Did he follow in his daddy’s footsteps or Rosemary’s? Did his horns and pearly little claws make him stand out from the other kids or did they think it was neat? And, yes, I’m totally disregarding the ill-conceived (pardon the pun), phoned in crap that was the sequel.
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Daniewlewski: The Navidson Tapes/Manuscript – Since the narrator is possibly unreliable it makes me wonder…are the tapes real? If not unreliable then why make them up? It’s a fascinating question, I mean why? Why become so obsessed with a set of videotapes and a manuscript that is entirely made up? It’s almost as big of a character in the book as the narrator himself.
What about you? Are there any creatures, buildings, objects or other that really ignited your interest or imagination while you were reading a book? Share with us below!
6 thoughts on “10 Favorite Nonhuman Characters in Horror”
Looking across my shelves (and excluding ghosts, vampires, and other creatures that are basically human), here are some I found remarkable:
Falling Outside of the Normal Moral Constraints – intelligent ship from Iain Banks, “Surface Detail” (2010). Banks’s Culture universe is more or less run by intelligent ships which often manifest as humanoid avatars. This ship, and its avatar, Demeisen, is one of the more vividly drawn such characters, but warning: he’s often not likable.
Maellenkleth Srith Perkalen – female ler from M.A. Foster, “The Gameplayers of Zan” (1977). The ler are a species derived from humans with significant differences. Maellenketh rarely appears, she does play a pivotal role in the novel.
Sarah Zellaby – female Johrlac/”cuckoo” from Seanan McGuire, “Midnight Blue-Light Special” (2013). I give McGuire chops for writing four chapters from this alien creature’s perspective.
The Apicians – duck-like intelligent aliens from Cordwainer Smith, “From Gustible’s Planet” (1962). Smith’s wit was usually subtle. But this “first contact” short story is a farce, told with a straight face.
Interesting list. I’ve yet to read any of the Culture novels. I’ve read some McGuire but haven’t crossed paths with that book yet!
I haven’t read some of them although I agree with your comments. Loved the Fireman…
It was a fun read!
I can’t wait to do Rosemary’s Baby as a buddy read with Stormi next month. I have always enjoyed the movie. I didn’t know there was a sequel so I’ll forget all about it after reading your comment. I love this list and The Management of The Shining always terrified me as well!
It’s one I wish I could forget, lol. The movie for Rosemary’s Baby has got to be the closest adaptation I have ever seen. I’m not super crazy about the woman who played Rosemary (Mia Farrow, I think?) But I can’t deny it’s almost literally word for word from the book.
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