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Fantastical Creatures and Mythical Beasts Reference Books

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posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 12:58 PM
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With all the real life horrors currently crowding into our psyches, why not take this time to dive into the fantastical world of horror, the manifestation of the human psyche’s dread of death and the unknown? Tales of monsters, chimeras, and fantastical creatures such as giants and “little folk” have been woven into human mythos throughout the ages. Whether that be in response to real anomalies, or whether such creatures represent our attempts to put a face to the unknown and a name to the sundry and innumerable misfortunes plaguing mankind, the results are much more fascinating horrors than those which are most likely to strike in our own lives.

I’ve always loved stories about monsters, gods, angels, faeries, demons, and the like. What prompted writing this thread is that what started as a hunt for a book I had as a child has ended in a wider hunt for the best reference books for monsters/beasts/creatures. I’d love to hear any suggestions from you, and wanted to share some titles with you as well. And if anyone remembers a kids illustrated monster book (black and white illustrations, very well done) that included banshees, a snake woman, Jekyll and Hyde, and a werewolf, please share the title!

Here’s some of the best monster and mythological creatures books in my library:
“Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth” by Carol Rose
This is a very comprehensive reference book with 411 containing thousands of beasts. The entries are fairly short but well written. A few illustrations.

“Encyclopedia Mythologica Dragons & Monsters,” by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
A very cool and gorgeous pop up book with interesting snippets regarding a variety of beasts and monsters.

“Fairyopolis: A Flower Fairies Journal,” by Cicely Mary Barker
This is a visually delightful and interesting account of fairies.

“Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying Truth! About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and More,” by Joshua Gee
This one is really fun for all ages. It’s a scholastic book, and so the pages have a magazine type quality to the layout, but it contains tons of interesting facts regarding the history of some of our most prevailing legends.

“Faeries,” described and Illustrated by Brian Froud and Alan Lee
Gorgeously illustrated book, and excellent guide to the English and Celtic faerie mythos.

“Fantasy: The Golden Age of Fantastic Illustration,” by Brigid Peppin
This is a book of illustrations, but the illustrations depict many of our most legendary beasts depicted by some of the best known fantasy illustrators.

“The Encyclopedia of Monsters,” by Jeff Rovin
*This book is on its way to my house! I’ve heard very cool things, and can’t wait to check it out.

How about you, friends? Do you recognize any of these titles? Do you have any suggestions to add to the monster library?

Thanks for reading!

edit on 21-11-2020 by zosimov because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

D&D Monster Manual and Dieties & Demigods



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 01:02 PM
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a reply to: infolurker

Nice
thanks for the good suggestion!



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I'm on my phone so I can't see thread authors but I knew it was you.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Awesome, lol. Glad to be back into my old style threads.




posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 01:28 PM
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He approves of this thread!



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: ColeYounger

What an amazing illustration!!




posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I've gone through a few of those. I was going to recommend Faeries, and then saw you listed it lol.

There is a cool website though that you may find interesting.

It's abookofcreatures.com

There are a LOT of mythical type creatures listed there.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: zosimov
I like reading bestiaries from RPGs. I see I'm not the only one here that does. Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands (Savage Worlds), and D&D have some cool monsters.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: AutomateThis1

That website looks like an incredible and rich resource


I'll have a lot of fun checking it out. Thanks for sharing!
(Very cool you have seen that faery book--isn't it a gem?)
The Encyclopedia of Monsters by Jeff Rovin just came, and it looks awesome so far.

ETA: Encyclopedia of Monsters has a great, campy feel to it. Lots of popular culture interwoven with legend. Fun reference book, imo!
edit on 21-11-2020 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark

More great suggestions--thank you!



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:36 PM
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Awesome thread. Thank you!



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: slatesteam

This was a fun thread to write. I'm glad others are interested too.





posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Was the book by any chance the Crestwood House monster books?





Also I like Charles Gould's Mythical Beasts. Definitely worth checking out.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I'll check that out. My mother had a lot of books and she let me read whatever I wanted when I was a kid. So, I saw a book of naked fairies and went for it lmao.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 03:34 PM
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a reply to: AutomateThis1

Aww, shoot. I really appreciate the try, but this alas is not the book I'm looking for.

Looks really cool, though!!



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 03:45 PM
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I'm a visual type
I took a picture of the books in the OP in case anyone else is curious.

(Got most of these used online)




posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: AutomateThis1
Had to give a shout out to you for the website.

Besides that, I'm not sure what to add other than asking if people have anything on yokai or anything recent about Shinto.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 07:14 PM
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originally posted by: AutomateThis1
a reply to: zosimov

I've gone through a few of those. I was going to recommend Faeries, and then saw you listed it lol.

There is a cool website though that you may find interesting.

It's abookofcreatures.com

There are a LOT of mythical type creatures listed there.


They have me on that link. Ugjuknarpak



posted on Nov, 22 2020 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

I had to look that cryptoid up. Haha, a rickymouse is a giant mischievous rodent, makes sense!



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