Supernatural S14E02 Review: Gods and Monsters

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Michael Supernatural "Gods and Monsters"In “Gods and Monsters,” Supernatural begins a slow reveal of the mayhem Michael (Jensen Ackles) intends to introduce with his experimental creations. While Michael attempts to bring his ghastly vision into being, Nick (Mark Pellegrino) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) explore unacknowledged aspects of who they are. Writers Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming construct the form for the Season 14 story arc, while director Richard Speight, Jr. brings “Gods and Monsters” to life.

“To the new world of gods and monsters!”
– Dr. Pretorius toasting Dr. Frankenstein in Bride of Frankenstein

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Monster of the Week: The Black Dogs of England

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Throughout English history, tales of spectral black dogs have provoked fear and anxiety. Often believed to be omens of death, historical accounts of malevolent black dogs can be found in almost every county in England. These nocturnal apparitions were variously described as ghosts, hellhounds, and shapeshifters, and were sometimes associated with witchcraft or the devil. Despite their sinister reputation, there are reports in which ghostly black dogs take on the role of benevolent guardian. Continue reading

Supernatural S14E01 Review: Stranger in a Strange Land

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Michael Sister Jo Supernatural Stranger in a Strange LandThe Season 14 premiere of Supernatural finds Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) holding things together at the bunker while the Archangel Michael (Jensen Ackles) walks the Earth trying to understand what exactly everybody wants. “Stranger in a Strange Land” was written by co-showrunner Andrew Dabb and directed by Thomas Wright. The episode served to bring current viewers up to speed while providing at least one surprising reveal. Continue reading

Monster of the Week: The Siren

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John William Waterhouse, The Siren, 1900

The Siren (1900) by John William Waterhouse

Temptation can take many forms, but the fear of being seduced by the song of a siren has haunted mankind for millennia. From a secluded island home, Sirens enthrall passing sailors with their supernatural song. Their voices cast doom on those who hear their call.

Their song, though irresistibly sweet, was no less sad than sweet, and lapped both body and soul in a fatal lethargy, the forerunner of death and corruption.”
-Walter Copland Perry Continue reading

Pele: Hawaii Fire Goddess

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The_goddess_pele_by_arthur_johnsen

Pele by Arthur Johnsen

In Hawaiʻi, the name Pele evokes images of molten lava, flame, and boiling oceans. Pele is a powerful and volatile creator, known as Pelehonuamea (“Pele of the sacred land”) and ka wahine ʻai honua (“the woman who devours the land”). Through her destructive power, Pele is responsible for creating and shaping the landscape of the Hawaiian Islands in an ongoing cycle of devastation and regeneration. Continue reading

Monster of the Week: The Rougarou

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What was a loup-garou? Oh, well, it was the most terrible thing in the world. Sometimes it was a wolf, and sometimes it was a man, or a woman either, whichever it felt like in its wicked heart. And always it could take your heart out, and then you died, because you could not breathe without your heart.
—Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, Marie (1894)

Rougarou-SwampFrom deep within the murky bayous of Louisiana comes the legend of the dire lycanthropic creature known as the Rougarou. Rougaroux are found in French-speaking areas of North America such as Québec, but most particularly in Cajun Acadiana (in and around New Orleans), where its legend has proliferated from those of the werewolf-like loup-garou of medieval France—loup is the French word for wolf, and garou is a French word similar in meaning to werewolf. Cajun lore uses the terms loup-garou and rougarou interchangeably. A major difference between the Rougarou and the creature we more commonly think of as a werewolf is that the Rougarou has agency over its transformation, and maintains the consciousness and intelligence of its human form throughout that change. Continue reading

Supernatural S13E17 Review: The Thing

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Dean Sandy Sam Supernatural The Thing“The Thing” reminds us that monsters come in all forms on Supernatural. Director John Showalter and writer Davy Perez create a Lovecraftian horror story replete with hooded figures, a deceptive threat, and an interdimensional rift. Oh, and did we mention, there’s tentacles? Supernatural’s “The Thing” takes a side trip into Men of Letters history, while former British Man of Letters Ketch takes one for the team. Continue reading