Monthly Archives: March 2012

Shape Shifters

There will be no video for this post. I had a lot of technical difficulties with it, and wasn’t able to upload it.

Today I will be teaching you lovely people about shape shifters.

Basically, a shape shifter is a human who can transform either into an animal or another human.

The most popular shape shifting legends are those of werewolves, vampires, fox spirits of East Asia, and deities of mythology.

Some people even believe that alien reptoids are capable of shape shifting into humans and are currently living among us.

Isn’t that Scientology?

Other terms for shape shifters include metamorph, skin-walker, mimic, and therianthrope. Try saying that five times fast.

Almost every culture in the world has some sort of transformation myth. Even a lot of animals have myths tied to them.

Although shape shifting is usually about humans who transform into animals, some animals can also shape shift.

Even though werewolves are categorized as shape shifters, there are a few differences.

Shape shifters can transform at will, but werewolves can’t.

Also, shape shifters can usually control their intelligence and actions when in another form.

If Remus Lupin taught us anything, it’s that werewolves don’t have control over their actions when they shift.

Since the werewolf legend is tied closely to the shape shifter legend, a silver bullet is supposedly the only thing that will kill a shape shifter.

Though, some people believe decapitation might work, as well.

So, now that you are an expert on shape shifters, let’s talk about Supernatural.

Shape shifters have come up in a few different episodes, but the circumstances of their appearance changes.

Instead of going through episode-by-episode, I’m just going to give you a brief overview of what a Supernatural shape shifter is.

First, I need to clarify. Even though another term for a shape shifter is a “skin-walker,” Supernatural treats these as two separate things.

A shape shifter can transform into a human, while a skin-walker can transform into an animal. In reality, though, they’re the same thing.

A shape shifter can transform into anyone. When it does, it takes on their physical appearance as well as their voice and memories.

The person it shifts into can be either dead or alive (at this point, I’m really tempted to make a Bon Jovi joke…).

For the shape shifter to become another person, it has to go through a very painful process of shedding its own skin.

The Alpha shape shifter, though, can transform quickly without shedding its skin.

The only easy way to spot a shape shifter is by getting them on video. There is a very distinct retinal flare when they are filmed.

Most shape shifters in the show turn to a life of crime to make up for the fact that they were born ugly and hated by everyone.

The only way for them to be accepted was to become someone else.

That concludes our lovely lesson in the supernatural. Until next time, my fine friends.

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Djinns vs. Aladdin’s Genie

At this point, I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you to go watch that video up there anymore. You know the drill.

Now that you know all about Djinns, let’s go deeper (Inception, anyone?).

Whenever people ask me what my favorite animated Disney movie is, I’m always stumped. I have so many favorites: The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Peter Pan. I usually end up just saying Aladdin, though. Maybe because I had a huge crush on him when I was little. It got to the point where I threw Imaginary-Jasmine out the window of a moving car so that I could be with Imaginary-Aladdin. Needless to say, the relationship didn’t work out. Mostly because of his lack of existence. Also, because I was about 6 years-old.

If you remember, in Aladdin Aladdin rubs the magic lamp, Genie is freed, and Aladdin gets three wishes. So, if I say “genie” you probably think of a large blue man voiced by Robin Williams, am I right? Well, what if I say “djinn”? I don’t know about you, but I picture something a little darker when I think of Djinns. Genies and Djinns are the same thing. In fact, when Djinn is translated into English, it means “genie.”

For the most part animated Disney movies aren’t scary. Yes, there are instances when you watch them back as an adult and go “oh, my God! That’s horrible! How did this not terrify me as a child?!” I think that realization hit me when I watched Anastasia (which, admittedly, isn’t Disney, but it is animated) when I was 13. There is this one bit where Rasputin’s head falls into his stomach, and he just reaches in and pulls it out. I don’t understand how I didn’t run away screaming at that point when I was a kid. Mostly, though, Disney is pretty tame. They don’t aim to scare little kids. They’d be losing their main audience.

So, when they did Aladdin they couldn’t portray Djinns as they really are: scary. They are invisible, hostile creatures who delight in frightening people. No one would want to watch a movie about a street rat that gets continuously tricked and scared by a genie. Thus, they had to make the genie friendly.

Long story short, if you ever meet a Djinn, don’t expect to be friends like Aladdin and Genie. It probably won’t sound like Robin Williams, either.

I will just leave you with this:

Wendigos

Before you start in on this blog post, go watch that video right up there. You’ll be completely lost otherwise. And, really, don’t you want to see my shining face? Actually, don’t answer that. Just watch the video.

Now that you’re all filled in on the terrifying legend of the Wendigo, doesn’t it make you never want to go outside ever again? Yeah, me too.

Like many other legends, Wendigos could have been fabricated as a cautionary tale. Since cannibalism is taboo, the legend of the Wendigo could serve to deter people from eating human flesh.

There have been several sightings of Wendigos, however. In Rosesu, Minnesota, the presence of a Wendigo signaled a death in the town. In this case, the Wendigo acted as a sort of Banshee. From the late 1800’s to the 1920’s, there was an unexpected death shortly after each Wendigo sighting.

Jack Fiddler, a Cree Indian, was one of the most famous Wendigo hunters. He claimed to have killed over 14 Wendigos throughout his life. His last kill, however, ended in him being jailed on a murder charge. Jack Fiddler and his son Joseph killed a Cree Indian woman, believing her to be possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo and on the verge of transforming completely.

In Supernatural, a Wendigo hunts around Blackwater Ridge, Colorado. Unlike the actual legend, this Wendigo only hunts every 23 years. At one point, Dean says “more than anything, a Wendigo knows how to last long winters without food. It hibernates for years at a time. When it’s awake it keeps its victims alive; it stores them so it can feed whenever it wants.” This idea worked with the story of the episode, but it doesn’t go along with the real legend of the Wendigo. They are constantly hunting and consuming humans.

The Wendigo in the episode can also perfectly imitate the human voice. It uses this ability to lure its victims into its claws. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to run in the opposite direction when someone calls me. I’m actually getting nervous typing this. I mean, have you seen these things?! They’re legitimately terrifying. I wouldn’t want to come face-to-face with one in the woods.

Sam and Dean make it a point to say that a Wendigo is a “damn near perfect hunter” that it’s a “good hunter in the day, but an unbelievable hunter at night.” I think I can add being eaten by a Wendigo to my list of reasons I don’t like going outside at night. In the episode, though, a Wendigo got into a cabin by unlocking the door from the outside, so it doesn’t really matter where you are, I guess. Just stay bundled up under your covers in bed and hope it doesn’t find you. Are you scared yet?