Monday 5 October 2009

Vocabulary: Halloween Monsters

A reader of my blog cum ex-student said I don't update my blog as regular as before, that might the true because my free time switches often, but I will still try to update twice a week (my bare minimum), so I hope you will not find it too intensive to learn and still maintain your interest level. Sometimes, I write them long before the entry is posted, because I want them to meet the suitable time for release (such as this entry).

Right after the Mid-Autumn Festival and the little quiz I had in the previous entry, I hope you have learnt the terms such as lotus seeds and water caltrop well.

Now that Halloween is just round the corner and some of you might be interested in dressing up yourself to parties and more parties, here I would like to suggest some unusual choices for you to act as instead of always dressing up like mummies and Dracula.

Ready to go? First, let's start with a few which are still quite rare in Hong Kong these days.

Frankenstein's Monster
Frankenstein’s Monster was a monster from a novel in 1818 and in many movies that followed. In the story, he did not have a name. But the author, Mary Shelley, said his name is actually “Adam”. He was created by a scientist, Victor Frankenstein. “Adam” started as a loving being, but later learnt the violence and evil from human and eventually killed the scientist’s family.


Werewolves were humans who could transform when seeing the full-moon. Once bitten or scratched by them, the victim would turn into wolf-like monsters. In Harry Potter, Professor Remus Lupin was a werewolf.

Jack Skellington & Sally

Sally was a character in the 1993 movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. She was a rag doll, created by a mad scientist called Doctor Finklestein. Her limps(arms and legs) were detachable and were stuffed with fall leaves. She was very good at needlework and she loved Jack Skellington.

Jack Skellington was another character in the same movie. He was the Pumpkin King of Halloween. He was dressed in a black pin-striped suit and a bow tie that looked like a bat.
And now, the very rare ones, counting down from my level of favourites:

10. The Addam's Family

The Addams Family began as cartoon characters in The New Yorker magazine between 1938 and 1988. The family members were actually not monsters, but they behaved weirdly and did not know that other people find them frightening. The only member of the family which was not human was a hand called “Thing”. Thing walked around the house using the fingers and it helped with every day tasks such as getting mails, writing letters or giving a friendly pat on the shoulder. It “talked” to the family using sign language.

9. Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice was a 1988 American horror film character. He was a chaotic, perverted (dirty-minded) and disgusting ghost who helped two other ghosts to scare away people in their house. He wore black-and-white-striped suit, black boots and black tie. He had dark circles in his eyes and his hair was frizzy.

8. Minotaur

It was a Greek mythological monster, the Minotaur had the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. He was powerful yet ferocious (frightening and violent).
It was so dangerous that King Minos built a labyrinth (something like a maze) to hold it.

7. Ifrit

Ifrit, a very strong creature of fire which lived in the underworld in the Arabic and Islamic literature. They can be either good or evil. They were not afraid of weapons, but can be hurt by magic.
It appeared in Final Fantasy video games series as summon-able monster or enemy.

6. Jiang Shi /Chinese vampire

Jiang Shi, or Chinese Vampires, reanimated corpse that hop around, killing living creatures to absorb life essence from their victims.
When someone died away from home and their family was too poor to hire a wagon (a car pulled by a horse), they would pay Taoist priests for teaching the dead bodies to hop and bringing them back to their home town for proper burial. This was once popular in Xiangxi.

5. Cerberus

A hound (dog) with 3 heads, a tail of a dragon and mane of serpents (snakes). The Cerberus guarded the gates of Hades, the god of the Greek underworld. It also appeared in the movie Harry Potter as Fluffy, which guarded the Philosopher’s Stone.

4. Death / Grim Reaper / Angel of Death

Death, Grim Reaper, or the Angel of Death from the Bible, is skeleton-bodied, skull-faced, carried a scythe and usually clothed in a black cloak with a hood. In some cases, a person can pay, trick Death in order to keep himself alive.

3. Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands, a character of a 1990 comedy-drama fantasy film. The film told that he was made by an inventor, but the inventor died the moment he wanted to give Edward hands. He was in fact a kind being and was loved by a teenage girl, Kim.

2. Freddie Kruegar

Freddy Krueger was a dream demon in the popular 1984 horror film called The Nightmare on Elm Street. He had a burnt face, wore a red and dark-green striped sweater, a brown fedora, and metal-clawed leather glove. He killed sleepers in the dreams and the victim died in real life.

1. Diablos

His name came from Greek with many different spellings, Diabolos / Diabolus / Diablo/ Diablos, devil of the underworld. He tempted humans to doing evil or sinful things. He appeared often in video games and books.

Enjoy learning and making up into your favourite monsters on Halloween Day!

pictures resources:

Count Dracula






The Addams Family



Grim Reaper

Chinese vampire

Freddie Krueger

Edward Scissorhands

Jack Skellington