Who is the MONSTER?

In the battle between the MONSTER and the MONSTER HUNTER, who is truly monstrous?


         I’ve been thinking about this lately because some of the new incarnations of vampire hunters, zombie eradicators, etc. in paranormal and action fiction are pretty darn violent. Is the hunter as bad as his prey? I’m going to say — sometimes… yeah.


         Think about the real “monsters” of nature, the killer whale, giant squid, hungry shark, territorial bear, charging rhinoceros, prowling tiger… I can hear you saying that they are NOT monsters. You’re right. They aren’t monsters. They are simply creatures acting in accordance with their innate needs. Most of them are no longer hunted — at least not legally — and some are even protected in the wild from land-grabbing humans. They were all once thought of as monsters and hunted by men, and a few women, who saw themselves as valiant defenders of defenseless people.


         We now acknowledge the right of the shark to hunt for dinner and the Moma bear’s right to chase hikers from her home. Couldn’t the same be said of the werewolf hunting his monthly mean? Should he forage for berries when the blood lust of a carnivore runs through his veins? I’m not saying yes or no, it’s just something to think about.


         When we get to witch hunters, the questions grow in volume and intensity. The real witches of history were mainly women with special knowledge and/or enviable property. The skilled mid-wife with an encyclopedic memory of herbal cures and poisons was sometimes a threat to the men at the top of the village’s hierarchy. A widow, or unmarried daughter, with a plot of desirable land stood in the way of her neighbors. It was easy to accuse such women of supernatural powers and consorting with demons. Add an avid witch hunter to the mix and a tragedy unfolds.


         Some monster hunters truly are the scary side of the equation.





  1. I am now picturing a werewolf spending a few moments to stop and smell a few flowers in the field. He may even plan to come back in a few days, after the moon of course, to pick and then press a few for his collection.

    But man, that evil beast lies in wait with his scoped rifle ready to blast the poor creature between the eyes.

    The hard part of exploring the thoughts like this is the ability to know what was in the hearts of those involved. As we have learned of the mistakes of our past it is easy for us to pass judgment. But in similar circumstances, with the same beliefs, would we not have made the same mistakes?

    • Candy Korman

      And the author’s job is to get inside those heads!

      Yay team writers… We poke into all sorts of strange characters heads.

  2. Probably one of the best things of writing is asking those questions and then creating the scenario to see it all play out. Sometimes the characters even share the depth of their evil or goodness with you.

  3. With some of the overtly violent incarnations of monsters and monster hunters now in circulation, it just strikes me as a lack of imagination on the behalf of the writer. It’s the easy way out to go that route. I guess that’s why a lot of that type of writing doesn’t scare me all that much. It’s so important that the author really get inside the minds of such characters, otherwise it’s just another game of cat and mouse with no depth.

    • Candy Korman

      Yes, there is a general lack of imagination revealed in the default to slash and blood splatter. I’m always much more terrified — and more likely to enjoy myself — if the monstrous actions are, at least in part, psychological and not outwardly violent.

  4. When we talk of doing things way back when, the same way if we’d lived then I’m not so sure. Matthew Hopkins ‘The Witchfinder General’ did what he did because of his beliefs? I doubt it or there would have been many witchfinders reporting to church or Cromwell for the duty.He must have know that many of the women he tested were falsely accused but money and self aggrandisement played too big a part. The flimsiest bits of evidence were taken into account. I’m surprised any single women dared keep a cat at all.
    What he did was murder for hire pure and simple and because he was one of a kind I’d like to think we wouldn’t emulate him because of our beliefs back then.
    xxx Hugs Galore Candy xxx

    • Candy Korman

      Thanks for that British history lesson. I’m much more familiar with the Salem Witch Trials of New England. My favorite theory is that Ergot — an LSD-like hallucinogen that grows in a mold in rye flour — inspired the craziest phase of the witch hunt in Salem.

      But the targeting of outsiders, women with power or wealth and anyone with the audacity to annoy or stand up to the leaders of the community were in danger of being accused.

  5. I’m less generous than David – I see witch-hunts-for-hire repeated in various forms all through history, including modern history. We humans seem to be hard-wired into believing the ‘Other’ is inherently evil or dangerous. Slap on the label and the sharks will begin to circle. 🙁

    • Candy Korman

      Author Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’ examined the Communist hunts in the U.S. in the guise of a witch hunt. History is full of “right thinking/well-meaning” people who hunt out the OTHER.

      I’m playing with the idea of the werewolf as “the other” not sure where it can go as it is in his nature to kill. Being a cat lover, I know that you can’t train the hunt out of them. They will kill birds. I remember being astonished as a child when our lovely, long-haired all white cat delivered a dead bird to her favorite person (my mom) and my mother’s friend when nuts. “How could such a pretty creature be a bird-killer?” It definitely convinced me that adults could be crazy and silly.