February 11, 2014

Rawhead/Bloody Bones

The next creepy creature on this list is Bloody Bones, a bogeyman feared by children, sometimes known as Rawhead and Bloody-Bones, Tommy Rawhead, or simply Rawhead.


There are as many variations of this creature as there are names for it. The stories seemed to have originated in Ireland and Great Britain, though they've since spread to many parts of North America.

The most common story of Bloody-Bones paints an unsettling picture of an old witch with her beloved pet razorback hog, Rawhead. One day a very lazy hunter came and killed Rawhead along with a number of other razorbacks owned by other people. They were butchered, had their heads chopped off, and their bones defleshed.

When the witch realized what had happened, she flew into a rage and performed a powerful spell of revenge. With her magic she raised Rawhead from the dead. His bloody bones joined back together and his head reattached. The horrible Rawhead and Blood Bones monster had been created. The monster then set out to gain revenge by killing the hunters responsible for his death. After killing the hunters, the monster took up residence in the woods, roaming about with his good friend the old witch.



Other variations tell of Rawhead being a humanoid creature, with all the skin stripped from his head, muscle and veins exposed and oozing, lurking in lakes or ponds, or else in the homes of bad boys and girls whom the creature kidnapped and ate. Somerset Folklore states as well that he, "lived in a dark cupboard, usually under the stairs. If you were heroic enough to peep through a crack you would get a glimpse of the dreadful, crouching creature, with blood running down his face, seated waiting on a pile of raw bones that had belonged to children who told lies or said bad words.”


An eerie British Nursery Rhyme helps to further develop the disturbing tale of this creature:

"Rawhead and Bloody Bones
Steals naughty children from their homes,
Takes them to his dirty den,
And they are never seen again."


An extended tale of the razorback version of Rawhead tells how he took teeth from a panther, claws from a bear and the tail from a raccoon to further augment his body for ease in killing, and in Ireland and Britain Rawhead is said to possess the ability to shape-shift.


Britain's physical description of Rawhead is even more unsettling. For them, he’s a lean, naked giant, with pale skin and great, grasping hands. His head is a mangled nightmare, all pulped flesh and wide, staring eyes, rivulets of blood running down his face and dripping on his chest. He has a den, hidden somewhere, piled high with the gnawed bones of children, where he sits and waits, his long arms clasped about his long legs, which he keeps tucked under his chin. When he senses prey, he unfolds his limbs like a waking spider.





Other stories of Rawhead from different parts of the country claim him to look like:

- A crouching, rock-like hairy creature
- A gremlin with twisted flesh
- A dog or old man covered in scabs
- A burn victim, but with sharp claws and teeth
- A hairy creature with long fangs, a bushy tail, and razor claws


The versions that claim he lives under the stairs or in the dark cupboard also claim that Rawhead/Bloodybones rewards very good children, but will punish naughty children by dragging them down the drainpipes or into the water and drowning them. In addition to drowning naughty children, he is said to be able to turn them into objects such as pieces of trash or spots of jam, which are inadvertently cleaned-up and thrown out by unwitting parents.



So for all of you who get chills every time you walk down an open backed staircase, maybe you should keep track of just how naughty you've been...

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

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