Some scary monsters made famous in literature are Frankenstein's Monster, Count Dracula, the Headless Horseman, Mister Hyde and Grendel. Frightening monsters that made their first appearances in the movies include the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Thing, the Fly, Pinhead and the Xenomorph from "Alien."
A monster is a grotesque creature that produces fear from its appearance and physical harm from its actions, and it is generally considered to have evil or malevolent intentions. These characters and archetypes are typically freaks of nature or man-made horrors existing outside the natural order. Many monsters originate in horror and Gothic literature, myths, scary movies and fairy tales.
Depictions of monsters appear in some of the earliest recorded works of Greco-Roman, Celtic, Norse, Chinese and Sumerian mythology. For example, the Greek epic poem "The Odyssey," written around the eighth century B.C., features the one-eyed Cyclops Polyphemus, the Sirens and the six-headed monster Scylla.
Broad categories of monsters are found in the folklore of many cultures. These include ogres, goblins, ghouls, werewolves and dragons. Often, these creatures are used in fairy tales to warn children of the dangers of the woods or the wilderness. Other times, the abominations are defeated by the hero of an epic tale to demonstrate his resourcefulness, strength and bravery.