Monster

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A monster is any fictional creature, usually found in legends or horror fiction, that is somewhat hideous and may produce physical harm or mental fear by either its appearance or its actions. The word "monster" derives from Latin monstrum, an aberrant occurrence, usually biological, that was taken as a sign that something was wrong within the natural order.[1]

The word connotes something wrong or evil; a monster is generally morally objectionable, physically or psychologically hideous, and/or a freak of nature. It can also be applied figuratively to a person with similar characteristics.

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Monsters in legend

Ancient Greco-Roman, Celtic, Semitic, Norse, Chinese and Sumerian folkore all had a wealth of legendary beasts. Some of the most famous include:

Monsters in film

Pre-World War II

During the age of silent movies, monsters tended to be human-sized, e.g., Frankenstein's monster, the Golem, werewolves and vampires. The film Siegfried featured a dragon that was actually a giant puppet on tracks. A few movie dinosaurs were created with the use of stop-motion animated models, as in RKO's King Kong, the first giant monster film of the sound era.

Universal Studios specialized in monsters, with Bela Lugosi's reprising his stage role, Dracula, and Boris Karloff playing Frankenstein's monster. The studio also made several lesser films, such as Man-Made Monster, starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as an electrically reanimated zombie.

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