AI: Monsters

In our most recent episode of Monster Talk, we chat with Bad Astronomer Phil Plait about aliens, UFOs, crop circles, cow mutilation, and we ask Dr Phil about his favourite monster…

What is your favorite monster? Why?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

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  1. I’ve narrowed it down to two, and the first one’s a cheat:

    1. Any classic cinematic monster as played by Boris Karloff (I’m including his mad scientists and murderous rogues as well). The most uncanny thing about Karloff the Uncanny was his ability to give grownups nightmares while making children feel warm and safe and understood. As a grownup Monster Kid, I can now see the horrors of characters like Frankenstein’s Monster, Imhotep, and countless other immortal roles, but the little kid inside me still wants to climb up on his knee and say, “Tell another story, Mr. Karloff!”

    2. The literary Creature as portrayed in Mary Shelley’s 1818 edition of Frankenstein. Nothing heartwarming about him; a philosopher-psychopath of the kind that would make Quentin Tarantino famous, all murder and entitlement and existential anomie, wrapped in Regency-era Radical politics, Romantic infatuation with John Dee and Paracelsus, and the cutting-edge science of Sir Humphrey Davy and Luigi Galvani. One of the greatest characters in literature.

  2. The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.
    Ravenous (Duh, it’s in the name)
    Vicious (Will eat you alive)
    Unforgiving (Will eat your mom, or your grandma)
    And incredibly, mind-stoppingly stupid.

  3. Ray Bradbury’s family. I love the interplay fo the werewolves, ghouls, ghosts, vampires and the one human child. I think it is wonderful how they love the mortal child or how the grandfather is flown like a kite after he accidently flies into high tenision power lines.

  4. I like dragons. They’re magical and they breathe fire. Also, very few people still think they’re real so I don’t hear a bunch of rumors and nonsense when I talk about them.

  5. Can any monster beat the Monster at the Center of the Galaxy?

    And I’ll have to say the shark from “Jaws”.
    Yes, I know it’s based on a real animal.
    But the depiction in the film is of a rather surreal shark; a true monster shark.
    Real ones, of course, are things of true beauty.

  6. Well, I never had fears of monsters under my bed as a kid, but I was afraid of my own reflection in the mirror in the near dark.

    My favorite monster, though is Bigfoot, who seems so able to elude observation except in fuzzy photos (some sort of uncertainty principle making sharp images impossible). Clearly, the Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) have some sort of rituals around death that involve total destruction of the corpse since no remains have been discovered.

  7. Gojira, hands down! He’s 80-100m tall, radioactive and shoots death rays from his mouth – what’s not to love? Also, he seaved us all from Destoroyah and the Smog Monster! And he has great theme music.

    If we limit ourselves to monsters that largish groups of people actually believe to be real, I think I’ll go for the adorable little goat-sucker, the Chupacabra.

  8. Zombies are an all-around good time, but the “Dogma” Golgothan poop monster was particularly horrifying.

    Jenny McCarthy is my least favorite (most hated?) monster. There’s this photo where she looks like the alien queen (you know, from “Aliens”?) and it haunts my dreams.

  9. Zombies. Hands down. They’re the everyman of the post-vital. They aren’t exclusive, like vampires, you don’t have to have been rich like mummies, and there’s no annoying shape-shifting like werewolves.

    Zombies are come-as-you-are. No need for special clothing! They don’t judge, they don’t try to keep you out of their club, and they love you for your brains.

    There’s no escape from zombriety. Everyone dies, everyone gets a shot at it.

    Inside every living person is a dead one waiting to get out.

  10. Frankenstein’s “monster”, because even tho it’s fiction his creation is in the realm of possiblity. Most other monsters are totally unbelieveable, except for maybe Zombies. For unbelievebale monsters, my all-time favorite is Pinhead from the Hellraiser series. Deliciously evil!

  11. My favourite monster is the greatest monster of them all….


    Ha! Kidding. No, the greatest monster of them all is clearly Springheeled Jack.

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