Friday, April 9, 2010


(Movie above: 1972 “Gargoyles” Made-For-TV fun and totally campy and creepy one of my cult fav’s)

There’s a lot of mythical creatures from minotaurs to fairies to gryphons, but my favorite of all time is the gargoyle. It started with the 1972 movie I caught on TV late night when I was a kid. It moved on to fixating on the Washington National Cathedral that has 100 gargoyles upon it. It was the only thing I was excited to see while in the city. My siblings wanted to go to the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial or Smithsonian or zoo. Not me. I wanted to walk around and stare at the Cathedral’s guardians.

Interestingly, I found this out about the cathedral: Every Saturday, the Cathedral hosts The Gargoyle’s Den, where kids aged 6-12 can get a better understanding of Cathedral’s construction with a hands-on arts and crafts program. Kids can try their hand at carving a real stone gargoyle and even make one out of modeling clay to take home. They can learn about and build arches, mosaics as well as having a chance to try their hand at making a stained-glass window. Apparently, they got wise to kid’s fascination with these creatures.

I like the idea of a building guardian. The lore behind gargoyles has undergone a lot of dilution over the centuries and its origins remain vague, but here’s what we think we know: Their origins are believed to be Ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome and were originally used as waterspouts to drain water away from buildings. They were named for the gurgling sound they made as water passed through them. They were found on many cathedrals and other architecture. They went away for many centuries and then reappeared as a popular craze during the Victorian era. These ugly “demons” were believed to scare away evil spirits and protect buildings.

It’s almost impossible at Halloween time for me to pass by a Gargoyle statue without wanting to bring it home. I can’t even open up the Design Toscano catalog anymore. When I did my house with medieval castle themed items, I went to town with all the gargoyle stuff. Jeez, I like Gargoyles so much that even guys wearing Gargoyle masks at Halloween fascinate me. It’s a horrible affliction. I think it’s something about the grizzly face and the power, as well as the position as a protector.

Perhaps it's a "Beauty and the Beast" sort of appreciation for this frightening visage that has to me become endearing.


  1. I love gargoyles too! France is one of my favorite places in the world and one of the things I love about it are the gargoyles everywhere. Strange, bizarre, wonderful monsters stare out at you from the most unexpected places. My husband is French and he has La Gourmand tattoed on his arm. I love that tattoo! I think I took over 2000 pictures of gargoyles last time I was in France.

  2. Did they do a remake of this? We have several in our garden. I get them as gifts a lot. :)

  3. Jessica;
    That would be a really sexy tattoo! Yeah, if I visited France they would probably laugh at me staring up all the time and running into folks.

    I do admit, I have my eye on a some of those gargoyle downspouts for the garden! My little fake graveyard will have a few embracing it, as well. I wanted to find a way to get fencing with gargoyles on it--will have to look in the Halloween Store online or something, but I thought it'd make cool fencing for the graveyard. I feel happy and safe with them around like they're nasty trained pets that scare away the unwanted.

  4. me too, i've always found gargoyles fascinating. they always feel so real to me. like they'll turn and look at me or jump off into flight.

  5. Great post! I love that TV movie, and the Design Tuscano catalog? Well, if I ever have a 20-room mansion it's gonna be filled with "theme rooms"!
    In the book "Monster Hunter International" there's a part where the team is battling gargoyles. They're pretty tough customers being made of stone and all!

  6. Burt;
    I totally agree! My dream has always been to do each room in my home a different theme--like movie sets. I'd even try to recreate some sets from movies. I'd do a basement like the scary Creeper's room in the basement of the church in "Jeepers Creepers." I'd have a bigfoot room for sure! In fact, I'm asking for a bigfoot print cast for my b-day cause I'm such a nerd! Whenever I find cool BF stuff, I just have to have it. I love that guy! If I were good enough at sculpture, I'd do a life-sized rendition of him. It's one of my ambitions and when I want to learn something, I figure it out. I think I'd do a labyrinth in the garden and have gargoyles all over. You know, this might make a cool post--how to do thematic rooms... You should hear what my dream writer's office would be like!

  7. I, too, love these creatures and have them carrying my water away.

  8. Funnily enough, Sharon, out of all the fantastical beings and/or creatures in your currentmost survey, dragons, fairies, internet stalkers, and gargoyles, I'd go with those cathedral & high-rise perching amalgams of various animal phylums my(s)elf. I love those guys.

    I well recall that my interest in watching a rerun of that made-for-TV '70s gem took precedence over attending to my then girlfriend's romantic intentions, one summer night's date in '90, a faux pas that I'm sure spelled the beginning of the end for her & me. Ah, well, c'est la vie, or at least mine.

    And I, too, cannot bear to leaf through a Design Toscano catalogue anymore, either, since there're just too many sumptuous renderings of those magnificent beasts there anymore & I've not the bank account enough to support such a habit. LOL! I mean, what haunted mansion or wizard's getaway would be complete w/o their gargoyle furniture, ay?

    Ever watch the (surprisingly enough) Disney-generated cartoon series, Gargoyles, from back in the mid-'90s? It wuzz so successful, it even spawned an offshoot, Gargoyles: The Goliath Chrocicles. Typically enough for the Internet Age in which we live, the two even sired a whole online community of fandom, whose immersion in that fantasy world can be accessed somewhere online.

    Now that you've got my imagination & research acumen going, I only just found out that there wuzz a horror movie made last year, Rise of the Gargoyles, which you damn well Gno I'm adding to my Netflix queue next! Love & Light, Levity & Lunacy from your elven older brother ~ (•8-D

  9. Anadæ;
    I am definitely planning a future erotic novella involving the gargoyles theme once I've finished my werewolf one. Too much attention is spent on the zombies, vampires and werewolves, but there are so many more intriguing beasts among the world of make-believe.

  10. you and I must be soul sisters, we like all the same things. I like the idea of them being protection from evil spirits, tho they look pretty evil themselves...

  11. Nick, I would like to think they eat the souls of those who mean harm to the occupants of the building.

  12. Thanks Autumnforest -- that would explain the absence of graffiti.