Monster Spotlight: the Horror Flora of Target’s Ghoulish Garden

People have occasionally asked me why I named my site “Horror Flora.” There are two answers: the first is that I think “Horror Flora” is really funny to say, and the second is that I have a deep love of plant monsters. Some people are surprised to hear that, because I don’t talk about them as much as, say, dragons, retrosaurs, vampires, demons, and my other prominent areas of fascination within the large catalogue of monster archetypes. Well, the sad truth is that life just doesn’t give me as many opportunities to talk about the horror flora of the world, because most are relegated to be little more than a background detail, rarely if ever given a starring role.

That may be changing, though, if the offerings of retail chains are any indication. The last few years have seen a BOUNTY of new plant monster Halloween decorations, finally giving these botanical beauties the spotlight they deserve. And being a materialistic person, I have of course collected a bunch of them.

So let’s shine the Monster Spotlight on one particular line of plant monster decorations, Target’s Ghoulish Garden series!

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Horror Flora 5th Year Anniversary ICHF Jam

Hey Horror Flora fans! I know it’s been a quiet year on the site so far, but the 5th year anniversary of Horror Flora is coming up, and as always I want to celebrate it a bit. I’ve got content of my own planned, of course, but one of the most requested features has been a second fan-submitted ICHF jam, so I figured this would be a good time for it!

THE SECOND FAN-WRITTEN ICHF JAM!

Starting now, you can send your own Iconic Character of Horror Fiction article to askhorrorflora@horrorflora.com.  For those who are new to the site, an ICHF is a personal essay that discusses a character from horror fiction (movies, novels, video games, etc.) in great detail, examining their personality traits, motivations, themes, and contribution to the Horror genre as a whole. If you’re not sure of the format of an ICHF, please check out the plentiful examples in my ICHF gallery right here.

I play pretty fast and loose with the rules of what makes an ICHF an ICHF, but here’s the rough guideline:

  • The character must be from a Horror story.  Horror comedies count for this, as do crossovers with Horror and other genres – there’s some wiggle room here – but if the Horror genre isn’t a predominant aspect of the story, the character doesn’t count.  Being the villain of a Fantasy or Sci-Fi story that has a few scary moments isn’t going to cut it.
  • ICHFs generally try to do a bit more than just describe the character in question.  Some analysis of what role they play in their story and how they play with the tropes of the horror genre is required.
  • While ICHFs try to be organized and informative, they need to be a little casual.  They’re not normal essays – you don’t want them to feel stuffy.  Subjectivity is actually valued more than objectivity here.
  • You can write ICHFs for characters I’ve already covered.  The great thing about fiction is that it lends itself to multiple perspectives, and I doubt I’ve said all there is to say about each character in the ICHF gallery as it currently stands.
  • While I’m not issuing any hard limits on length, I generally try to keep ICHFs between 2 – 10 pages long, and would appreciate you doing the same if at all possible.

I can’t guarantee I’ll publish every entry that is sent to the contest, and I maintain the right to refuse to publish articles according to my discretion.  At the same time, I think it’d be awesome for the website for there to be some different views than my own on here, especially with a topic as broad as the entire horror genre.

You will receive full credit for the entries you submit, complete with a link back to your blog/website/what have you.  Ideally this jam should benefit both of us, so consider this an opportunity to get your work out there!

The contest ends October 3rd, 2021.  Submit your entries to askhorrorflora@horrorflora.com – AND KNOW THAT YOU CAN ENTER AS MANY ENTRIES AS YOU PLEASE.  And if you have questions about an entry, feel free to submit those as well!  I’ll try to answer them in a timely manner!

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ATOM Bonus Kaiju File TD 1: The Yamaneolith

This ATOM Bonus Kaiju File was created by PolygonFighter for the Revenge of the ATOM Create a Kaiju Contest!  The illustration and profile here is based on their work, and I highly recommend you check out their other work!

Aliases: The Spire, the Source, the Glowing Hymn

Date Discovered: July 20, 1969

Place of Origin: Earth’s Moon

Notable Stomping Grounds: Lone Pine, California; Hampton, Virginia; Moffet Field; Brook Park, Ohio; Edwards Air Force Base; San Gabriel Valley; Huntsville, Alabama; Greenbelt, Maryland; Hancock County, Mississippi; Houston, Texas; Cape Canaveral

Height: variable, but never shorter than 100 feet

Biology: Whether or not the Yamaneolith can actually be considered a lifeform is a matter of some contention. At a cursory glance, it appears to simply be a large deposit of Yamaneon crystals, and even its ability to move under its own power is not unheard of in other deposits. What primarily separates it from other Yamaneon deposits is the fact that it moves with clear and undeniable purpose, though its intentions remain unclear.

First discovered on the moon, the Yamaneolith exploded into a pillar of light that touched the earth, and soon spawned in the crater formed on earth’s crust by this contact. It has since reformed itself only to explode, crumble to dust, and reform elsewhere on the planet countless times over, all for purposes that are only apparent to it. What the Yamaneolith is and why it does this remains, as ever, unclear.

If one accepts the (dubious and hotly debated) hypothesis that Yamaneon itself is an organism, then the hypothesis that the Yamaneolith is, in essence, a Yamaneon cluster that is being parasitized by ANOTHER mineral-based lifeform may hold water. Indeed, every incarnation of the mysterious being features at least one crystal buried deep within its mass that is not composed of Yamaneon, which seems to serve as the mineral-based entity’s “eye.”

As befits such a strange entity, the Yamaneolith has a unique powerset:

  • Dense crystalline hide
  • Yamaneon Radiation Beam (i.e. “the kaiju healing ray”)
  • Yamaneon Draining Beam (i.e. “the kaiju dessication ray”)
  • Gravity Manipulation Beam
  • Hard Light Strike Beam
  • Explosive Teleportation
  • Kaiju-specific Telepathy and Mind Control

Personality: Being such an alien entity, the Yamaneolith’s personality is hard to describe, if it can even be said to have one. Its spends most of its time in motionless observation, rarely if ever initiating contact with other beings of its own accord. When forced to fight, it tends to behave defensively, prioritizing its own safety over the defeat of its enemies.

The rare kaiju who are capable of verbal communication have given accounts of there being some sort of consciousness in the Yamaneolith. They describe it as similar to the “singing” of their bones (a strange phenomenon that those in favor of the “Yamaneon is an organism” hypothesis have made much of), although in this case the singing of Yamaneolith is distinctly intrusive and unwelcome, as if the kaiju can sense there is something “off” about this particular deposit.

When coming into contact with kaiju, the Yamaneolith is notably fickle and inconstant in how it reacts, healing and harming its fellow giants with no real rhyme or reason. For their part, kaiju treat the mineral cluster with fear and suspicion, instinctively avoiding it whenever given the choice to.

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ATOM Volume 2: Tyrantis Roams the Earth! is now available for purchase!

You know how activity on this site has been pretty sporadic over the last year? And how the last time that happened it was because I was finishing up my second novel? Well, guess what? I just finished novel number 3!

ATOM Volume 2: Tyrantis Roams the Earth is now available for purchase! Which means I’m now available to do other stuff for a bit. Please consider supporting the site by checking it out, won’t you? It’s good! Just follow the hyperlink there and buy it in either paperback or ebook!

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4 Horror War: The Shadow Self Arkies

To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Slasher Horror, THE SHADOW SELF FAMILY!

Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.

In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.

Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:

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4 Horror War: The Other Visitor Arkies

To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Cosmic Horror, THE OTHER VISITOR FAMILY!

Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.

In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.

Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:

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4 Horror War: The Mechanikill Arkies

To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Atomic Horror, THE MECHANIKILL FAMILY!

Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.

In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.

Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:

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4 Horror War: The Feral Beast Arkies

1 GH 8 Feral Beasts

To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Gothic Horror, THE FERAL BEAST FAMILY!

Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.

In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.

Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:

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4 Horror War: The Body Horror Arkies

To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Slasher Horror, THE BODY HORROR FAMILY!

Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.

In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.

Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:

Continue reading
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4 Horror War: The Aftermen Arkies

To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to CosmicHorror, THE AFTERMEN FAMILY!

Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.

In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.

Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:

Continue reading
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