"The creature I had killed, the strange beast of the unfathomed cave, was, or had at one time been, a MAN!"
"It worked for me. I used to be a little blond girl named Virginia."
— Octopus Mutant, Futurama
"I was like you, once... clinging to life and blind to the truth... when I uncovered the truth, I, too shuddered and paled with fear. Deep within these catacombs, I was remade..."
"I am wretched... But I AM STRONG! I am Zerg! I am... the future!"
"I may have to call in sick today. I'm feelin a little... touch of something"
— SCII Infested Terran SPM note
Sam: What are they?
Strider: They were once men. Great kings of men. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them nine Rings of power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the Ring, drawn to the power of the One. They will never stop hunting you.
— The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Man In Black: But before I was trapped, I was a man, James. Just like you.
Sawyer: I'm havin' a hard time believin' that.
The Man In Black: You can believe whatever you want, that's the truth. I know what it's like to feel joy... to feel pain, anger, fear... to experience betrayal. I know what it's like to lose someone you love.
— Lost, Season 6 Episode 4: The Substitute
Dragon: Mannequin. Original name Alan Gramme. Tinker, originally went by the name Sphere. Specialty is in biomes, terraforming and ecosystems… or it was. He became newsworthy when he took on a project to build self sustaining biospheres on the moon. He had ideas on solving world hunger, and building aquatic cities near cities plagued by overcrowding. And he was putting it all into effect. Until-
Dragon: His wife and children were killed in the attack, years of work ruined. Everything fell apart. He went mad. He cut himself off from the rest of the world. Literally sealed himself away.
—Dragon and Armsmaster discuss who Mannequin was, Worm
Were you a dude but wish you were not a dude? Then Wilhelm is the dude for you!
... And in that darkness, he surrendered himself completely to powers so evil and perverse, that as he emerged, no part of the human man that was Xerxes survived...
—Queen Gorgo on the rebirth of Xerxes as God-King, 300: Rise of an Empire
In case you fail to realise... the things you hunt. They're not beasts. They're people.
The Dreamers' dreams dissolve both bone and the fetter of identity. The infected human might eventually become a shade. They hearken to the mutable signal. They can melt into puddles of pure Filth and take on new shapes. They can join into composite monstrosities. They are ready for new stages of blasphemous ascension. They realise that they are the dream.
We see the Shade Stalker. Reality bubbles and drips where they step. Did you know they were human once, sweetling? It is hard to tell, harder to fathom. They have become so like the Dreamers, little fractal effigies. The changes you see are only the tip of the black iceberg...
—The Buzzing, The Secret World
The police looked, but William was never seen again, and a new clown was added to the act of the Circus Caliban when it next appeared in a forest in a country far, far from this one. He was smaller than the rest, and seemed always to be looking into the laughing audience, searching for the parents that he still hoped would find him, but they never came.
And his teeth fell out and were replaced by sharp, white hooks that were kept hidden behind shields of plastic; and his nails decayed to hard yellow stumps at the end of soft, pale fingers. He grew tall and strong, until at last he forgot his name, and became only "Clown," and a great clown he was. His tongue grew like a snake's, and he tasted children with it as they laughed, for clowns are hungry and sad and envious of humanity.
"You must excuse me. I have not spoken with these lips in a long time. My name is Saymon. That is the name by which this body was once known."
— Saymon, Blake's 7
Remember the NWO's Inner Circle? The Progenitors' Administration? All of our old masters and the greatest of Enlightened minds were lost to the Anomaly, but not all of them were killed. Some found refuge in temporal anomalies, where they lived for months when mere hours passed for us. Others were subjected to raw forces that twisted their Inspired Science into something no longer human: they've always been twisted and perverted by Void Adaptation. They pursue exaggerated and abhorrent versions of Technocratic Empowerment, and seek to force these terrible visions on the whole of humanity.
—Mage: The Ascension - Convention Book: Void Engineeers (revised)
The old Thing in the ground had lived for five hundred years, and as long again had lain undead in his unhallowed grave. Above him, in the gloom of a glade beneath stirless, snow-laden trees, the tumbled stones and slabs of his tomb told something of his story, but only the Thing himself knew all of it. His name had been ... but no, the Wamphyri have no names as such. His host's name, then, had been Thibor Ferenczy, and in the beginning Thibor had been a man. But had been almost a thousand years ago. The Thibor part of the Thing in the ground existed still, but changed, mutated, mingled and metamorphosed along with its vampire "guest." The two were one now, inseparably fused; but in dreams that spanned a millennium, still Thibor could return to his roots, go back to the immensely cruel past...
—Necroscope II: Wamphyri
Imagine if it was your job to teach people lessons like "teachers are actual humans!" How long would it take until you went mad? A year? Six months? For little Carl McCready the answer is far less. These new "Popsicle Pete" ads vanished almost immediately. Carl didn't appear in comic books for a year. To the rest of the world, his suffering seemed to finally be over. The rest of the world was mistaken, and it was going to pay.
A year after his disappearance, the night's cervix opened and gave him back to us. But he wasn't the same. The old "Popsicle Pete" was gone. His name was no longer something he won in a contest. It was him. Popsicle Pete was among us.