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Humanoid Abomination

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Illustration by Alheli de la Garza. Used with permission.

"But human flesh was too frail, too paltry to hold the terrific essence that was Khosatral Khel. So he stood up in the shape and aspect of a man, but his flesh was not flesh; nor the bone, bone; nor blood, blood. He became a blasphemy against all nature, for he caused to live and think and act a basic substance that before had never known the pulse and stir of animate being."

Every once in a while, twisted things from beyond the fringes of humanity's consciousness will show up in forms that for all intents and purposes look like good old H. sapiens.

Though its appearance is sometimes passable as human, it is still clearly... not quite. In a few cases they actually were human until they went beyond the pale, but most likely, what you're seeing is actually a disguise or misperception for something you're really better off not seeing, or even the progeny or creation of something even worse. Even those that are very clever in human terms will have difficulty not setting off instinctive alarms in the human subconscious. Less subtle abominations will do their job too well and seem impossibly beautiful, while the even less subtle will distort their human form with twisted limbs or malformed features or other such monstrosities.

Despite its appearance, they will very likely also not think in terms human reason can readily grasp, and will often lack anything resembling a recognizable or conventional moral code. At best, they will be comparable to The Fair Folk (and indeed, many of The Fair Folk qualify as this trope — which is to be expected, since "eldritch" originally meant "elven"). Nor will they conform to the expected laws of nature — or magic, in such settings — so expect Lovecraftian Superpowers and other unspeakable traits.

Subtrope of Eldritch Abomination, and sister trope of Animalistic Abomination, Angelic Abomination, and Cthulhumanoid. Compare and contrast Monstrous Humanoid, where the creature can only be inhuman in that it has some clear and defined monstrous aspect, while remaining a humanoid. See Transhuman Abomination for a possible justification. Not to be confused with Humans Are Cthulhu. See also A Form You Are Comfortable With, though many humanoid abominations have an appearance that humans can't easily be comfortable with, and such appearances may or may not have been chosen by the Eldritch Abomination for that purpose.

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Other examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Angel Sanctuary: Rosiel and Sandalphon may qualify. Rosiel has an immortal, slowly rotting Organic Technology body that's made of tentacles and Squick. The rot has been Mind Raping him since before his birth).
  • In Animal Land, the artificially created Human shaped Chimeras can pass off as regular humans in appearance until they start doing their Body Horror transformations.
  • Berserk:
    • The Apostles are former-humans who become demons through making a Deal with the Devil with the Godhand members. They retain their human form, but always have a 'tell' that serve to mark them as anything but. Their true forms are much, much more horrifying.
    • The Godhand, are also former-human beings who went through similar, but far rarer (only once in 216 years) Deal with the Devil with the previous members of the Godhand and the Idea of Evil. They are normally not examples of this trope (they are astral beings, and therefore lack a physical body) but their appearance when manifesting in the physical world are usually humanoid enough to qualify (barely).
  • Baki the Grappler: The Hanma family have such Bizarre Human Biology that they cross into this: Family patriarch Yujiro is strong enough to cause earthquakes with his fists, his back muscles can stretch to form a demonic face, and his skull has more in common with a lion's then it does a normal human's.
  • Bleach: Characters that have seen the Soul King speak in terms of "it" rather than "him". At first glance, he appears to be humanoid. However, his eyes are inhuman, the eyes either being in the shape of a saltire cross or possessing four pupils in a diamond pattern that leaves the white of the eye forming a saltire cross between the pupils. At second glance, he also appears to be missing both arms and legs. As the story progresses, characters begin meeting his limbs, each of which are so large they dwarf even the tallest characters. Each limb has its own consciousness and its own motivations. The Right Arm of the Soul King opposes Yhwach and protects the Shinigami against him. The Left Arm of the Soul King and the Heart of the Soul King both side with Yhwach against the Shinigami; the Left Arm of the Soul King is absolutely incensed by the way the Shinigami have historically treated the Quincies, and indicates both the ability to shapeshift as well as weaponise prehensile nerve endings in battle. Yhwach seeks to kill the Soul King, implying that the Soul King's state is an enforced humiliation by the Shinigami. The truth is not confirmed, and it is a mystery — even to the characters themselves — as to why the different limbs and organs of the Soul King are aligned on opposite sides of the Shinigami-Quincy war. The identity and fate of the Legs of the Soul King are never revealed, and the truth about the Soul King is left a mystery — to the readers, as well as the characters.
  • Claymore has Awakened Priscilla, a nightmare that makes other nightmares crap their pants and required a different Abomination to perform a Fusion Dance to temporarily seal her away, yet most of the time either looks like a human woman or a humanoid creature with jagged wings and a single horn. Her power so vastly outclasses the other Awakened Beings that she has been called a Physical God, but she is disinterested with the conflict between the Claymores and the Organization, her primary motivations being eating everything she comes across and hunting down Clare.
  • Dragon Ball Z: In a long list of over-powered heroes and villains, Majin Buu is a incalculably ancient entity of destruction that eats the populations of whole cities, casually explodes planets, and tears down dimensions by shouting, shaped like a pint-sized human with bubblegum-pink skin and a tentacle growing out of his head. He can become even more powerful (and conversely, weaker) by assimilating others, gaining their powers and personalities.
    • Dragon Ball Super: The Top God, Zen'O ("King of Everything"). He looks like like a downright adorable brightly-colored child; yet he's the most powerful being in the whole multiverse. When Big Bad of the Future Trunks Arc, Zamasu, who had Complete Immortality, merged with the Future multiverse and killed nearly everything in it, Zen'O easily destroyed him and the whole timeline... and survived in a bright void.
  • The Elder Sister-like One brings a whole new meaning to the term elder sister, when a young boy makes a contract with Shub-Niggurath to become his Cool Big Sis.
  • In Fairy Tail, the Black Dragon of Apocalypse, Acnologia turns out to be capable of taking human form. He Was Once a Man and that his human form is his original one, but he certainly doesn't consider himself a part of the human race anymore.
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited:
    • The Unlimited look like Earth-based humans, but they are notoriously durable, can use summon magic, and can stand up to otherwise-unstoppable eldritch gods like Chaos or Omega.
    • Earl Tyrant may seem like a small child, but he is in fact the mind and soul of Chaos. By extension, Yu and Ai also count, since they are also avatars of Chaos.
  • In Fort of Apocalypse, the four juvenile delinquents escape from prison (which has been overrun with zombies) into the city and encounter a giant mountain of rotting zombies controlled by an androgynous naked man on the top, using the zombies like a grotesque throne. When Maeda catches his attention, the naked man (who was about a half-mile away) uses the zombies to move like a hideous organism at lightning speed, until it's only a foot in front of the terrified youth. A close-up reveals that it has Sharingan-like eyes, with three smaller eyes inhabiting each of its pupils.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Truth, guardian of the Gate of Truth, and implied to be a manifestation of the Gate itself. It's only an outline of a human form, with a creepy sneering grin and occasionally filled in with the body parts it takes from the people visiting it.
    • Most of the Homunculi can easily pass for human, but their true forms decidedly not. Special mention goes to Pride (a colossal shadowy mass of tentacles, eyes, and teeth) and Gluttony (a "defective" Gate of Truth).
    • Van Hohenheim is a living Philosopher's Stone, which is made from thousands of human souls, giving him immense power. Fortunately, he's one of the good guys and managed to reach an understanding with the souls within him, resulting in a partnership of sorts.
    • The creator of the Homunculi, Father, even more so. He looks like a normal middle aged man. His body is in fact a copy of Hohenheim's, a living Philosopher's Stone. Then he reveals that his body is just a puppet, and his real body is spread all across Amestris. Then he fuses with the Gate of Truth and becomes something even worse.
  • Guu in Haré+Guu is a rare protagonist example. The first episode alone reveals her stomach is a Pocket Dimension and that she can swallow things alive!
  • In Hellsing, Alucard looks like just an "ordinary" vampire. It turns out he's actually something far, far more horrific, being at the very least a Hive Mind of millions of undead souls, all slaved to a single once-human mind. He freely shifts through the most horrific forms at will, with his "true form" being essentially a city-swallowing ocean of blood with wailing human and animal corpses rising half-formed from its depths and potentially becoming an independent army. In the finale he goes even further, killing off his undead army to become a walking, talking quantum anomaly.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers stars Anthropomorphic Personifications of nations, and they're all very cute due to the art style. However, their existence and how they come into being is unexplained, they stop aging physically after reaching a certain point in their lives, are functionally immortal, and only fall ill when the country they personify is in dire straits. They have a powerful Healing Factor that lets them regenerate near-instantly from wounds that would be fatal for humans, many are subject to Bizarre Human Biology with their ahoges and other parts, and their immortality at times rubs off on animals close to them. The first chapter of World☆Stars even alludes to this:
    "They can live for a few days, or for several centuries. They can just disappear one day, or change their names and personalities. And they can appear again, called back by somebody's sudden memory..."
    • Himaruya has also alluded that the nations can have some reality-warping effects on humans, stating:
    "If a normal person would be close to the nations like Pochi for a longer time, their perception of time would get so warped that they could eventually lose their mind." —source
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
  • Gessho Kuki, aka The Shadow, and Big Bad of Kagerou-Nostalgia may look like a man (albeit one who is deep into the Uncanny Valley) but he is not, and never was, human. He's eventually revealed as a mass of evil magic left behind by previous Big Bad King Haku, and trapped in the form of a man. When he loses his temper he goes One-Winged Angel, changing into a billowing mass of magic that keeps only his human form's eyes.
  • Laughing Salesman: Whatever Moguro Fukuzo is, he isn't human. He's capable of Offscreen Teleportation, seems to always have as many resources as he needs, and is some kind of Jerkass Genie whose "help" will most certainly ruin his victims' lives, all while always carrying a huge grin that never falters.
  • Magical Girl Site: The Site Admins, humanoid beings clad as character stereotypes with Uncanny Valley heads and Vocal Dissonance coming out from their mouths whenever they speak. The art-style they're depicted with sets them distinctively apart from the rest of the setting and each of them are capable of violating the laws of reality on a whim by just existing. That's just scratching the surface of their nature of their existence.
  • Naruto has Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, the mother of the legendary Sage of Six Paths. Where she came from and whether she was human to begin with is unknown, but she had horns, the Byakugan, a Third Eye combining the Rinnegan and Sharingan, and considers herself the progenitor of chakra, which she possesses an unfathomable amount of. She was both worshipped as a goddess and feared as a demon due to her overwhelming power, and her means of bringing "peace" to the world involved using the Infinite Tsukuyomi on people and then turning them into Zetsus. When she saw her sons had inherited her power and were teaching others to use it, she assimilated the Shinju transformed into Eldritch Abomination to get it back. Turns out she's actually an alien.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Rei and Kaworu, each of whom is the soul (or part of a soul) of an Angel jammed into a soulless clone body, and are even more powerful and just as incomprehensible as the "regular" Angels. The Evangelion units themselves are also this, being cloned bodies of Angels forcefully stuffed inside armor suits that lock away their true powers.
    • Inverted by the Angels, who appear as Kaiju-sized Eldritch Abominations, but their genetic code is very close to humans, that certain characters consider them a variant of the human template.
  • It's never actually revealed what Kazuo Umezu's Orochi in Orochi Blood is, but human isn't even in the running, despite her looking like a young teen girl. She can make things happen by pointing, use her blood and life force to do things like animate inanimate objects (though the one time we see her try, it goes wrong), can come back from being pulverized to a puddle of blood by a speeding train after a few years with a weakening of her powers being the only way she's worse for wear, and more.
  • In Overlord (2012), many of the most prominent denizens of Nazarick — including Sebas, the Pleiades, and several of the Floor Guardians — could pass for human at first glance. In fact, they're all various types of monsters who despise humans and can each singlehandedly take on battalions of warriors.
  • PandoraHearts has entities called Chains, which can form contracts with humans and will eventually consume them. They run the gamut from this trope to Animalistic Abomination to all-out Eldritch Abomination, and many of them used to be humans and animals that fell into the Abyss.
  • Poison Berry in My Brain has the Mysterious Woman, whose appearance is a darker-haired/sexier version of Ichiko Sakurai herself. She has never existed before in any of the brain council meetings, has almost no facial expressions, can suddenly appear out of nowhere, and can knock the other members unconscious with special powers.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Technically, all magical girls. Their apparent bodies are just soulless shells that they pilot via remote control, their witch form being the true expression of their bodies and power.
    • In Episode 12 Madoka rewrites the universe and inserts herself as a fundamental force that sees and rules over everything, The Law of Cycles saving all Magical Girls from despair, but aside from Supernatural Gold Eyes and long hair she looks the same as she did before.
    • Played with in Puella Magi Kazumi Magica, where the main character is a witch that's been returned to humanoid form. Though she's friendly and cute for most of the series, as she discovers more about her origins, she starts to fall back into old habits.
    • The ending of Rebellion has Homulily transform into Akuma Homura, who usurps Madoka and performs her own cosmic rewrite, trapping everyone in a Gilded Cage universe of her own creation, but again aside from an Evil Costume Switch, black feathery wings, and Eye Colour Change (and terrifying Slasher Smiles) she still looks normal. And for that matter, Homulily herself, who spends most of the movie in the form of Homura. Not even she knows she's an abomination until she reverts into the witch form!
  • Sailor Moon:
    • In the manga, the final form of Chaos that destroys the galaxy in the far a Senshi: Sailor Chaos.
    • In both anime and manga, Death Phantom and Queen Nehellenia, thanks to their immense power. Double points in the manga, as they're actually avatars of Chaos.
    • In the anime, Beryl once she fuses with Queen Metallia.
    • In the manga the Sailor Senshi themselves have shades of this. They may look like normal girls or women, but in their final forms they are just as powerful as the avatars of Chaos, and at least one (Sailor Venus) warps minds with her mere presence (people who may have some feelings for each other are suddenly drawn together when they befriend her), and not only is she unable to shut it off (and in fact is irritated by the sheer number of possible boyfriends she lost this way), she doesn't know she's doing it.
  • In Soul Eater, many of the Great Old Ones take humanoid shapes but are regarded as something inhuman and spiritually beyond the realms of human comprehension. The primary example is probably Asura, the incarnation of madness, whose presence causes hallucinations and reality to go wibbly-wobbly. Lord Death is a more benign example, and Death the Kid looks and acts entirely human to the point that it is a a very bad sign when he denounces his connection to humanity (and life itself) in favour of his decidedly inhuman heritage. Asura later reveals that he is the embodiment of Lord Death's fear, making him Kid's older brother.
  • The title character of Tomie might just look like an improbably beautiful teenage girl at first glance, but on closer inspection it's in an abnormally creepy way which underscores that she is NOT truly human. Unfortunately, by the time men figure that out, they're usually infatuated/obsessed with her and well on their way to complete insanity. Women who find this out are less affected, but have a hard time convincing anyone, as those not already completely fascinated by the new beauty in town usually ascribe it to mere jealousy. And don't get started on her regeneration or how things always seem go in her favor even when they possibly couldn't.
  • The Crusniks in TrinityBlood are vampires who feed off other vampires. They look like ordinary humans, but when they activate the nanomachine inside them, they turn into vampires with tremendous powers and rediculous healing abilities.
  • The eponymous character of Vampire Princess Miyu falls more under this than traditional vampire origins. She's explicitly of the same breed as the much less humanoid Eldritch Abominations she hunts, and is tasked with sending them all back to their original dimension.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who:
    • Zagreus, the personification of Anti-Time.. When the Eighth Doctor is infected by Anti-Time he becomes psychotic and takes Zagreus' name.
    • The Child from The Holy Terror. Introduced as Childeric's experimental attempt to transform his infant son into a god, he's essentially a five-year-old child Reality Warper with a voice stuck squarely in the middle of the Uncanny Valley. Further investigation reveals that he's actually an eternally-recurring phenomena throughout the setting, a human-shaped force of nature that Childeric managed to capture purely by accident. More specifically, his purpose is to kill everyone in the castle, destroy the castle itself, and force Eugene Tacitus to confront his crime again.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge (MLP): Played with and then played straight. Like equine Equestria, when kaiju crossover to the "Equestria Girls" realm they also change. For most, they do keep some of their powers, Super-Strength, and Super-Toughness; but are still recognizably human. Enjin however, is a being composed entirely of dark energy. The result of it crossing over can best be described as an animate, solid shadow.
  • The Butcher Bird: Grigori Vinci starts approaching this state due to his own continuously improving Bio-Augmentation, currently existing as a nine foot tall, cadaverously thin individual with Supernatural Gold Eyes and a Slasher Smile.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Gravemoss, already an insane and millennia old Necromancer, was this trope to start with and only becomes more so as time goes on, something really not helped by his possession of/by the Darkhold. And as one of his allies notes, there's something in his eyes...
      • He graduates fully to this trope when Chthon possesses him, replacing his removed arm with one of pure scarlet chaos energy that is continuously changing shape and hurts to look at, smiling a smile that rips his cheeks into something the Joker would envy and sending all of reality into a tailspin.
    • The Slendermen all qualify as this, as do most of the other darker Fae (even the relatively nice ones tend towards the border regions of the Uncanny Valley), in one fashion or another.
    • Harry himself is noted as occasionally coming off as 'slightly otherworldly', and not in the harmless Luna Lovegood sense. He moves with too much grace to be human, he can read minds (after chapter 60) and he carries around an aura of power that makes people's instincts start screaming. Oh, and in the sequel, when he gets really angry, there's a strange and ominous smell of wood smoke around him, which is a sign that the fragment of the Phoenix within him is revving up for a Dark Phoenix rampage. While he later tones this down and generally comes off as fairly normal, enough that most people can forget about it, if he sees a sign of trouble, or he's seriously enraged, then the facade of humanity will vanish in the blink of an eye.
    • Voldemort becomes this following his resurrection, which is rather different to canon. Not only does he have his horcruxes, while he looks human, like an older Tom Riddle, he's walking around in a body constructed from Peter Pettigrew's biomass (yes, he didn't just possess Pettigrew, he stole his body and reshaped it entirely) — and by the Bloody Hell arc in the sequel, he's reverted to the Uncanny Valley appearance, being unnaturally pale and red-eyed. Worse, he's got powerful Psychic Powers, a proclivity for absolutely brutal Mind Rape, and feeds off the life-force of others and it's not entirely clear whether he's actually properly alive or not with Dumbledore calling him "more than a spirit and less than a man."
    • Nathaniel Essex a.k.a. Sinister is treated as such. He's immortal, capable of Voluntary Shapeshifting, has strong Psychic Powers, can — somehow — hide from even Doctor Strange's tracking and Heimdall's sight, and his base form is deathly white, with a strange red gem in his forehead.
    • The Dark Phoenix lives and breathes this trope: immortal, more or less indestructible, and deep into the Uncanny Valley, with a face that elongates into something more elfin and predatory, skin that glows and cracks to reveal blazing white flames beneath, the same flames that pour from their Glowing Eyes of Doom like tears, generally giving off the vibe that the Host (Harry) is a thin shell for an increasingly powerful Eldritch Abomination.
      • The original Dark Phoenix, Surtur, developed from this into a fully fledged Eldritch Abomination, a creature of 'shadow and flame'.
  • Children of an Elder God (Cthulhu Mythos & Neon Genesis Evangelion): Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Touji, Hikari and Anna are outwardly human-like children... but the dead elder gods live inside them. They have weird, creepy powers (insect and reptile control, fire manipulation, space bending...), their bodies regenerate damage instantly and don't age, and their presence creeps other people out.
  • Played for Laughs in G-Man Meets the Mystery Man, which features a meeting between two creepy humanoid abominations from very different sources.
  • It's Always The Quiet Ones: Luna is descended from the Deep Ones through her mother, and capable of communicating with alien horrors that make everyone else quake with mortal terror.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger (RWBY & Star Wars): Force Wounds are empty vacuums in the Force that form whenever the Force undergoes extreme trauma, usually from a sudden loss of life on a massive scale. This normally results in a case of Evil Tainted the Place, but when such an anomaly centers around a living person, the result is an entity whose very existence is absent of the Force. Because the Force is supposed to flow through all life, this emptiness causes a Horror Hunger that drives living Force Wounds to seek out other Force-sensitives in order to feed off of them. In layman's terms, they're the Force-equivalent of a walking black hole that sucks the Life Energy out of everything around it. So far, only three of these have appeared in the story: Darth Nihilus, Meetra Surik in the flashbacks, and eventually Jaune Arc.
  • The Night Unfurls: The Good Hunter's appearance is that of a tired human male in his twenties, but underneath his lean frame is something repeatedly emphasised to be incomprehensible within the context of the setting (i.e., a Standard Fantasy Setting). Bewildered and brutalised, all of his foes fail to comprehend his insane strength and speed, let alone meaningfully engage him in battle. Combining both versions of the story, the Hunter demonstrates feats that defy the laws of reality. He resides in a place completely bound to his will, can strike down intangible wraiths without any sort of enchantment (the normal way of dealing with them), revives upon death while other beings only have one life, and outright warps the surrounding environment during his Unstoppable Rage. The trope is made more apparent in the original version, where his human appearance is in actuality a mask for something that bombards the minds of people if unveiled to the world. Celestine, the resident reincarnated Goddess of the setting, wisely concludes that prying into his items and secrets only results in madness. Thank goodness he is of good alignment.
  • Thousand Shinji (Neon Genesis Evangelion & Warhammer): After their ascension to godhood the New Chaos Gods have a myriad of shapes, most of them incomprehensible to human eyes, but they don their old human selves when they want to interact with their followers, mingle with humans or go unnoticed. People paying attention, though, feel something scary and predatory about them.

Dragon Ball

Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire

  • Purple Days: By the time of the "Groundhog Day" Loop's final iteration, most of Joffrey's Silver Knights, by proximity, have gained the ability to hear what he calls the Song of Existence, life's melody raging against the silence of the Long Night, and see that the King and Queen who have spent decades to centuries looping are somehow more than human. Joffrey and Queen Sansa are still heroic and devoted to saving Westeros, but it comes across as a massive shock to anyone unaware.


Gravity Falls

The Haunted Mansion

  • Minor The Mansionverse character the Portrait Man's appearance closely mirrors the Slenderman, minus the tentacles and plus a pair of large ink-black eyes reminescent of The Greys.

Marvel Universe

  • Psyko, the warped Evil Counterpart to Sleepwalker in Ultimate Sleepwalker, was originally human before he was exposed to a wave of perverted demonic energy from the Mindscape. It completely fried the brains of every other human in the area, but he simply absorbed it and turned into a humanoid... thing with bone-white skin, a skull-like face, bone-like spikes growing out of his body, insane glowing eyes, and teeth as long as a man's finger.

My Little Pony

  • Consequences of Unoriginality: Human beings. Emeris's pony body is a shell of harmony that allows him to exist in a universe with fundamentally different laws of physics.
    There was something words failed to describe residing in the chest cavity of the body, shining with darkness, bent at impossible angles, twisting and shifting and impossible to describe. Twilight's mind recoiled from it... and yet it was so familiar because it was... it was EMERIS on a level that was hard to describe but was so fundamental that it actually hurt.
  • Whilst already strange to pony eyes, the human in Millennium (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) has clearly stepped beyond the point of actual humanity, being a nightmarish force instead.


  • After taking over Naruto's body in Blackkat's Reverse Kurama finds himself with blood-red eyes, claws hard enough to tear flesh and able to use his very malevolent chakra at will. Also, he has no problem with walking around in blood-soaked clothes.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • HERZ: In the backstory Rei absorbed the bodies of two Eldritch Abominations: Adam and Lilith. After doing that, she should look like a planet-sized, glowing, white-haired and white-skinned version of herself, but she prefers to keep looking human to stay with her family. However, people who come across her think that she is weird and eerie.
  • In Last Child of Krypton, Rei and Kaworu. They are humanoid vessels for the souls of alien gods, and at the end they stop being human. In the rewrite, Kaworu is even more inhuman and creepier than his canon self.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: The last antagonist is a clone of Kaworu, under the control of the Emerald Tablet, a mad A.I. of alien origins. He looks physically human, but his mind is not. He's inmensely creepy, powerful, downright amoral and he regards human beings as "things" beneath him.
  • Once More With Feeling (Crazy-88): At the beginning of the story, Lilith's ghost follows Shinji around. She looks like a teenager human girl, but is the alien mother of humanity.
  • Rise of the Minisukas: The tiitular Minisukas may look like diminutive versions of Asuka, but they are really "aberrations in the fabric of reality that should not exist". Gendo grows quite alarmed when he learns this fact from Rei, who thought it obvious.
  • The Second Try
    • Rei is a cloned human who acts as a vessel for the soul of an Eldritch Abomination. When Shinji and Asuka go back to the past and meet her again, they're unsettled because she always seemed strange, but they never doubted that she was human.
      There she was; that long-time enigma: cloned from remains of his mother; partial Angel; the one with the power to return every single human on the planet back to nothing. After seeing her for years only as that, in the tremendous form she had taken at the end, it seemed impossible to ever look at the delicate fourteen year old girl that was Rei Ayanami in the same way again.
    • Kaworu is another clone storing the soul of another alien Eldritch Abomination. Talking to him or being around him is unsettling because he looks human but he doesn't act or talk like one, and he blatantly says that life, death, space, time... are meaningless concepts to him.


  • Santa Claus is revealed as this in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. He delivers his gifts and makes everyone believe that they bought them instead of getting them from him, though he still remains a benevolent example.



  • Deserted Distractions: Yami Bakura is portrayed through most of the story as creepy and evil, but in a very human, relatable way, mostly acting without inhibitions or moral restraints on his and/or his host's desires and best interests. And then two-thirds of the way in, in order to defeat a shadow demon, Bakura sheds most of the human baggage he's picked up during his years with Ryou.
    "You fool," he cackled, and his voice bore no resemblance to the voice of Ryou Bakura. "You fool. Don't you know that I am the darkness?"
    • When he returns, Tea has a strong Uncanny Valley reaction to him, until they return to the physical world where he can successfully borrow Ryou's humanity again.


  • In Advice and Trust, Rei looks human but she's a piece of the soul of an old alien goddess stuck inside Yui Ikari's cloned body. She's constantly hurt and aching due to this.
  • Repeatedly referenced in Ain't No Grave but ultimately subverted. Bucky in full Soldier mode scares the spots off a lot of people, and is clearly not a normal human, but he's as human as Captain America. Even if he sometimes sees himself as more of an immortal inhuman killing machine than a regular person because of internalized Dehumanization and I Am a Monster issues.
    The creature has been thinking about offerings. These are the things that it knows: 1. It is a undying, deathless creature. 2. It is an evil creature. It brings death in its wake, and no mortal man can stand against it.
  • The Siberian from Atonement is a black-and-white striped humanoid woman with the ability to either tear through or grant invulnerability to whatever she touches. She's also an Implacable Man who shrugs off any hit (excepting other unstoppable powers like Flechette's Sting).
  • The Child of Love: Rei looks like a mostly normal teen girl (even if a tad weird and emotionless), but in reality she is a piece of the soul of an ancient alien goddess stuck inside Shinji's mother's cloned body. The main characters found about it when she slammed Gendo with her A T Field.
  • Naruto/Sunny in Dancing With Demons is either this or past the Bishounen Line depending on who's dealing with him. Most women and many children find his hair ornaments, flawless skin, and blonde hair "beautiful". Most ninja find his red eyes, unnatural stillness, and carnivorous diet (humans if he can manage it) highly disturbing.
  • In Ghosts of Evangelion, Rei and Kaworu are seen during some important scenes, although they are now human-like spirits without physical bodies.
  • Illyria in Harry Potter and the Shell of the God King mostly resembles Luna Lovegood (whose body she took over) except for her inhumanly blue eyes, blue streaked hair, and blue patches of skin. Granted, she can look however she wants, but it's nonetheless her preferred form.
  • Hellsister Trilogy has Satan Girl, who looks like a flesh-and-blood voluptuous human woman, but in reality is a human-shaped mass of negative emotions and dark impulses with power enough to crumble whole planets to dust.
  • Played with relentlessly in Only Human, a Star Trek: The Next Generation AU where Q never regained his powers in "Deja Qu". Q makes a poor human and it becomes clear that Q's powers were simply advanced technology and his reasoning is comprehensible by humans if they know where he's coming from. Except Q is still an alien in human form and his prior existence is still so alien it is only expressible by analogy. His expectations and reactions don't make sense without that history.
  • Joseph Regent, protagonist of Son of the Warp, is more or less one of these, given that he's the half-human son of Tzeentch.
  • Starry Eyes: Taylor looks like a normal human, but she is a skin covered portal to a Pocket Dimension filled with eldritch horrors. Taken together with her horrifying appearance when she uses their powers, she definitely qualifies.
  • The W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Stirred (sequel to Ripples) has Dezzhed, the being Phobos employs as an interrogator. First of all, no one knows what exactly he is. Secondly, he's thin and pale to the point of his head looking skull-like, along with having large, lidless red eyes, and tusks jutting out of his mouth. And finally, there's his personality, of an utter sadist who relishes in how he gathers information from people.
  • Touhou Project fics:
    • Yuuka Kazami in Imperfect Metamorphosis is horrifically powerful, inspires petrifying dread by her very presence, not even Yukari knows what she is (and notes that her powers are disturbingly ineffective against her), and with the Shadow Youkai running around and causing a mess of everything nearly everyone treats her as the bigger threat. Later events reveal she's actually an Outer God, straight out of Lovecraft.
    • Maiden's Illusionary Funeral depicts Yukari Yakumo as an unstoppable juggernaut who is really a nightmarish mass of darkness and eyes masquerading in the form of a human woman. Glimpses of this are seen throughout her battles as she gets her Game Face on, but she only drops the illusion when Youki bisects her; his reaction is most appropriate.

    Films — Animation 
  • A Cut Song from 101 Dalmatians seems to make a case for Cruella De Vil being one of these.
  • The trio of the Dazzlings in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks. They're not human, merely turned into human form like other creatures that cross the worlds. However, unlike Twilight and Sunset, they retain some degree of their magic, and some of their inhuman traits (like glowing green eyes) manifest at times, giving them this vibe. This effect is amplified when they regain their true power, gaining fin-like wings, glowing red eyes, and fangs. In their true forms they are visually merhorse sirens, and fully qualify as Animalistic Abominations.
  • The Coachman in Pinocchio looks like a perfectly normal old man... at first. But between his creepy, featureless minions, his practice of turning bad boys into donkeys, and his huge Nightmare Face, it becomes clear that, whatever he is, he isn't human.
  • Pitch Black the boogeyman from Rise of the Guardians is described as "the essence of fear". He looks like a tall, lanky human with an extremely pale skin who dresses in a jet-black nightshirt at first glance, but has control over darkness, can transform innocent dreams into terrifying nightmares (he even commands an army of them) and lives in an Eldritch Location. If you think that's scary enough, concept art of him shows he was going to be far more eldritch-looking.
  • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas:
    • Eris, goddess of Chaos and Discord. She looks like an extremely beautiful woman, but her home, Tartarus, and her ability to casually warp reality the way she wants tell a different story. The way she's animated certainly helps; her form is constantly moving and shifting, and she seems to be physically more 3-dimensional than the other characters, making her look generally otherworldly.
    • The sirens which Marina wards off at one point are this as well, being feminine-looking, yet sinister water elementals with glowing, yellow eyes and a mouth full of small, sharp needle-like teeth.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: The Spot qualifies as one, and by the end is bordering on being an Eldritch Abomination. When the Spider-Gang destroyed the Super-Collider in the previous film, he became merged with the unstable dark matter, leaving him with the appearance of a stark-white, featureless humanoid with black wormholes all over his body, although he can still see, hear and speak normally. After absorbing more dark matter from several Super-Colliders in other universes, he embraces his status as a Cosmic Flaw and inverts his appearance into a... thing with midnight-black skin "spotted" by white swirls, speaking in a Voice of the Legion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • La Magra in Blade (1998) is a vampire god and patron deity of all vampirekind. When summoned, he displays a multitude of powers like superior strength, speed, sunlight immunity and being made completely made of blood (one deleted scene shows him turning into a whirlwind of blood). He presumably has more like the ability to turn humans into vampires by just being in their presence as well as all other House of Erebus but it's never used. It takes using anti-coagulant to destroy him.
  • The woman that emerges from the wreckage of the Mima in Blood Machines looks like a human woman, but it's skin takes on a purple, phosphorescent hue and has a glowing inverted cross on her stomach. Tracy, Vascan and Lago's AI, seems to think that it is the ship even when it emerges as a Human Alien.
  • The Harvesters in The Deaths of Ian Stone are an odd case. They're essentially the gods of their setting, and it's stated they made The Multiverse just to farm humans for their tasty, tasty fear. Their power over their surroundings is difficult to overstate, and their natures seem incomprehensible to humans — but their motivations are instantly recognizable to any junkie, and they can be as petty and flawed as any human. Two of them prove they can be as noble, too, and as loving.
  • The True Knot in Doctor Sleep, albeit downplayed in comparison to their literary counterparts. They're still a "family" of psychic quasi-vampires that must feed on the psychic talent of others, but they look more or less the same as they normally do when feeding unlike in the book (which has them gaining elongated jaws with a single tusk inside). Here, the only difference in their appearance is that their eyes and mouths pulse with an ugly blue light while feeding. The members of True Knot also age incredibly slowly for as long as they regularly feed and have their own various psychic talents that are further enhanced by their dietary habits. Finally, they dissolve into Steam (the "essence" of the Shine) when killed, with their bodies violently "cycling" between being in a state of non-existence and rapid decomposition beforehand.
  • Dr. Weir from Event Horizon ends up becoming a Cenobite-like demon with a bloodied body Covered with Scars due to the influence of the titular Eldritch Starship.
  • Dr. Pretorius in Stuart Gordon's From Beyond. It's pretty clear when we see him after his first "death" that the only things still remotely human about him are his sexual deviancy and his face.
  • Gozer manifests as a vaguely androgynous and ethereal humanoid with Voice of the Legion and glowing blood-red eyes just before the climax of Ghostbusters (1984).
  • Although it's never explicit in the original film, a lot of the tension in Halloween (1978) comes from the lingering suspicion that Michael Myers might not be fully human anymore. The movie treats him less like a character and more like an unreasoning force of pure malignancy, with no comprehensible motivation, an unshakeable determination to do evil, and a preternatural resilience. When one of the sequels revealed that Michael was the recipient of an ancient curse, though, a lot of viewers found that the overt supernatural elements ruined the character's mystique, preferring the original's ambiguity.
  • The Cenobites from Hellraiser are a cadre of barely human sadomaschists ... "barely" being the operative word here.
  • Hobo with a Shotgun is such a ridiculous movie that when the two biker hitmen hired by the mobster villain to dispose of the Hobo are revealed to be demons, you just kind of roll with it.
  • Lost Highway: The Mystery Man. Upon meeting the main character he says they've meet before, at his home. When Fred denies it, the Mystery Man says he's at the house, right now, and to call him. He answers.
  • The title character of Lucy starts out completely human but is injected with a Fantastic Drug that lets her access 100% of her brain capacity. First she starts off as an emotionless Action Girl. However, as she accesses more of her brain capacity she becomes incredibly powerful and gradually enters Reality Warper status. By the end, she's an amoral god-like entity of unfathomable power, and finally she leaves her human form behind to become a Yog-Sothoth Expy by entwining herself with the very fabric of existence.
  • Mandy (2018): It's left ambiguous as to whether the Black Skulls biker gang are just tripping on a really bad drug, or if they really are as demonic as they seem.
  • The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth is a monstrous creature of excess that ate children before The Fair Folk had him imprisoned and used for one of Ofelia's trials. He is depicted as a white humanoid thing with skin hanging off of him as though he was excessively fat before suddenly losing the weight. Even worse, his eyes are on his hands instead of his head, having to put them in their sockets after Ofelia unintentionally awakens him.
  • The short horror film Portrait Of God has the being from the eponymous painting, who only appears to certain people, (probably) looks like a freakish, grinning, emaciated man, possesses either extensive Reality Warper, illusion, or telepathic projection power, and just may ACTUALLY BE God.
  • From the Phantasm franchise, The Tall Man is perhaps one of the best known examples of this on film. He looks like an old man in a suit, albeit an intimidating one, but is really implied to be some horrible otherdimensional consciousness wearing the form of a man named Jebediah Morningside like a meat suit. He bleeds a yellowish fluid when injured and his fingers have been known to turn into hideous bug-things when severed. He is hideously strong, controls an army of deadly silver spheres, and has some Reality Warper powers. He has a nasty agenda that involves killing people and turning them into twisted dwarfish slaves to use in another dimension.
  • Satan in motion pictures will often take the form of a man (or, more rarely, a woman), only to eventually reveal himself as something either grotesque or freakishly primeval.
    • In End of Days, he is in human form (and speaks English) for most of the story, then manifests himself as a malevolent shock wave in the big cathedral showdown.
    • In The Devil's Advocate, he appears most often as John Milton, a hotshot New York lawyer; however, his fingers can vaporize holy water in a sort of inversion of Holy Burns Evil, he survives getting shot several times in the chest, and in the film's fiery climax we finally see his true form... though only for a split-second, since it is so ugly that most people could not bear to look at it. Not much later, he assumes his other form as a Fallen Angel.
    • In Angel Heart, he twists the protagonist's path through a chain of murders, making him a suspect by actually steering his body into killing the people involved in the ritual that was supposed to save him from the consequences of a deal with the devil by taking over the body and mind of a young soldier - the body and mind that the movie had been following as the protagonist. The murders culminate in him unwittingly having sex with "his" (the body/mind thief's) daughter and subsequently killing her as the final victim. The devil does not like to be duped).
    • In The Day of the Beast the Devil shows up during the climax, looking like a tall, slender, terrifying satyr with a monstrously elongated, shriveled goat head.
  • Similarly, Death in most motion pictures.
  • In 6 Souls there are two:
  • The protagonists of the Tetsuo: The Iron Man become a mechanical version of this trope every time.
  • Under the Bed: The monster living under Neal's bed, when it makes its on-screen appearance, resembles the Toxic Avenger... if he was a starving albino.
  • Vanishing on 7th Street: The shadow-creatures, possibly extensions of the darkness that is gradually eliminating/absorbing all light sources and people, manifest as human silhouettes when they do manifest.
  • The Wasteland (2021): The beast is described as being very tall with no eyes. When we finally see it, it looks something like a very tall, thin, mummified grey.
  • Wishmaster: The Djinn in human form has something distinctly off about him. Even when he's charming he comes off as supremely creepy, and if one didn't know it already, the feeling that something monstrous lurks right underneath that face is ever present. His real form is still somewhat humanoid, but has clear reptilian and insectoid traits. Additionally, he is a primeval monster created by God at the dawn of time, possessing Complete Immortality and vast reality-warping powers limited only by the fact that they must be used to grant wishes. He can also extract the souls of those whose wishes he grants, dragging them into his fire opal for eternal torture.

  • Lone Wolf: About every one of the Darklords of Helgedad qualify. They have quite varied appearances, but are usually humanoid (or close enough; Darklord Taktaal is a Snake Person). Darklord Gnaag is essentially Brundlefly. Darklord Haakon is the best example since the Legends of Lone Wolf novels reveal that he has the face of a young human man under his black helm. He also has unnaturally long skinny fingers and a powerfully muscled physique. A physique that is very easy to see since he has translucent skin from the neck down. Despite the physical similarities to humans, Haakon is an embodiment of pure evil just like the other Darklords.

  • Baccano! has Ronnie Schiatto, an ancient and incomprehensibly powerful "demon" who decided to take human form and become a gangster for the lulz. While he's usually content to just sit back and be the All-Powerful Bystander, sometimes he likes to switch his Lovecraftian terror aura on while still in human form — it does wonders for negotiations.
    If he had just been a simple mafioso, those gathered there would not have felt such an alien sense of awe. The aura rolling off of him was that of innumerable things mixed chaotically together... of something that was not human.
  • Bazil Broketail: The Masters of Padmasa were once men, but no longer have human features, instead looking very monstrous.
  • According to Beowulf, The Descendants of Cain, including Grendel and his mother, were cursed to become these.
  • In Blood Meridian the Judge is implied to be more than he seems, but exactly what is something Man Was Not Meant To Know. He's an almost seven-foot-tall hairless albino Implacable Man who never sleeps, never ages, proclaims war itself to be God, wants nothing less than absolute power over the Earth and all life upon it, and upon finding him waiting for them in the desert, every member of the Glanton gang believes they have met him before. The novel is Very Loosely Based on a True Story, meaning there's a slight chance he may have actually existed. Albeit, in a less exaggerated form. Hopefully.
  • In R.S Belcher's The Brotherhood of the Wheel, BEKs are a new monster that's become Urban Legend. The stories are there these kids in hoodies who knock on doors asking to be let in. Anyone who opens the door are never seen again. What the "Black Eyed Kids" actually are, are the evil remnants of a soul where the light portion has been sacrificed to the god "The Horned Man". The BEKs are part of his Wild Hunt, they have completely black eyes, sharklike teeth and superhuman strength. If they bite a person, their evil will infect its victim. For young, innocent children, they'll turn into another BEK but adults, with their burden of sin, will simply disintegrate.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Jadis the White Witch tells the heroes that she is human and does look like it at first... Except she is unusually large and pale as snow. Turns out she is not even human (rather, a half-Giant, half-Jinn) nor is she native from Earth but from another dimension known as Charn, which she singlehandedly destroyed before moving to Narnia and turned into a frozen wasteland. She claims to be human in an attempt to solidify her rule since Aslan decrees that only the Children of Adam (i.e. humans) can govern this land, but in the end, she became Narnia's own Satanic Archetype. As Mr. Beaver puts it:
    "...when you meet anything that's going to be human and isn't yet, or used to be human once and isn't now, or ought to be human and isn't, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet."
  • Conan the Barbarian faces off against numerous abominations—ranging from the almost human to the utterly bizarre—in the original stories by Robert E. Howard. The most human-like of them (visually, at least), Khosatral Khel, lord of Dagon, provides the page quote. When Conan destroys Khosatral Khel, its "human" aspect is very quickly lost.
    "Khosatral reeled and fell. In the shape of a man he reeled, but it was not the shape of a man that struck the loam. Where there had been the likeness of a human face, there was no face at all, and the metal limbs melted and changed... Conan, who had not shrunk from Khosatral living, recoiled blenching for Khosatral dead, for he had witnessed an awful transmutation; in his dying throes Khosatral Khel had become again the thing that had crawled up from the Abyss millennia gone."
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: Amren. She's an incredibly old being from another dimension who is somehow magically constrained, keeping her powers tamped down. Even with her powers tamped down, she's terrifying. Also she drinks blood. She later gets turned into a standard High Fae and complains about having to eat solid food and use the toilet now.
  • Cthulhu Mythos:
  • Discworld:
    • In The Light Fantastic, everyone expects the Things From The Dungeon Dimensions to come storming into our reality with tentacles waving, but all they need is one mind. And when Rincewind looks into Trymon's eyes, it's every bit as horrific as anything involving tentacles and Alien Geometries.
    • I Shall Wear Midnight introduces the Cunning Man, the shade of a fanatic witch-hunter who was so obsessed he went on even after eventually having no body. He appears as a man in black with empty holes for eyes (no, not empty eye sockets, HOLES, you can see through them) and Invisible to Normals; to those who can perceive it, he also appears to exude a terrible stench, though rather than an actual physical stench this is their mind's perception of the corruption in his. He can use mirrors, pictures and the like to enter the world, and can possess the bodies of others. To hammer home how utterly wrong he is, in Discworld, the eyes always show a person's true nature. Even the gods can change anything about their appearance except their eyes. Now the Cunning Man has nothing there, as in seeing into the front and out the back of his head.
    • The Auditors, who appear in such books as Thief of Time, Hogfather and Reaper Man. It's quite telling that they mostly appear in DEATH centered books, on account of them seeking to end nearly most of the universe in order to maintain its "order". They appear as humanoid figures, draped in cloaks, and speak in an unnerving tone (noted to be less actual speech, and more retconning reality into having already spoken), but they've disguised themselves as humans in the past.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Lords of the Outer Night in the Red Court. Some Outsiders can also take humanoid form, such as "Sharkface" in Cold Days.
    • The two Faerie Queens, Mab and Titania, are unfathomable even by fae standards. Mab is described as being winter itself. Their very existence has effects on the world — if Seelie a were bit weaker than Unseelie, Mab's existence would cover Earth in an eternal Ice Age. Titania's existence would result in chaotic nature and more of life on Earth — and viruses aren't except from it. When two of them decide to fight, the planet is covered by apocalyptic storms. It is mentioned that Faerie wars already killed off all life on planet few times, and it had to be restarted from scratch. When Harry looks at them with Sight they manifest as pure power and raw elemental forces, gigantic pillars and stars of magic, causing Harry extreme pain. Later we learn that Queens are just vessels for their mantles, indestructible elemental powers old as universe that in time destroy the host's personality and remake it into specific archetype.
    • The Faerie "mothers" are an order of magnitude more powerful than the queens. They control destiny and nature, are invulnerable and able to destroy fey's greatest bane, iron — Mother Winter's teeth are iron — and are omniscient, implied to be able to see alternate universes.
    • Drakul looks perfectly human, but according to Jim Butcher he's actually something very inhuman and very powerful stuck in human form.
  • Neil Gaiman:
  • Good Omens:
    • The Four Horse- er, Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are not so much Reality Warpers as reality hurriedly gets out of their way. Violence spontaneously breaks out around War, things waste away in Famine's presence, people included, and Pollution is so toxic a supernatural crown is tarnished black the instant he touches it. They're described as Anthropomorphic Personifications that are always in the minds of humans, and as the apocalypse draws near their nature pushes through to the point that they develop "ill-fitting bodies" (Pollution oozes, and War has a voice like a machine gun).
  • Helen Vaughan from Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan was the inspiration for Lovecraft's Wilbur Whateley and may well have been the first Humanoid Abomination in modern literature. She is the daughter of an Eldritch Abomination who seduces men into partaking of her unknown horrors, driving them to madness and suicide.
    "Everyone who saw her at the police court said she was at once the most beautiful woman and the most repulsive they had ever set eyes on. I have spoken to a man who saw her, and I assure you he positively shuddered as he tried to describe the woman, but he couldn't tell why."
  • Kuyo Suo from Haruhi Suzumiya is an alien agent from the Canopy Domain. She has the appearance of a human girl, but everything about her behavior is described as being very alien and unnatural. The only thing that can be discerned from her actions is that she wants to communicate, but her alien morality means she has no idea how.
  • In Hekla's Children by James Brogden, Nathan Brookes was a British schoolteacher who had 4 students of his go missing 10 years ago. Turns out students were kidnapped by a Bronze-Age man-made demigod to help him battle the cannibalistic abomination from the dark world of Un, the afaugh and taken back into prehistory. James discovers a way to go to the distant past and track them down. Alongside one of the students he recovered, James undergoes the mystical Hero's Journey only he fails his and ends up dying of starvation in the mountains. James's spirit returns as the afaugh, the possessing monster behind the Wendigo legends which results in the Stable Time Loop of the Bronze Age demigod battling the afaugh into the modern age.
  • Angels in His Dark Materials, which are near-Energy Beings that look like architecture but that humans see as Winged Humanoid in shape.
  • Shades from the Inheritance Cycle qualify as this. Former sorcerers whose bodies were taken over when they summoned spirits too strong for them to control, shades are clearly not even close to human anymore, being a hollow, papery skin filled with black smoke that passably mimics a human form until it's killed. Shades also change their appearance when converted, as Varaug is stated to look exactly like Durza after his transformation. They also have a Healing Factor and Resurrective Immortality (as long as they're not stabbed in the heart, which is the only way to kill them), and are strong enough to immobilize a dragon with their mind and lift an elf off the ground with one hand. Durza's consciousness even continues to assault Eragon's at full strength for several hours after the former's death.
  • Anthony Fremont in It's a Good Life. While his appearance isn't fully described, he has purple eyes, is sometimes described as a goblin, has an "odd shadow", and was strange-looking enough that the obstetrician who delivered him freaked out and tried to kill him. There's also the matter of his Reality Warper abilities, which allow him to do essentially anything he likes. Despite this, his mind is the same as that of any other three-year-old. That's hardly any comfort to the residents of his home town of Peaksville, who are forced to pretend that everything is good lest they be turned into something horrible and sent to the cornfield.
  • Stephen King:
    • Randall Flagg, especially in The Stand, and to a lesser extent in the other books where he is either the Big Bad or The Dragon. In The Stand, one character claims that Flagg is actually Legion, the Biblical demon horde that Jesus cast into a herd of pigs, while Flagg himself claims to be Nyarlathotep.
    • The Crimson King ends up looking like a red-robed old man when he's finally encountered in the end. His red eyes give him away.
    • The favorite form of the eponymous Eldritch Abomination in It is a Monster Clown called Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
    • The True Knot from Doctor Sleep are a "family" of psychic quasi-vampires that devour the "Shine" (life force/supernatural abilities) of psychic humans. While they typically look like late middle-aged to elderly retirees, the monstrous true forms they take on when feeding has them having elongated jaws with a single tusk inside. One of their members, Walnut, even hypothesizes about their condition, believing them to still have DNA but to have a changed nervous system, the latter of which causes the True Knot to react badly to flying (necessitating them to travel in a convoy of RVs).
  • In R.S. Belcher's King of the Road, there are creatures from cryptozoology and folklore/urban legends as well as various beings from the Cthulhu Mythos. Then there's this thing that was summoned by a renegade biker using a black seashell. The biker's job was to assassinate two bikers who have inhuman ancestry that makes them superhumanly tough. To deal with that, he summoned what appears to be the rotted corpse of a woman that drowned. Only it's missing its head, instead there's what appears to be a giant, glowing jellyfish on its neckstump. It can extend the tentacles from its "head" to incredible distances and its touch is extremely toxic, to the point where it can kill those with supernatural ancestry. Finally it could take multiple Glaser "safety" rounds (which cause damage like hollow-points) and barely note the damage. It's notable that both bikers are experienced monster hunters and usually know what they're up against, against this thing they had no idea what it might be.
  • In Charles Stross' The Laundry Files:
    • Angleton, AKA the Teapot, AKA the Eater of Souls is eventually revealed to be this. Subverted in that he's undeniably one of the good guys, even if he lives in the Uncanny Valley and therefore frightens his subordinates. Adding to the joke is that the middle name of the real James Angleton, longtime head of counterintelligence for the CIA, was "Jesus." What happened was that he was summoned and bound in the 1930s, taught to pass for human, and eventually Humanity Ensues. Strangely, it's implied that he believes in decency and fairness more than the people around him — he's not averse to pulling a few strings for Bob and Mo's sake. What is Angleton? During the 1920s, Ensign Evgenie Teapot Burdokovskii was the brutal henchman to the notorious occultist/warlord Baron Ungern Von Sternberg of Russia's White Army. During a campaign on behalf to secure the Mongolian shaman Bogd Khan, Burdokovskii took a forbidden "hell" scroll (the guy had a fetish for images of torture) and read it. He quickly sickened and died before coming back to "life" but now possessed by the unique preta/Angra Mainyu/"hungry ghost" known as the Eater of Souls. After investigating the tale of this warlord and his crony who had been executed by the Red Army, the Laundry's founder Fuller had the Eater of Souls bound into the corpse of an executed British criminal. The resultant entity was then sent to work as an English schoolmaster to teach the abomination how to mimic humanity. This would be James Angleton
    • And after Angleton seemingly dies fighting an elder vampire, Bob finds out he has become heir to the title of Eater of Souls. It takes a lot of time for him to get a handle on it.
  • In "The Masque of the Red Death", the guest wearing the Red Death costume at Prince Prospero's masquerade dissipates into nothingness leaving only his mask and bloody robes when first the enraged Prince and then other guests try to kill him. Everyone present dies immediately after that, the masked guest being the personification of the pestilence itself.
  • The Beast, AKA Martin Chatwin from The Magicians is mistaken for an Eldritch Abomination at first, but during the climactic battle, his Evil Gloating reveals that, as a boy, he escaped into the fringes of the Fillory world and accepted the darker magic of its inhabitants wholeheartedly, transforming him into a god-level power. The result is not pretty.
  • In Momo (1973), the villains appear to be nondescript men in grey suits, but are actually something entirely inhuman and inimical to human life.
  • The Monster of Elendhaven: Johann, the titular monster, is a monster that looks like a tall, lanky human. He only has the drive to kill and his submission and lover for Florian as motivators. He can't be killed, as he will just resurrect soon after, and people, with few exceptions, will forget about him as soon as he leaves their sight.
  • Perelandra: The Big Bad is the Un-man, a fallen eldila who's heavily implied to be Satan, possessing one of his pawns. It's so petty and evil, the protagonist can't be near him for too long.
  • The Clockmaker, formerly Philip Lascaille, from The Prefect. Can assume any shape, but its default form resembles a stretched-out human form, spindly and quicksilver. Enjoys wanton slaughter and leaving intricately designed clocks and trinkets around... which may or may not be Body Horror-inducing booby traps.
  • In A Practical Guide to Evil, there are numerous examples.
    • The Fae who look like stunningly beautiful humans with perhaps some strange features like snow-white skin or flaming hair, but in reality, there is the substance of Arcadia itself: power and stories, albeit in human form.
    • Demons and devils can take the form of humans, but there is always something subtly wrong about them.
    • As an example of a human going beyond the pale and becoming a humanoid abomination, we have Catherine, who turns into a Fae. Despite looking like before, her bones become ivory, her heartbeats and her lungs breath only when she remembers them too, she can regrow lost limbs — or grew entirely new such as wings given a second of time or even turn to mist. Worse still are the psychological changes: her beliefs become iron-clad principles she has to follow without her former flexibility, her whole outlook is perpetually colored by the day she became a Fae (which was a really bad day for her), and she cannot break oaths she gave.
  • The side chapter about the shopkeeper in Prophecy Approved Companion begins: "The entity known as Mr. Igma stirred." No one is quite sure what the shopkeeper is, but it ain't human.
  • Rollerskater features an atypically friendly example in K-Os, who appears to be an unusually tall woman in rollerskates, with pale skin and piercing blue eyes. She is in fact the quasi-immortal personification of entropy, and to behold her true form is to go mad.
  • In The Quorum, Corrupt Corporate Executive Derek Leech is something inhuman that walked out of the polluted slime at the bottom of the river Thames fully formed. He's close enough to human that most people don't notice anything odd about him, except perhaps the fact that he's continually chewing on something — which is because his teeth are always growing and need to be continually worn down. He also eats really weird things from time to time, because he can't get sick and he has no sense of smell or taste.
  • In Liliana Bodoc's Saga of the Borderlands, The Death takes the form of an old woman with long gray hair, who looks fragile and harmless enough, however, to travel from one continent to another she takes the form of a Living Figurehead (and when a poor sailor gets too close to her, she terrifies him to death). She is also the mother of Misaianes, The Eternal Hatred, the Big Bad of the entire saga (in her defense, The Death never thought that her son would end up being evil)
  • The "Walrus" and the "Carpenter" from "The Sea Was Wet as Wet Could Be" by Gahan Wilson, nick-named for their resemblance to the Lewis Carroll characters. This time, the unlucky bunch that fall victim to them aren't oysters...
  • The Old Ones of Shaman Blues are humanoid, but extremely ancient, impossibly powerful and decidedly not human, and malicious towards mortals. They dwell at the edge of the afterlife, hunting for shamans to put them through their "initiation".
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Others, although it's a bit hard to tell what their deal actually is, as they can also cross into The Fair Folk, An Ice Person and/or Necromancer territories, depending on what angle you're looking at them from. Their are also beautifully humanoid in both a pale and a cold and distant way, but you'd never actually mistake them for human. Unless from a (hopefully safe) distance.
    • The Children of the Forest might be more benign (we think) and strongly resemble the classically small, brownie-like elf/fairy to look at, especially given their links with trees and the natural world. But, they're as much like The Fair Folk as the Others are, if rather less overtly Dark Powers-y. Given their link to possible blood-sacrifice in the past, their nuking of land-bridges and their decidedly non-human points of view and, well... Don't let yourself get too comfy. A minority of them can also do mind tricks which can leave a body shivering in front of the fridge when you really think about them.
    • Melisandre looks human enough and claims to have been an ordinary woman before becoming a priestess of R'hllor. There's still something off about her that unnerves most people. She's also The Needless and wields truly disturbing Blood Magic. This uncanny effect seems to be a fairly common occurrence with most accomplished Red Priests and Priestesses, even if the details differ between individuals. Of the four well-described ones we get, only Thoros doesn't make people squirm.
    • The Stranger of the Seven. The rest of the Seven are fairly typical human-based archetypes, so are pretty "normal". For gods. Then this one pitches up: hooded-and-cloaked with an indistinct face that might or might not be a mask and generally... odd. Unsexed (although generally referred to as "he"), possibly a skeleton or something only vaguely human, regarded as The Voiceless, without a verse in a song about the Seven: there's a lot off about "him". Appropriate for the Faith of the Seven's incarnation of Death and the unknown. May or may not wear the other six as "faces". May or may not actually be the Many-Faced God also found in Braavos.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien:
    • The Silmarillion has Ainur, when they decide to take corporeal form, but especially Morgoth and Sauron.
    • The Nazgul from The Lord of the Rings. They were human kings who got Rings of Power from Sauron and became corrupted. Now they are undead ghosts bound to his will, and have no physical form (they can be seen in the spirit world, though). When they travel, they look like black riders with unseen faces, and everybody can feel how evil and unnatural they are.
  • In The Scholomance, it's eventually revealed that Orion Lake himself is actually a maw-mouth in human form—his mother created a maw-mouth and fused it with her unborn son in the hopes of creating a Living Weapon she could use to subdue the other enclaves. And El realizes that she was born for the express purpose of killing him before he can go full Apocalypse Maiden and destroy the world.
  • In The Spirit Thief, the Lord of Storms is usually a hurricane, so his human shell has its share of problems. For one, it becomes unstable and blurry when he gets emotional, and in one case as he gets impatient, he grows far beyond human sizes. Then there's the fact that he's capable of both the Flash Step and staying utterly still. His entire mind is focused on hunting, to the point that when he finally spots his quarry, Miranda calls his joy so powerful, no human would be capable of feeling it.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Thousands of years before the classic saga, there was the Sith Emperor, introduced in Revan and the Big Bad of Star Wars: The Old Republic. He attained immortality through a ritual that drained life essences on an even larger scale than Palpatine later pulled off, draining every last bit of life on a planet to the point that the Force itself ceased to exist within the planet's atmosphere. Though his body's shape was still humanoid afterward, nothing else about him was. Even other Sith Lords, who by their nature see no problem with mass murder, were horrified when they learned about how he became immortal. And his intention was to go even further, because his immortality wasn't perfect enough. He was immune to natural death, but could still theoretically be killed by violence. So his plan was to create a larger-scale version of the original ritual that would drain the life of everything in the universe, which would have effectively resulted in him becoming the Force.
    • Fate of the Jedi has Abeloth, a former human woman who more than a hundred thousand years before the movies ended up on a planet occupied by the immortal Ones, the Father, the Son, and the Daughter. She became the Servant, but was then accepted as the Mother because she was able to control the rivalry between the Son, who represented the Dark Side, and the Daughter, who represented the Light Side. She was still mortal though, and as she aged her ability to control the Son and Daughter's rivalry diminished and she feared the loss of her family, so she tried to obtain immortality by drinking from the Font of Power as the son had and bathing in the Pool of Knowledge as the daughter had. She achieved her goal of near-immortality, but because she was a mortal and not a divine being like the Ones, her body and mind became twisted beyond recognition. The Father built the Maw Installation to imprison the Mother on that planet, and she was soon became the Dark Side entity known as Abeloth. She possessed Dark Side abilities that no others possessed, inflicting paranoia on Force-sensitives and drawing them to her, who would drain then their life energy and consume them. She would then create avatars of them, which she would use to disguise herself and hide her true hideous appearance. She could also teleport through space and had a realm of her own creation called Beyond Shadows. Luke, who was at this point the most powerful Jedi who ever lived, threw everything he could at her and only slowed her down. He felt she was beyond human comprehension and that her return was inevitable. This video provides a great overview of her.
  • The seven original vampires in The Strain are revealed to have been fragments of the Archangel Azrael, who went rogue after developing a taste for blood. They appear vaguely human at first glance, but their bodies are composed of capillary worms that transmit vampirism.
  • Mr. Edward Hyde in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the earliest literary examples in literature. Most people who meet him find there to be something off about him but can never quite articulate it, beyond a vague sense of degeneration about him. As we all know, Hyde is what you get when you take an ordinary, flawed man, and then subtract all the good from him. Mr. Hyde is pure evil.
  • Bentley Little's The Summoning has the cup hu girngsi, an ancient and powerful Chinese vampire. Unlike most vampires in literature, it was never human, instead being a primordial evil dating back to the earliest days of human myth. To most people, it resembles a person or creature that they associate with resurrection or immortality — very often Jesus — but its true form is a monstrous, withered horror that only resembles a human in general shape.
  • The Endlords from Sword of Shadows look like tall humans in dark armor, but it's made quite plain that they are in fact cosmic forces of destruction which have been compressed into this shape, and are utterly inimical to life as we know it.
  • The main characters of The Taking catch a glimpse of one of these in a mirror that was displaying an unnatural reflection. Another appears later in the story, though its appearance causes it to overlap into Monstrous Humanoid as well.
  • In Those That Wake, Man in Suit is a humanoid man in a suit who's so blank his features are impossible to describe, and his influence can cause you to kill yourself or try to kill those around you. This is because he's the living idea of hopelessness.
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign has two examples, both of which are major spoilers: the White Queen and the Black Maw. The White Queen looks like an inhumanly beautiful girl in a Stripperific version of a wedding dress, and is seen as a benevolent goddess, but is actually a complete Yandere who doesn't care about anything except the target of her obsession. The Black Maw normally looks like a tornado of black slime, but its true form is a black-colored version of the White Queen. Technically, this is in fact one example, as the White Queen and Black Maw are the same entity.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Comparatively minor examples, the Myrddraal are born among the Trollocs, a throwback to the Trollocs' human heritage, but warped by the Black Magic that created them. They resemble eerily pale, graceful humans except that they have smooth skin where eyes should be and have a number of bizarre abilities that cannot be explained by the series' main magic system. They're also absolutely devoid of emotion except for cold-blooded sadism and are all completely identical in terms of appearance and personality. Even human villains who encounter them are prone to remark on how unnatural they are.
    • Shaidar Haran, a Myrddraal that acts as the Dark One's avatar, and later an incubator of sorts.
    • Padan Fain, who starts out as human, but through a convoluted series of misfortunes, becomes the living embodiment of another evil power, possibly as bad as the Dark One.
    • Subverted with the Forsaken, the Shadow's thirteen greatest servants from the Age of Legends. They're commonly spoken of in the same breath as the Dark One himself and well-read scholars attribute monstrous Person of Mass Destruction powers to them, but when they show up, they turn out to be nothing more than powerful and knowledgeable spellcasters with plenty of human weaknesses. Nynaeve has a moment of shock when she faces one in a Wizard Duel and realizes that she's just as strong as her Forsaken opponent. However, at the same time, they're also sadistic monsters from a long lost era, with knowledge long forgotten, and tend to escape death thanks to the patronage of an Eldritch Abomination. Meanwhile, Nynaeve is one of the very strongest female channellers of the Third Age, blowing every single other Aes Sedai out the water, she was up against one of the weakest and least combat oriented female Forsaken. The stronger and smarter ones aren't quite this trope (except Ishamael/Moridin, who largely has his use of the True Power to thank for that), but they are still horrifyingly dangerous.
  • Iruoch in the second novel of the Widdershins Adventures trilogy is an evil faerie who has a base resemblance to a man — although it's repeatedly emphasized how creepy and unnatural he looks — has a taste for human children, eight unnaturally long spider-like fingers that he can use to lift himself up and walk on, and a physics-defying hat and coat. He's also accompanied by an invisible chorus of ghostly children.
  • The Zombie Knight has Aberrations, which are created by removing the soul of an unborn childnote  and replacing it with that of a reaper. The result can wield solid shadows, Body Surf, use one secondary power, and become stronger by consuming souls, which they do by killing people with that secondary ability. All of them are very bloodthirsty; as Roman puts it, they're always looking for entertainment, and are most entertained by killing people.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Archive 81 has Cthulhumanoid Kaelego. It is an ancient Demon God who lives in another dimension called the Otherworld. He is worshipped by the Vos Society and Alexander Davenport.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead:
    • Eligos, a blue emaciated humanoid who flickers like a malfunctioning TV.
    • Ruby, who’s a Dark One, but looks completely human except for possessing Black Eyes of Evil (sometimes), Super-Strength and an immunity to fire.
    • Ruby and Baal's demon children, who have coal-black skin, have dark pits for eyes and can transform into Living Shadows.
    • Baal, who looks completely human except when you take into account the facts that he can wear the skin of those he kills to disguise himself, comes from the same place as the evil force and other demonic creatures encountered in the series, possesses Super-Strength, and growls monstrously when frustrated or angry, which shows that he’s just as inhuman and unnatural as the rest of his colleagues
    • Marcus, the Knight of Sumeria who ends up becoming a grotesque, The Thing-like creature.
    • When the Dark Ones finally appear, they take the form of people wearing hooded robes, with just enough of their faces visible to know that they're not human. They don't even appear to be entirely physical, moving around more like ghosts.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Angel:
      • Illyria's original form was a massive tentacled creature as she's an Old One, a "pure" demon that ruled the Earth when time was young and serves as a walking Shout-Out to the Cthulhu Mythos. But since she's stolen Winifred Burkle's body, we mostly see her looking like a blue haired and blue-eyed version of her with a body covered in a crimson and vaguely insectoid carapace excluding her head.
      • Jasmine. The most we could get from her true form was a shadowed mass of tentacles, and she's mentioned by her abandoned demon followers as the "Blessed Devourer." Those who are immune to her mind-control charms don't see her as a beautiful woman but as a corpse filled with maggots, and her true name cannot be pronounced by human words (Angel needed a stitched up demon follower because it was the only thing capable of saying her name and breaking the spell).
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had one of these as its Season Five Big Bad. Glorificus, aka Glory, was an exiled hellgod that was reduced to using a hapless human host as a timeshare. Whenever Glory takes control of her (male) host, she looks like a glamorous woman. Even in this form Glory is a Nigh-Invulnerable superstrong menace that must regularly rob people of their sanity and eat it so as to stay functional.
  • Channel Zero:
    • Candle Cove has both the Tooth Child (an animate being made of human teeth, which turns out to be an avatar for the spirit of Eddie Painter) and the Candle Cove character Jawbone (specifically when we see his true "Skin-Taker" form in Eddie's Realm).
    • No-End House has the beings inhabiting the titular house. They are perfect copies of the loved ones of the people who enter the house, but if you spend enough time around them, you realize that things are just off about how they act. There's also the fact that they're cannibalistic monsters who conjure up and eat the memories of their victims. And if they don't do so after enough time, they start to degenerate into zombie-like creatures.
    • Butcher's Block has the Butcher form taken by Joseph Peach during the finale, which looks more like some kind of desiccated corpse than a person. There's also the Meat Servant, a literal human-shaped conglomerate of raw meat in service to the Peach family and the Pestilent God which they worship, which looks like a human wearing some kind of animal skull, but is actually a sort of walking tear in reality.
    • The Dream Door has Pretzel Jack, an imagination-created creature who looks like a contortionist clown, whose face is just a little off, and who bleeds white ooze. There's also Ian's creations, Tall Boy (a seven foot tall albino with a constant blank look on his face) and the Crayon Crew (human-shaped melted crayons).
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Time Lords at the end of the Second War in Heaven and the Last Great Time War have continued to regenerate into forms that are ideal for waging chronological war — in the first case, war against what can only be approximately described as a sapient timeline. Guess what this implies for ordinary Time Lords?
      • Some parts of the Expanded Universe (Dave Stone's books, in particular) suggest that the Doctor we know is a guise adopted by an Eldritch Abomination. Lawrence Miles' Faction Paradox series plays with this idea a lot, too.
      • "The Pandorica Opens" has the thing the Pandorica was designed to hold: "A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world." It's the Doctor.
      • The Master, after he Came Back Wrong in "The End of Time", is essentially The Antichrist and his return is heralded by portentous psychic nightmares that afflict every human being on Earth.
      • This has given rise to "Dr. Nyarlathotep", a tag in the fandom for fanon of the Doctor as an Eldritch Abomination, encompassing everything from Time Lords/Gallifreyans as cosmic horrors in human form to the Doctor as the current universe's incarnation of Nyarlathotep.
    • Also in the Expanded Universe, humanoid TARDISes... it's mentioned as being especially creepy when they open to take on passengers.
    • The Timeless Child looks just like any other Human Alien, but all attempts to discover what they are and where they came from revealed no secrets that could be understood; they may originate from another realm, an alternate dimension or universe, but even that is open to question. Their one known distinguishing feature is their unlimited number of regenerations, which the proto-Time Lords used as the basis for their own ability to regenerate. Again, it's the Doctor.
    • The Celestial Toymaker, in the original series serial of the same name, resembles a middle-aged white man dressed in Mandarin robes who engages in silly, over-sized versions of board games and toys. He however controls his own universe and has vast powers over time and space. In one Expanded Universe novel, he is depicted more horribly and is outright stated to be using the powers of the Great Old Ones. In one of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas, he's said to have been observed taking a leisurely paddle in A SUPERNOVA. When he returns in "The Giggle", this aspect of his nature is played up even more, with powers that humanity can't begin to understand, much less fight against.
      The Toymaker: You know full well this is merely a face concealing a vastness that will never cease, because your Good and your Bad are nothing to me.
    • Maestro, the Toymaker's child, gives their father a run for their money. They are an incarnation of music, devouring it to grow stronger, and anything that vibrates falls under their power. Summoned to Earth in 1925, they casually change the world around them, steadily diminishing humanity through the removal of music, and setting things on course for a nuclear winter in 2024. Left unchecked they would have snuffed out all life in the universe, leaving themself the only being to create and play music.
    • Zellin and Rakaya are immortals from outside this universe with power over nightmares, provoking them, giving them physical form, and feeding on them. In this dimension, they take human forms they construct from molecules and atoms, Zellin finding his to be "small".
    • Sutekh is the last of the Osirans, bearing immense, godlike powers that he uses to spread death and destruction purely for his own enjoyment. He's so powerful, in fact, that the other Osirans died imprisoning him, and the Doctor is only able to defeat him for good by tricking him into re-imprisoning himself in a time tunnel until he reaches the end of his natural lifespan.
    • The Fendahl in "Image of the Fendahl" is an ageless deathless Hive Mind that seeks to absorb all Life Energy in the universe, and is so terrifying even looking upon it causes its victims to be rendered immobile with fear. The Fendahl Core appears as a gold-skinned human woman.
    • Played with in the case of both Fenric and the Midnight Entity. Both are feared beings with untold levels of power, but they manifest by possessing human bodies; Fenric's true form is an amorphous green gas, while the Entity's true form is never seen.
    • The Beast (from "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit") is a massive horned humanoid capable of possessing entire populations and turning them into his servants. Whether the Beast was simply the inspiration for Satan or the genuine article is never explained, and the Doctor refuses to give an explanation.
    • "The Waters of Mars": Those infected by the Flood turn into dead-eyed monstrosities with bloated faces that constantly spew water on behalf of some ancient horror buried in the underground glacier (or, given the water, it may be frozen as the glacier).
    • "The Day of the Doctor": The Moment is one of the more understated ones and yet probably the most powerful in the series. Never mind that it's the Weapon of Mass Destruction with the ability to devour galaxies and a piece of mechanics complex enough to develop a consciousness — throughout its only appearance it repeatedly and calmly punches holes in the Time Lock around the Last Great Time War. To put it into perspective, this is the same barrier that's strong enough to (mostly) seamlessly contain the full might of the Daleks, Time Lords, and every other Eldritch Abomination they brought with them. For most of its appearance it takes the form of Rose Tyler. "No, hang on... Bad Wolf."
    • The Doctor certainly thinks that Jack Harkness is one, and the TARDIS agrees with him: According to the Doctor, Rose (as Bad Wolf) didn't just revive him and make him immortal, she made him a living fixed point in time. The TARDIS went as far as to travel to the end of the universe to get rid of him when he grabbed it, and the Doctor's Time Lord instincts make it difficult to even look at him without mentioning how "wrong" he is.
    • Bad Wolf herself. After absorbing the heart of the TARDIS in "The Parting of the Ways", Rose saw everything, in all possible timelines, and possessed enough power to disintegrate an entire Dalek fleet with a thought. However it only lasted a few minutes, human bodies not capable of containing that amount of power, and the Doctor had to perform another Heroic Sacrifice to save her. And yet, in those few minutes, she didn't just erase the Daleks, and spread the mysterious messages seen throughout the season, and make Jack Harkness immortal, but we keep running into the words "bad wolf" that mark Rose's fingerprints as she altered reality in the past, present, and future to protect her friends and the universe.
  • In keeping with the recurring elements of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane and Magical Realism, several seasons of Fargo feature a seemingly ordinary character implied to be something more.
    • Lorne Malvo is possibly this, if the hints he's the Devil are true. Of course, it wouldn't be out of character for Malvo to have a Devil Complex, and it's quite possible he's simply a very skilled and effective assassin rather than some supernatural entity.
    • Paul Marrane is heavily implied to be the Wandering Jew and possesses some kind of supernatural powers. Fortunately, he's a good guy, but that doesn't mean he's soft, as he summons ghosts to take an unknown but likely unpleasant vengeance on Yuri Gurka (who, to be fair, really deserved it.)
    • Ole Munch is an immortal sin eater who has been alive for hundreds of years, and has seemingly preserved his life through dark magic.
  • From: The creatures tormenting the town every night look like normal people, minus the creepy smiles they're always sporting. When they actually attack, they tend to revert to a more demonic appearance.
  • The Xibalbans in From Dusk Till Dawn are demons from the Mayan underworld. Some such as their leader Amaru and her right-hand man Brasa look like ordinary humans, but they are actually demonic deities that look like humans, and those are the ones that look most human among the rest of their kind. By extension, the Nine Lords of Night — the original vampires — are also this due to being natives from Xibalba as lesser demons.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The White Walkers. Whereas the Others in the books are described as "oddly beautiful", the White Walkers look like emaciated corpses which have been left out to freeze.
    • Melisandre's Living Shadow assassin.
    • Gregor Clegane, after being brought back to life by Qyburn, appears to be some kind of sentient zombie. He doesn't seem to feel pain, appears to be even stronger than he was in life, is partially rotted, and definitely still has his old sadism.
  • GARO:
    • Messiah is a giant, naked woman who can create thousands of Horrors from her footprints.
    • Three other legendary Horrors, Ganon, Zedom and Eris, also have human-like manifestions.
  • Janet from The Good Place is a lighter version of this. She's just one of many Janets, who are essentially humanoid, eternal afterlife Siris, with endless knowledge, the ability to produce any requested object, and a lack of relatable humanity due to the Janets' AI-like limitations. The one we follow eventually learns more about human experiences, and Janets become more sophisticated upon being rebooted, but Janet is still portrayed as very strange. She's very pedantic due to her rigid honesty, and adamant that she is neither classifiable as a human girl or a robot, she lives in a boundless void, and often lacks human context to react appropriately to alarming things that happen to or around her. Despite all of this, she is always well-intentioned and proves to be a good friend.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim: The deities inhabiting Helheim Forest, Space God and Priestess of Fate, appear as a young human man and women dressed in white. Assuming human form makes sense as they are Deities of Human Origin.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Masumune Dan merged with Gemdeus (essentially Elder God of video games) and became Gemdeus Cronus. He was already an Eviler than Thou example of Humans Are Bastards so it wasn't much of a change, just Tainted Veins on his face and a massive power boost as Cronus. It also appeared to restrain his actions according to the game rules and programming.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O: There are few certainties about Woz, the herald of Oma Zi-O, other that the fact he is definitely not human. For starters, he can block a punch from Another Rider and toss it across the place, regularly pulls Stealth Hi/Bye through space and time, has a book with all events past and future and presumably bleeds paper. Noone knows who or what Woz is, where he came from and what are his true intentions beyond serving Oma Zi-O. With his reputation as super slick Manipulative Bastard, noone can be blamed for assuming that he does have ulterior motives.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow, Zoom finally returns as the Black Flash, becoming a cross between a speedster and a Time Wraith. He's revealed to be the reason Eobard Thawne is always on the move, as the Black Flash is trying to correct the Time Aberration that keeps Thawne alive after his ancestor Eddie's Heroic Suicide. Besides the usual speedster abilities, the creature now also has the ability to sense the use of the Speed Force.
  • His Divine Shadow/Giga Shadow in Lexx is a planet-sized Eldritch Abomination that managed to assume a humanoid form by transferring his consciousness into humans for generations. In his disguised form, he appears as a black-cloaked man but his true form is of an gargantuan Insect.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • The Mystics from Rhun look at first as three young beautiful women, but later is revealed they are something akin to a lich, renouncing their humanity for power and black magic. They look like the ringwraiths from the movies in their true forms.
    • Both Morgoth and Sauron prefer a giant human-like Tin Tyrant form.
    • A more benevolent example would be the strange man Nori finds in the fallen meteorite, as he is an Istar.
  • Lost gives us the Man in Black, a post-human entity who takes the appearance of deceased individuals when not being a cloud of black smoke.
  • The ITV horror series Sapphire and Steel has two Humanoid Abominations as the protagonists. They're entities somehow created to sort out temporal paradoxes and attempts by worse Eldritch Abominations to use them to invade the universe.
  • The Demogorgon, from the first season of Stranger Things is a tall humanoid with a horrific Flower Mouth. The fourth season's Big Bad, Vecna, is even more humanoid-looking, because he Was Once a Man; the sociopathic psychic Henry Creel, aka One.
  • The Worldkillers in Supergirl are nearly indistinguishable from a normal Kryptonian under yellow sunlight (which means a Flying Brick that can fire lasers out of their eyes among other neat stuff). The key difference is that they are magically engineered warriors created by a coven of Kryptonian witches. They also have additional powers like sonic screams and can spread plagues (in one Bad Future, one of them becomes a galactic-wide Walking Wasteland).
  • Supernatural:
    • Angels' celestial forms are completely incomprehensible to humans, and variously described as "multi-dimensional wavelengths of celestial intent" and the size of the Chrysler building. Whenever they appear in their true forms, all that is seen is a blinding light that engulfs the entire area, a booming deafening sound that is apparently their voice, and everything in the vicinity getting destroyed due to their awesome presence, and they are so much of a Brown Note that any humans nearby have their eyes burn out of their sockets and die. To manifest on Earth they use human vessels, which are purely intended as A Form You Are Comfortable With.
    • The Leviathans of Season 7 and a bit of Season 8 are called "The Old Ones", primordial creatures from the sea that became able to possess other creatures and survive on the land. Leviathans pre-date the creation of Humans, Angels, and the soul itself. They also pre-date any being with a soul, such as almost all forms of monsters, including demons. The only being said to pre-date or to have come into creation alongside of them is Death himself. They were so powerful that God sealed them away in Purgatory, because he felt they threatened to consume the whole of creation.
    • Eve, the "Mother of All", can disable angel powers, see and hear everything her children do, and custom-build monsters (including hybrids like Jefferson Starships). She's the creator of all of the Purgatory residents above except for Leviathans. The boys had to time travel to find something to kill her, but that probably just sent her to Purgatory, and we know she can get out again.
    • Death. Initially introduced as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he reveals when Dean meets him that while this is true, he didn't join voluntarily nor was he created for the purpose (implication being that the other three are one of the two), but was bound by Lucifer. He then gives Dean his ring — the key to defeating Lucifer because he considers it an insult to be bound by someone as far beneath him as Lucifer is. In the same conversation, he reveals that he can't remember if he's as old as God or older, and that he will kill God in the end. Before he appeared, his scythe was introduced and shown to be capable of killing reapers, something supposedly impossible. "Appointment in Samarra" heavily implies that he's The Omniscient, though he seemed surprised in a later episode that Sam and Dean wanted him to kill Castiel, so how exactly this works is unclear. In "Meet the New Boss", when Bobby protests that they can only open the door to Purgatory during a solar eclipse, Death calmly replies that he'll just make one.
    • The end of Season 10 introduces the Darkness, a powerful evil force that God sealed before the dawn of creation and which is later revealed to be God's sister. After its release, it incarnates as a newborn girl named Amara, but begins feeding on the souls of people nearby, causing her to rapidly age as she gains power. A mere six episodes into Season 11, she's reached young adulthood, and is already powerful enough to utterly curbstomp Crowley, the self-appointed King of Hell. It's implied that when she reaches adulthood, she'll be strong enough for a rematch with God, and stand a decent chance of winning.
  • 30 Rock has a Played for Laughs example. After plenty of Foreshadowing suggesting that there's a lot more to Kenneth than being older than he looks, the final season clarifies that he's actually some manner of eldritch horror/angel incarnated in human flesh. His first words to his mother were to politely inform her of this fact, and that his true name is a Brown Note. Hilariously, he's an All-Loving Hero (to the point of being an Extreme Doormat) and implied All-Powerful Bystander. Given the fact that almost everyone else at NBC qualifies as either a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk, his unfailing compassion does come off as a form of Blue-and-Orange Morality that just happens to favor humans...
  • The various Lodge spirits on Twin Peaks generally appear as more-or-less ordinary humans. Most of them don't have names but only go by vague descriptors. Those that do have names usually have disarmingly mundane ones.
    • The more benevolent (or at least, less actively malevolent) ones tend to appear deformed in some way — The Man from Another Place is a dwarf, MIKE only has one arm (in fact, the arm he lost grew into the Man from Another Place), The Fireman, aka The Giant, is, well, a giant, and Naido has no eyes. The one exception is Senorita Dido, who resembles an opera singer with slightly camp makeup.
    • The evil spirits, by contrast, tend to appear disheveled - BOB has greasy hair and wears a filthy denim outfit, his alter ego, Mr. C, looks like Agent Cooper, but with long greasy hair and no visible emotions, and the murderous Woodsmen resemble soot-covered drifters. There's also The Jumping Man, who wears a crude plaster mask, and is probably the most just-plain-weird of the Black Lodge spirits. And the Experiment, which might be the same being known as Judy, is only a vaguely humanoid, cloudlike creature.
    • It's ambiguous whether the being that sometimes goes by Mrs. Tremond and sometimes by Mrs. Chalfont, and her grandson Pierre, are Lodge spirits or just supernaturally attuned humans, or what Lodge they are associated with, but they look like a pretty ordinary old woman and a boy in a tuxedo.
  • Ultra Series:
    • Yapool, Big Bad of Ultraman Ace is an immortal entity from Another Dimension formed from the collective consciousnesses of an alien race (also called Yapool). His normal form is an Energy Being, but he usually assumes a demon-like physical form instead, so we're putting him here. Also, he is capable of Demonic Possession, changing shape, and creating bizarre monsters called Choju to menace the Ultras.
    • Reiblood from Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle is Yapool but worse. An alien entity older than even the Ultramen and more powerful than many previous villains, Reiblood possesses inherent command over any and all kaiju. Fortunately, he was defeated long ago by unknown forces, leaving only his consciousness while his genes scattered across the universe to infect individuals of various species in order to create successors who would battle each other for the title. Also, he was the one who turned Ultraman Belial into who he is today.
    • Greeza from Ultraman X is a hole in the fabric of the universe that initially appears as a spiked orb, but gains a humanoid form as it absorbs life. Due to its status as a spatial anomaly, its form constantly wavers and spontaneously warps the space around it, which combined with its erratic movements and high-pitched giggling gives it a very uncanny presence. Nothing in X's arsenal can land a clean hit on it until it's forced into a physical body thanks to absorbing the Spark Dolls.

  • Imaginos, the central figure of the Blue Öyster Cult album of the same name. Admittedly, prior to being 'recruited' by Les Invisibles he was more humanoid since he apparently thought of himself as human despite being a psychic shapeshifter, but afterwards he became more of an abomination and is downright gleeful about it.
  • David Bowie meets one of these in "The Width of a Circle."
    And I looked and frowned, for the monster was me!
  • The protagonist of the music video for Foster the People's "Best Friend" seems to be one of these — she eats women she envies to absorb their physical traits, and ends up distorting her body horrifically to the point of looking inhuman, before vomiting on the stage at a runway show and seemingly dying painfully.
  • In Luca Turilli's Prophet of the Last Eclipse this seems to be the case with those touched by the Black Portal. They appear perfectly human, but demons (which can never die and may very well be true abominations in their own right) are instinctively terrified of them. And spilling the blood of one can result in The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Marilyn Manson's concept album Antichrist Superstar has, well, the Antichrist Superstar, the reality-destroying result of The Worm becoming fed up with his sycophantic followers. While his appearance was unknown, the finished-but-unreleased video for Antichrist Superstar was leaked almost a decade later, which does show him in this form. If the Grim Reaper had sex with a fallen angel and they somehow had a kid, it would be an apt description.
  • Mägo de Oz's Diabulus in Musica features one of the strangest depictions of Satan ever: An androgynous bisexual creature who lives inside musical notes and mirrors and can seemingly teleport everyone who looks at its sigil to Hell.
  • The Grim Reaper from Pearl Jam's Do The Evolution. Despite being a Perky Goth in a form-fitting minidress, She's seemingly omnipresent in humanity's self-destruction, and during the guitar solo, as she's nearing the end of her dance, her face momentarily turns into a skull.
  • Nick Lutsko:
    • The Man in the Stairs is a bald, humanoid figure that lives underneath the stairs in Nick's house that resembles Dan Bongino and is extremely hostile towards anyone in its general vicinity.
    • The Men in the Tunnels are a race of vaguely humanoid monsters that live in the tunnels beneath Nick's grandmother's house. They need to be constantly fed meat, or else they will rise from the tunnels to feed elsewhere, which is stated to be something disastrous to apocalyptic proportions.
    • The People of the Forest are sharp-toothed, tree-dwelling humanoids who lay their eggs in humans' beards and eat children and pets. Every autumn in Tennessee, they climb down from the trees and must be warded off with incantations and sacrificial swine.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Nephilim can be included in this list. Sons and daughters of the unions of angels and humans, they are described as being powerful giants, taller than many men and sometimes with horns or other inhuman characteristics or powers. As the Bible said they were "the heroes of old, the men of renown", it's possible that they were powerful enough to be confused with gods by other humans.
    • While no one can agree if the Book of Revelation is mostly metaphoric rather than literal, its description of Jesus deserves some mention. The book claims he will transform into a glowing humanoid with a head and hair that is pure, snow white, eyes of fire, and feet of brass, with stars in his hands and a sword from his mouth, who shines like the sun. Either Jesus has become this trope or he's managed to transform into a Super-Saiyan. Jesus in general, being the Son Of God in Human Form is believed by Christians to be this full time, he has Compelling Voice and Reality Warper powers, can see the future among many other powers and his wisdom makes him come across as otherworldly.
  • Nyx, the Goddess of Night from Classical Mythology. Usually represented as a beautiful female human, yet a quick look at her children — most of which she gave birth to by herself alone — should tell you what kind of being she really is. Even Zeus fears her.
    • The Graeae (or Grey Sisters) are also pretty horrifying. They are a trio of decrepit, hideous witches (it's said they've looked this way since birth), with pallid skin and grey hair. They also have one eye and one tooth, which they share among each other.
  • The Grinning Man, The Mothman, Spring-Heeled Jack, the Cornish Owlman, La Llorona, Black-eyed kids; quite a lot of urban myths or cryptid sightings run on this trope. Many of these things might result from encounters with owls, specially barn owls, which they frequently resemble with the massive eyes and wing-like arms. Owls themselves, much like some other birds, do look vaguely humanoid, being erect bipeds, which is part of why they're frequently considered unnerving.
  • A rare heroic example with Cú Chulainn, the young hero of the Ulster Cycle of Celtic Mythology, particularly of the The Cattle Raid of Cooley. Though he is portrayed as being as Bishōnen as a teenaged Irish ginger can be, he is a descendant of either the Tuatha Dé Danann Lugh or the Fomorians, a monstrous race from the mythic prehistory era of Ireland. Though he is heroic and stalwart, and generally perceived as a good guy, his defining mystical characteristic is his ability to transform into various disfigured superpowered abominations through the use of his warp-spasm. After he transforms, he becomes a berserker that slaughters anything in his path, friend and foe alike. Even out of his warp spasm, he is described in the Táin as having multi-colored hair, four multicolored dimples in each cheek, seven pupils in each eye, and seven clawed fingers and toes on each hand/foot.

  • The ultimate villain of The Adventure Zone: Balance takes the form of a seemingly ordinary human man named John. John is the inspiration for and voice of the Hunger, a plane-eating, reality-defying abomination. John himself is actually a fairly nice guy, who happily plays chess with Merle and treats him as a friend. It's just that he's trying to consume all of existence.
    • To a lesser extent, there's also this series's interpretation of liches. They generally look like normal people, but their bodies are just disposable puppets used by the real beings, who are formed when a magic-user fuses their soul with their arcane essence. The result is an abomination against the gods and almost guaranteed to be Always Chaotic Evil due to what becoming a lich does to their mind and soul. There actually are two good-aligned liches out there — Barry and Lup — but they became liches under very unusual circumstances and are still pretty horrifying in their true forms.
  • Alice Isn't Dead's
    • The Thistle Man, Faux Affably Evil stalker of the series' Character Narrator, strikes her wrong from the first meeting, even before she decides "man" isn't the technically correct term to apply to him. It isn't just his translucent yellow fingernails or the rote way he consumes food, its the abnormally crude locomotion, hollow voice, slightly too-sharp teeth and rotten breath. Things only get worse after he invites her to "see sumthin' funny," which happens to be a private "demonstration" of his ability to pacify and slowly kill a hapless victim of his choosing, by eating him alive.
    • A much worse one is the fake policewoman who stalks the protagonist. She is much better at pretending to be human. She is predatory like the Thistle Man, but is a lot smarter and more subtle in her wrongness. It is revealed in the epilogue that she is an immortal being who has no real name but says her name would be Thistle. She is not just an agent of the conspiracy, but actually the creator of the Thistle Men, which the conspiracy to hide the Thistle Men may not even realize. She turns evil humans into Thistle Men by infecting their minds with a few hateful words. What she actually is is never explained, but it is hinted that she exists As Long as There Is Evil. She doesn't seem upset at all that she was defeated, as it is just another repeat of the cycle of her plaguing humanity until someone stops her and she respawns.
  • Void from The Chimera Program arc of Cool Kids Table is a black hole who only becomes person shaped after they see people. They don't have angles, and when people look at them they look the same for every angle. When first found by the others, they didn’t even know they existed. And any organic material that they come into contact with is annihilated.
  • The Hidden Almanac contains several hints that its host, Reverend Mord, is not human. Supporting materials always depict him dressed in a full-body-covering Plague Doctor outfit. His co-host, Pastor Drom, has a theory that he's a mass of bugs in the form of a man, which he denies, but when she mentioned something had convinced her the theory was wrong he jokingly pointed out how it could still be true.
  • Less is Morgue has Florida Man, a nightmarish personification of the true spirit of Florida. He appears to be humanoid but has the ability to teleport at will, seems to subsist largely on meth, and is even able to fight ghosts with his vape clouds.
  • The Magnus Archives is overflowing with these:
    • Most human avatars of Entities (representations of fears such as the dark, isolation, being watched, Body Horror, etc.) eventually become these. Highlights include Jude Perry, a pyrokinetic entirely made of half-melted wax effectively making her a living candle (she serves the Desolation, fear of pain and senseless destruction) and Jared Hopworth, the Boneturner, who can painlessly remove bones, organs, and muscle from others, remodeling them or himself (he serves the Flesh, fear of Body Horror and viscera).
    • The podcast's version of vampires are humanoid creatures with long tongues for sucking blood that have mild hypnosis powers and little to no conscious thought outside of that regarding feeding.
    • The Not-Them are creatures that replace people despite looking nothing like them. Most other people will not notice the person's new appearance, and most photographs change to reflect the Not-Them's appearance. Though they appear to be regular humans, their actual forms are heavily distorted.
    • "Michael" used to be a human assistant to Gertrude Robinson, but he was corrupted by The Spiral and the original person effectively no longer exists. "Michael" (also sometimes called "the Distortion") looks human, unless viewed through corrupted glass or a reflection, in which case it is extremely spindly except for its hands, which are as large as its torso. It can also distort its appearance at will. "Michael" is eventually replaced by "Helen," as the Distortion felt that Michael's hatred for the Archivist was adversely affecting it. While "Helen" is more friendly than "Michael" was, she is still the Distortion and much more free with how she chooses to mess with people.
    • There are even some among the main characters; Jon, Melanie, and Daisy are all to varying degrees touched by the Entities. Melanie (touched by the Slaughter, the fear of violence and brutality) remains apparently human but is strong and savage enough to make the aforementioned Boneturner run away scared despite him being easily three times her size and backed up by an army; When Daisy gives in to the Hunt (fear of being hunted) she turns into something that is never described but has "too many teeth" and speaks in a deep and demonic voice; Jon, like Melanie, remains physically human, but doesn't need to eat, drink, sleep, knows everything he wants to know, sustains himself by ripping information out of people's heads, and regenerates any damage in seconds.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • While Bray Wyatt was always considered something of an oddity, what with apparently being the vessel for something very dark, his 2019 return as The Fiend propelled his character into this status proper. He has access to the Firefly Fun House when out of his mask, which is an apparent Eldritch Location of its own, has enough strength to put a man on the ground with a mandible claw, but more importantly has far more durability than any human should, shrugging off even sledgehammer strikes. In the words of Corey Graves, "that's not a damn man..."
  • In Summer 2005, WWE SmackDown was airing vignettes for "The Boogeyman," which was supposed to be a new show on UPN. On the October 18, 2005 episode, UPN Network representative Palmer Canon told SmackDown General Manager Mr. Theodore R. Long that "something happened on the set" but that they had a "multi-year holding deal" with the intended star of the show and that he'd be a perfect addition to SmackDown, leading to the introduction of The Boogeyman. He was billed from "The Bottomless Pit", had bizarre Facial Markings, smashed a clock over his head and ate worms. Once WWE abandoned the whole backstory about the cancelled TV show, they were left with no In-Universe explanation as to what Boogeyman was or why he acted the way he did, only that he was scary, strong, able to function with glass stuck in his head, and utterly unpredictable.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Atropals from Epic-level D&D, the stillborn fetuses of Gods, also capable of shedding smaller Atropal Scions. Unsurprisingly, they are as terrifying, powerful and hideous as the description suggests.
    • Daelkyr from Eberron, high-level outsiders from the plane of madness. Notable in that they looked like this when they invaded the main continent ages prior, before humans had ever set foot there. When human explorers did arrive, later, they created a panic among the demihuman populace due to the resemblance. Keith Baker, creator of Eberron, was once asked why daelkyr looked so much like humans. His response was that the real question is why do humans look so much like daelkyr. Keith Baker indicated his previous response was a joke, and cleared up a few aspects of the daelkyr's appearence, while their basic shape is humanoid, how they look depends on two factors — who is looking at them, and how they want to appear. A human would see the traditional "looks like an angelic human" daelkyr, while a goblin would see an equally appealing goblinoid. It's stated in multiple sources that the daelkyr only have the flaws they want to have, but the symbionts they wear are fitted for a humanoid shape, so they almost always appear humanoid.
    • The Lady of Pain from the Planescape setting. Beyond her vaguely humanoid appearance (a ten foot tall floating humanoid in a robe with no visible feet and a frozen female face surrounded by a crown of blades), nobody knows anything about what or who she is, save that anyone who disrupts Sigil's day-to-day life or directly interacts with her in any way tend to get Flayed Alive on the spot. Inside of Sigil she is essentially omnipotent and not even gods can set foot there if she doesn't want them there. It's hinted in 3rd edition that she's an overdeity, just like Ao and the mysterious Serpent.
    • Elans, a playable race introduced in 3.5th Edition's Expanded Psionics Handbook, are humans who have undergone a psionic ritual to enhance their abilities and redefine their existence. They can use their innate powers to maintain their bodies without aging, go without food or drink, forgo sleep, and resist harmful effects or damage. This means that though they look human (specifically, whatever physical characteristics appealed to the older Elan who recruited them), Elans are functionally Aberrations, and thus immune to spells like charm person. While none of this is necessarily obvious to the uninitiated, other people can instinctively tell there's something off about Elans, so they take a -2 racial penalty to their Charisma stat.
    • In 3rd Edition's Fiend Folio, there were the Kaorti. These are hive dwelling humanoids that were introduced to the Prime Material Plane from the insane nightmare plane of the Far Realms. The Kaorti aren't just evil, they're minds are otherwise so alien that if an enemy reads their minds — they risk a chance of going insane. According to Dragon Magazine, the very first Kaorti were a group of mortal wizards who travelled to the Far Realm but were unfortunate enough to to attract the curiosity of an Elder Evil so awful that just being examined by it warped them into unrecognizable things and destroyed their minds. When they discovered some unchanged traces of the world they came from, they regained memories of their old world and decided to launch an invasion to make it it more like the Far Realm.
  • Exalted:
    • The Yozis and their various souls can appear in any number of bizarre, logic-defying forms, including living worlds... or they can appear as inhumanly attractive humanoid beings with a few thematic characteristics here and there. They can also do both at the same time — all demons above the First Circle have the ability to manifest in multiple locations at once. The Primordials Gaia and Autochthon are just as eldritch, except they haven't been mutilated and imprisoned in Hell. Gaia's most familiar form is a beautiful humanoid goddess who hangs out in Heaven.
    • The Fair Folk are even more monstrous and alien in this setting than is standard for that trope — they come from what is essentially an alien universe characterized by having no laws of physics, they have no actual personalities or motives, and they can only exist in Creation by eating human souls. Yet, as far as appearance goes, many of the Raksha nobles are inhuman only in their extreme beauty. It helps attract prey, you see.
    • According to Word of Sol, 2e's Green Sun Princes to a degree, having taken the Yozi nature into their once-human souls, allowing them to gradually evolve into Yozi-like beings. 3e's Princes follow a somewhat different path, emulating the Yozis but not becoming full Primordials.
    • In a way, all of the Exalted. Human beings were never meant to receive power in the manner of the Exalted, and elder Exalts tend to have viewpoints that are rather skewed for one reason or another. They can also be impossibly beautiful.
  • Magic: The Gathering: While most pre-Mending planeswalkers were at the very least potential recruits, the post-Mending setting has given us Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver — a planeswalker who is gradually transcending humanity and becoming something else. The fact that the top of... its head is in fact black fog is what we call a "warning sign" in these parts.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • Mage: The Awakening has "the Other," the Astral Aeon of the Abyss, who is said to look simply like an unassuming, shrunken, slightly odd old man, who nevertheless has something indescribably off with everything about him.
      • Ochemata (avatars of archmages and Ascended beings) are these too. For example, an Ochema of the General, evil Exarch of Forces, looks like a human in its humanoid disguise, but even then it gives off a sinister and eldritch vibe. Mage sight reveals that it looks like a pale, sexless humanoid figure, with a steel fleshless skull.
    • Each of the True Fae from Changeling: The Lost has a humanoid Mask that they can wear when they appear on Earth. These masks can be beautiful or hideous, but usually within the realm of human expectation... except for the one element that's just wrong.
    • When the Changelings' Wyrd stat (basic supernatural power) hits 6, they manifest a certain... oddity in their Mask, which humans rationalise away but are still capable of seeing. The latter may become the former, given enough Wyrd and not enough Clarity. Turning humans into changelings is one of the means the True Fae reproduce. Have fun with your Doomed Protagonist.
    • The Arisen of Mummy: The Curse arguably qualify. Supplicants who were made into eternal magical reactors by ancient sorcerer-priests, each mummy arises from their death-like slumber at the peak of their power, looking like a withered corpse that automatically induces fear and rapturous devotion in anyone unfortunate to look at them and capable of casting magic that can, for instance, destroy entire cities with meteor showers. However, that magic is on an ever-steady decline, which means the mummy will eventually start to look like a normal human... who's still capable of driving humans into cult-like devotion and casting magic that uses the ancient names of creation and is still pretty powerful, if not apocalyptic. It's also pretty much impossible to kill them, and even if you utterly destroy their body, their soul can be brought back into a new shell with the right magic.
      • And then there are the mummies who went... wrong. The Shuankhsen were slaves who were effectively beta tests for the Rite of Return that made perfected mummies. Their souls were cast to Ammut the Destroyer, who decided to use them as extensions. They are defined by endless hunger, and their favorite food is mummies. The Deceived, on the other hand, were a guild of artisans who had the bad luck to be empowered by sorcerer-priests who were planning to betray the others and ascend to godhood... only the rite went very, very wrong, and what was left of those sorcerer-priests merged with their charges. These remnants, or temakhs, are essentially screaming in their mummy servants' ears all the time to pursue their duty by punishing other mummies, while warping their forms into very strange expressions of "art." Further, where most Arisen are almost impossible to kill, the Deceived can't die. Even if their body is destroyed, they will regenerate in enough time; even if humanity dies, they will reincarnate as whatever comes next.
    • Beasts are physically identical to humans, with the same body and biological functions. The one difference? Their soul is a literal Nightmare in the shape of a mythological monster living inside an Eldritch Location, and they can summon powers from both.
      • And Beasts are basically cuddly teddy bears when compared to the Insatiable. Beasts are what happens when an ancient nightmare passes out of the dark primordial reaches of the collective unconscious, gets shaped by the warm light of humanity (mind you, that means "taking on a form reflective of human fears," so it's not great), and enters a state of symbiosis where their host agrees on some level that the nightmare is a part of them, even if it means surrendering to it. An Insatiable is what happens when freak circumstances lead to that nightmare taking a shortcut, finding a human while skipping the influence of human thinking, and just eating the human's soul and riding around in the skinsuit. Where Beasts represent the fears of humanity, the Insatiable represent cruel, crushing environments that were the fears of things that came before humanity. And where Beasts can feed by terrorizing humans without killing them, the Insatiable don't have that option.
    • This is what most mages think of Geniuses — bizarre cosmic intelligences of unknown motivation and origins who simply look human, and whose creations run on rules, laws and concepts that simply aren't those of this or any other reality, yet still function. In the case of the Illuminated, they may well be right. The "inverted Geniuses" known as Clockstoppers, who cause any technological advancement and the very concept of civilization and intellectualism to wither in their wake, may also be examples — one of the most powerful is described as being more a force of nature than a man.
    • Mnemosyne in Princess: The Hopeful are people who lost their last shred of humanity to the Darkness, yet didn't get their body warped enough to turn into Darkspawns. This means they retain a human body and intellect, even though on the inside they have become inhuman creatures of the Dark.
  • The Excrucians in Nobilis generally manifest as creepily pretty humans as part of their "always beautiful" shtick. This does not make them good, and no matter how human an Excrucian seems, they are still invaders from the Primordial Chaos outside reality. To be fair, they do have one bit of Glamour Failuretheir eyes appear as the night sky, and the stars are falling.
    • In Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, there's the Best Friend and Billy Sovereign, who have ties to the Actuals of Nobilis. Billy is a pure example, but the Best Friend has actually gained a soul, which the Actuals are usually incapable of doing. Chuubo's also has Excrucians, under the name Riders, but they don't have as much world-ending horrible doom power, and all of them are at least to a degree playable out of the corebook.
    • The PCs in Glitch are Excrucian Strategists who've decided, for one reason or another, to say Screw This, I'm Outta Here and walk away from their omnicidal mission.
  • The Old World of Darkness has the Onceborn of Wraith: The Oblivion, effectively dead gods in service of the necrotic force known as Oblivion. Unlike their cohorts, the Neverborn, they were human at one point... but they were such bastards in life, they plummeted right into becoming Spectres upon death, and then ascended to the ranks of horrible divinity.
    • Then there are their kin the Hekatonkhire, Spectres who lost their minds to Oblivion on the road to becoming Onceborn, giving them the power of the Onceborn without the intellect to back it up. This does not make them any less dangerous.
    • Vampire: The Masquerade has the Banu Haqim Methuselah ur-Shulgi, a creature steeped deeply for millennia in the knowledge of violence and war-magic. It looks like a child with heavily scarred obsidian-black skin, bits of bone and sinew protuding from beneath in some places, as if it had been flayed. Its eyes have been removed, either gouged or burnt away, yet it claims to be able to see without hindrance. It remains motionless when talking, unless it wishes to make a point through a display of violence, and if it absolutely has to change position to do anything other than kill, it doesn't move so much as flicker from point to point. Whatever it thinks or feels cannot be understood by anything not of its age or power... and there are precious few of those. Its true abilities are unknown, but less than a week after being awakened from torpor, it has the power to casually shred a ritual cast by the combined might of the Tremere Inner Circle without more than the faintest exertion. And it hasn't fully recovered its power yet.
    • The players in Mage: The Ascension are themselves walking fragments of a different universe, with wildly different laws of physics (called the mage's 'paradigm') who are only housed in human flesh to prevent this universe from destroying them for being That Which Should Not Be. Every single mage's powers run on a completely different set of rules, and the only consistency is that they often fail and damage the mage because the universe itself recoils in horror from the very notion of the player's true self. As part of gaining power, mages have to occasionally interact with that true self directly in the form of their avatar, described as something that their approximation of a human mind initially has to dramatically reinterpret to even perceive. The reason that there aren't many godlike mages running around is primarily that past a certain level of understanding of what he is, a mage loses all interest in this world and ascends back to where he came from.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has more than a few, namely the Maeljin, humans who were such bastards that they were adopted to serve as the right-hands and avatars of the Urge Wyrms, constituent aspects of the Wyrm's current gangrenous state. Book of the Wyrm 20th Anniversary Edition has the strange example of Donald Gauntley, a former Pentex director who had a Heel–Face Turn and managed to expel the Urge Wyrm of Despair from his body, at the cost of his own life. Then the body got up and walked away, started a munitions company in Israel that caters mainly to violent regimes, and seems to be recruiting other Pentex executives who die in the line of duty, usually at the claws of the Garou. No one at Pentex, even those with a direct line to the Wyrm, has any idea what it means, but they have a feeling it can't be good.
  • Pathfinder
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Immortal God Emperor of Mankind. Long ago, all of Earth's mages, psykers, and mystics decided that humanity needed a champion to lead them. They committed mass suicide and all of them were reincarnated as one being: the Emperor, an immortal with superhuman stature, intellect, and power. Anyone who had the misfortune to make psychic contact with him and got a glimpse of what lay beneath the surface, such as John Grammaticus (a powerful psyker in his own right), would be left in a state of total awe and terror — mostly terror. After he was put on life support he spent ten thousand years receiving worship from untold trillions of humans across the galaxy — in a setting strongly influenced by Clap Your Hands If You Believe. The Emperor may have well and truly become a god, and in the sense that he's transcended his humanity to become something altogether other and alien. The "mass sacrifice" backstory is dubiously canon — the Emperor's true nature may be even weirder. Bonus points for his human form's true appearance in the eyes of Blanks (humans who are immune to psyker power due to having no Warp presence) being that of a completely unremarkable looking man.
    • Horus became one of these at the end of the Horus Heresy, with all four of the Chaos gods using him as a vessel of their power at once. The battle between him and the Emperor left him dead and the Emperor mortally wounded.
    • Ezekyle Abaddon, the Despoiler, Warmaster of Chaos, pointedly averts this. He's the only being in the galaxy who can get all the Chaos gods to (temporarily) halt their perpetual Enemy Civil War and unite under one banner, and the only one with his own mark of chaos other than those of the gods themselves. By all rights he should have ascended to Daemonhood ages ago, and by every account is chafing at the edges of what it means to be human, but he retains his mortal form out of sheer will, making the deliberate decision to refuse Daemonhood. His rationale is that he has seen in his predecessor and his peers what happens when you throw in with the Chaos Gods: you lose your humanity and your ability to control your own destiny. Abaddon, while unquestionably the villain of his own story, believes the destiny of the galaxy should be decided by humanity, and not the unintended and ignored consequence of fickle and distant gods fighting one another simply because its their nature.
    • Daemonhosts are abominations bound into human bodies. While it's related to Demonic Possession, creating a daemonhost involves a ritual which metaphorically handcuffs a daemon to keep it from accessing most of its power, and having it Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can.
    • There's a fan theory that Commissar Yarrick isn't exactly what you would even call alive anymore. See, while Orks have a penchant for superstition and having a dubious hold on causality, they also have a latent psychic potential that causes reality to change if enough Orks believe in it, and many Orks believe that Yarrick is an unkillable murder-machine. While it's easy to argue Yarrick is just too stubborn to die, he's positively ancient even with Juvenat therapy to prolong his lifespan, and he has an in-game rule that says if he is killed in battle against Orks then he has a chance of getting back up...
  • Warhammer Fantasy:

  • Agonistes from the Tortured Souls line, who appears as a tall, powerfully-built man dressed in black leather and chains, his face horribly scarred and mutilated into a permanent Slasher Smile (if that sounds familiar, it should — the toy line was created by Clive Barker). Hand-made by an insane God on the seventh day of Creation, he answers the prayers of those who seek revenge on their enemies, remaking their bodies and transforming them into living weapons. While he isn't malicious (he only transforms people who come to him willingly), he's still beyond human morality — all he cares about is the "art" he can create with his supplicants.

    Visual Novels 
  • Dies Irae: Whenever he makes an appearance in front of other characters, it is made abundantly clear that there is just something wrong with Mercurius' existence. He's like a shadow with an overwhelming presence, it's like he doesn't exist while still existing at the same time. People who have never meet him before start to spontaneously hate him, normally selfish people start to try and defend those nearby. Wilhelm describes him as weak but at the same time emphasizes that even at death's door, a monster is still overwhelming to a single ant. He is later revealed to be the god of the universe, responsible for the current happenings and some sort of living paradox.
  • Nasuverse:
    • The Ultimate Ones and their physical incarnations the TYPES, first introduced in Angel Notes, are all Eldritch Abominations, but TYPE-Moon is the only one who looks like a human. It doesn't stop him from warping reality to his will, creating copies of the Moon as projectiles, creating winds in space to blow celestial bodies away and other stuff of similar magnitude.
    • Most of the beings listed in the Dead Apostle Ancestors list, 27 beings who are ranked based on their threat level towards humanity as a whole, are usually former-humans who became vampires after various circumstances, and being immortal, take their time to study magic and gain immense magical power. Usually, anyway. The beings in the top-10 list are not even former-humans (except Rank 4 and 2) and among them only Rank 9 (Altrouge, Arcueid's "sister"), Rank 8, Rank 6, Rank 4 (Zelretch, a very powerful archmage) and Rank 3 (TYPE-Moon itself) appear humanoid.
    • The Servants summoned in the Holy Grail Wars. They aren't just resurrected spirits, they're incarnations pulled from the cycle of death and rebirth, as entities who imprinted themselves into the very consciousness of humanity due to being viewed as "heroes" (in sometimes horrifying, obtuse ways, as seen with most anti-heroes). It is stated over and over again throughout the VN that despite being summoned as a familiar for a Master, they are existences beyond what a human is capable of equalling or understanding. And this is true: when a human tries to access the memories and powers of a Servant, it begins to completely destroy his mind and it's only because the Servant is actually him from an alternate future that the process doesn't go even faster.
    • Counter Guardians look as human as the other Servants but are arguably even weirder. These beings aren't heroes in the traditional sense. They are the agents of Alaya, the collective will of humanity itself, and are deployed whenever something threatens humanity. Unleashing them is the equivalent of deploying a tactical nuke on the part of Alaya, and often ends with equivalent collateral damage. On certain occasions, Counter Guardians are willing to, and have, killed thousands of people to save humanity as a whole. One of the seven Servants of the 5th Holy Grail War is a counter guardian, and aside from his dark skin and white hair that he doesn't have in the present, he looks perfectly human.
    • Fate/Grand Order introduces the Foreigner class, which has as part of its concept what happens when the Nasuverse meets the Cthulhu Mythos; a number of Foreigners qualified for the class by having encountered an Outer God in life, and instead of being overwhelmed by madness, either managed to maintain their psychic integrity, or proved crazy enough to overcome the madness. They've come out the other side with a connection to the Outer Gods, which they channel into their powers.
  • The titular character from Saya no Uta. Its true form is never seen, and it looks human normally. The key words there are "looks" and "normally". And this is only because of the brain injury that the main character is suffering from. Its real appearance tends to drive people that see it insane.
  • Many of the spirits from Spirit Hunter: NG have the general appearance of a human, but are distorted in some way to make them appear ghoulish, which only becomes worse once their true visage is shown.
    • The Urashima Woman is a pregnant woman with stringy black hair. Underneath her hair is revealed to be an abnormally long neck covered in barnacles and a giant, multi-layered Lamprey Mouth.
    • Kubitarou is an absolute giant despite being a young girl, with flesh that's mottled red and brown. Her face is a lump of flesh that only has a big, drooling mouth.
    • Killer Peach has the body of a woman, but three heads belonging to a monkey, dog, and pheasant. The monkey, in turn, has a human head hanging down from its jaw, which belonged to Peach when she was alive.
    • Kakuya appears as a doll-like human, her features beautiful but stiff and unnatural. At the end of the game, when she forces herself to 'grow up', her body distorts into something that's still recognisably human — and is more curvaceous to represent her desire to do 'grown-up' things to Akira — but its face is mutated, the skin is cracked, it has claws for hands, and it has one arm and one leg too many.
  • We Know the Devil: The form a character takes on when possessed by the devil.

    Web Animation 
  • Don't Walk Home Alone After Dark: The titular antagonists in The Pine Creepers are pale humanoid creatures with long, spindly limbs, sharp teeth, glowing eyes and ape-like faces. They live in the woods surrounding the narrator's hometown and are reportedly responsible for several people going missing over the decades.
  • Dreamscape: Pita is actually a deadly curse Melinda placed upon Dylan that was given a human shape after Dylan made it take the form of something sapient that he could talk out of killing him.
  • Flipnote Warrior: The Anti-Sakuga in the prologue is a shadowy, horned humanoid monster.
  • Hazbin Hotel:
    • Charlie has a rather human appearance (especially if we compare her to the other inhabitants of hell), but she is the daughter of Lucifer and Lilith, she is a powerful Reality Warper and when she gets excited she shows red eyes, sharp teeth and other demonic traits. She also qualifies as an Adorable Abomination, as she is gentle, compassionate, and the most pleasant person in all hell.
    • Alastor, the Radio Demon, is a deer demon who looks mostly human and used to be one, but he somehow has become something terrifying even to other demons. He is a Reality Warper with powers far beyond any other formerly human demon, and strong enough that very few natural born demons are stronger. And like with Charlie it is strongly implied that he is hidding a much more monstrous true form. Why exactly he is so powerful is a mystery, and according to Word of God he has a sense of morality very different than normal people.
  • RWBY: Most of the Creatures of Grimm are twisted simulacrums of real or mythic animals, born from the eldritch Pools of Annihilation and evaporating when killed. However, the Apathy are humanoid in shape, so thin and sinewy that they appear skeletal. Their white mask covers their face and looks like a human skull. Their bodies are capable of twisting in inhuman ways, and they twitch with bone-cricking tics when they straighten up, just like the creator of the Grimm, the God of Darkness.
    • Then there’s Salem, the Big Bad herself. A mysterious witch constantly cloaked in darkness and looks almost undead in appearance. She’s actually a living fragment of the old world who started out as a princess that fell in love with Ozma, Ozpin’s original self. After losing Ozma to illness, she begged both the gods of light and darkness to bring him back. She defied them, so they punished her by giving her immortality and destroying the world. She couldn’t take being so alone in the new world so she tried killing herself. And when that didn’t work she thought maybe diving into the God of Darkness’ pool could do the trick. Instead it made her something part Grimm, part human and with complete control over them.


    Web Originals 
  • The Slender Man, pictured on the main Humanoid Abomination page. You can just about mistake him for a human being at a distance (unless he's in full-on Combat Tentacles mode), but come any closer and you start to... notice things. Marble Hornets, one of the most famous Slendy stories, is an excellent portrayal of this trope. The Slender Man distorts reality just by existing, driving some characters into homicidal madness. He seems to have a goal of some sort, but whatever it is, it's utterly inscrutable.
  • Another well-known creepypasta creation, The Rake, also counts — a freakish hairless dog-man who seems to have similar stalking habits to Slenderman, albeit being more direct with his victims. Slendy watches from a distance; the Rake likes to sit on your bed. While you're in it. Has even showed up in Everyman HYBRID, integrating it into the above mythos.
  • The Slender Man and the Rake are joined by a number of other Humanoid Abominations in The Fear Mythos, including the Cold Boy, the Wooden Girl, and the Blind Man.
  • The titular monster's first form in The Horror from the Vault, which looks like a ghoul with no face.
  • The Japanese creepypasta Hasshaku-sama sits somewhere between Humanoid Abomination and The Fair Folk. According to the creepypasta, Hasshaku-sama is a woman who is perceived differently by everyone who sees her with the only consistent traits being her abnormal height, hence her name: Ms. Eight-feet-tall, and her inhuman laugh, a deep, uncanny "po, po, po" sound... At first she comes across as some kind of youkai, but her description and behavior defies her being one. The absolute relentlessness in her pursuit of her victims is most of all akin to the grudge of an Onryou, but there's no indications that she's dead or holding a grudge. It's explained in the backstory of the creepypasta that a group of monks attempted to confront her but could neither seal, exorcise or kill her, and so were forced to merely contain her within the confines of a village using four Buddha statues as cornerstones of a barrier. She can also imitate the voices of her victim's loved ones, which makes her primarily target children who are reliant on their older family members, and she is invisible to all but her chosen victims.
  • Tommy Taffy, from a series of r/nosleep stories (first, prequel, sequel, additional) is a perpetually cheery, doll-like man who moves himself into a family's house without invitation, never eats, and "helps them raise their children." Anyone who goes against him is horrifically punished, even small children. He also grooms the children, and worse. Tommy Taffy goes away after a period of five years or so, but returns once the children he lived with have their own children. He also has a number of supernatural powers, like the ability to be in multiple places at once and to return from the dead.
  • Tales from Cherryshrub, Mississippi: A few.
    • The Old Man from An Old Man Visited a Town who has an emaciated face and sunken in yellow eyes. The narrator notes how he wobbled around as if he did not have feet.
    • D'regorra, a multi-armed woman who is knowledgeable on all forms of torture and stitches every orifice of her victim's body to ensnare them to her.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: The Entity/Missingno can apparently only manifest itself in the physical realm by taking the form of another.
    • The King of Worms is another example. It's mentioned that he's one of the weakest of the Outer Gods, but even despite that, none of the gang's weapons can harm him. The only reason he wasn't able to destroy Linkara utterly is because The Entity was possessing him, and The King Of Worms died from pure fear after discovering this.
    • Lord Vyce becomes one in order to fight The Entity.
  • The Cry of Mann: Gergiev looks like a human, but with bright orange teeth and the power to infect and curse the Mann family with his bite. He speaks mostly in gibberish and uses his powers to try and kill Mann.
  • Roy from Don't Hug Me I'm Scared. The way his arms stretch beyond their natural length, along with his ability to slip into random scenes without drawing attention to himself, the way the music changes whenever he appears as well as the fact that Red Guy was teleported right after making eye contact with him make him seem far too abnormal for such a crudely made puppet.
  • Eclipse heavily indicates that Alice Sitchri, the main character, is far from your typical Succubus. She's a tall, fit, and gorgeous young lady with pale skin and a sexy outfit, but she has tendrils protruding from her arms, smoke-like darkness that oozes out of her body at various times, Hellish Pupils, gray eyes that turn amber (when indoctrinating people) and red (when angry), and the ability to transform into a tornado-like whirlpool of smoke and shadows that engulfs a country in a black fog. She absorbs souls within her own body (itself a Pocket Dimension), and she has the ability to indoctrinate people without needing to try. Various characters have suggested that this is the form she ALLOWS other people perceive of her, the form she's attempting to keep as humanoid as possible, or a form that is a self-imposed restraint keeping something even more abstract from popping out. She is the only distinctly human-ish being who doesn't utilize a Battle Aura at all; rather than being a human who has a really fancy way of manifesting her innate energy in fantastical ways (ala Aura), Alice simply doesn't. All of the shadows and smoke and darkness are not a manifestation of her energy, that's simply how she is, and as long as there is darkness, she will continue existing, even if that darkness is completely separate from her body. This is all while she's on her good side; lord help you if you ever experience her ability to distort reality at her own whim.
  • The Season 4 finale of Epic Rap Battles of History (Jim Henson versus Stan Lee) ends with a chilling surprise appearance from an eldritch version of Walt Disney. No, scratch that, it's not Walt. It's an Anthropomorphic Personification of what the Disney company has become, and the corporate monster is about to consume two more franchises into its "empire of joy". There's some Biting-the-Hand Humor here, since Epic Rap Battles of History was at the time produced by one of Disney's countless subsidiaries.
  • Chin-Chin, an interdimensional God of Evil serves as this for the sometimes whimsical and almost-always bizarre world of Filthy Frank, appearing with increasing frequency to torment Frank and his Lycra People friends, often demanding tribute from them in exchange for promising to free one of Frank's friends (typically his Heterosexual Life-Partner Salamander Man) whom he takes hostage. At his darkest, he invokes I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure with his Reality Warper powers, and when he's not kidnapping them for his twisted pleasure he's usually taunting the main characters with one of his heralds, always managing to keep them on their toes. It is implied that You Cannot Grasp the True Form, and he is a denizen of various Eldritch Locations throughout the multiverse. Keeping it from getting too disturbing (and thereby draining it of humor) is that his language (disregarding the misleading subtitles) effectively translates from Japanese as "I love penis".
  • Half-Life but the AI is Self-Aware:
    • Dr. Coomer can smell through his mouth, gains power by killing his own clones, and can eat solid metal, among other violations of science.
    • Benrey flat out admits to not being human in the first episode, and he can come back from the dead and in fact does so repeatedly, on his passport his name reappears and extends into the air, and the Skeleton that follows the party is heavily implied to be the same as him. The finale has him reveal as a flat-out Eldritch Abomination, contorting violently, growing to large size, and summoning more skeletons to attack the party.
    • The G-Man, as per usual. It’s also quite possible the same applies to his son Tommy.
  • Dizzy Jones from Satellite City is some kind of asymmetrical, mannequin-like thing that's impossibly thin, as tall as an alleyway, and appears to cause video and audio recordings to distort by his very presence. If that wasn't enough, he apparently has the ability to mimic voices and track people through all long-distance forms of communication — even written letters — and we even get to see him stalk and presumably kill some poor bloke on the streets of London at night by tracking him through his phone. All the other Kivouackians are completely terrified of him, Ludwig outright calls him a monster, and it's strongly hinted that he's the one responsible for Winifred's current condition.
  • Kowabana, a podcast that translates and shares Japanese urban legends and creepypasta, has an episode focused on the stories of Kunekune, a strange, undulating, white humanoid that drives people insane if they see its form clearly.
  • Luke: The Plague Son Of Nurgle: Luke’s sheer level of grossness transcends mere dirtiness, he is somehow capable of eating and talking with a mouth full of green rotten teeth without being in debilitating agony, his shit was described as a black tar like substance, his presence makes inanimate objects edge away from him and even years after he has left a location, sleeping in a room that he has occupied will turn you into a clone of him.
  • The Auditor in Madness Combat is a humanoid mass of shadowy flames.
  • The Onion:
    • Spoofed in the 2005 article "Neverland Ranch Investigators Discover Corpse of Real Michael Jackson". Apparently Michael Jackson died sometime in 1985-1987 at the hands of one of these, and that abomination replaced him and went on to physically decay into the realm of Body Horror and prey upon children. (At the time, in Real Life, Jackson was being tried on child molestation charges.)
    • Cindy McCain is just like any other human and definitely not an example. Just like any other female human, she loves her kids with both of her hearts, and enjoys things like relaxing in the sleep pod which delivers nutrients to her body during her nightly stasis periods, or herding livestock with her mind. When asked what woman she admired most, she said "Oprah Winfrey", whom she described as "delicious-looking in her fattened state". She has laughed off concerns about her husband's age, saying "He's not nearly as old as the Ancient Ones. His outer shell has not even yet calcified". She was less friendly when asked about her husband's ties to lobbyists, emitting a high-pitched shrieking noise which melted all plastic objects in the room.
  • Pretending to Be People:
    • Marvin Glass is a freakishly-tall, thin man with translucent skin and few facial features. He also displays immense telekinetic power and possible mind control.
    • Many agents of Myriad appear to be a similar type of entity.
  • Many creatures created by Tumblr user Slimyswampghost qualify, but special mention goes to Siren Head. A 40-foot-tall maneater with a skeletal body, skin resembling rusted metal, extremely long arms and, as the name suggests, a head resembling a pair of sirens, giving him the ability to mimic voices and sounds—which is how he lures in his prey. One of Slimyswampghost's posts implies that Siren Head is far more ancient than he looks, having been hunting humans since the caveman days.
  • The Smiling Woman, a woman with a perfectly normal appearance, only with a Slasher Smile, dressed in yellow, a very strange way of moving, the ability to teleport and turn other women into copies of herself.
  • Welcome to Night Vale:
    • The Voice of Night Vale himself, Cecil, may or may not be one. He frequently reports on events that he shouldn't have any way of knowing, little is known about his past, and his appearance is never described aside from the fact that he looks similar to Kevin (his Evil Counterpart from Desert Bluffs). Fan-artists often depict him as a man with a Third Eye. On the other hand, he has a mostly normal family of people who seem human.
    • The City Council, and the people wearing deer masks. The hooded figures in the dog park may or may not be this.
    • The Man in the Tan Jacket and the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home also qualify. The former inflicts amnesia on anyone who sees him, making them remember nothing about him except his attire and deerskin briefcase with flies in it, and the latter is an entity that somehow manages to live in everyone's house without being noticed, can only be seen through one's peripheral vision and lacks a face. They're both relatively friendly examples, although the Faceless Old Woman shows signs of being a bit of a trickster.
    • Old Woman Josie's Angels, who are described as ten-feet-tall, radiant and always smiling.
    • The Woman from Italy. All throughout her visit to Night Vale, Cecil keeps reporting on her but swears she's just another person. But all the while, he keeps randomly spewing nursery rhymes in a broken voice, talking about how her hands are storm clouds with lightning talons, how she skins her victims, and how she lurks at the end of dark hallways.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Sara Waite, codename Carmilla. She looks like a goddess of lust. Her father's mother is actually Shub-Niggurath. Her mother's ancestry is even creepier.
    • Tennyo is somehow related to some Eldritch Abomination that was created to eat/destroy the Eldritch Abominations of the Cthulhu Mythos, something that would look at Cthulhu and think "ooh, an appetizer!"
  • Worm:
    • Scion, the world's first and greatest superhero, is the avatar of an immensely powerful and ancient alien entity.
    • The Simurgh looks like a fifteen-foot-tall woman with chalk-white skin and a multitude of feathery wings. She is also an Endbringer, a nearly indestructible entity of unknown origin equipped with horribly destructive superpowers that apparently wants nothing less than to wipe humanity from the earth. Her particular set of powers includes pre- and postcognition to the point of being The Omniscient, as well as Mind over Matter and some very nasty Mind Rape powers.
  •'s Man Comics gives us Popsicle Pete: the mascot of Good Humor, spokesman for Popsicle-brand frozen treats and baleful scion of the night.
    Man: Oh my god, kid.
    Popsicle Pete: YOUR GOD IS PAIN NOW.
  • Unwanted Houseguest: The Shadow Demon. It's never clarified what it's true form is, but it is "humanoid" simply by virtue of taking on the appearance of the Houseguest.
  • The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids: When visiting Thymon's birthday party, Nyarlathotep appears as a perfectly ordinary-looking human man wearing a Panama hat, principally referred to in narration as "the Man in the Panama Hat". He doesn't blink enough, though, and there's something disconcerting about him besides, albeit not necessarily scary.

    Western Animation 
  • As a general example many Toons are anthromorphic beings who may look more similar to humans than whatever their actual species is, but can do almost anything as long as it's funny.
  • Many of the vampires from Castlevania (2017) qualify, including Dracula himself. Of all the vampires, however, none are moreso an abomination than Varney, who is actually a disguise for none other than Death.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Negaduck", Darkwing accidentally gets separated into his "good and evil particles", creating a (wussy) good and (badass) evil version of him. Then the evil version gets galvanized. The resulting "Negaduck" (not to be confused with the recurring Mirror Universe Evil Counterpart of Darkwing by the same name) is still shaped like Darkwing, though with negative black-and-white colours and Power Glows, but it's an almost mindless accumulation of pure evil and destruction that uses its Reality Warper powers to tear everything apart. (The good side also gets galvanized, but the result is much less abominable.) However, the whole thing is largely Played for Laughs, so it also speaks in an exaggerated Stupid Evil Card-Carrying Villain For the Evulz manner.
  • Deadtime Stories: Little girls should NOT be able to transform into man-eating Giant Spiders and back again.
  • Final Space:
    • Whilst the Titans are inhuman cosmic horrors with wildly varying appearances, their baseline body plan appears to be humanoid-shaped: two arms, two legs, an upright torso, and a head with two eyes and a mouth. There are deviations and exceptions, such as Titans with extra eyes or limbs and with horns or antlers, and the Season 1 visualizations of Nightfall's and the Titans' past depict one Titan who's essentially just a tendril- and boil-covered blob.
    • Phil is a tall, human-shaped creature in shamanic clothes with completely black skin, red glowing eyes and a pair of goat horns on his head. Also on his pocket are baby hands, so called by him as pocket observers, which help to keep in the pockets, for example, a map. Despite his extreme creepiness, he turns out to be trustworthy.
  • Generator Rex: Van Kleiss looks like a man with a mechanical hand, but in truth while he Was Once a Man the seat of his consciousness now is the nanites that fill his body — and the area around his stronghold, meaning that in a sense the entire country of Abysus is him, and answers to his commands. As of episode 21, instead of a Genius Loci, he can now induce Body Horror with a touch.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Mandy herself is occasionally strongly implied to be some kind of unfathomable cosmic horror within the body of a young little girl, one who freaks out all the other denizens of the Underworld.
  • Miss Bitters from Invader Zim. Nobody is exactly sure what she is, but human is not on the list of options. She is implied to be older than the School (they couldn't make her move so they built it around her and made her a teacher) and has taught at least two generations worth of students. The official website mentions rumors that she is the spawn of an English teacher and a really big snake. Her flashbacks in the series indicate she was once much happier...
  • In The Legend of Korra season two, Vaatu, spirit of darkness, fuses with Unalaq, becoming the Dark Avatar. By extension this makes the Avatar an example, as they fused with Vaatu's counterpart Raava, spirit of light.
  • In Metalocalypse, the shadowy power broker Mr. Salacia looks like a very tall old man on the surface, but he's actually an ancient dreaded being implied to have connections with, at the very least, the Sumerian civilization. We get a glimpse of his true nature toward the end of the fourth season: his hair turns into a writhing mass of tentacles, his teeth grow into sharp fangs, his jaw unhinges, he grows to kaiju size and his very presence causes weaker-willed people's heads to explode.
  • The Beast from Over the Garden Wall is mostly shown in silhouette, which seems vaguely humanoid save for the antlers and glowing eyes, and is capable of conversing (and singing) like a human. No hint is given to what kind of creature he is (at least not in a literal sense), but he feeds off of human despair by turning people into trees which make oil for his lantern. The one glimpse of the beast in the light, at the series climax, shows his entire body is made of wood in the shape of faces.
  • Emperor Belos from The Owl House actually looks surprisingly normal, his appearance being akin to an old man with a strange skin condition, resulting in a band of green, rotting flesh across his face. However, this form is just a Glamour for his true appearance — a nine-foot-tall, skeletal monster, covered in a thin layer of liquefied, necrotic flesh, and absolutely covered in glowing blue eyes. Even in his human form, Belos is able to stretch out his arms as long as he'd like, and morph his limbs into things like spears and scythes. After the season 2 finale ends with the Collector splattering him across a wall, season 3 shows that that didn't kill him, and he's able to regenerate from a single drop of liquid rot by possessing various woodland animals and consuming them from the inside out. In this state he can even possess people's bodies and puppet them around, which he does to Hunter, Raine, and even the Titan himself.
  • Samurai Jack:
    • While he is a demonic shapeshifter that can take even more monstrous forms, Aku's default appearance is a gigantic, humanoid being made of darkness, and he is capable of assuming more human-like disguises such as a beautiful woman on one occasion. The catch is that he will always be limited to the same green/red/black color-scheme, and reflections reveal his true form. He also has a wide range of superpowers at his disposal (such as Black Magic, Complete Immortality, Voluntary Shapeshifting, corrupting other living beings, creating time portals, etc.), and is Nigh-Invulnerable to all weapons, except for a divine magic sword wielded by the titular hero.
    • Demongo the Soul Collector, one of Aku's henchmen also counts. He's a skinny demonic humanoid with black skin, glowing blue eyes, blue fire burning on his head, and a red cape. He has the ability to steal the souls of fallen warriors and monsters, which he can summon as Slave Mooks in order to add more victims to his collection.
    • The Minions of Set are a trio of semi-humanoid, semi-animalistic, divine demons with pitch black skin, golden dog-like heads, and shining blue eyes. They are established as some of the most powerful villains in the show, being capable of physically overwhelming Jack in combat and unlike Aku, not even Jack's sword (which was specifically designed to kill the dark lord) was able to harm them. It took summoning the Egyptian sun god Ra in order to permanently destroy them.
    • A very tragic example is featured late in Season 5 with none other than Ashi, Jack's enemy-turned-sidekick/lover, who is revealed to be a literal Daughter of Aku, sired when her mother drank a fraction of his essence and gave birth to seven daughters. Her nature was foreshadowed throughout several episodes when she displayed massive tolerance to pain, and enough superhuman strength to dispatch a massive army and emerge unscathed. Once Aku learns of this, he turns Ashi into a demonic being in his own image and compells her to attack Jack.
  • South Park has a couple examples:
    • Wall-Mart, a "fictional" chain store in the South Park episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes". Wall-Mart is actually portrayed as a complete Eldritch Abomination in the episode, being an abstract entity from beyond that exists as long as there is consumerism and poisons every town in which it manifests itself. Near the end of the episode however, it temporarily takes on human form (looking a lot like Vincent Price, oddly enough) so it can talk to Stan and Kyle. Played for laughs at the climax with the Vincent Price-thing laughing maniacally and declaring "Now you shall see me as I truly am!" — but all he does is tear off his gray mustache, then take off his white hat and wave it around wildly as the store around them collapses like a cave-in at a mine shaft.
    • Later on in the series, the series's trope naming instances of They Killed Kenny Again was Deconstructed, via Cerebus Retcon, because of Kenny McCormick being one. Because of some Noodle Incident involving a cult dedicated to Cthulhu, Kenny has Resurrective Immortality.
    • Season 19 has Leslie Meyers. Originally just some random 4th grader who PC Principal calls on during school assemblies, she eventually reveals herself to be an ad that was able to achieve human form. Also she exhibits superhuman strength and oozes blue blood once she gets killed.
  • Steven Universe: In "Legs From Here to Homeworld", we finally see White Diamond. Pearl describes her as fundamentally different from other Gems, including the other Diamonds. She glows so brightly she looks like she's made out of light, even more so than the usual Gem Hard Light, and it's hard to make out her features, making her head look two-dimensional from some angles. She also stands as still as a statue with her arms outstretched (something her Pearl shares), and speaks in Dissonant Serenity for the entirety of her screentime. Her body's even drawn more like the background scenery than a character.
  • Tales of Arcadia:
    • Trollhunters has Morgana, a mysterious being who also goes by the name of the "Eldritch Queen". She is capable of stealing the souls of others and controlling them, and she can easily give others magical abilities. Her spiritual form is Wreathed in Flames with Glowing Eyes of Doom, and her true form is even more powerful and almost unstoppable.
    • The Arcane Order from Wizards (2020) may be even bigger examples. They claim to have existed since the beginning and their appearances, as well as their powers, make it clear that whatever they are, they are not human. It's revealed that they were the ones who gave Morgana her powers, and they turned King Arthur into the Green Knight, an undead being of Anti-Magic.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Karai becomes this after mutating by accident. Whenever she isn't in full humanoid snake form, she assumes what looks like her original human self...unless she deliberately displays snake-like traits like scaly skin and sharp fangs or turns her arms into snake head limbs to attack, that is. Plus, she can shed her skin to shrug off any minor injuries.
  • ThunderCats (2011): Mumm-Ra looks like nothing so much as a mummified, semi-decayed human, in spite of (unlike the original) no humans existing in the setting. However, the shape of his face and his gait are just ever-so-slightly... off. His One-Winged Angel form reveals that he is actually an anthropomorphic vampire bat; kudos to the animators for pulling off this bit of foreshadowing.
  • In The Venture Bros. are The Investors, a trio of ageless "men" in business suits who possess a broad array of powers and behave somewhat like demons, making deals in exchange for a hefty price. They are among most feared and most powerful entities in the series, effortlessly dispatching Monstroso and having The Sovereign utterly terrified of them. It's soon revealed that Dr. Henry Killinger is also a member of their species, and so absurdly powerful he is able to kill all three Investors in a Battle in the Center of the Mind and his umbrella. Thankfully, Killinger is (for the most part) kind and helpful.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), Raven's demonic heritage manifests as four glowing red eyes and shadowy tentacles growing from underneath her robe. Otherwise, she usually looks human.

Alternative Title(s): Eldritch Humanoid


The Perfect Woman

The Voice of The Smitten and The Voice of The Stubborn are even more into The Razor after she transforms into a bladed abomination

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

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Main / NightmareFetishist

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