Humanoid Abomination

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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.

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In modern horror works, dark things from beyond the fringes of mankind's consciousness are prone to showing up in forms that for all intents and purposes look like good ol' Homo sapiens - and in many cases, actually were humans until they went beyond the pale.

It's not enough for a character to simply look human and not be one, though - there are Human Aliens, Petting Zoo People, Amazing Technicolor Populations, and other varying points on the color wheel of... human-like-ness. Rather than merely being a monstrous or "ugly" being, a Humanoid Abomination exudes a distinct eldritch "wrongness" or unsettling presence, while still appearing sufficiently human-like in form.

This in itself is still not exclusive to being physically monstrous or ugly - i.e., the Humanoid Abomination may be improbably pretty, albeit prone to seeming a bit off, or perhaps even having a Red Right Hand. Sometimes, these may even be A Form You Are Comfortable With (or supposed to be comfortable, any). They can still fit the monstrous bill and resemble a human form made twisted and horribly wrong: for example, one may seem relatively normal until you look to the face and spot certain critical features missing - or perhaps too many such features.

The Worm That Walks is a common manifestation of these, as are the less-common Cthulhumanoids. One may also expect the image of fetuses - few things can create a sense of worry and unease (if not sheer nausea) like the visage of human life at its most vulnerably and recognizably 'human' stage.

Compare:

Contrast:

  • Human Aliens, extraterrestrial life-forms that resemble humans, though they may be capable of taking on sufficiently abominable forms to overlap with this.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu, where entirely normal human beings are depicted as "abominations", typically from the viewpoint of an animal or other non-human species.
Examples of Humanoid Abomination include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kaworu, and to some extent Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Also, the 18th Angel is Lilim, or mankind.
    • On a less spoiler-ific note, the Evas themselves could also qualify. Breathing, flesh-and-blood monsters made from human psyches.
    • Shinji from the end of the second "Rebuild of Evangelion" could also qualify, considering that he transformed into a ethereal form with red eyes and proceeded to mind rape an Eldritch Horror, all just to get Rei back.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Kuyou Suou / Suou Kuyou (the proper order is is purposefully left unknown). While the other Humanoid Interfaces are weird, Kuyou is described by the narration as simply wrong. Her ordinary movements like walking seem to defy the laws of physics in inexplicable ways, and her words and motivations are even less comprehensible than the others. Kyon is terrified to simply be in her presence.
  • The Mad God Asura from Soul Eater is still recognizably human in appearance... but his mere unsealing creates a wave of insanity that critically weakens the good guys while creating new enemies and empowering existing ones.
    • As of chapter 72, this seems to be the case for Death the Kid being a 'fragment' of one of the Great Old Ones, i.e Shinigami. The Index refers to him as part of the "madness of the rule of law" which would fit.
  • Any Claymore unlucky enough to awaken becomes one of these. There's a reason why Claymores on the edge of awakening beg their fellow Claymores to kill them before it's too late.
  • The Godhand from Berserk and most Apostles' true forms still retain at least some traces of human appearance, some of them (namely, Slan and Femto) more than others; somehow, that just makes it worse.
  • The homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist have roughly the same chemical makeup as a human being. However, the Philosopher's Stone that makes up their "core" gives them near-immortality, insane regenerative powers, extremely creepy powers, and tortured souls giving them energy. Even further along the line are Father and Hohenheim, who also look very human, but are actually living Philosopher's Stones.
  • Guu of Haré+Guu may or may not qualify, with some theorizing that she may be one. She sorta looks human, and doesn't really try that hard to fit in, but only Hale notices the off parts. Her infrequently-seen grownup form arguably qualifies as well.
  • Junji Ito seems to like this trope:
  • A lot of the title character's operations in Franken Fran (a well as those of her creator) result in things of this sort, with Adorea being the one you see the most.
  • Hellsing: Alucard looks more or less human despite the unnatural pallor, red eyes, and sharp teeth. However, he consists of the hundreds of thousands of souls of the people he has devoured, and the true form he shows when using his powers seems to consist entirely of eyes and darkness. That's... actually also the description of Samael, the Angel of Death.
  • The proxies from Ergo Proxy, most definitely. They are literally man-made gods designed to restructure the Earth.
  • The eponymous character from Serial Experiments Lain probably counts, as the God of the Internet in a world where the internet is increasingly indistinguishable from the real world. Eiri Masami, Lain's creator and the self-styled God of the Wired, fits the part just as well, and in the end he even loses the Humanoid part of the description when he tries to physically remanifest in the real world.
  • The Stands in the manga Category Freaks.[context?]
  • Pick any main character from the anime Mnemosyne.[context?]
  • Aizen from Bleach becomes this after merging with the Hogyoku, taking on a number of humanoid forms during the final battle.
  • Naruto:
    • According to Masashi Kishimoto, he had planned from the start for all members of the Akatsuki to be Humanoid Abominations. He did quite a good job: there's one half-human, cannibalistic Venus Fly Trap who can clone an entire army from himself; a half-man half-shark with a freakish One-Winged Angel form; one man with mouths on his hands and a big one on his chest; a particularly nasty one whose entire body is kept together with thread (provided he doesn't feel like letting his hands take a stroll on their own); someone who transferred their soul into that of an identical human-sized puppet; and the defector, a man whose true form is a gigantic monstrous snake entirely made up of smaller snakes, who simply dons human bodies. There are some hints that the secret leader of Akatsuki, Uchiha Madara, might be one as well.
      • Konan and Itachi are the only Akatsuki members so far who haven't displayed a borderline Lovecraftian Superpower, and even those certainly had the power of an abomination: Konan is able to massively remold the landscape by creating massive structures with her origami, turn herself into paper and even sprout paper "wings", fight on par with/almost killing Madara /The Masked Man/whoever the hell he is of all people! Itachi is oughtright called invincible and was shown curb stombing many strong characters hard enough to drive them mad with his sheer godly perfection - when he doesn't outright use his supernatural mind rape powers, or burn people with black, inextinguishable flames from hell. Both of them die without us ever seeing their true potential. In fact, these two are probably the strongest Members of Akatsuki, barring Tobi and Nagato, with the fact that they're technically still human only making them scarier.
    • Starter Villain Zabuza made reference to this early on in the story - ruthless ninja like him aspire to be rid of their humanity, at least figuratively (i.e. human feelings). The miscreants of Akatsuki mostly made themselves the way they were, so the likes of Orochimaru, Sasori and others could be taken as ninja who took this lesson literally and actually try to be a Humanoid Abomination.
    • The Jinchuuriki when in their Version 2 form. Their blood mixes with the beast's chakra, forming a humanoid aura with glowing eyes and mouth, and the body features of their respective beast (such as Naruto's fox ears). The drawing style of the anime emphasizes this by making it look scetchy and surreal.
      • These have nothing on Naruto's six tailed-form, which is the above plus a creepy skeleton.
    • Kabuto started out a normal human, but after absorbing the cells of Orochimaru, copying Suigetsu's power to turn himself into liquid, taking some of Karin's lifeforce rich Uzumaki cells to increase his own healing ability, and training under the White Snake Sage to become a Sage (and deliberately absorbing enough environmental chakra to mutate into a dragonlike being), he's not anymore.
    • Some would argue that the First Hokage himself, the founder of Konoha, qualifies as well. For one thing, Wood Release is revealed to not be a Senju bloodline trait; it is an elemental form completely unique to Hashirama Senju. His younger brother and the entire rest of his family don't have the capacity to use Wood Release, and the few ninja that do specifically need to graft or splice Hashirama's DNA into their bodies. 99% of these transfers result in instant death (as Orochimaru discovered imbuing Yamato and fifty infants with Hashirama's cells) and failure to control the power will eventually turn you into a tree. Perhaps more freakishly, Hashirama had a Healing Factor comparable to medical jutsu that required no techniques to execute, something his own granddaughter needed to master medical ninjutsu just to imitate. This means that Hashirama's cell samples are very clearly trying to take on a life of their own when used by Danzo, Madara, or Tobi; Danzo and Madara have Hashirama's face growing out of their anatomy due to the cell splices, and the skin around the grafted area is clearly mutated. More ominously, Tobi's sample of Hashirama's DNA has grown into a gigantic plant with part of Hashirama's body growing from it - an infinite number of white Zetsu grow from this very plant. Finally, Hashirama is the only person whose very chakra can outright control Bijuu, while the best Uchiha can do is utilize extremely advanced genjutsu to hypnotize them. There are increasing implications that Hashirama was not completely human, causing some fans to question if Madara's obsession with stealing his power was really such a wise decision...
      • His life-giving, Bijuu-controlling chakra and an intense Healing Factor may not be so unusual considering that Senju are revealed to be related to Uzumaki. Kushina stated that many members of her clan had a very special chakra, giving them an insane vitality, a very long lifespan and making them ideal hosts for the tailed beasts. For example, Karin is able to heal people by simply giving them her blood/chakra to drink. On the other hand, this may also means that Senju and Uzumaki weren’t completely human to begin with, and puts the destruction of Uzushiogakure in a new light.
    • The Uchiha clan deserves some special mention here. It's hinted that even normal Sharigan users can use jutsus that can alter reality, with advanced users who have stolen another family member's eyes being able to summon an implementable cloak of demonic energy and drive others insane with just a quick stare. It makes sense since, in all reality, they are distantly related to the Senju and thus the Uzumaki clans.
  • Some of the stronger foes from Sailor Moon qualify, especially in the manga. It's also revealed that all of the series' Big Bads are fragments/manifestations of Big Bad Chaos itself.
  • 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.
  • A lot of the higher-level youkai in Inuyasha, but especially Naraku and Mouryoumaru who go between Bishounen (...ish, in Mouryoumaru's case) and gigantic mass of tentacles, insectile legs, razor sharp diamonds, spiritually poisonous acid-gas and void. And in Mouryoumaru's case, he's actually a telepathic Fetus Terrible Soul Jar who's wearing a Lovecraftian horror as a bulletproof vest.
  • In Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro the title character is a half-man, half-bird daemon who disguises himself as a friendly assistant. However, his smile is impossibly wide, all of his teeth are pointed, his eyes are unnaturally made (as well as being an unnaturally bright shade of green), and his hands remain demonic claws when not hidden under his gloves.
  • Ultra Gorn-fest Arm of Kannon is full of these things. Some of them are man-made, while others are the unlucky bastards that come into contact with the eponymous Arm.
  • The final episodes of Final Fantasy Unlimited reveal the main characters to be a pair of these. Fortunately, they want nothing to do with the whole matter.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, the entity known as Aiwass has been implied to be something like this. The name comes from the writings of Aleister Crowley; it's supposedly the being who inspired his writings.
  • D.Gray-man:
    • the independent Innocence Apocryphos is one of these, and like everyone else in the series, it also wants a piece of Allen.
    • The Noah (including the Earl), Level 4 Akuma, and Alma Karma have a similar sort of vibe as well. There's a reason so many people find the series to be so freakishly horrifying.
  • The enigmatic and rarely seen General Winter from Axis Powers Hetalia, who oddly resembles an old man in a WWI uniform, is basically this. Then again, this could also apply to the Nations themselves depending on how one views their very existence.
  • Tsukune's black ghoul form in Rosario + Vampire is about as creepy as it gets, and is implied to have a similar composition to the Alucard of that setting.
  • Saya from Blood C.
  • The Dragon Knights in Noein, though they are (mostly) good guys. Not to mention Noein himself, ruler of Shangri-La, who often appears as a floating golden mask surrounded by a vague humanoid outline, out of which human limbs emerge.
  • Angel Sanctuary: Rosiel and Sandalphon may qualify. Rosiel has an immortal, slowly rotting Organic Technology body that's basically made of Naughty Tentacles and Squick. (Said rot has been Mind Raping him since before his birth). Sandalphon, on the other hand, is definitely an abomination. It's the 'humanoid' part that's up for debate.
  • The gods and demons from Ah! My Goddess are shown to be this. Though they mostly look like humans (some of them, notably Urd and Peorth, are vain and prefer looking like humans), they assume those forms when they come to grant a wish to humans because their true forms are incomprehensible.

Comic Books

  • Doctor Manhattan of Watchmen fame shows signs of becoming this throughout the story due to his growing detachment from, well, everything. He recognizes some value in humanity in the end, though - but not his own. His decision is to go off to a galaxy far, far away to play God.
  • Many DC Comics abominations have a basically humanoid appearance: Anti-Monitor, Mandrakk the Dark Monitor, Nekron...
    • As of Final Crisis we can probably add Darkseid to the list.[context?]
    • Starman: The Shade looks and acts human enough (though some artists do portray him with a certain pallor), but his powers are taken straight from the fabric of a dimension holding a godlike Eldritch Abomination and have essentially become one with him, making him ageless and virtually unkillable, not to mention terrifyingly powerful. Thankfully for us, he's generally a fairly nice guy (not a hero by any means, but definitely not an outright villain either) and is perfectly willing to leave you be... that is, unless you attempt to attack Opal City. In that case, all bets are off.
    • Mr. Mxyzptlk in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?.[context?]
    • The true form of Starro was revealed to be one of these in the R.E.B.E.L.S. series.
    • Parallax, the Entity of Fear, turns its host into one of these, as Hal Jordan discovers. The other eight Entities also technically qualify when they possess someone, although some of them are nice enough about it and non-homicidal enough that it's easy to forget.
    • Libra was a run-of-the-mill supervillain whose own superpower stealing device backfired on him when he tried to target the entire universe with it, and become a god. After being spread out across the cosmos, he eventually reformed on Apokolips and swore fealty to Darkseid. In Final Crisis, it is revealed that he was turned into an embodiment of the Anti-Life Equation itself who can't be targeted by the Spectre. Other than that, he lacks the Nigh Invulnerability most other Abominations possess and was apparently killed by Lex Luthor.
    • JSA villain Johnny Sorrow Was Once a Man, but after spending 60 years being subjected to the tender ministrations of the King of Tears, he isn't anymore.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Eternals are indistinguishable from humans. They are also immortal and incredibly powerful (almost Physical God level) thanks to their ability to channel cosmic energy. It's worth noting that the same experiments that created the Eternals also created mutants and the monstrous looking Deviants. All three of these groups are technically still human but understandably have difficulty thinking of themselves as such at times.
    • Umar, the sister of Doctor Strange archfoe Dormammu, is about as powerful as her brother and about as evil. Unlike her fire-skull brother, she looks completely human (and a fine looking human at that). This wasn't always the case however - she once had a form similar to Dormammu's, said to be more powerful than her brother, but she took a human form to have sex with one of her servants and found herself Shapeshifter Mode Locked.
    • Dormammu himself looks about as humanlike as at least half the examples on this page; some of his appearances have given him a more skull-like face and horns, but he still has normal human proportions (well, by comics standards).
    • The Ghost Rider is another example. Depending on which version you're reading about, you're dealing with one of: an ancient elder God/Demon named Zarathos; an angel-demon-human hybrid made from the soul of a genuinely good man named Noble Kale; or something else altogether... The Rider is little more than human bones wrapped in strange flames appearance-wise, but the powerset more than makes up the difference, and they all share some common baselines such as the Penance Stare. All the Riders are also turned against their will by agents of Heaven and Hell.
    • Mad Jim Jaspers crosses into this realm thanks to his abilities being strong enough to make him nigh-omnipotent, with it being heavily implied that he exists partially in a metaphysical realm, as well. He's so powerful that his entire continuity had to be destroyed to prevent it from becoming infectious and warping reality in other continuities. Earth-616 also has Jaspers, and he's even more powerful. It took an invincible, infinitely-adaptable killing machine that the original Jaspers created and that escaped from the destroyed continuity to bring the 616 Jaspers down. It transported him to a reality-free area to deprive him of fuel for his abilities, and the resulting toll on the being was so great that he was put down without much difficulty by Captain Britain.
    • Hulk and his gamma-powered friends (and foes) are normally aversions of this - at least, until the Immortal Hulk run, where we get several examples of this. It starts with Bruce Banner somehow cheating death, transforming into the Hulk from his own dead body - and from there, Hulk escalates further into truly abominable territory. This includes not only surviving as multiple dismembered parts, but maintaining control over each section, and reforming himself around the scientist who did it, absorbing and killing him in the process.
    • X-Men has its own steadily growing list:
      • Jean Grey can become one of these whenever she goes into full-blown Phoenix mode.
      • Cassandra Nova, Professor Xavier's Half Identical Evil Twin. She is actually a mummadrai, a malevolent spirit specifically meant to be an evil twin to somebody—Xavier's first heroic deed was to fight her in the womb and he succeeded in ejecting her from their mother. The mummadrai survived and eventually created a body for itself that was essentially a wizened female version of Xavier. She's essentially a Complete Monster with Psychic Powers that equal his, if not outright greater... who happens to look like a little old bald lady in a wheelchair.
  • According to leaked material from when Cross Gen tanked, Miranda Cross from Ruse was going to be revealed as a Lawbringer of the Negation. Lawbringers are (grotesquely) humanoid in shape, and are created from the negative emotions of Charon, overall Big Bad of the Cross Gen multiverse. To drive the point home, Miranda looks like this, whereas other Lawbringers are more like this.
  • Spawn. Every Spawn Was Once a Man, but after dying and being empowered by Hell they aren't anymore. They are basically living supernatural WMDs that scare the crap out of the forces of Heaven and Hell whenever they show up. Their Heavenly counterparts, the Anti-Spawn, differ only in the source of their power (Heaven) and are just as feared.
  • A good chunk of the main characters in Lucifer are like this. The title character and other angels, fallen and otherwise, appear like Winged Humanoid types most of the time but certainly don't behave very human, and their powers are far beyond. The Silkman looks like a man made of silk, and Jin En Mok look like the last human they ate.
  • Serial killer and dark magician extraordinaire, the eponymous Richard Pickman of Kiling Pickman is certainly an example of this trope. He looks human, but is immortal, can control minds, shapeshift into a hideous snake-like creature, and can only die when his heart is cut out.

Fan Works

  • The Biggest Bad from Super Milestone Wars 2.
  • Aeon Natum Engel. It's Neon Genesis Evangelion transposed in the Cthulhu Tech setting, with elements from F.E.A.R.. That's really all you should need to know.[context?]
  • Rei (and The Ree) from the Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic Nobody Dies. She got Nyarlathotep's autograph. There was also flirting and fistbumping, the latter of which caused the collective sanity of the universe to falter for a split second.
  • In the Fuku Fic The Return, it looks like the succubus Darkstar is heading down this route, while her grandmother BlackSky qualified for this trope several millennia ago. Arguably this version's Sailor Pluto too.
  • Berry Stoo and Mariah Susanson in Latias' Journey overlap with Parody Sue, appearing as a rather muscular and handsome man and a gorgeous woman, respectively - but everyone seems to pick up that something is horribly wrong with them.
  • Yet another Evangelion example is Shinji and Warhammer40K, which also has Kaworu, though he is far, far worse than the original, as well as Shinji himself, who is becoming something so obscenely powerful even he doesn't know what will happen.
  • This seems to be the usual perception in Hetalia fanfic if the perspective is from a human. No Regrets on the Axis Powers Hetalia Kink Meme (warning for Gorn) fulfils a request to portray the nation-tans this way.
  • Ultimate Sleepwalker: Psyko, the warped Evil Counterpart to 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.
  • Yuuka Kazami in the Touhou fanfiction Imperfect Metamorphosis is horrifically powerful, and inspires petrifying dread by her very presence - not even Yukari knows what the hell she is, and her powers are disturbingly ineffective against Kazami. Even 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 a Great Old One, straight out of Lovecraft.
  • Taylor in the Worm/Harry Potter crossover A Wand for Skitter -- who is the mind/soul of Taylor Hebert possessing the body of a murdered Muggleborn girl -- sometimes characterizes herself as one. And she explicitly claims to be one as a psychological attack on Voldemort and his surviving inner circle when facing them at the end of the story: "After all, I'm not really a little girl. I might have lied about being human... maybe just a little."
    • The Trolley Witch on the Hogwarts Express. Whatever she is, it isn't just a witch.

Films

  • Kagutaba in Noroi the Curse.[context?]
  • The whisperers in Knowing.[context?]
  • Grendel's mother in Beowulf appears as a sexy siren. Her son Grendel plays this trope more closely, albeit he is pretty much just a giant, deformed and zombie-esque humanoid, and her second son is a wyvern-style dragon that can also take the form of a golden human male.
  • In Conan the Destroyer, Dagoth looks handsome as a statue, but turns out to be not quite as expected when brought back to life.[context?]
  • The Tall Man from the Phantasm movies can quite easily pass for a (admittedly somewhat creepy) human - he's anything but.[context?]
  • 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 even as loving.
  • Nightmare On Elm Street:
  • In Dagon, Paul is one.[context?]
  • Judge Doom skirts between this trope and flat out Eldritch Abomination in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. On the one hand, yes, he is humanoid, much thanks to being played by Chrisopher Lloyd, but there's always something uncanny about him - when he finally reveals his true nature as a Toon, though, all bets are off.
  • The Lord Marshall in The Chronicles of Riddick, who is explicitly referred to as no longer being a man, but a "holy half-dead". Having allegedly traveled to the Underverse, he has gained such control over his own soul that it grants him extra-sensory perception, abilities, and the power to take the souls of others.
  • The Cenobites in the Hellraiser series. Their characterization varies from film to film. In the first film they're extradimenasional "explorers" obssessed with sadomasochistic pleasure and pain. In other films, they're purely evil, demonic creatures who want to destroy the world.
  • The ghosts from The Grudge probably count. They look human, but everything else about them is just so bizarre and alien that it's really hard to think of them as just spirits of the dead.
  • In The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, the latter could be seen as a more benevolent version of this trope, as she's sort of a living, sentient pool of lava that can assume the shape of a teenage girl.
  • The Coachman from Pinocchio looks fairly human... side from the fact that he's got four fingers instead of five. And his face can contort into a hideous demonic visage. And somehow, he's got the means to turn the little boys he takes to Pleasure Island into donkeys. Some think he's one of The Fair Folk (quite possibly an Evil Counterpart to the Blue Fairy), others think he's the Devil himself, but most viewers are in agreement that whatever he is, he isn't human.

Literature

  • Darren Shan:
    • The Saga of Darren Shan has Mr. Tiny, a malevolent being who has time-traveling powers, can resurrect the dead, tames dragons, eats children, and watches natural disasters that takes many lives as if they were sport events. He set up the whole plot of the series, because he was bored by humanity getting closer and closer to peace, and could not interfere with it personally.
    • The Demonata has Lord Loss, a roughly humanoid demon who has pale skin with a tinge of red from literally sweating blood; he has only stubs for legs and eight arms - only two of which end in "proper" hands - and feeds on the misery of humans. Nadia Moore, his human servant, became this after she came back wrong. One of his familiars, the Artery, looks like a toddler with Too Many Mouths, flaming eyesockets, different types of parasites feeding on the flesh of his head in place of hair, and flames in his eyesockets. Grubbs, the hero of the story, arguably turned into one after becoming a magically-enchanted werewolf.
  • Arguably angels in His Dark Materials, which are near-Energy Beings that look like architecture, but appear to humans as Winged Humanoid in shape.
  • H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos:
  • Helen Vaughan from Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan was the inspiration for Lovecraft's Wilbur Whateley (mentioned just above), 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.
  • Precision from Hell's Children.[context?]
  • 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.
    • While we're on the subject of Discworld: elves.[context?]
    • I Shall Wear Midnight introduces the Cunning Man, the shade of a fanatic witch-hunter who was so obsessed he went on even after his body decomposed. He appears as a man in black with empty holes for eyes - no, not empty eye sockets, actual holes that you can see through - and is Invisible to Normals; those who can perceive the shade seem to whiff a terrible stench that he exudes, though this is actually their mind's perception of the corruption present in his. He can use mirrors, pictures and the like to enter the world, and can possess the bodies of others.
  • In the books, Mary Poppins is shown as a near-godlike entity that appears out of nowhere and imposes fear and respect. The Movie shows her as being more kind.
  • Stephen King books:
  • 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.
  • Sadako from The Ring can arguably be considered to become one in the sequel novels. Her continued existence threatens humankind's survival, and it may be far too late to stop it from happening.
  • Johnny Walker from Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore is either a humanoid abomination or just a crazy guy, who may or may not be the main character's father. It's rather... unclear. Likewise, Col. Sanders seems to be the same sort of thing, remarking that he picked that form to look familiar, but it doesn't exactly work out since his first action is to try to pimp out a girl to one of the secondary characters while looking like Colonel Sanders.
  • The Vord Queen from the Codex Alera looks like a beautiful Marat woman, but because her personality and mannerisms are what you'd expect from the central intelligence of an Omnicidal Horde of Alien Locusts, it's pretty obvious upon first meeting her that she's not. On the occasions when she tries to act more human, the result is just a foray into the Uncanny Valley that makes her even creepier.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth saga, Sauron is indicated to have fit this trope when he so wished. It was through his good looks and his charm that he was able to corrupt the Numenorians into declaring war on the Valar, resulting in the destruction of Numenor and the West being placed forever out of reach. After his body was destroyed in said deluge, however, his soul returned to Middle Earth, and his form remained terrifying and monstrous from there on.
  • Cassandra, the antagonist of Full Tilt, appears as a young woman with red hair and blue eyes. It's made apparent almost immediately that she's very old and very powerful, and that she created the supernatural Amusement Park of Doom in which most of the story is spent. However, she tends to either influence things from a distance, or get involved through use of weaponry rather than magic—her only direct demonstration of her true nature is a Stealth Hi Bye.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Abeloth's true form is an alien woman with huge lips and ten tentacles in the place of arms, but she can take the form of humans she has absorbed, including Callista.
    • According to the Expanded Universe, Palpatine was one of these as well before being Killed Off for Real. This seems to be an occupational hazard with any Sith who fully immerses themselves into The Dark Side, but Palpatine had delved so far into Sith lore and power that he became more or less an embodiment of the Dark Side itself, and had to keep cloning himself new bodies since his own dark powers kept consuming them.
  • The Shrike in Dan Simmon's Hyperion is a ten foot-tall, four-armed razor-covered thing that can manipulate time, and indiscriminately kills anyone who gets too near the "Time Tombs" on the titular planet.
  • The Clockmaker from Alastair Reynold's The Prefect can assume any shape, but its default form resembles a stretched out human body, spindly and quicksilver. It enjoys wanton slaughter and leaving intricately designed clocks and trinkets around... which may or may not be Body Horror-inducing booby traps.
  • Several monsters and demons from the Fablehaven series fall under this trope, such as Ephira, Nagi Luna and the Singing Sisters.
  • Angleton, AKA the Eater of Souls in Charles Stross' The Laundry Series 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 the hell out of his subordinates. 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.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Dementors are ten-foot wraithlike monstrosities that steal positive emotions and cause people to relive their worst memories. Their faces are almost always veiled; underneath, they have no eyes or nose—just a mouth. They use said mouth to administer the "Dementor's Kiss"—they suck out their victims' souls, leaving them in a vegetative state, with no consciousness, for the rest of their lives.
    • Arguably Voldemort—originally he was a human, but after splitting his soul repeatedly, he became less and less human over the years, until he was truly an abomination. He also Came Back Wrong, and not only because they were working with only a small fraction of his soul.
  • Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Truce of The Bear" was about a vicious bear that tricked people by standing up like a human in order to induce pity, and then ripped them to shreds.[context?]
  • All over the place in The Dresden Files. There's the two Faerie Queens, Mab and Titania, who are unfathomable even by fae standards, the Lords of the Outer Night in the Red Court, and Shagnasty the Skinwalker.
  • Wheel of Time:
    • The Myddraal are comparatively minor examples, but they still qualify. Born among the Trollocs, they're 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 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.
    • One could make a case for recurring villain Padan Fain. Though he starts out a fairly pathetic Punch Clock Villain, after merging with the malevolent spirit of Mordeth, he went completely off the deep end and developed a host of unnatural powers - to the point that he's one of the most powerful, evil entities in the setting, and is one of the only things the above Myrddraal fear. Perhaps most tellingly, recent sections from his POV have begun referring to him as "the creature that had once been Padan Fain", hinting strongly that he's no longer truly human. Oh, and he has plans to off both the Chosen One and the God of Evil, and might just be capable of doing it. From Nobody to Nightmare, much?
    • Shaidar Haran is an abomination even among his fellow Myrddraal. It's telling that the Dark One uses Shaidar as his mouthpiece.
  • Rasalom from the Repairman Jack series and Adversary Cycle.[context?]
  • The Greater Dead of Old Kingdom are like this. While all Dead spirits are slight abominations in some way, the Greater Dead (such as Kerrigor and Chlorr) retain human form, while having eerie powers beyond normal necromancy. In addition, we have Hedge, a necromancer whose power consumed him; a Feline Abomination in the form of Mogget; and, in the third book, the Bright Shiner Astarael, who appears as a very tall woman.
  • The Cenobites from Hellraiser films and The Hellbound Heart novel by Clive Barker. They exist in a separate universe and exist only to test the human mind and ability to feel sensation to their very limits. Those humans who reach their limits are turned into Cenobites themselves.
  • Gideon Winter in Peter Straub's Floating Dragon. His true nature is never really revealed. He takes on the form of a dragon during the final conflict of the novel, but afterwards the protagonists find his skeleton, which looks human, aside from a few deformities.
  • Lord Ombra and his ilk from Peter and the Shadow Thieves and subsequent books. From a distance he appears to be a man in a dark cloak, but is acually a being of pure shadow.
  • Judge Holden from Blood Meridian may be an example of this trope. Throughout the book, he demonstrates his capacity as a Complete Monster, but it isn't until the end that he actually aludes to being a supernatural entity. We never find out what he is.

Live-Action TV

  • Illyria's original form, from Angel, was a massive tentacled creature; she's an Old One, a shout-out to H.P. Lovecraft. But since she's stolen Winifred Burkle's body, we mostly see her looking like a blue version of Fred.
    • Mesektet in the 'White Room' at Wolfram and Hart, a member of the Ra-Tet, an aspect of the god Ra (she was not an Old One herself, though). She appeared as a 13-year-old girl.
    • Jasmine. The most we could get from her true form was a shadowed mass of tentacles and is 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 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 its (male) host, it looks like a glamorous woman. Even in this form, Glory is a Nigh Invulnerable superstrong menace that can rob people of their sanity and eat it.
  • Nearly all of the stronger adversaries in Supernatural qualify for this trope, since nearly all of them either use human forms or hijack human bodies. Demons fit this even more since all of them used to be human themselves.
    • "In heaven I have six wings and four faces, one of which is a lion!" Yeah. The Angels live and breathe A Form You Are Comfortable With.
    • As do The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The oldest and most powerful one, Death the Pale Rider, appears as a middle-aged man driving a Cadillac. Being Death, he can kill anyone on a whim and claims to be as old as, if not older, than God - and that he will be the one to reap God when the universe ends. The others also look more or less like ordinary humans. More or less.
    • Eve likewise possesses a human body to traverse the Earth, as do the Leviathans.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Time Lord Victorious and other insane Time Lords may qualify for this; they are near-immortal, incredibly powerful beings that appear human on the outside, but whose biology shares little with ours - and even if the Doctor himself does not qualify, the Time Lords at the end of the Dalek/Time Lord War most certainly do.
    • The End of Time played it up a lot with the Master. He has a cult that conducts depraved rituals in his name, and several ancient and eldritch-seeming books devoted to him. He is himself completely bonkers, even by Time Lord standards, yet capable of easily conquering the world in a couple of hours when the Doctor snaps him out of his funk. The real clincher though, is the bit about plaguing the entire planet with bad dreams by his mere presence, a feat that really seems a hallmark of an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Some parts of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe (Dave Stone's books, specifically) 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 new series plays with this possibility often. Just for starters, he gets numerous enemies to back off simply by telling them who he is ("I'm the Doctor. Basically... run.), he inspires genuine fear in his enemies, including the Daleks, a species deliberately designed to not feel any emotions aside from hatred, and the reason the entire sixth season was based around a conspiracy to kill the Doctor was because apparently simply speaking his True Name would end the universe.
      • Consider this description of the being 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 Celestial Toymaker, in the original series serial of the same name, resembles a middle-aged Caucasian man dressed in Mandarian 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.
    • Also in the Expanded Universe, humanoid TARDISes... it's mentioned as being especially creepy when they open to take on passengers.
    • Weeping Angels. At first they look like normal statues of winged humans with their eyes covered. You would be very wrong to assume that. They can move inhumanly fast, snap necks with a twitch, and when observed, become immobile, indestructible stone. And observing a picture of an Angel turns it into one.
    • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Nightmare Man easily qualifies.[context?]
  • BOB from Twin Peaks is this—Humanoid on the outside, Abomination within.
  • The Kelvans from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "By Any Other name" are aliens that have assumed human-like "shells". When Spock's attempt to use the Vulcan mind meld, he experiences terrible pain simply from a glimpse of their true forms, which he later describes as very Cthulhu-like.
  • Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine might count, as he's one of a race of shapeshifters. His usual form resembles a Bajoran, as he was raised by members of that species, but his true form is living liquid.

Music

  • The Boogieman (Sun Moon Stars) of the Gorillaz videos. Apparently a demon, but is somewhat more eldritch than that.
  • 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 literally 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.
  • Almost every clip by Marilyn Manson. Or rather almost every role he ever played. The best known of his abominable masks is probably Omega.
  • Highly favored by Visual Kei artists. See Malice Mizer, for instance.
  • Aphex Twin's videos feature this on several occasions. Come To Daddy and Rubber Johnny come to mind; just don't watch right before your bedtime.
  • Mother Maiden, who features in Within Temptation's album The Unforgiving probably qualifies given that she's implied to be incredibly old, can raise the dead and command them to do her bidding, and can apparently vanish into thin air. Her servants may also count.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • If you look at urban Myth, The Grinning Man, the Moth Man, Springheeled Jack the Cornish Owlman La Llorona... heck, quite a lot of urban myths or cryptid sighting run on this trope.
  • Nyx, personification 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. If that doesn't convince you yet, the fact that even Zeus fears her should.
  • Essentially, every deity that isn't just a superpowered human is this. From Greek Mythology itself Gaia and her ex-consort Ouranos count as well (although neither take preferably humanoid forms, Ouranos being a giant dome or sphere and Gaia the Earth itself, they were capable of manifesting themselves as such, specially to have sex), and even more explicit examples come from Egyptian Mythology and Aztec Mythology.
  • Jasy Jaterei from Guarani Mythology resembles a child or a young man, but a quick look at his siblings shows he's really not what he looks like.
  • Loki looks like a normal Aesir despite technically being a Giant, but seeing as how three of his children are respectively a snake so big he encircles the world, a wolf whose top jaw touches the sky when he opens his mouth and is destined to devour Odin at Ragnarok, and the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, there's more to him than he looks.
    • Although those are only the kids he had with Angrboda. Who spends her spare time birthing more giant wolves. Maybe we should be looking at her...
  • Cú Chulainn, the young hero of the Ulster Cycle of Celtic Mythology, particularly of the Tain Bo Cuailnge. Though he is portrayed as being as Bishonen as a teenaged Irish ginger can be, he is descendant from the Fomorians, a monstrous race from the mythic per-history era of Ireland. Though he is heroic and stalwart, and generally perceived as a good guy, his defining mystical characteristic is his ability to to transform into various disfigured superpowered abominations through the use of his warp-spasm. After he transforms, be becomes a berserker that slaughters anything his path, friend and foe alike.
  • Some of the angels in Abrahamic religions, such as Christianity and Judaism. It is clear that some angels like Gabriel can appear as humanoid, but their real forms are at best highly confusing and at worst mind-numbingly horrifying. And they're not even alive anyway, as their entry on Eldritch Abomination shows. Note that only some bother to appear as humanoid however, as many in The Bible and the Qu'ran don't even bother to disguise their real forms.
    • Daniel saw an angel that was invisible to everyone else, carried with it an aura of fear, and had a glowing face (like lightning) and eyes of flame. Also a body carved from gemstones.
    • According to one interpretation, a lot of the angels mentioned early on in the Bible (especially in B'reshit/Genesis) are in essence the will of God made manifest in temporary human form. So while they're described as men in the text, they really really aren't.
    • Satan is described as "appearing in the guise of a young man".
    • The Horsemen of the Apocalypse in The Book of Revelations also count, if taken literally.

Tabletop Games

  • Atropals from Epic-level Dungeons & Dragons, the stillborn fetuses of Gods, also capable of shedding smaller Atropal Scions. Unsurprisingly, they are as terrifying, powerful and hideous as the description suggests.
    • The good ol' mind flayers, or illithids. So humanlike that humans (and other humanoid races) are part of their reproductive cycle. And diet.
    • Elan look (and used to be) human, but their strange creation ceremony... changes them. In game mechanics terms, they don't count as Humanoid (e.g. human, elf, goblin etc.) or even Monstrous Humanoid (e.g. minotaurs, medusas), but as Aberrations. In DnD, aberrations are explicitly cthulhuoid horrors, and you can made into one against your will. As a bonus, this grants them immunity to many common spells that only work on humanoids, such as the famous and powerful Hold Person.
    • Like the Elan, humanoid races can also become Aberrations via the Fleshwarper Prestige Class. They're capable of creating temporary implants for others, as well as permanent traits for themselves, until eventually they become a full Aberration themselves. Incidentally, the class's only restrictions relate to Law and not morality, and most are simply eccentric. The psion presige class that lets you become more and more like a Mind Flayer, on the other hand, tends to be for amoral assholes only.
    • There is also the alienist arcane Prestige Class, which makes you more and more in tune with the Far Realm; by the time you finish the progression the only thing humanoid about you is your body's shape, for the most part.
    • More options for making characters this also include several templates (Half-Illithid, Pseudonatural in Epic and non-Epic versions, Half-Farspawn) and specialized feat suites (Illithid Inheritor and Aberrant feats). Good luck convincing your DM if you want some of this for your PC, though.
    • 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...
    • In the 3E Ravenloft products, an incubus known as the Gentleman Caller has fathered offspring on a number of Vistani women over the years. Word of God has it that the Beast of the Hills, the only one of his children too demonic-looking to pass for human, is also the only one who isn't evil.
    • Ygorl, the Lord of Entropy, is a Chaotic Neutral being who resembles a horned black skeleton with bat wings, wielding a scythe. His only goal is to perform random acts of destruction, unlike the evil Demon Lords and Archdevils, who are more knowingly malicious.
  • Mage: The Awakening has a few examples, such as the Ochemata, avatars of the Exarchs, or "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.
    • Actually, all mages become this (albeit quite capable of being nice) if they turn archmaster. At that point, being a Physical God is the least of their potential power, and they can change reality simply by visiting the Supernal Realms...often unintentionally.
    • Similarly, 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.
    • Even Changelings can get in on the action; when their 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. Of course, the latter may become the former, given enough Wyrd and not enough Clarity.
    • This is also what most mages think of geniuses - that they are bizarre cosmic intelligences of unknown motivation and origins who simply look human. In the case of the Illuminated, they may well be right. The "inverted Geniuses" known as Clockstoppers may also be examples - one of the most powerful is described as being more a force of nature than a man.
  • Old World of Darkness has the antediluvians from Vampire: The Masquerade. The founders of the thirteen clans, most of them are bastions of godly power and are feared to rise again during the final nights of Gehenna to consume their childer. And with a few notable exceptions (looking at you, Tzimisce), they all pretty much look human.
  • The Yozis of Exalted and their various souls can appear in any number of bizarre, logic-defying forms...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 Fair Folk also qualify, being even more monstrous and alien in this setting than is standard for the trope—and yet, as far as appearance goes, many of the nobles are inhuman only in their extreme beauty.
    • According to Word of Sol, the Green Sun Princes qualify to a degree, and are gradually evolving into Yozi-like beings themselves.
    • Similarly, the Deathlords and their servants, the Abyssal Exalted, typically appear human, though Abyssals must make the choice between working towards unearthly beauty or falling into rot and decay as their Essence increases. The various Deathlords are pretty much the same way, except they have the ability to shapeshift, which comes with its own attendant quirks (if the Mask of Winters wants to turn around, he'll simply reverse every joint in his body so that he's now facing you without ever moving).
  • The Immortal God Emperor of Mankind of Warhammer 40,000 fame. 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. 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. The making of Astropaths even uses this deliberately, the aspiring Astropath making contact with the (severely weakened, maybe dead) Emperor for a brief instant, with the delightful effect of being able to transmit signals across the galaxy as well as having their eyes burned from their sockets.
    • A lot of the more powerful servants of Chaos are this trope (at least the ones that haven't already ascended to Daemonhood), still resembling the person they once were while being anything but. The most famous of these is Kharn the Betrayer, an unstoppable force of death easily capable of slaughtering entire armies with nothing but his trusty chainaxe.
    • Daemonifuge "the trice born" is a result of something like accidentally repeating the Emperor's "birth" on a smaller scale. A daemon who captured an entire monastery worth of Sororitas thought it will be more efficient to forcibly mind-link them together and torture one by one, after trapping their souls so that they couldn't get away by dying. But then, they were miracle workers and attracted its attention in the first place by collecting all and any knowledge on how to beat this sort of daemons. So when they chose one Seraphim[1] as their champion and resurrected her, this ended very much Not As Planned. She killed one daemonhost in power armour with bare hands before she regained her wits, much less figured out her abilities.
    • With the exception of Tzeentch (who usually doesn't bother with forms that aren't abstract and surreal), the Chaos Gods from Warhammer often portrayed taking a recognizable humanoid form: Khorne is an armor-clad titan seated on a mountainous throne of skulls, Nurgle is a grotesquely bloated and pestilent ogre, and Slaanesh takes the form of a mind-bendingly attractive man or woman. But these are mere avatars for what are abstract concepts and extreme emotions of all living creatures given life thanks to the chaotic eldritch energies brewing within The Warp.
  • Aberrant-bloodline sorcerers in Pathfinder eventually become these.
  • The Excrucians in Nobilis generally manifest as creepily pretty humans. This does not make them nicer. To be fair, they do have one bit of Glamour Failure - their eyes appear as the night sky, and the stars are falling.

Video Games

  • The final stage of R-Type Delta features human fetuses floating around inside of crystalline structures, giant killer sperm, giant strands of DNA, and giant fertilized eggs, all floating around in a starry void populated with floating Earth buildings and other memories of mankind's achievements - and all trying to murder you dead. The "true" final stage of R-Type Final seems to feature silhouettes of a male and female human in coitus in the background. R-Type is quite literally fucked up.
  • Pretty much every enemy in the Silent Hill series is one of these, although the particular degree of horrific twistedness varies from creature to creature.
    • Pyramid Head and Walter Sullivan get a special mention, as the former is actually an invincible foe who can be anywhere at any time and is said to be the manifestation of one's guilt and is known as "The Judgement". It is debatable for the latter, as he is a malicious ghost moreso than a living being.
  • Most Final Fantasy Big Bads pass through this at some stage of their life cycle, usually while powering up. They almost all pass out of it soon after, advancing to more conventional Eldritch Abominations usually, but the intermediate stages will still qualify.
    • Final Fantasy II: Emperor Mateus becomes a Satanic beast capable of conquering hell, but still looks vaguely humanoid.
    • Final Fantasy III: The genderless Cloud Of Darkness manifests in the guise of a strangely-attractive, green-skinned woman with a few tendrils/tentacles around it.
    • Final Fantasy V: Exdeath is actually an aggregate of evil souls trapped in a tree, but spends most of the game as a humanoid suit of armor. How he managed to fit a classic Eldritch Abomination appearance into a suit of armor small and human enough to deceive people isn't known, but he is a wizard.
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Sephiroth is revealed to be one: He's actually something of a Human Alien descended from the more conventionally abominable Jenova. Hojo, his father, had performed twisted experiments on his pregnant mother Lucretia using Jenova's cells. After his 'death' from falling into the Lifestream, his consciousness had been strong enough to remain intact, and he began to construct a new body for himself inside a Materia cocoon, meanwhile taking over the remains of Jenova at Shinra Headquarters and morphing it into his image (which is the Sephiroth you see throughout the game). He orchestrates the planet's destruction, using this form to bring the Black Materia to his true body and summon Meteor. He is fought as the grotesque Bizarro∙Sephiroth, and then Safer∙Sephiroth, a half-human, half-divine form befitting Sephiroth's vision of becoming a god.
      • Jenova fits as well, since she first appeared to the Ancients disguised as their friends and relatives. The player's first glimpse of 'her' was as a headless female corpse with purple skin, eyes in her chest, and grisly-looking veins.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: During the final boss battle, Ultimecia goes from a Sorceress (effectively an enhanced human) to junctioning herself unto the lion-like Griever to... whatever the hell this form is, which more than definitely qualifies. Especially since she's using it to compress time and absorb all of existence.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Kuja was a genetically engineered human alien husk that accidentally gained a soul of his own, but still retains the ability to absorb other souls. He thus verges on this trope by absorbing the souls captured within the Invincible airship, unlocking a Limit Break Super Mode that gives him a red-furred human appearance.
    • Final Fantasy X has multiple examples, all of whom were once human and became Unsent - a lingering soul housed within a construct made of pyreflies, typically in the shape of their old human self.
      • Yu Yevon turned into a jellyfish-summon-disease-thing using the only powers available to him as a human, and instead simply wears an actual Eldritch Abomination as a suit of armour. He counted back in the day when he made the first Sin, though, and might have counted longer depending. We don't really know the how or why of his current blobby appearance, so it might have been a gradual thing. Yunalesca, Yu Yevon's daughter, is revealed to be an Unsent, and takes on more demonic humanoid forms during her boss fight.
      • Jecht was also an unsent, made into Braska's Final Aeon by Yunalesca - his true form at the time Tidus and the party confronts him is actually the 80-foot-tall huamnoid monster they have to fight. Like Yunalesca, he spends most of his time in a human appearance.
    • Final Fantasy XI: Blue Mages are those who accept a shady offer of power, and become "living weapons" that fight monsters using abilities obtained from assimilating the essences of fallen fiends into their being - of course, this risks them becoming a Humanoid Abomination by succumbing to the so-called "beast within".
    • Final Fantasy XII: Vayne Solidor started out as an ordinary Hume, albeit one skilled in combat. The godlike Occuria Venat, out of gratitude for his help in fulfilling its Evil Plan, merged with him so that he would not face death alone. This fusion became The Undying, a humanoid monstrosity with pieces of the sky fortress Bahamut attached to it that give it the appearance of a mecha-angel.
    • Final Fantasy XIII:
      • Galenth Dysley looks like a harmless-but-evil-looking old man for most of the game, until he reveals his appearance to be a guise - in reality, he's one of the Fal'Cie.
      • In a looser sense, the party themselves are considered this by society after they're made into l'Cie.
    • The Lucavi of Final Fantasy Tactics spend most of their time wearing the skins of the poor souls they've come to possess, in a combination of Grand Theft Me and A Form You Are Comfortable With. In their human forms, they posses all their phenomenal demonic powers and are as inhumanly sociopathic as ever, but once they need to start kicking some serious ass they put their Game Faces on and let the eldritch out for all to see.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the final boss is an inscrutable genie-thing that preys off of insecurities... and spends most of the game looking like the dead mother of one of the characters.
    • For an example of some of these that are (usually) allied with the player, we have the summoned creatures, at least the more human looking ones like Shiva, Ramuh, Titan, and the less beastly versions of Ifrit.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy:
      • Garland, the representative for Final Fantasy I, is portrayed more or less as a manifestation of Chaos's will in the shape of a human knight.
      • The Cloud of Darkness has an entirely new design for this game, still in the shape of a human woman.
  • Kingdom Hearts loves these:
    • The first game features Ansem, or rather, Xehanort's Heartless, and the prequel has Vanitas, a being made from another character's Darkness, and the original Unversed and origin of every subsequent Unversed you fight in the game.
    • A Nobody is the body and soul of a strong-willed individual who has lost their heart. Lesser Nobodies are grey humanoid enemies that can contort their bodies into a variety of shapes, and lack any eyes. Their semi-existence is so unnatural that even the darkness rejects them; Organization XIII from Kingdom Hearts II is composed of Nobodies who contain the strongest wills, and as such retain human forms.
    • Special mention should go to Xion, whose physical appearance changes to reflect the memories of those who observe her. It's telling that even the Nobodies rejected her.
    • The Lingering Will, a Bonus Boss added to the Final Mix rerelease of Kingdom Hearts II, is an armor-clad Keyblade wielding warrior that is found at the end of a portal leading to a dead-looking canyon. Its ghostly qualities and unsettling metallic "speech" make it clear that it's far more than it appears to be, and when it attacks Sora in a rage after mistaking him for Xehanort, it unleashes all kinds of obscenely powerful light attacks unlike anything seen in the series at that point. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep would reveal that the Lingering Will is Terra's armor reanimated by his willpower and mind, given obscene strength through his sheer hatred of Xehanort alone. This makes it similar to the Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed in a sense, yet it's still a distinct being in a league of its own.
  • Xenogears has Woman Behind the Man Lt. Cmdr. Miang Hawwa. At first, it looks like she's nothing more than the levelheaded assistant to the fiery towheaded Big Bad Wannabe Kahran Ramsus. The second half of the game reveals, however, that she's actually Human Interface for--and personification of--the game's Eldritch Abomination antagonist, Deus. As you'd expect, she's a Complete Monster.
  • Xenosaga, the Spiritual Successor to Xenogears, also has a few of these - primarily Abel, who is God in the form of an autistic 12 year-old. Though in this case, "God" = "a swirling mass of red energy spaghetti".
  • This Fraxy boss.
  • The main character Alex Mercer in Prototype is basically a deadly virus that accidentally gained sentience after assimilating a corpse of the real Alex Mercer, a mad scientist directly involved in its creation. This is also true of the Big Bad, Elizabeth Greene.
    • Prototype 2 has James Heller. By the time of the sequel, Alex has also started creating "Evolved", individuals which he's personally infected to be moles in Blackwatch.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Ermac is a fusion of thousands of souls bound into one human-like form.
    • Mileena is a "clone" of Kitana created via the dark magic of Shao Kahn's Flesh Pits. She looks more-or-less human so long as she wears her veil, which hides her demonic features. Still, nothing can hide her unstable nature, with her "father" being the only one who can truly control her.
    • Skarlet is another experiment from the same source. She looks fully human (maybe; she's never been seen without her veil), but is clearly even less sane than Mileena. Shao Kahn has to keep her shackled so she only attacks enemies.
    • Meat was supposedly another result of the Flesh Pits, but was obviously a failure. He looks like a human with no skin, his muscles and organs exposed.
  • Drakengard has the Grotesqueries - gigantic, sharp-toothed "babies" capable of taking on godlike dragons and who enjoy the taste of flesh, and fall down from the sky on wings of lightning when you kill the Big Bad. In the sequel Drakengard 2, you learn that those are literally that world's gods, the same ones who controlled said Big Bad.
    • In spinoff-sequel NieR, we have the Shades. And the Replicants, which were designed to be bodies for the disembodied humans that became the Shades. And Kaine, a Replicant/Shade hybrid. And whatever Emil is... Hell, let's just say the entire cast, minus the android twins.
  • This is justified with the "Malefactors" in The Suffering, since they represent the wrongs people to do each other—for instance, murder by fire manifests as eerie little girls in Puritan clothing. Interestingly, they may suffer retribution themselves—one character observes that the embodiments of slavery are too light-skinned to be slaves, but could very well be slave traders.
  • The Dragon Age series, true to its Dark Fantasy genre, is chock full with these:
    • "Abomination" is the exact technical term used to describe Flemeth, a product of a demon fusing with mortal human. She's a monstrosity that has created fearsome legends in all nations that have encountered her, yet on the surface she just seems like a snarky old lady. In the final DAO DLC, Witch Hunt, Morrigan claims that Flemeth is not an "ordinary" Abomination, but something even worse.
    • "Uldred" from the "Broken Circle" Quest is also one. When you face him in the Harrowing Chamber "Uldred" had already been overwhelmed by the demons he summoned and possessed by a Pride Demon. It's unclear how much of the new Abomination is still Uldred. Unlike the other Abominations you face in the Tower, he also looks completely human, just like Flemeth. Until he goes One-Winged Angel, just like Flemeth.
    • Technically, Wynne is one of these as well. After exhausting herself in battle she was possessed by a benevolent Fade Spirit that wanted to protect her for whatever reason. Said spirit is the only thing keeping her alive and later gives her the "Vessel of Spirit" ability. It's doubtful that other people in the setting, especially the Templars, would see any difference between Wynne and other Abominations.
    • On a similar note, in Awakening the decaying corpse of Grey Warden Kristoff ends up getting possessed by The Spirit of Justice. Justice returns in Dragon Age II, now possessing fellow teammate Anders and now the Spirit of Vengeance due to Anders' hatred of the Circle of Magi.
  • Darth Nihilus from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2. Aside from having been rendered insane by his power, Visas speculates that he can destroy all life in the galaxy should he choose.
    • And by extension The Exile would be a minor one. Rumors state that the two were to be revealed as the same character, by some complicated method.
  • Persona villains love this:
    • Nyarlatothep from Persona 2 takes on the form of Jun's father in Innocent Sin, and of Tatsuya himself in Eternal Punishment.
    • Nyx Avatar does this twice in Persona 3, first as Creepy Child Pharos in the Protagonist's mind, and then as transfer student Ryoji Mochizuki once the Greater Shadows have fused with him.
    • Izanami in Persona 4 shows up as a gas station attendant and is in fact the first character, after his uncle and cousin, that the Protagonist meets in Inaba. Persona 4 also has a rare heroic example: Teddie. He can become a human in the real world, but he's actually a Shadow that wants to befriend, rather than kill people.
  • Another game from Atlus, Catherine, has two of these: Boss, the bartender, who is actually a dream-haunting serial-killer that eventually takes the form of a giant floating head; and Catherine herself, a succubus whose true form is bat-winged demonic... but only if you're a very bad boy.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • The Demi-Fiend from Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. It begins with a demon parasite/symbiote clawing its way into your skull when you are a human, causing you to mutate into a demon with only spiritual links to the human you used to be. And if you choose one certain ending, then your new patron[2] gives you extra power, and even that tiny part is blown to hell.
    • Said patron qualifies, as do some non-fallen angels. On the much less powerful side, there are a fair number of humanoid demons, and a couple cases of human-demon fusions. One of the most notable is Alice, who was once human - a random act of goodwill by a couple of demons transformed her into a Creepy Awesome undead sorceress... who's still as naive and innocent as she was as a normal girl.
  • ADOM has several. There's Nuurag-Vaarn, the Chaos Archmage, who is the penultimate Boss Fight for the normal ending. He is described as a withered old man whose eyes are holes radiating such unbearable light of power, you can barely catch a glimpse of the tentacles writhing in them.
  • Heretic: Aside from the fact that we never see his face, there's absolutely nothing inhuman about D'Sparil's appearance, even though he's a demon that slipped in through a hole in the walls of the cosmos from the outside. He makes up for this by riding a humanoid serpent with an appropriately eldritch appearance. It may be due to him being the youngest of the serpent riders, according to the game's manual.
    • His older brothers from Hexen are fittingly more monstrous; the eldest is a partial example due to being a sterotypical humanoid demon, though still not as human-like as D'Sparil.
  • Lavos from Chrono Trigger. At its core, beyond all its protective layers, it resembles nothing more than a (comparatively) small humanoid alien astronaut. This is also its most hideously powerful form, whose mere presences distorts time and space. And it's not even Lavos's real body anyways.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Albert Wesker. The shades are always on for a reason, if his immense strength, nigh-imperceptible speed, and virtual invincibility didn't clue you in. Kind of makes his One-Winged Angel transformation rather anticlimactic. There's also Tyrant, Nemesis, G (minus his final form), Nosferatu, Alexia Ashford...
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Ganondorf from used to be human (or very close to it), but after claiming the Triforce, he's become more or less an incarnation of magic and malice. And according to Skyward Sword, Ganondorf is the reincarnation of Demise's hatred, making him an Abomination even before he claimed the Triforce.
    • The Shadow Beasts of Twilight Princess are even better examples. Brutishly large black monsters with featureless shield-shaped masks instead of faces and tentacle-like hair, these creatures also make ghastly screams in order to revive other fallen Shadow Beasts. It turns out that they are actually Twili cursed by Zant to form part of his army. Then again, regular Twili may also count as friendly Humanoid Abominations to a certain extent.
    • Many speculate that the Happy Mask Man of Majora's Mask could qualify. We don't know how he knows all that he does or how he found you, but it's safe to say that he's more than he appears to be.
    • At the climax of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Calamity Ganon pulls his chief servant Astor into a horrific and unwilling Fusion Dance, assimilating the mad prophet's body into his being. This causes him to take a gigantic humanoid form that looks like a feral, monstrous Ganondorf made out of Malice.
  • F.E.A.R.:
    • Alma gradually becomes one of these as the series progresses. She starts out as simply a whispered presence flitting about at the edge of the Point Man's vision, occasionally emerging to inflict horrific violence on bystanders, up until Harlan Wade releases her from the Vault. At that point her power is fully unleashed, and she heads into full-on Lovecraftian horror territory: ressurecting bodies, bringing spirits of massacred civilians back as violent wraiths, and being surrounded by miasmic otherworldly tentacles and appendages whenever she manifests her physical body. By the third game, Alma's presence is ripping reality apart, causing manifestations of demonic beasts and hostile physical spirits, as well as driving the civilian population of the city to madness, turning them into savage cultists that worship her.
    • There's also the Creep in the third game; though humanoid, it is far more monstrous and aggressive than Alma. It eventually turns out that it is an amalgam of the worst memories Fettel, the Point Man, and Alma have of Harlan Wade, given life by Alma's psychic powers.
  • The Tall Man from the Chzo Mythos, Prince and servant of the Cosmic Horror pain elemental Chzo. Very prominent in the midquel game Trilby's Notes, where he manifests in the shifted world as a bone white androgynous figure with unnaturally long limbs and a black longcoat. Though this is probably because he used to be human until Chzo took over him.
  • "Battle horrors" and the like in the first Baldur's Gate look like humans, but have telltale Flaming Swords, and are quite tough to defeat.[context?]
  • League of Legends contains a few of these as playable characters. Swain is a tactical mastermind who is strongly suspected to be an undead husk used by a demonic raven, Ryze is a wandering mage who has essentially become an Energy Being, Shaco is an otherworldly being manifesting as a psychotic jester, and Mordekaiser is an armored brute with necromantic powers who spreads a plague wherever he walks.
  • The SA-X and Dark Samus from Metroid. Fanon likes to claim the player character Samus is one as well, though there is no proof of it beyond the Space Pirates describing her in those terms.
  • Medivh from the Warcraft franchise, the fallen Guardian of Tirisfal who summoned the Orcs to Azeroth. He was the Keeper of Secrets, wielder of Azeroth's most powerful magic, and was possessed since birth by the Fallen Titan Sargeras.
  • In Vagrant Story, anyone who bears the Blood-Sin Tattoo (which grants its bearer access to the power and knowledge of the Gran Grimoire, the ultimate codex of magic that takes the form of an entire city) becomes a fearsome immortal magical being while still looking like a normal human. Romeo Guildenstern is somewhat mutated when he eventually acquires it though, and does eventually go One-Winged Angel.
  • The GMan of Half-Life... Maybe. To be certain, he's dead center in the unnerving category - he has unknown-but-scarily thorough amounts of knowledge of the protagonist and the game's events, and has powers that are far beyond just about anything in the series. And he says he reports to a higher power - not unlike Nyarlathotep.
  • The Maker goes back and forth across the Bishounen Line in Aquaria as Naija beats him to a pulp.
  • StarCraft:
    • Duran is revealed to be thousands of years old, to have had many names, and to be serving a mysterious "higher power". Though he looks like a human, no one is really sure what he is... at least until the sequel
    • Also Kerrigan, after her Evil Makeover.
  • Mana Khemia has Vayne Aurelius, the main character. Mild-mannered to the point of being a doormat, Vayne always goes along with what other people want because he's the elemental embodiment of the world's desires, and also the power to make even the most outrageous of those desires come true - like reviving dead loved ones, killing the unkillable, creating evil fortresses with an army of monsters literally in his sleep... One of Isolde's motivations is that she's convinced that if the world finds out that this power exists, they'll go to war to control that power, and wage war with it and how could they not, when he's literally everything they ever wanted?
  • Disgaea:
    • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice has this when Mao uses his true form. We can safely say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree: His father is a gigantic monster.
    • True Zenon from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories also qualifies, as does series Bonus Boss Baal. Both of them, while shaped like people usually, are utterly inhuman mentally even compared to other demons, are strong enough to slaughter overlords by the hundreds, and even go Body Surfing when the need arises, almost always to another deceptively human vessel. "Almost" being the key word - Baal has had to surf more often, and has worn a few low-level mooks in his time.
  • As of Sengoku Basara 3, Oichi is, if not one outright, at least on her way to becoming one. She's been robbed of the last shred of her sanity, seeing the world through a bizarre, alien dream logic, and is simultaneously the master and puppet of the dark powers she showed in the previous game. She gets better in some of her endings.
  • Deadly Premonition has Man Behind the Man Forrest Kaysen, who initially appears to be a wholesomely affable if not slightly suspicious fat guy who sells rare trees. Later, he is revealed to be a dimension-warping abomination whose antics include: harvesting red seeds (hallucinogenic murder catalysts) from the uteruses of women he has raped, after their loved one has failed to euthanise them before the process is complete; violating the minds of children by trapping their personalities in his home dimension; and intentionally diffusing a Hate Plague into a sleepy rural town so that half the populace brutally murders each other, then burying the event by taking advantage of Cold War paranoia, for seemingly no reason other than the fact that he can. He certainly isn't as indestructible as the average abomination though, as Francis Zach Morgan is able to dismissively murder the son of a bitch with a well placed bullet to the brain. According to Word of God, Willie is Kaysen's overseer, delivering his instructions from the Red World.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has almost no exposition and very little dialog, and as all characters already know why they have come to the place, they don't talk about it and leave the player almost completely in the dark as to what's really going on. Dormin is actually quite nice when they talk to Wander, but the fact that they have been sealed in the temple and the way the pursuers in the last quarter of the game react to the place make it quite apparent that they are regarded as a kind of eldritch abomination by the people.
  • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the final boss, Satan himself, appears simply as a tall man with long black hair and shining, amber eyes. He appears nude, but there's a veil of shadow clouding his waist.
    • The Lords of Shadow also qualify before going One-Winged Angel. The three Lords of Shadow are actually the bodies of the founders of the Order that are animated by the evil that they left behind when they ascended to Heaven instead of souls. Cornell and Carmilla have some inhuman characteristics but still look fairly human. Zobek on the other hand looks completely human before transforming.
    • From the main series, we have Dracula himself. Far more than just a vampire, he is revealed in Dawn of Sorrow to be a fundamental force of the universe necessary for maintaining the Balance Between Good and Evil, and his role is literally to be the opposite of God.
  • Pokémon:
    • Introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Deoxys is an alien virus that gained sentience and psychic powers due to a sudden genetic mutation, and can alter its form in order to adapt to its combat needs. It's also said to create auroras as a byproduct of its transformations, among other weird things. Its typical forms are bipedal, with two legs and at least one pair of "arms", and it lacks facial features aside from a pair of glaring eyes.
    • Downplayed with Ralts, Kirlia, Gardevoir and Gallade. They appear as graceful and lithe humanoid creatures, but their Amorphous egg grouping and abilities attributed to their Kirlia and Gardevior in Pokédex entries (e.g., creating small black holes, distorting dimensions, and ignoring the pull of gravity) suggest they fit into this trope. They're more than friendly towards humans, however, and do their best to protect their Trainer.
      • The Ralts family is more likely also a case of The Fair Folk, especially since Ralts, Kirlia and Gardevoir are now Psychic/Fairy type as of Pokémon X and Y. In particular, Gardevoir's flowing White Lady-esque form is reminiscent of ghosts and spirits - their large head, minimal facial features and frail physique are also similar to a type of Japanese paper doll. Gallade, introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, is more knight-like in appearance and is closer to an aversion than the others.
      • For the record, the Amorphous egg group also includes: various kinds of sentient sludge such as Muk and Swalot, rocks, gastropods, several ghosts, and a windchime. The Ralts evolutionary line does become part of the Human-Like egg group as of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
  • In Alan Wake there is Jagger, who appears to be human, but as the manuscript says is completely alien in all ways besides appearance. And even then, it's a full Eldritch Abomination using a human body as a disguise.
  • The Outer Space Beings from the Sin and Punishment series are from outside the universe as we know it, have strange and immense powers, have blood that can grant people special powers, are implied to be the source of many of the bizarre lifeforms found in the series... and look perfectly human.
    • Or rather... they can look perfectly human. The fluff reveals they can look like anything they want. And Achi, Big Bad of the first game, shapeshifts into a planet for the final boss fight.
  • Some of the Daedric Princes in The Elder Scrolls manifest themselves as humanoids, some more normal looking than others. Perhaps the most normal-looking is, bizarrely enough, Sheogorath, the Prince of Madness. At first glance he looks less like the physical avatar of insanity and more like a grandfatherly banker you'd trust right away. This is, of course, entirely the point.
    • No matter if you believe him to be a cyborg or simply a human incarnation of Akatosh or Lorkhan, Pelinal Whitestrake was undeniably this. A batshit crazy time-displaced knight said to have a "killing light" in his hand and a red gem in place of a heart, Pelinal was a One-Man Army that near single-handedly drove the depraved Ayleid civilization to extinction, and nearly wiped out the Khajiit due to his blind hatred of elf-kind. Other weird feats include him smothering a man to death in his sleep with moths due to a remark he took personally, and having a long conversation with his beloved friend and "nephew" Morihaus before dying... after having his head severed.
  • At first glance, it would be difficult to think of Trish from Devil May Cry as anything but an attractive human woman. At least until she starts shooting lightning from her hands. Trish is just as demonic as any of the bosses in the first game, and only looks human because Mundus created her in the image of Dante's mother just to screw with the poor guy.
  • Dead Space 2 has Nicole. While she is just a hallucination, she's still a monstrous personification of Issac's guilt over failing to save the real Nicole, and a projection of the gigantic Artifact of Doom Isaac inadvertently helped build.
  • Minecraft:
    • The Enderman mob, which is based off of Slender Man. They're three-meter-tall, completely black humanoids with glowing eyes. They wander around at night, and unlike other monsters that actively search for you, endermen ignore you as long as you ignore them. However, if you look directly at them, they turn to stare at you, then attack as soon as you break your gaze. They can teleport to get closer to you, and to dodge arrows. They run quickly at you when you can't see them. When you look back at them, they stop moving and stare at you, with their mouths opening and shaking violently. They're the only mob able to pick up blocks. It was eventually revealed that they're aliens from another dimension called The End, and you need to travel to their homeworld to beat the game (insofar as you can ever "win" a Wide Open Sandbox with no plot).
    • "Herobrine". He looks just like the main character, except he has blank white eyes. He is said to watch the player from a distance and appear in different places, like a ghost. He doesn't actually exist, but rumors of his existence were so prevalent that they may have served as the inspiration for endermen.
  • Pyron from Darkstalkers is an ageless energy being who exists solely to drain planets like a vampire. Hideously powerful, he spared Earth millions of years ago solely because he wanted to wait until it got tastier. His preferred form is a flaming humanoid, though he demonstrates complete control over his form. The scary part? Pyron isn't a standalone monstrosity. He's just another member of his race. There's an entire planet of these things. He does get his ass kicked by the other Darkstalkers, many of whom could qualify for this trope in their own right.
  • X-COM: Terror From the Deep gives us the Deep Ones, which are humans that were transformed by a graft of Aquatoid DNA into Human/Aquatoid hybrids.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins gives us the horrifying Wiseman. Its wings look like helicopter blades, it talks in the Royal We all the time, it eats souls, and it's capable of giving humans magical powers through their hearts. In battle, it has attacks like 'Cast Off Your Carnal Robes', and this is its battle theme.
  • Many of the eponymous characters from Skullgirls. Any woman lacking a pure heart who tries to make a wish on the Skull Heart is transformed into one. One in the backstory was so horrifyingly powerful that she singlehandedly forced three countries at war into an uneasy Enemy Mine situation to stop her. The plot of the game is kicked off by rumors of a new Skullgirl...
  • Possibly Dimentio in Super Paper Mario. Humanoid, definitely (he's got arms, legs, head, and a torso, so he fits the profile), and seeing as his One-Winged Angel form meets the criteria of Eldritch Abomination, it seems likely.
  • Bebedora in Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits is a demonic marionette created to destroy the world, with the power to enslave living things and use them as puppets. She also has the appearance (and mind) of a 12 year old girl, wearing an oversized hat and carrying a rabbit cuddly toy.
  • The aptly-named Strange Man from Red Dead Redemption is eerie from the get-go, being an immaculately-dressed and well-groomed gentleman who looks very out of place in the harsh wilderness of the Wild West. But when you interact with him, he wastes no time in acting as creepy as possible: He possesses very intimate knowledge of John Marston's life despite John having never met him, with that knowledge extending to events currently happening in other towns miles away from where he's encountered. He tests John's morality for reasons known only to himself by giving him petty tasks that don't have much of a purpose beyond letting him do good or bad deeds. He can see into the future, and plays coy about knowing how the future deaths of John and Dutch van der Linde will happen. And when John gets fed up with him and shoots him, the bullets harmlessly phase right through him moments before he suddenly vanishes. He drops hints indicating that he could be the Devil, an angel, Death, or even God Himself, but never truly confirms his identity, making him one of the series' greatest and most unsettling enigmas.
  • BlazBlue has Yuuki Terumi, whose true form resembles the Anti-Spirals - prior to that, we see him in the guise of a hooded man, as well as the form of Hazama Honoka, who was an artificially created human originally designed to be his host.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Tabuu from the Subspace Emissary mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl looks like a human man made of neon blue light, with rainbow-colored butterfly wings that can instantly kill anyone that's hit with the "off-waves" they produce. Said to be the embodiment of Subspace itself, he can't leave his realm, so he instead pulls bits and pieces of the Smash world into his so he can warp it into an abominable hellscape that's more to his liking.
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U introduces the Master Core, a mysterious being enveloped by The "Swarm", a mass of darkness that it can shape into a number of terrifying forms. The ones that qualify for this are the Master Giant, which appears as a giant humanoid that attacks by picking up the stage, growing extra limbs and screaming, as well as the Master Shadow if you're using a humanoid fighter.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Devil in Cuphead is as unholy as you'd expect, even by retro cartoon standards. He can transform into hellish-looking animals, rip his own head off and turn it into a monstrous spider, and even jump out of his skin and toss it aside like an old coat! And once his fight really starts heating up, he becomes a massive Kaiju who can turn the pupils in his eyes into dangerous axes and bombs.
  • While he was a mere Serial Killer in life, William Afton (aka the Purple Guy) from the Five Nights at Freddy's series became something far fouler after death. Starting with becoming a ghost possessing an old Spring Bonnie animatronic, Afton has cheated all attempts at a Final Death to the point of escaping what's implied to be hell itself, possibly even being denied it by his victims, who wanted to torment him. But it wasn't until Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted where he became truly abominable. Manifesting as a humanoid virus dubbed "Glitchtrap", Afton can infect the minds of anyone unfortunate enough to play the game he lives in and drive them insane, as well as possess them outright. As of Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach he has a human/animatronic body again, but his living computer virus abilities as Glitchtrap have carried over to his physical form. He can infect and enslave any animatronic he touches, whether it's through physical contact or him simply touching a video broadcast that they can be seen through.

Visual Novels

  • M and Baron in Shikkoku no Sharnoth. When seen from the perspective of Bram Stoker, his silhouette is that of a normal human, but only the silhouette.
  • There are quite a few of these in the Nasuverse:
    • Tsukihime has Nero Chaos, who has a body composed of hundreds of animals that can detach from him to attack and feed. Even his mind is a gestalt, and his original personality is slowly being subsumed into the collective consciousness.
    • Fate/stay night gives us Matou Zouken, who is somewhere between The Worm That Walks and this trope, and a number of the Servants as well. True Assassin has no face beneath his mask and is summoned by eating his way out of the false Assassin's chest.
    • The backstory also contains several, most notably Crimson Moon, who is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the moon - and by extension the True Ancestors as well, as they were created in his image.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • The Slender Man, pictured above. 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.
  • 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.[3] 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. Don't be fooled by their names - they are horrifying.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • All humanoid SCPs are considered abominations by the Foundation, no matter how harmless their abilities seem, since SCPs violate the laws of physics and/or biology as we know them just by existing - and that's before we even get to the actual abominations and Reality Warpers hanging around there.
    • Dr. Clef claims to be one himself: he discovered what he was at an early age, when an idle thought caused the Challenger disaster. He then devoted his life to putting the kibosh on those more selfishly inclined than he. This is still Clef, though, so take it with a mine of salt.
    • SCP-049 ("Plague Doctor") appears to be a medieval plague doctor, except that his robes and mask are extensions of his body. He makes constant reference to a "Pestilence" that he seeks to cure by performing surgeries on corpses (ideally human), including the ones of people he makes direct skin contact with - though he doesn't seem to regard this as actual "death", but considers it essential to the process of curing "the Pestilence". The reanimated corpses vary in appearance and are simple creatures with basic motor skills and are usually inactive, though they become quite violent if attacked or else ordered by SCP-049, and they seem to have some kind of biological function - just not what we'd call human.
    • SCP-053 ("Young Girl") looks and acts like an ordinary three-year-old girl, and is generally pleasant and upbeat. She also induces a homicidal rage in anyone older than her who so much as touches her, makes eye contact with her, or remains in her vicinity for longer than 10 minutes. After driving off any people visible to them, the afflicted will try to kill her, only to die not seconds after doing any damage to her - to boot, she regenerates almost instantaneously from any wound, regardless of severity. Not only does she seem completely unaware of those effects to the point that she can't answer when asked about them (not won't, can't), but SCP-682, an alien reptillian Eldritch Abomination that hates humanity on principle, likes her, and the feeling is mutual—once SCP-053 got past her initial fear of the giant terrifying reptiloid. (It's kind of adorable, actually.)
    • SCP-106 ("The Old Man") is a malevolent and predatory being is the guise of a heavily-decomposed old man. It corrodes any solid matter it touches and can pass through solid material, leaving behind large patches of corrosive liquid; it can also "disappear" through walls into a pocket dimension of some kind. SCP-106 goes through long periods where it remains completely motionless for up to three months; this "dormancy" is designed to lull observers into a false sense of security, as it emerges from this state primed to wreak havoc on the site and abduct the staff. Documentation notes that it hunts based on desire rather than hunger, and seems to prefer hunting young adults and children - at least, based on the unfortunate victims SCP staff use to lure it back into containment. What it does to said prey is... quite horrific, to say the least.
    • SCP-513 ("A Cowbell") is a giant bell that causes one of these to appear. Any noise it produces causes major anxiety in anything that hears it - human victims report feelings of being stalked by something they can't see, and an hour later begin to glimpse a tall, emaciated humanoid with abnormally large hands. Sightings of the entity reoccur periodically, anywhere from 14 minutes to nearly four hours, and victims are naturally unable to sleep; those that do manage to fall asleep report being attacked by it.
    • SCP-582 ("A Bundle of Stories") is a meta-fictional entity that appears and acts out his part in any stories written about him. One of its common manifestations is a humanoid creature about two meters tall and wearing thickly-layered hooded robes, with no face visible underneath. The Foundation currently has it contained in the form of a faint, humanoid shadow.
    • SCP-701 is a play known as The Hanged King's Tragedy, and has a memetic virus associated with it that causes outbreaks of violence and murder. The events preceding an outbreak include the manifestation of an example of this; a couple of hours before the main performance, the humanoid figure classified as SCP-701-1, depicted in the article as a strangely-robed being in chains, can be seen hidden in the background of the stage. It then appears fully on stage during Act V, where it plays the part of the titular "Hanged King", at which point the havoc begins. This document details one particularly notable manifestation.
    • SCP-1981 ("RONALD REGAN CUT UP WHILE TALKING") is an anamolous Betamax home video recording of the 40th President of the US delivering his "Evil Empire" speech - the recording deviates from the speech in different gory and bizarre ways with each individual playback, and during one in seven viewings, one of his press detail is replaced with a Humanoid Abomination. It appears as a black-robed figure wearing a conical hood; the significance of this figure and its role in the tape's anomalous nature is not clear - but based on some of the transcripts, it knows the Foundation is watching it.
    • One example of this can't be safely referred to in speech or text of any kind - textless images and pictographs are fine, though. That's because the entity in question likes to do its best Candle Jack impression and make off with any other information describing it - including people who directly speak of it. What it does with the info - and why - is anyone's guess.
    • SCP-2852 ("Cousin Johnny") is made up of fibrous muscular tissue and chitin - despite the lack of vocal cords or analogous organs, these instances can still speak, though they lack a concept of language and speak in utter gibberish. People attending the religious functions they manifests at that aren't aware of their nature can understand them perfectly, however. These "Cousin Johnnies" function as an omen of bad things to come, both during the event and after - and they seem to be related to another, cicada-based SCP.
  • Sara Waite, codename Carmilla, of the Whateley Universe. She looks like a goddess of lust. Her father's mother is actually Shub-Niggurath. Her mother's ancestry is even creepier.
  • One popular portrayal of the Anonymous "organization" - a suited man with a blank green face - is close to this.
  • The Blacktrons of Lego Quest are heavily implied to be this. Only one character in the quest has ever seen the face of a Blacktron, and he's not telling what he saw.
  • This is essentially how Mary Sues are portrayed in Protectors of the Plot Continuum: inhumanly beautiful and malevolent mind-controllers that degrade the story's reality simply by existing.
  • Several characters from Deucalion Chronicles probably qualify, but Asmodeus in particular fits this trope - despite being good-natured, his presence is frightening enough that normal humans refuse to even acknowledge him. And anyone with gifts that let them his true form probably stop thinking of them as gifts.
    • The Holders in The Holders Series seem to be this, and the Seekers are implied to become this over the course of their quest. Also, the final Item appears to literally be an Eldritch Abomination inhabiting the last Seeker to claim it.
  • Ace in Ruby Quest, a silent, masked Implacable Man who appears to be central to the mysteries surrounding the facility and may or may not be The Worm That Walks. Additionally, all of the normal people in the facility are either on their way here, or past it and heading towards pure concentrated Body Horror.
  • I am Painis Cupcake. I will eat you.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: The Entity/Missingno can apparently only manifest itself in the physical realm by taking the form of another.
  • The Ginosaji from The Horribly Slow Murderer With the Extremely Inefficient Weapon series.
  • This video Creepypasta presents the Observe and Absolve man as one.
  • Momo is a another Creepypasta usually interpreted this way.

Western Animation

  • Van Kleiss from Generator Rex 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.
    • He was cured in episode 15, turning him back into a normal, though still evil, human. He even loses the mechanical hand. He ends up becoming one again in episode 21, but with different powers - he can now induce Body Horror with a touch. Also, he got his mechanical hand replaced, though from where isn't specified.
    • For that matter, any and all characters who've manifested as EVOs but retain a largely human appearance might qualify (and are often treated as such) - this includes not only Van Kliess, but Rex himself and his love interest Circe.
  • 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 Skool (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 state 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...
  • Adventure Time:
    • Marceline's dad is a smooth-talking, deathless, soul-sucking creature who lives in the Nightosphere. When not making Nightmare Faces or going One-Winged Angel, he looks like a blue-skinned man in a business suit with weird eyes and ears.
    • The vampiric Marceline herself might be one of these. There's no way of telling whether her Cute Monster Girl appearance is her Shapeshifter Default Form or not, and given her lineage it's almost entirely certain the few abilities she's demonstrated are nowhere near the extent of her power.
  • Kenny McCormick on South Park was revealed to be an immortal being raised by moochers who liked to attend Cthulu cult meetings for the free beer.
  • Candle Jack from Freakazoid! actually has a lot in common with Slenderman—acknowledging his existence (in this case, by saying his name) means you can't escape him, no matter how far or how fast you run... Fortunately he has a Weaksauce Weakness: fresh baked pie.
  • In Young Justice, Klarion the Witch Boy is upgraded from a magic user to a full-blown Lord of Chaos.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Son is the Dark Side incarnate.
  • In The Owl House, the local Magical Academy offers classes on building these. Most of them seem more or less mindless and fully obedient to their creators, but not all-too durable or strong. Of course, thus far we've only seen student-created ones.

Real Life

  • The artificial intelligence known as the Telenoid R1. This wriggling, limbless bleached monstrosity was designed by Hiroshi Ishiguro as something of the world's creepiest telephone. Two people in different locations can talk to each other through two Telenoids, with each Telenoid theoretically mimicking the tone and face and "presence" of the other speaker. As geek website, Topless Robot, plainly puts it, it's "A HORRIBLE LIMBLESS WHITE BLOB STRAIGHT OUT OF LOVECRAFT'S MEDULLA OBLONGATA." This little guy hit the bottom of the Uncanny Valley, then started digging.
  • This would have you believe that Ronald McDonald is one.
  • Clowns to kids who are afraid of them.
  1. experienced Battle Sister trained for flying gunslinger work
  2. Or, in one case, Louisa Ferre
  3. Slendy watches from a distance; the Rake likes to sit on your bed. While you're in it.