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Friday, October 31, 2008

Michael Myers Is A Softy: 7 Truly Horrifying, Real-Life Halloween Villains

By Kevin Smith

As Halloween approaches, we're constantly reminded of ghouls, witches and zombies. But the worst creatures our imaginations can conjure aren't fictional. After all, evil is an inherent part of human nature. Think about that strange old man who lives down the hall from you. You keep telling yourself he's just a kooky lost soul in need of a friend, when in reality he probably just ate a cat last night… and you’re next. Nor are maniacal, murderous impulses reserved purely for the Hitlers and bin Ladens of the world.

True evil seems to emerge when human desire is mixed with power, insanity and wanton disregard of social mores. To be sure though, it has nothing to do with the dead walking the earth to suck our blood or haunt our houses. Vampires hate mirrors, Frankenstein’s monster just wants love and Wolfman’s got nards. The living are way, way scarier then anything that bumps in the night. And here are seven truly terrifying, often overlooked figures from history that make Michael Myers look like he's merely in need of some behavioral therapy. But if you try use any of these nutjobs as inspiration for a costume idea, don't say we didn't warn you about the offended stares and vitriolic epithets.

7. James Warren "Jim" Jones

A renaissance man when it came to perversion, power, charisma and insanity, Jim Jones was a cult leader in the '60s and '70s who was able to convince 909 of his "Rainbow Family" to drink poisoned Kool-Aid as if it were in their best interests. Jones was an unbelievably creepy bastard during a remarkably scary time. Disco was king and flower power had wilted, so mass suicide seemed like a valid option. But instead of taking this truly frightening ability for mind-control on a worldwide tour, Jones put a bullet in his brain. Too bad he'd already passed out his cyanide concoction to nearly a thousand victims.

6. Josef Fritzl

From the beautiful land of the Alps and the Danube, birthplace of icons like Mozart, Freud and Schwarzenegger, comes the newest Austrian to take hold of the public’s imagination. Josef Fritzl, the world’s worst dad. How does one obtain such a lofty title? A good way to start would be imprisoning your teenage daughter for almost 25 years and then fathering seven incestuous children… with your own child. This Vincent Price-on-PCP looking motherfucker is certainly more frightful than Count Dracula. At least the Count lets you out of his cellar at night.

5. Fred Phelps

This man hates you. He does not know you, but if he could, he would stop by your house and tell you that God hates you as well. The pastor of a small Baptist church in Kansas for the last 50 years, Rev. Phelps has been spreading the word of God, or at least if God was a disgusted, hate-filled deity. And who has angered the almighty one? Everyone! Gay people? Check. Immigrants? Si. Soldiers? Roger. Swedes? Loathes them and their silly reindeers. This man is clearly insane, but his words reach an audience. He once received 30 percent of the votes for U.S. Senator of Kansas. For fun, his followers like to picket funerals and carry along signs stating that “God hates fags” and “Thank God for dead soldiers." But thankfully, Phelps is old, and presumably near the end of his lynching rope. I’m sure his funeral is going to be a blast.

4. Josef Mengele

You can't have a list of evil bastards and leave out the Nazis entirely. Dr. Mengele, also known by the heart-warming moniker the angel of death, was an SS physician who was responsible for countless barbaric experiments he carried out on prisoners at Auschwitz for little to no scientific reasons. Why? Most likely because he was a vicious egomaniacal sociopath who wasn’t hugged enough as a child. Thankfully, in the end, Mengele was captured and tried for war crimes… except he wasn’t. Doctor Dickhead actually was able to flee Europe with help from some fellow SS cretins and set up shop in South America. Mengele lived the remainders of his days in sunny Argentina and didn't die until 1979. The fact that he was alive when Star Wars came out just adds another layer of evil to his story.

3. Oliver Cromwell
"Malacht Cromail ort," or "the curse of Cromwell upon you," is a taunt that will empty out any pub from Dublin to Derry. It is the curse of the most hated son of a bitch in Ireland. Oliver Cromwell started as a simple soldier in the British army and ended up becoming the Lord Protectorate of all of England until his death in 1658. He has remained one of the most polarizing figures in history, revered by some and detested by many. He's entered popular culture in songs (Elvis Costello’s "Oliver’s Army") and verse (James Joyce’s "Ulysses"), one of which portrays him as a murderous bastard and the other as just a bastard. During his Irish Campaign of 1649-1650, Cromwell had the brilliant idea of taking away all holding from the native Irish, killing any that resisted and finally establishing the model of British dominance over the Irish for another 300 years. The silver lining is that after his death, he was dug up, hung and then had his head placed on a spike. The lesson of the day: Don’t piss off the Irish.

2. Idi Amin

As the fascist ruler of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, Amin killed between 100,000 to 500,000 of his own people during his reign, while the rest of the world snickered at him for his buffoonery and extravagant lifestyle (as documented in 2006's Last King Of Scotland). From a humble beginning in the British colonial army and rising to supreme commander, Amin set a new standard for thuggish dominance that is still being played out in various parts of Africa today. (Are we seeing a pattern with British officers or is it just me?) Rumors ran rampant of cannibalization, sex orgies, ethnic cleansing and scandalous opulence while his fellow Ugandans starved around him. Why couldn’t one of these horrible despots have read Spider-Man as a kid and realized that with great power comes great responsibility, not an immoral fuck?

1. Alexander The Great

Great? Not so much, but Alexander The Human Debaser must have not had quite the same ring. Alexander III Of Macedon is famous for his conquering the known world before his death at 32. At the age most of us are trying to figure out how to pay rent, this guy was slaughtering armies. Starting in the year 336 BC and continuing to his death in 323 BC, Alex had nothing better to do then wage constant war on all his neighbors that didn't bow to him and his Macedonian/Greek Minions. Twelve years of raping, pillaging, massacring and the occasional booze-filled celebration would take a toll on anyone, and The Great one ultimately died of either Malaria or alcohol-related poisoning. If you take into account his continuous brutality and latent homosexuality, Alexander may have been the prototype of the modern frat boy. His horrible crimes against nature did not stop at his death either, as anyone who has seen Oliver Stone’s recent biopic regarding him can attest.


Anonymous February 15, 2010 at 1:18 PM