Gargoyles from the rooftops: Why do people put it in front of their house?

Gargoyles… What do we know about these ugly creatures? Their stone sculptures have been decorating the roofs of cathedrals and castles for several centuries, serving as original drains. In addition, more recently, they have become the main characters of fantastic films and popular animated series.

However, these mysterious creatures have their own fascinating stories, with which the plot of the most exciting film can not be compared, making even sophisticated viewers freeze at the screens.

Monsters from the dark ages

According to myths, gargoyles were born from stone in ancient times. Among the numerous host of gods of Ancient Egypt, these monsters were considered spirits of the dark world, whose duty was to punish people leading an unworthy life. The Egyptians believed that ugly winged monsters could take away the luck of sinners, send terrible diseases, and torment one way or another until the villain repents.

In ancient Greece, gargoyles were revered as defenders of the home. It was then that their first stone statues appeared, standing on the roofs of houses. It was believed that the evil creatures of Tartarus, looking for their victims on earth, upon seeing such a statue, would decide that the house was already occupied by their “colleagues” and would go looking for shelter elsewhere.

However, gargoyles were most revered in the British Isles. Celtic legends say that a thousand years ago, they were quite friendly creatures that turned into stone statues in the morning and came to life at sunset. The gargoyles turned to stone were defenseless against numerous enemies.

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This circumstance forced their leaders to conclude a treaty with the thanes (heads) of the Celtic kingdoms, which consisted in the fact that during the day, they give shelter to stone monsters outside the walls of ancestral castles, and at night gargoyles protect the peace of their refuge. The friendship of people and monsters lasted for a long time until one of the gargoyle leaders offended a powerful witch with something.

The offended sorceress cursed the entire gargoyle family, condemning them to eternal stone sleep. They say that their surviving statues can still be found today among the ruins of ancient castles, and these mysterious creatures will wake up only before the end of our world.

A dragon exhaling water

The following Christian legend tells us how gargoyles became the decoration of European cathedrals.

Many centuries ago, one of the gargoyles settled in France on the banks of the River Seine. This creature, similar to a wingless dragon, had an exceptionally evil disposition and tried in every possible way to annoy people. The gargoyle sank merchant ships and fishing boats, and in a fit of anger, sent floods to villages, destroying houses and destroying crops.

Initially, these winged and horned statues served exclusively as drains
Initially, these winged and horned statues served exclusively as drains

Tired of her machinations, people turned to Saint Roman for help, who defeated the monster in a fierce battle. But having turned the gargoyle’s body to dust, the saint could not destroy its head with its mouth wide open.

Then Roman decided to crown the drain of Notre Dame, the main temple of Paris, with his trophy, thereby showing the superiority of Christians over the dark forces.

Since then, it has been the custom to decorate the roofs and naves of cathedrals with ugly stone statues. So gargoyles began to act as defeated creatures of darkness, bowed before the light forces. Initially, these winged and horned statues served exclusively as drains, because the tamed devilish creatures no longer spew from their throats the disgusting stench of sulfur, but divert ordinary rainwater from the roof of God’s house.

By the way, this “work” of gargoyles gave rise to several funny sayings. To this day in France, hopeless drunkards are said that “he drinks like a gargoyle,” or “he drinks so much that, looking at him, the gargoyle will die of envy.”

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After a while, the statues of monsters began to show off not only on the roofs but also in the aisles of temples, because there they were supposed to remind believers of the horrors of hell with their ugly appearance.

Kid Dedo and others

Many statues depicting gargoyles have survived to this day. However, it is difficult to find similar images among them.

This is because in the Middle Ages, there were few literate people, and gargoyle sculptures served as a “visual aid” to help ordinary people comprehend the Holy Scriptures.

Gargoyles often resemble demonic lions, goats, monkeys…
Gargoyles often resemble demonic lions, goats, monkeys…

That’s why among medieval statues, you can often find sculptures resembling demonic lions, goats, monkeys… the fact is that these animals personified mortal sins to which humanity is subject and which must be fought by any means. Thus, the gargoyle lion reminded believers of the ugliness of pride, the dog of greed, the goat of lust, and the snake of envy.

An interesting fact is that the demonic image of a monkey personified laziness (!). Now it’s hard to believe it, but a few centuries ago, Europeans considered primates worthless and lazy animals and the most suitable place for fussy monkeys was the bestiary, symbolizing transgressions.

In addition, among the ugly statues, there are also disfigured images of people, as if eloquently demonstrating what can happen to a person who succumbs to the devil’s temptation.

I must say that among the many ugly gargoyle statues, there are also personalities who have their own personal history. So, among the host of gargoyles of Notre Dame lurked a small statue of baby Dedo, well known to Parisians.

Legend has it that when this cathedral was being built, a nun from the province, dissatisfied with the diabolical faces of gargoyles, decided to contribute to the decoration of the main temple of Paris. She changed into men’s clothes and, having reached the capital, carved out of stone a figure resembling a barefoot child with a cute little animal face. Having secretly made her way to the construction site, the nun placed her product, called Dedo, on the ledge of the roof, after which she returned to the monastery.

gargoyles have reached our days not only in the form of stone statues
Gargoyles have reached our days not only in the form of stone statues

For a long time, no one suspected the presence of an unusual statue among other gargoyles, until trouble happened to one of the sons of a temple employee. A child playing on the roof slipped and rolled down. A little more, and a terrible death would have been waiting for the baby, but by grabbing the statue of Dedo in time, the boy avoided an inevitable fall.

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After this incident, Parisians not only learned about the existence of a kind gargoyle but also fell in love with her. After all, it is believed that if you ask Dedo about something good, he will certainly fulfill any wish made from the heart.

Night Wanderers

However, according to modern esotericists, gargoyles have reached our days not only in the form of stone statues. These fantastic creatures hide among ancient ruins and in underwater caves of the seas and oceans. Sometimes at night, gargoyles get out of their hiding places in order to fly in the dark sky or admire the moon while sitting on a coastal cliff.

According to ancient histories, gargoyles have great magical power, and therefore many people have long wanted to enlist their help. However, to do this, you first need to find the gargoyle’s shelter and come to him on the night of the full moon to tell him about your problems.

But here, it should be remembered that by turning to a monster with an unkind request, you can anger him, and then all the evil lurking in an unworthy desire can return a hundredfold to the one asking.

After all, despite their frightening appearance, gargoyles are, in fact, kind creatures and will never harm a person without having a reason. In addition, do not try to deceive the gargoyle; otherwise, having solved the trick, she will send terrible troubles to the liar.

Stone gargoyles can bring people a lot of benefits. According to esotericists, a person who is confused in his life or suffering from difficult memories can share this burden with a stone statue. It is believed that gargoyle sculptures absorb heavy energy very well and, having “processed” it, return it to a person without the slightest signs of negativity.

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In addition, researchers who have been observing gargoyle statues in some European cathedrals for a long time say that a drop of life is stored in each of them. Sometimes they can move from place to place and change their posture, although they do this only on rare stormy nights.

If you believe the histories, a share of the magical power of gargoyles still lives in each of their statues, even in the smallest and not having a centuries-old history.

So, many can easily make sure that even a simple decorative gargoyle figurine can become a reliable guardian of the dwelling. After all, after the fanged “guard” settles in one of the apartment rooms, its owners will be able to sleep peacefully — neither the thief nor the dark forces will ever approach this house.

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