15 of the most interesting female monsters in fiction

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4. Angry ghosts

Ghosts are already pretty frightening monsters. Yes, it’s true that they don’t have corporeal bodies to speak of. That apparently does little to stop many ghosts, who merrily go about wreaking havoc for the rest of us. They range from annoying — flinging things off shelves, lurking as vaguely human shapes in dark corners — to downright dangerous. It’s not that being a ghost is a bunch of fun, exactly. That said, they’re often more formidable monsters than their wispy forms might suggest.

Vengeful ghosts are all of that and more. Few get more vengeful than Sadako of Ringu fame. She’s got plenty to be mad about, to be sure.

Sadako’s origin story differs somewhat depending on whether you’re reading about her or watching her wrath unfold on screen, but a few key points are the same. She is a dangerous psychic with a tragic past, including a dead mother. She is oftentimes thrown down a well or otherwise dispatched by a frightened person. That’s reminiscent of the Japanese folktales about Okiku, a servant who is bullied and eventually killed by her employer. She returns from the dead to torment her former master for a good, long period of time.

Of course, there’s also that infamous videotape. Sadako (Samara in the American remake) can essentially replicate herself on film. Anyone who views said film has seven days to show it to another person and thus spread the “virus.” And if they don’t? Sadako will come to visit them, with gruesome results.

It’s clear that Sadako was once a flesh and blood human being. However, accidents of genetics and the evil of others around her have turned the girl into a unique and deeply rageful monster.