Nightmares In The Sky: 77 Fantastically Fierce, Fanciful, or Freakish Gargoyles

Although still architecturally and artistically intriguing, gargoyles can be traced back 4,000 years to Egypt, Rome and Greece when the stone creatures were “read” by the illiterate public. A true gargoyle is a waterspout while a carved creature that does not act as a drainpipe is technically a grotesque. Many cultures throughout history have created fantastically fierce gargoyle sculptures that stir our imaginations, as the stone creatures stirred the creativity and imaginations of their sculptors. Gargoyles on churches were not decorative but instructional with the intent to “scare the hell” of out the public.

There was no longer any practical need for gargoyles after drainpipes were introduced in the 16th century, but architects, builders, and sculptors continued to incorporate gargoyles into their designs. Gargoyles were then used for symbolic, spiritual, decorative or whimsical purposes. Gargoyles stand guard, scaring off evil spirits. Myth has it that gargoyles come alive at night, protecting people as they sleep. These architectural nightmares in the sky are watching you even when you don’t see them. Here are 77 fantastically fierce, fanciful, or freakish gargoyles from all over the world.