What’s there to be afraid of? A few clothes stuffed with hay and hung on a pole to resemble a human? They frighten birds away from the garden, after all that is what a SCARE CROW does!
So, this got me thinking about the folklore surrounding scarecrows. I mean there are endless horror movies and fiction about them, and I’m left curious about where they got their bad reputation from.
Yeah I admit, they resemble staked corpses and have a Christ-like resemblance, not to mention their gaunt, expressionless faces. And if we let our imaginations run away with us, next thing we know the once innocent scarecrow is outside our bedroom at midnight, tapping its bony fingers on the window pane.
After a bit of digging around, I found The Vanir, a group of wild nature and fertility Norse gods who were bringers of good luck and fortune. Villagers erected effigies of these gods in their fields. Perhaps these frightened people into behaving?
Also, apparently the scarecrow is also a Pagan God residing in ancient trees, and by sacrificing a young woman and man to ensure a prosperous crop, the pagan God takes the form of a scarecrow. This one sounds scary. Another source reveals islands in northern Thailand using ghost-aversion scarecrows outside houses with signs posted with messages to the ghosts, to the effect of “No one inside was born on Tuesday or Wednesday. No humans reside here, only dogs and a bear.” This is a hindrance to stop death from collecting the living, but I never knew ghosts were frightened of bears!!The funny thing is, I don’t believe there is one place where the scarecrow became scary, and it’s probably always been there in our imagination from their inception, and as people have shared their fears in the forms of tales, the lore has exploded. Though there is something terrifying about a scarecrow – something I don’t want to face in the middle of a crop field at night. I’ll pass 🙂
Did you know: The fear of scarecrows is called Formidophobia.
Tell me your fear or stories of scarecrows.