Halloween is filled with all manner of mythical creatures and monsters. From witches and vampires, to werewolves and ghosts—Halloween and strange creatures go hand in hand. In recent years, a new mysterious creature has had a resurgence in popularity. Today, the mystical unicorn has become a Halloween front runner and with good reason. The unicorn has a big reputation that goes deep into history but as to whether or not they ever actually existed, there is more rumor and folklore than actual evidence.
The modern unicorn, often depicted as white, pink and sometimes glittery, has long been a little girl's favorite. Long before our modern world got ahold of this mythical creature, however, there were ancient rumors and lore describing the unicorns characteristics and appearance. In the time around 400 BC, there was a Greek historian named Ctesias. Once while traveling in Persia, he heard rumors of a strange and wondrous beast that had a lion's tail, goat's hooves, a deer's head, and a horses body. The strange animal also was said to have a single long horn of many colors coming out of it's head. Ctesias reported that the unicorn was similar to a donkey but as big as a horse with a white body, a red head and a multi-colored horn.
In addition to the very strange qualities that the unicorn Ctesias spoke of had, the animal was said to be magical and very powerful. The horn of the unicorn was said to have purifying properties that could eliminate toxins or poison from water and could be used medicinally.
It's doubtful that Ctesias ever actually saw one of these ancient unicorns, but he seemed all too willing to report on their possible existence based on the vivid reports he heard describing these mythical creatures. During these early in history, information was largely disseminated via word of mouth and through story telling. It's highly probable that through years of elaborate retelling of the tale, the unicorn became more and more fantastical and less and less based on reality.
As Christianity spread through Europe, the Bible was translated into other languages. From Hebrew to Greek, and then into Latin. An error in some of these translations found a "horned beast" being mistranslated into a "one-horned beast" and subsequently into a "unicorn." A biblical reference to the unicorn not only created more confusion but likely gave the unicorn a certain degree of historical credibility!
Other long-standing rumors about the unicorn exist throughout history. Some say that the unicorn followed Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden when they were banished from paradise. Others say that Noah left the unicorn off the ark when he was gathering two of each animal, saving them from the great flood. During the Middle Ages, the unicorn was often seen as a symbol of purity and grace. The only person that could capture or tame a unicorn was a virtuous maiden. In Medieval art, you often see paintings of unicorns lying in the laps of young maidens. In addition to purity, the unicorn also purportedly had strong aphrodisiac qualities and thus it was said that the unicorns horn could be ground down to make medicine for various maladies.
With so much myth and legend surrounding it's existence, the unicorn remains one of the most elusive creatures of the ages. We happen to think that a unicorn also makes a pretty fantastic Halloween costume. Wouldn't it be amazing to have a unicorn siting at your next Halloween party? Yes, we think so too! For a wide variety of unicorn costumes and accessories, look no further than Halloween Express!