In Alex Murphy and the Golden Ram, nightmares are literally demon mares, evil female horses that bring bad dreams and terrifying prophecies. They are sent by the evil zodiac sign Scorpio to warn people about terrible things to come.
But did you know the word "nightmares" didn't originally have anything to do with horses? People started using the term to describe bad dreams and unfortunate events around the 1300s. In Old English, a "mare" was actually a demon or goblin. These demons were believed to be female.
(Many horse owners also believe that female horses are demons, which is probably how they got the name. Ok, maybe that's just my horse…)
People thought that these demons sat on people's chests while they were sleeping to suffocate them, and that was what caused bad dreams.
In Alex Murphy, nightmares are a little more complicated. Scorpio is a water sign, and horses are associated with the Greek god Poseidon. The scorpion's nightmares are the daughters of Poseidon and Scorpio. There are twelve of them, one for each sign of the zodiac, and they are responsible for bringing bad dreams to everyone in the world.
The smallest of the twelve sisters is Night, the nightmare of Aries. She is a fire nightmare, which means she is jet black and has fire for her mane, tail, and eyes. She is also one of the meanest, though Alex discovers there may be more to this creature than meets the eye.
Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay