Arising from a bizarre theological underworld, we uncover this unspeakable horror of myth, this freak of freaks in the legendarium of the absurd. Laughably untrue, there yet remain those sufficiently detached from a semblance of reality that this horrid creature inhabits not only their imaginations, but their solemn beliefs. For the Cephalophore is a phenomenon primarily recounted in no less twisted of a worldview than the (shudder) tales of Sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

But enough foreshadowing, let us get, at last, to what it is -- a cephalophore is a saint, martyred by beheading, and held by tradition to have continued to preach beyond that event, walking about holding his ghastly haloed head in his hands, propelled by the deeper mythic power of the faith peculiar to that sect.

Cephalophoric accounts range from the simplistic -- spitting out a few words in completion of a prayer after decapitation -- to the outright fantastical. Some decapitated saints, so the stories are spun, strolled for hours and for miles along their particular path, continuously reciting sermons and conversing with passers-by until at last they reached a final destination whereby their spirits might depart the material world. Saint Denis is claimed to have come to such an end, pontificating over a six mile walk with head in hands. Of one at least, it was told that they hefted their hacked-off head to a river and hurled it in, therefrom to be carried on the currents to its appropriate resting-place. Another fetched up his head and mounted his horse, thence to ride up the mountain (head in one hand, reigns in the other) and keep an appointment with a favored uncle.

It hardly ought to be a surprise, naturally, that such tales might be told as truth among a population steeped in belief in witches, vampires, resurrections, sea serpents, divine wrath, werewolves, and tiny demons causing illness. But, alas, as with all such tales in later eras, this too is a set of myths purloined from past times and simply reworded to manufacture some glory for the later teller's cause. There are, as well, a few modern analogues, such as the fictive Mr. Horace Graevsyte, ghostly father in the Non Sequitur comic strip penned by Wiley Miller, carrying his head about on a platter; as well as a headless C3PO sequences in the second of the newer trio of Star Wars films; and comedically quasi-villainous Bruce Vilanch character, Wendon, in Ice Pirates, whose autonomous head is abused for a bit before being appended to a robotic body.

But accounts feigning a factual basis? Nope, those we have seemingly outgrown.


For Ten Years of Terror: The 2010 Halloween Horrorquest and THE IRON NODER CHALLENGE 3: THIS TIME IT'S MARTENSITIC

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