Gargoyles are believed to offer protection to humans from evil, by detecting evil at night, transforming from stone to living flesh and bone, then off the scare the forces of evil away, keeping humans safe from harm. There are many avid collectors of these fascinating mystical creatures who enjoy them for many reasons. I originally started collecting Gargoyle statues when the popular animated television show “Gargoyles” came out in 1994.
From the first episode, I was hooked on the new animated series, the thought that some great creature would protect me while I sleep or go out at night was inviting to me and gave me the life long desired gift of security. Of course, I knew that those “Gargoyles” were just cartoons, but finding gargoyle statues to collect soon became one of my obsessions.
Gargoyle statues first became popular in medieval times when they were originally designed as waterspouts, an architectural necessity transformed into a functional fantasy. These fantastic statues adorned the buildings of western Europe, peering down from cathedrals, churches, houses and town halls. A society of stone creatures perched high above the mundane world.
What’s fascinating about the introduction of these stone monsters, sitting on the top cathedrals and churches, is that these ornamental creatures were given a deeply symbolic and spiritual significance, which originates from pre-Christian pagan beliefs. Early Christian leaders used the appearance of the gargoyle to scare pagans to worship, which actually improved general church attendance.
Once absorbed fully during the 12th century, it was only a matter of time before the gargoyle was fully appropriated by churches and many other buildings. Gargoyles were then deemed the protective being.
The fearful unknowing debated these perfect creations were merely stone demons—representations of ‘evil forces’ like wickedness and enticement—which lurked outside the safe confines of church and waited with patience for its next unfortunate victim.
However, the gargoyle sitting atop Notre Dame de Paris take their roles as protector a step further than most and apparently keep an eye out for people drowning in the Seine River in Paris, France. There are many artistic designs of gargoyles, some feature an variety of animals, humans and fantastical creatures, as grotesque guardian angels.
Another representation along this vein suggests gargoyles were the embodiment of unpardonable ‘souls condemned for their sins’ and while they were saved from damnation in hell, the cost of their transgressions is being petrified and placed on top of a church, in which they are no longer permitted to enter.
Gargoyles were created during a period of time where most of the people were illiterate in Western Europe. Throughout the years, they became a fantastical form of amusement and were partly responsible for forming of peoples behavior.
It’s no secret that humans have a fascination horror and gruesome things. This is just part of human nature and is one of the many reasons why gargoyles have continued to stay in popular society today. Sculptors haven’t abandoned these beautiful beasts and new carvings still appear on modern buildings around the world. The oldest gargoyle is found on a building in Turkey. It’s 13,000 years old and looks like a crocodile. The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks also carved gargoyles to use as drain spouts on their buildings.
I have over 50 gargoyle statues, my favorite being my original 8 foot tall gargoyle mailbox in my front yard, made 100% of refurbished metal from Mike’s Metal Shop.
Today, gargoyle statues are mostly ornamental in function, taking visitors to your garden on a journey to Italy, France, or Spain and giving your garden an ancient, timeless look. Gargoyles in the garden can be used to shock, surprise, and entertain you and your guests. Gargoyle garden statues are believed to offer protection from evil, and there are many avid collectors of these fascinating and mystical creatures today.