03 - Featured-Halloween.jpg
by Tracy Vanity
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Hannibal, CBS

Antlers are a predominant image in the “Hannibal” television series. It is represented in connection to the Wendigo, a metaphor for Hannibal Lecter himself. The Wendigo is an antlered demonic cannibalistic spirit in Algonquian legend. There is also a mental disorder called the “Wendigo Psychosis” in which the main symptom is a strong craving for human flesh.

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Hannibal, CBS

The antlers in Hannibal are then used to represent Hannibal’s cravings and killings. Dead bodies displayed on antlers are a consistent visual element that is very striking and even sadistically artistic.

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Of course I was bombarded by the internet hype over the “True Detective” series and decided to give it a try. I couldn’t get past the first episode, I found it rather dull. But I found it interesting that the first dead body shown had antlers.

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True Detective, HBO

Of course since I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the show in the first place, I merely assumed they were ripping off “Hannibal.” “Hannibal” creator, Brian Fuller, addressed this in an interview at the Television Critics Association winter press tour:

“Anybody who saw Salem’s Lot in 1979 where James Mason impaled that guy on the antlers, it’s probably all coming from that traumatic experience in our childhoods, I imagine they probably saw the same thing that inspired, you know, the imagery in this show.”

via The Wrap

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I haven’t watched Salem’s Lot but I will now! Here are some more examples of antlers used in horror:

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

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Caesar & Otto’s Deadly Xmas (2013)

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The Lost Boys, (1987)

More surreal than horror but David Lynch always counts…

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Are there other examples of antlers used in horror movies and shows, or scenes of death by antlers?

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