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PhotoHunt: Scary

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This week's theme is "scary"

SMFface

This stone face is in Venice on the church of Santa Maria Formosa, over the entrance to the bell tower. It’s meant to be scary although these days, most people just find it funky and interesting.

But back in the Middle Ages, people believed that church bell towers were particularly vulnerable to invasion by evil spirits (maybe because the towers were often getting struck by lightning or falling down). So a tradition began of putting some kind of protective sculptural image on the towers.

Some bell towers have benevolent images like saints or angels, but others, like this one, have grotesque images designed to frighten the demons away.

In the photo on the left, you can see it over the door. On the right, the beautiful tower that it’s been protecting for over 300 years.

SMFface2.jpg smftower.jpg

Happy weekend and have a nice Halloween next week!

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Comments (49)

Great choices for the theme. I love the stonework and yes pretty scary.

That's great that you saw JT in Chapel Hill (I read your post). I would have liked to have made it to that concert but it was really nice seeing him outside on Moore Square in Raleigh. His voice really does get better and better which is remarkable.

Now that is one scary face!

Oh my this is the first time I see a church building using scary faces to frighten demons..

But though I can't find a logic behind it.

Very good take on the theme. Happy hunting.

Mar:

It sure scares me!!!!

sandrac:

Annie, that is scary -- yikes! Great photos!

That's a scary face. I'm surprised it is allowd on a church.
Have a happy weekend!

Sue:

Scary, but like you say kinda funky too! :) Have a great weekend!

Definitely one scary face!

Great choice. Me I think Mr Gargoyle is a cutie! Happy weekend

Pat:

Oh wow - that is a scary face!!

Happy Weekend.

Campo Santa Maria Formosa is my favorite campo as I stayed at the convent next to it three times - '05, '06 and '07.

Great gargoyle, although he looks more silly than scary to me :)

PS: I'm hosting a giveaway on my review site
http://bonggafinds.blogspot.com

...so come and join!

That is scary looking!

Been to Venice twice. Fabulous place! I am dying to take my daughter there one day!
Lovely shot!

Happy Hunting!!!

That really looks scary! Nice photos.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, great theme photo selection! Scary face is pretty effective if it's worked for 300 years . . . :)

Happy weekend too!

I find it pretty interesting to see that face on the wall of a church.

He is still kinda scary, with that big boil over his eye.

YTSL:

Woah, what a grotesque piece of sculpture!

Ah! I would have been disappointed if I didn't see something gothic and Scary here! Great pix for the theme! Stop by if you get the chance -

http://flamingofotos.blogspot.com

Oh no i can't get inside because I am scared....TC

What a scary face for a church!

Interesting, I surely would love exploring that church :D

Mai:

I surely got scared staring at it. I wonder how scarier it can get in real life.

really scary for a place like that,might scare the people away.nice entry.mine is up here

oh no! it's creepy!

happy weekend...

Good choice for the theme and a good little history lesson.

It is interesting that one can find gargoyles on many older buildings here in the US. I've seen them most often on public buildings like courthouses rather than churches. They are often small and placed high on the eaves or steeples. Many are so high that most people do not notice them and have no idea that they are there. I presume that most were an architectural decoration meant to give the building an older, more classic look.

Baker
(Thanks for stopping by - hope you had a good night's sleep, lol)

ann:

Great choice... though, I don't know if I'd want to go into a church that had this on the building...Hope you have a good weekend!

Oh my that is a scary looking face.

I know during the time period that designs such as this were popular on Churches and also other public buildings.

But I have always wondered why they used such scary looking things as part of the design especially for their churches.

Great picture and also fabulous for the theme.

I did fire.

http://shinade.blogspot.com/2008/10/photohunt-4-blaze.html

I do so hope you can drop by.

I waited and waited for the post to come up this morning and now I am exhausted.

So I am making my way around sort of in the dark here.

Happy week end:-)

GREAT post Annie! I'd be afraid to walk through that entry!

Great photo! Why Christians ever thought scary faces would frighten demons is beyond me... lol

I hope you have time to come see my scary photos, and leave your link, too. http://newyorktraveler.net/photo-hunters-scary/

Wow, that is interestingly scary,lol :)

jmb:

That is quite scary although most of these things are so high up fortunately the regular congregation need not be scared. Have a good weekend.

June:

How very interesting...and yes...scary!! Thanks for choosing to share this one.

My dh wants to put stuff like that up around the house.

I am really enjoying all the different takes on scary. That scary thing looks like a former nasty boss of mine. Thank you for visiting my scary lawn sign post..

Hello, Have a nice week ahead!!

Hi Annie,
Sorry so late commenting. I love your choices! I always wondered why these scary type faces are above some of the doorways in Venice.

That is a great face. Perfect for this week's theme.

that IS scary!

if this isnt scary i dont know wat is :)

Oh, truly scary and wonderful! And still doing a great job after all of these years.

Very beautiful photos. Thanks for stopping by.

How grotesque! Am gonna run away now...(hey I'm not a demon hah!)

malcolm:

scary? lol you people must get scared by your own shadow. the face is hilarious, not scary at all. i bet the guy who carved it had a great sense of humor.

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