Halloween’s Giant Skeletons in the Yard

Halloween is upon us, beginning the real holiday season with its home decorations, hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns, sweet treats, and celebration.

Giant Skeletons in the Yard

Last year, people found innovative ways to deliver candy while maintaining social distance. This year, the decorating trend seems to be giant 12-foot skeletons in the front yard. Home Depot calls him, “Indiana Bones” and sells him for a pretty giant price.

David and Goliath, Bible, giant skeletons, giants

David and Goliath

These plastic skeletons fascinate me because people have actually uncovered real giant skeletons around the world as well as here in the U.S. for centuries. We all know about Goliath from the Bible but that testament contains other reports of giants.

Genesis6:5, reports “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the duaghters of men, and the bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:33, says, “And there we saw the giants, the sons of A’năk, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

Amos 2:9-10 states, “Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.”

We have accepted statements like these as exaggerations in the Old Testament, a kind of literary license used to make a triumph seem more important than it was. If we look outside the Bible, however, Goliath appears to have company.

Found on a Regular Basis

Archeology World states that: “Giant skulls and skeletons of a race of ‘Goliaths’ have been found on a very regular basis throughout the Midwestern states for more than 100 years. Giants have been found in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and New York, and their burial sites are similar to the well-known mounds of the Mound Builder people.”

Death Valley, Giant Skeleton, Nevada, red-haired giants

The Death Valley Giant Skeleton

A quick online search turns up:

  • The Giants of Ecuador
  • Kentucky’s Dover Mound
  • The Giants of New York State
  • Giant Footprints
  • Death Valley’s Giants
  • Lovelock Cave in Nevada
  • The Wisconsin Burial Mounds

These skeletons reportedly stood between seven feet and 20 feet high. Seven feet may not sound so big—we have men that size or close to it playing basketball right now. Long ago, however, human beings were much smaller and the average man stood about five feet, six inches tall. The difference would have been more pronounced.

Where’s the Proof?

Cardiff Giant, hoax, gypsum

The Cardiff Giant

Where’s the proof you may ask. Well, some were hoaxes. Back in the day it took a lot of effort to carve the Cardiff Giant from a block of gypsum. Today, hoaxers use PhotoShop to create in a few hours “photographic evidence” of archaeological excavations that never happened.

Here in the US, people have claimed, with no evidence, that the Smithsonian Institute has stored them away or destroyed them. This widely reported “alternate fact” has been debunked by Snopes.

Others remain unconvinced.

The Ecuadorian Giants

Ecuadorean Giant Skeleton

The Ecuadorean Giant Skeleton

An Ecuadorean Museum does, however, display the 20-foot bones of a giant human being. That’s bigger even than the Halloween skeletons in the front yard down the street. Some scientists have explained that a person so tall could not possibly have been able to walk. On the other hand, scientists can’t explain how bumblebees can fly.

Whatever you choose to accept or believe, today’s plastic giants do look somewhat intimidating. Imagine meeting a real person of that size up close and personal. It’s enough to give you real shivers. Now if we could only get them to hand out the candy, that would be interesting.


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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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