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Gorgon Gorgon: Hideous female creatures from Greek mythology. Derived from the Greek gorgós, or ‘terrible’, these vile women possessed claws, fangs and scaled skin, while their hair was made of living, writhing serpents. First appearing in the very earliest written records, including the writings of Homer, their likenesses were often placed upon objects or even houses, the better to provide protection with their deadly gazes that could turn a man into stone. Within mythology and legend, three Gorgon sisters existed as the daughters of the sea god Phorcys and Ceto the sea monster; Stheno and Euryale who were immortal, and Medusa who was not. The hero Perseus was able to sever her head while looking at her reflection in Athena’s mirrored shield, but upon returning to court and holding up Medusa’s head, everyone present turned to stone. The superstitious also believed that drawing blood from the right side of a Gorgon granted the power of resurrection, while the left side was a fatal poison.

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