| Spoiler warning!|
This article contains plot details that people who haven't experienced the source material yet might wish to avoid.
|Average height||5-7 ft. (1.5 - 2.1 meters)|
|Place of origin||Romania|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Designed by||Patrick Tatopoulos|
|Performed by||Brian Steele|
Cave Monsters are humans mutated by the cave parasite. Known to locals since the Middle Ages, they have been historically considered demons, and valiant knights would sometimes venture into the caves in attempts to slay them.
Native to a vast cave system amidst the Carpathian Mountains, in Romania, the Cave Monsters originate from humans which have been infected and altered by the cave parasite, giving the host a form more suitable to survive in the subterranean environment, and thus benefiting both host and parasite; proving that the latter should in fact be considered more of a symbiont. The first symptoms of infection manifest as increased aggressiveness and extremely-sensitive hearing.
The fully-mutated Cave Monsters are large, skeletal creatures, with rough hairless skin and completely devoid of eyes or pigments. They have membranous bat-like wings and giant talons to eviscerate prey, as well as numerous spikes on their backs, a cranial crest, and a lipless mouth filled with sharp fangs. The parasite is present throughout their muscular tissues, being visible as hyphae-like structures.
Cave Monsters have the ability to "see" with echolocation. They can fly, swim, and are smart enough to lay traps and steal vital supplies from potential victims. They can also brachiate with great agility through the stalactites that hang from the caves' ceilings, and pursue prey relentlessly. They are sensitive to bright light and can be disoriented and repelled by focused sonic waves.
It is unclear how much of their original minds they have left, or if they can even recognise humans as being of the same species anymore. While they occasionally seem to attack humans with the specific intention of transmitting the parasite, other times they simply kill victims, presumably to feed upon them. They've been observed to impale still-living victims to stalactites, possibly to preserve them for later consumption. In the absence of humans, their natural prey seems to consist of large, hairless cave rodents.
When Kathryn Jennings was infected by the parasite, she seemed to be conscious of it before the actual transformation took place, and when she left the cave, planned to spread the infection to others, allowing the creatures to "invade" the surface world in this fashion. This suggests that the parasite does in fact assume control of the host's mind, at least to a significant degree.
- The Cave (2005)