Is it our modern times that creates them, or have they been in operation before we classified them as a phenomenon? Although the term "serial killer" was coined in 1971, early fables of human/monsters reveals that there has always been danger in straying too far, or in accepting the help of strangers. The carnivorous characters in Grimm's Fairy tales become vivid metaphors of human bloodlust. Gruesome stories of Bluebeards and their bloody chambers, big bad wolves, trolls under the bridge and witches in the forest, all of whom make meals out of unsuspecting innocents, remind us of our contemporary monsters. These cautionary tales may represent an early, pre-psychological way of understanding the sadistic side of human nature.