Haunted houses and Halloween stores have metro-Detroiters celebrating and preparing for October 31 all month-long.

This year, take time to share the not-so-scary story about the history of the gargoyle.

Their original purpose was to keep water from eroding the building’s stone blocks. Artists and sculptors designed gargoyles to be fancy gutters for churches mostly in Europe.

In the Middle Ages, gargoyles often had frightening features and were believed to protect the people who passed by the buildings they are perched on.

At Saint Anne de Detroit Catholic Church – built in 1887 – you’ll find four gargoyles at the main entrance of the north façade.

From the late 15th century to now, gargoyles have become more decorative. For example, the architects of Comerica Park – home to the Detroit Tigers since 2000 – created stone-carved tiger gargoyles that line the entrance to the ball park.

For more reference, read this month’s issue of Highlights magazine and visit


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