Stemming from Greek mythology, the basilisk is usually described as having the head and body of a rooster, the wings of a bat and tail of a snake, ending in an arrow point…not especially horrifying by today’s standards. Then again, when something manages to not only scare off spiders but is also used to get rid of birds in the temples of Greek gods, that must be something truly frightening.
If you ever find yourself having to fight a basilisk, then I’d suggest arming yourself with a weasel, which is immune to its glance or a rooster, whose cry it fatal for the snake-like creature. There’s also the brave Harry Potter method, with a sword through the mouth, but the most traditional way to kill a basilisk is to catch its reflection in a mirror – when the monster sees its own likeness, it dies of fright. Quite an awful way to go, killed by your own face that truly fulfills the saying of ‘a face only a mother could love.’