It’s time for another edition of TNUC’s Unsolved Mysteries, where Uncle T likes to resurrect the sweet but terrifying soul of the late-great Robert Stack to help us solve a ghoulish mystery. Today we’re shining a light on Ozzy Osbourne’s infamous giant demon bat!

Why, you ask? Because as thunderous of an arrival as the demon bat was during the “Ultimate Sin” days, it strangely vanished just as quickly as it appeared. Yet the visual remains synonymous with Ozzy to this day. It also so happens that just last week we wrote about Ronnie James Dio’s giant killer spider, so these are the sort of journalistic explorations you’re getting lately at Castle TNUC.

Exhibit 1: Most folks will remember the giant demon bat from cover of Ozzy’s ’86 album The Ultimate Sin. The Prince of Darkness always had a thing for vampires, wolves, ghouls and other monsters of the night, but this demonic, bat-looking version of Ozzy (what many assumed it was) almost seemed like the Ozzman was heading in the direction of having a metal mascot. He would have joined the ranks of Eddie (Iron Maiden), Murray (Dio), Vic Rattlehead (Megadeth), Iron Mask (Quiet Riot) and Allister Fiend (Motley Crue)…among others!

Exhibit 2: The big single from the multi-platinum album was “Shot In The Dark” and the equally popular music video absolutely owned MTV at the time. At around the 1:09 minute mark, the creature comes to life on stage, descending from the rafters and opening his wings to expose OZZY himself! Re-watch this classic video now. You’ll be glad you did.

Such an iconic moment. This particular era of Ozzy I like to refer to as Auntie Ozzy, because with all his glittery robes and frantic hair, he looked like a methed-out Golden Girl or just a kooky aunt living in Florida who gets too much sun.

Exhibit 3: Here’s where things get really confusing and quite frankly, falsely advertised. The demon bat started to appear on magazine covers and photo shoots, even going so far as to make the cover of the live home video release, “The Ultimate Ozzy”. Strangely enough however, the creature does NOT appear on stage in the live video or any documented concerts from what I’ve gathered.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t even find footage that it was used at Castle Donington’s Monsters of Rock festival that year. Would they really have only used him for a single music video? Or is he decaying in a warehouse somewhere? Was Ozzy so high on cocaine that he got in a hallucinatory battle with the demon bat and did awful things to it, which afterwards the real truth was buried by Sharon Osbourne to never be spoken about? Very possible.

Exhibit 4: This photo in particular really bothers me. Metallica supported Ozzy on tour from March to August of 1986. The band were promoting the brand new album Master of Puppets. Here’s a damn photo of a homely teenage girl (oops I mean Lars Ulrich) hanging with the bat demon. For the life of me I can’t find any evidence that the monster was brought on tour. My only theory is that the winged creature had to have made an appearance during one of the European festival dates which both bands shared the bill. It must have been destroyed by accident and my money is on Ozzy doing something really dumb.

In these days of the internet, it’s confusing as hell that we aren’t talking more about this ginormous bat/serpent/demon monstrosity. I want to know more about the demon bat. Who made him, why is he green, what does he eat, how does he rank the Critters movies and where in my backyard would he look best?

Ozzy Osbourne from an old advertisement for Cheetos.

Sadly we might never know the truth. Unless Robert Stack comes to visit me in a foggy cemetery dream tonight and solves the mystery,

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