sculpture of a grotesque being or animal on a building, often used as a waterspout

A gargoyle is a grotesque statue that is attached to a building. It is carved out of stone, usually granite. It is used to get water away from the building when it rains. Gargoyles are often made to look like animals or people. The collected water comes out of their mouths. Most gargoyles were made a long time ago. People used to believe that they scared away evil spirits. Many cathedrals have gargoyles.

New buildings use rain gutters instead of gargoyles to move water. There are not many gargoyles in America.

Gargoyles are often confused with grotesques. They are similar, but only gargoyles get rid of rainwater through their mouths.