"We just thought the winter was worse'n usual. Turns out we had an unexpected visitor. Wasn't until poor Dave and Glenda... died... that we finally got a clue. By then it was almost too late. You know how many of us'll never be the same? Oh, you doubt me, do you? Look in my eye, son, and tell me what you don't see. Yeah, I thought so. Damned Snow Devil!"
All you need to stop a brain is a bullet.
A character who is undergoing changes of personality (like buying off mental disadvantages - flaws - or changing alignment) might confront personifications of aspects of his personality in dreams: a griffon representing the courage he needs to face a terrible foe, or a satyr standing for the lecherousness a warrior must overcome to be admitted to an order of knights who must uphold vows of chastity.