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Fae from around the World

Achachila - From Boliva, an earth fairy resembling a gnome.

Afreet (m), Afreeta (f) - Strong, cunning spirit that may be good or evil, a kind of djinn
often found near ruins. They are made of smoke, have wings, can be very large and
sometimes marry humans. Magic is the only weapon effective against them.

Ahuitazotl - A Mexican water spirit. It lurks in Mexican lakes and is known to be lethal to

Alan - An air fairy from the Phillipines. She is part bird, part human, with toes and
fingers reversed, she hangs bat-like from trees and is also said to live in a gold house. She
is often mischievous, though not unfriendly to people. Sometimes the Alan appears in
folktales as the mother of a human child.

Alfar - In Norse mythology, Alfar are Dark Elves that emerged from the dead body of the
giant Ymir. They are beings that are half god, half dwarf. In later mythology it degrades
to a demon that only causes nightmares and diseases. In Germany it is pronounced as
'alb'. A reference to the word can be found in the Nibelungen Saga, where the king of the
dwarves is called Alberich. See also Liosalfar and Dockalfar.

Als - See daemons

Alp - In Teutonic folklore, a tormenting night-demon, or nightmare.

Alves - In old-Norse folklore, the Alves are the spirits of the dead who live close together
in hills and mountains. It was generally believed by inhabitants of farmsteads located in
the vicinity of such mounds that the Alves who lived there were their ancestors.
Sacrifices were made to them in return for favors. It was also believed that the Alves
were the spirits of the deceased, who still live in the house were they died. In later
folklore, they became earth spirits.

Anjanas - Las Anjanas are typical fairies of Cantabria, there are small females who
sometimes appear to people as part human and part animal, usually as part fish, part
human. Kind and peaceful, they can be found in woods, near small streams and other
quiet places.

Apuka - Fierce forrest spirits of Dutch Guiana.

Asrai - The Asrai are small, fragile, female beings who turn to a puddle of water when
they are captured or exposed to sunlight.

Awabi - Japanese sea demons who live near Nanao. They eat fishermen when they drown
and are the guardians of large seashells containing shining jewels.
Ballybogs - Small fairies associated with bogs, who may be helpful or harmful.

Banshee - Common name for the Irish Bean Sidhe. In Scotland the banshee is known as
caoineag (wailing woman) and, although seldom seen, she is often heard in the hills and
glens, by lakes or running water.

Baobhan Sith - The White Women of the Scottish highlands. These women are ghost-like
vampires who assume the shape of beautiful women and invite men to dance with them,
and drink their blood.

Barbegazi - Small gnomes who live in the mountainous regions of France and
Switzerland. They look just like other gnomes except for large feet with which they can
easily walk and ski over snow and use for digging tunnels. Their hair is frozen and
resembles icicles. Should the need arise, a Barbegazi can cover himself with snow in
seconds, and dig himself out no matter how deep he may be buried. They live in a
network of caves and tunnels at the summits of high peaks, where they also estivate
during the summer. They are rarely seen, and then only in the winter months, when the
temperature drops below zero. They never venture below the tree-line.

Bariaua - Shy tree spirit of Melanesian folklore.

Basa-Andre - She is the wife of the Basa-Jaun.

Basa-Jaun - A benign wood spirit of the Basque, whose name means "lord of the woods".
He protects the flocks and herds against predators and thunderstorms. He taught mankind
the art of agriculture and forging. The spirit is mischievous, but not malignant. His wife is
Basa-Andre (Basa Andere). Their characters shift considerably from story to story. In
some stories Basa-Jaun is an ogre and his wife a witch (who, paradoxically, often helps
her husband's victims escape).

Bean Nighe - The Bean Nighe, the Washer at the Fords, is the Scottish version of the Irish
Bean Sidhe (Banshee). She wanders near deserted streams where she washes the blood
from the grave-clothes of those who are about to die. It is said that Bean Nighe are the
spirits of women who died giving birth and are doomed to do this work until the day their
lives would have normally ended. A Bean Nighe is thought to have one nostril, one big
protruding tooth, webbed feet and long hanging breasts. A mortal who is bold enough to
sneak up to her while she is washing and suck her breast can claim to be her foster-child.
The mortal can then gain a wish from her. The Washer of the Fords is sometimes known
under the generic name of ban nighechain (little washerwoman) or nigheag na h-ath (little
washer at the ford).

Bean Sidhe - In Irish folklore, the Bean Sidhe (woman of the hills) is a spirit or fairy who
presage a death by wailing. She is popularly known as the Banshee. She visits a
household and by wailing she warns them that a member of their family is about to die.
When a Banshee is caught, she is obliged to tell the name of the doomed. The Bean Sidhe
has long streaming hair and is dressed in a gray cloak over a green dress. Her eyes are
fiery red from the constant weeping. When multiple Banshees wail together, it will herald
the death of someone very great or holy. The Scottish version of the Banshee is the Bean
Nighe. Aiobhill is the banshee of the Dalcassians of North Munster, and Cliodna is the
banshee of the MacCarthys and other families of South Munster.

Bendith Y Mamau - The Bendith Y Mamau ("The Mothers' Blessing") is a rather
unpleasant clan of Welsh fairies. They are ugly creatures, and sometimes regarded as the
result of interbreeding between goblins and fairies. They steal children and substitute
them for their own ugly ones, called Crimbils. Through the intervention of a witch, the
parents can regain the stolen child, who will remember nothing of its time with the
Bendith Y Mamau, except for a vague recollection of sweet music.

Bertha - A character from German folklore, she is a White Lady who steals softly into
nurseries and rocks infants to sleep, but is the terror of all naughty children.

Biersal - A kobold from German folklore who lives down in the cellar. He will clean all
the jugs and bottles as long as he receives his own jug of beer daily for his trouble.

Black dwarves - Name given to the dwarves of Scotland. See Fairy Folklore/Dwarves.

Bogeymen - A malevolent creature from folklore. Some of them are merely troublesome
and rather harmless, but others are truly evil. They are shapechangers, who can move
objects and cause disruptions. Although a bogeyman usually haunts a family, it in some
cases can become friends with them and a playmate for the children. The bogle is a more
evil type of bogeyman, although it usually harms only liars and murderers. The
bogeymen are vague and amorphous in appearance and they resemble a large puff of
dust. A bogeyman can be spotted by quickly looking through a knothole in a wooden
partition. If a bogeyman is on the other side, one might catch the dull gleam of his eye
before he has time to move away.

Bodach - Scottish brownie.

Boggart - Household spirits from the north of England, and similar to brownies and
bogies, although their nature is much more malicious and less helpful. The dark and hairy
boggarts are dressed in tattered clothes, with meddling hands and clumsy feet. The
presence of a boggart is betrayed by the unusual number of small accidents and strange
noises after dark. They tip over milk bottles, frighten cats, pinch little children, blow out
candles, and cause many other mishaps. No one has ever found a way to appease them,
and often there is no alternative but to quickly and stealthy move to another home. In
Manx folklore, it is called a buggane.

Boggie - Mischievous but harmless spirits who live in darkness and semi-darkness. They
can be found in cellars, barns, attics, cupboards, hollow trees and caves, besides many
other of such places. Favorite are places were people store goods for which they have no
use, but are reluctant to discard. Although they try to move with attempted stealth, their
clumsiness betrays their presence with thumps, creaks and scuffles. They amuse
themselves by hovering behind a person's back and thus creating a vague uneasiness,
pulling blankets on cold nights and other uncreative mischief. Also they like to spy on
people and listen to their conversations.

Bogles - Goblins who only harm liars and murderers.

Bonga maidens - Beatiful water spirits of India.

Boobrie - A fabulous water-bird of Scottish Highland folk belief. The creature haunts
lakes and salt wells.

Bucca - A goblin of the wind, once supposed by Cornish people to foretell shipwrecks. It
is also a sprite fabled to live in the tin mines.

Buggane - An evil creature from the Isle of Man, with a great head and body and with
long teeth and nails. It is a variant of the boggart.

Bunyip - Water spirit of Australia that lies bellowing at the bottom of lakes.

Bwca - The bwca (or pwca) is the Welsh version of the brownie. It is a helpful creature
who, in exchange for a bowl of cream, is willing to perform small labors such as the
churning of butter. If he is treated badly, the bwca will pound the walls, throw small
objects, pinch people in their sleep, destroy clothes and reveal secrets. He despises
teetotalers and people with long noses.

Cacce-halde - Water spirits of Lapland.

Carlin - She was the spirit of the eve of Samhain (Halloween), the night the year turned to
winter, and the ghosts of the dead roamed the world of the living.

Cluricauns - Drunken leprechauns who come out at night.

Colbronde - The Danish giant slain by Guy of Warwick. By his death the land was
delivered from Danish tribute.

Colt-Pixy - A mischievious fairy.

Corrigan - In the folklore of Brittany, a female fairy. She is said to have been one of the
ancient druidesses, and therefore malicious towards Christian priests. Corrigan is fond of
pretty human children, and is usually blamed for all changeling substitutions.

Cusith - An enormous hound of the Scottish Highlands. It is said to be a dark green in
color, with a long braided tail and the size of a bullock. Whenever his baying was heard
on the moors, farmers would quickly lock up their women because the hound's mission
was to round up women and drive them to a fairy mound so they might supply milk for
fairy children.

Daemons - An evil spirit, sometimes thought to be a fallen angel

Dana o'Shee - In Irish folklore, they are small, graceful creatures. The Dana o'Shee live in
a realm of eternal beauty and remain eternally young as nobles from the age of chivalry
with their own king and queen and royal household. They wear beautiful clothes enriched
with precious jewels. They love music, dancing and hunting and can often be seen riding
in a procession, led by the king and queen. But even these lovely creatures can be
treacherous, and some people say they come from the realm of the dead. A person
enchanted by their beauty or music is forever lost. An Irish story tells of a man whose
wife was held captive by the Dana o'Shee. To save her, according to tradition, he must
stand watch on All Saint's Eve when the Dana o'Shee and his wife would ride past. Then
he must empty a jug of milk over her head. However, the man didn't know that the milk
was watered. That broke the spell and the woman fell off the horse. The little creatures
closed in around her, and she was never seen again. The next day the road was sprinkled
with her blood: the Dana o'Shee had taken revenge.

Daoine maite - Literally, the good people. They are the fairies of contemporary Irish

Dark Queen - In old Spanish myth, she ruled over the Estantiqua, a host of spirits who
haunt the roads during the hours of dusk and dark.

Death Coach - In Irish foklore when the Banshee wails and someone dies, a headless man
comes down from the skies riding a coach with two black horses and picks up the spirit
of the deceased.

Devs - The bad fairies of Persian myth. They were forever at war with the peri whom
they had locked away in iron cages hanging high in the trees.

Devas (m), Devis (f) - Plant spirits who manifest as golden auras around healthy plants.
They guide humans to medicinal plants.

Djinn - Creatures that are half-human and half-demon from pre-Islamic times. Originally,
they were spirits of nature that caused madness in humans. They differ not much from
humans: they reproduce, they have the same bodily needs, and they die, although their
life span is much longer. The Arabic word jinn, which means "spirit", is neutral--some of
the djinn serve Allah, while others do not. The Arabs believed the djinn often took the
form of ostriches, or rode them. Dalila, Samson's treacherous mistress, rode and ostrich.
They are also called Jinn, Genie, and Genni. They exist in air, in flame, under the earth
and in inanimate objects, such as rocks, trees and ruins. In the stories of the "Thousand
and One Nights" a djinn often inhabits an old, battered oil lamp. After rubbing the lamp
three times, it will appear and grants the holder of the lamp three wishes. A forth wish
will undo the previous three.
Dockalfar - In Norse mythology, dockalfar are the dark elves that emerged from the dead
body of the giant Ymir. See also liosalfar and alfar.

Dolya - This spirit was said to live behind the stove. When she was in a fine mood, she
was called Dolya, the little old lady who brought good luck; when annoyed, she was
Nedolya, the shabbily dressed old hag of bad fortune. Occasionally she appeared as a
young woman rather than the usual gray-haired granny; in either shape she presided over

Domovik - Russian fire fairy. Known for its brilliance, sense of duty and intensity. It's a
typical hearth fairy who will give protection and luck, but will burn one's house down if
they are neglected.

Dones d'aigua - Dones d'aigua (Maids of the Water) are typical beings of Cataluña, and
they appear in many myths. They live in any place where they can find clean water
(wells, springs, fountains, lakes), but they can also be found in woods and caves. They
appear as women of incredible beauty, although half of their body can be fish- or bird-
like (as for many other faeries of Spanish folklore and Indo-European myths). Dones
d'aigua often guard wonderful treasures. They are always good and kind to humans.

Drachen - A fire fairy that travels through the air as fiery sparks, leaving an unpleasant
smell of suphur behind to makr their passage.

Dragon - Few creatures of folklore and mythology conjure up the mental images of the
dragon. Also known as wurm, wyrm and firedrake, these mercurial creatures pervade
almost every pantheon of classical mythology and have become an integral inclusion of
an entire genre of fantasy literature. Descriptions of the beast's benevolence vary from the
playful Puff (of Peter Yarrow's song) to the sinister Smaug in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The
Hobbit". Babylonian legends portray the Queen of Darkness as a multi-headed dragon -
Tiamat. The Germanic myth "Die Nibelungen" climaxes with the battle between
Siegfried and the giant Fafnir, who has transformed himself into a wyrm in an effort to
become more frightening.

Dryads - In Greek mythology, the dryads are female spirits of nature (nymphs), who
preside over the groves and forests. Each one is born with a certain tree over which she
watches. A dryad either lives in a tree, in which case she is called a hamadryad, or close
to it. The lives of the dryads are connected with that of the trees; should the tree perish,
then she dies with it. If this is caused by a mortal, the gods will punish him for that deed.
The dryads themselves will also punish any thoughtless mortal who would somehow
injure the trees.

Dyeduska Vodyanoy - The Russian 'Water-grandfather'. He is a powerful shapechanger
and it is believed that he drowns those who swim at twelve o'clock, be it midnight or
noon. He often marries drowned or disinherited girls, but he also has a liking for happily
married women. Each time a woman is about to give birth to a child of his, he will go to
the nearest village to request the services of a midwife, who will be handsomely
rewarded in gold and silver. The Watermaster can be recognized by his bald head, large
belly, round cheeks and his green clothes. He wears a high, pointed hat made of reed.
However, he also appears in the shape of a handsome young man or a well-known person
from the village. On the land he has little power, but in his natural element the water he is
all-powerful. It is believed that he hibernates during the winter. When he awakens in
spring he crushes the ice in the rivers and pushes large chunks up the river banks. He
enjoys destroying mill-wheels, but when he is in a benign mood he guides the fish into
the nets of the fishermen or warns against floods. His daughters, pale and tall and dressed
in green, torture the drowned. They like to sit on tree branches, rocking slightly, while
singing beautiful songs.

Ellyon - The diminutive ones of the Tylwyth Teg from Wales who feed on toadstools.
They are ruled by Mab, their queen.

El numbero - The Tempest, an air fairy from Spain. It rides the wind across the skies,
causing changes in the weather.

Erlking - A malevolent goblin from German legend. He haunts forests and lures people,
especially children, to destruction. He can also lead the Wild Hunt.

Erreka-Mari - A chieftain among the faeries, this is a Mari siren (Erreka means creek) that
lives near small streams. Her name changes according to toponymia, and she's also
known as Mari-Arroka or Mari-Muruko.

Estantigua - In Spanish myth, they are a host of spirits who haunt the roads during the
hours of dusk and dark. They are ruled by the Dark Queen.

Fabián - A good spirit of the forest-covered Brdy hills between Prague and Pilsen in the
Czech republic. He was a good knight, turned into a forest spirit by his ex-lover, a
sorceress, during their marriage. She wanted to turn him to an evil one, but he stayed
good even after his transformation. She also made his castle vanish and turned his new
bride into a centaury flower.

Fabián lives on Plesivec hill, a significant dominant of the region, where he has his
garden full of healing but invisible plants, but his bed is a lone rock on an other hill
named Baba, where was his knight's castle. He guards the Brdy forests and scares thieves
and poachers with a loud and fearsome yell. He is also known as Babí Jan (John of Baba)
and Hejkal, but the word hejkal is also used for other forest spirits, scaring people by
yelling, most of them evil. Small statues of Fabián were made from cones in the country
around Brdy, depicting him as an game-keeper.

Fachan - The Fachan is a very ugly creature from the western highlands of Scotland. He
is portrayed with one leg, one arm and one eye.

Fairy - See fairy folklore.
Fear Liath More - Fear Liath More, or the Grey Man, is a creature said to have inhabited
the vicinity of the summit cairn of Ben MacDhui, one of the six great peaks of the
Scottish Cairngorm Mountains, for generations. The Grey Man is identified as a presence
encountered both physically and psychically. In its physical form, the Grey Man is most
often described as quite large and broad shouldered, standing fully erect and being in
excess of 10 feet in height, with long waving arms. He is also reportedly olive
complected or, alternatively, covered with short brown hair. More frequently, the Grey
Man is encountered in physical sensation, but without a true physical form. Sensations of
this type include vast, dark blurs which obscure the sky, strange crunching noises,
echoing footsteps which pursue the listener, an icy feeling in the surrounding atmosphere,
as well as a physical feeling of a cold grip on, or brush against, the observer's flesh. There
is also a high pitched humming sound, or the Singing as it is sometimes called, which is
associated with Ben MacDhui and the Grey Man.

Feeorin - The collective word for fairies who are usually friendly towards mankind, or at
least neutral. They are depicted as small creatures with a green skin and wearing red hats.
They enjoy singing and dancing.

Fenoderee - The Fenoderee lives on the Isle of Man. He is not very intelligent, but he is a
hard worker who, with his great strength, has performed many tasks for the farmers of
Man. He goes around naked and the offer of clothes will greatly offend him, causing him
to stop working. The Fenoderee used to belong to the Ferrishyn, an elfish-tribe on the Isle
of Man, until he made the mistake of wooing a mortal girl. He was punished by loosing
his good looks, and he turned into the ugly, solitary creature he is now.

Feux follets - Feux follets are little tricky spirits who live in bogs and ponds around
Québec. They look like little blue flames and they try to lure travellers into ponds to
drown them.

Fir Darrig - The Fir Darrig is a malevolent elf who is fond of playing rather nasty tricks.
He is best left alone.

Fire-drakes - See dragon.

Folletti - Nearly invisible weather fairies whose toes point backwards.

Fountain fairies - Water fairies from Spain.

Frau Bercha - German fairy who leads her ghostly dogs in the murderous Wild Hunt,
chasing unlucky mortals to their death, as well as gentler fairies.

Frau Welt - The name that was given to the female supernatural paramour or fairy
mistress of general European folk belief by medieval clerics; and according to them, the

Fylgiars - Icelandic guardian fairies of people born with cauls over their faces.
Gabija - A fire spirit from Lithuania. They are typical hearth fairies who give protection,
aid and luck, but are liable to burn down one's house if they feel neglected.

Ghillie Dhu - The Ghillie Dhu is a solitary Scottish elf who lives in birches. His clothes
are woven from leaves and moss.

Glaistig - A water-spirit who is half a lovely woman and half a goat. The goat part she
tries to hide underneath a long green robe. She invites a man to dance with her, before she
feeds on his blood. Contrarily, she can also be very friendly towards children and the
elderly. Sometimes she also herds the cattle for farmers.

Glashtyn - The Manx version of the water horse, the Phooka.

Gnomes - A type of earth fairy. See Fairy Folklore/Gnomes

Goblin - Goblins are a different, more grotesque variety of gnomes. They are known to be
playful, but at other time they are evil and their tricks could seriously harm people. A
goblin smile curdles the blood and a laugh sours the milk and causes fruit to fall from the
trees. They pester humans in a number of ways, such as hiding small objects, tipping over
pails of milk and altering signposts. Goblins originated in France and through a cleft in
the Pyrenees they spread rapidly all over Europe. They have no homes and usually live in
mossy clefts in rocks and roots of ancient trees, although they never stay very long in the
same place. The name 'hobgoblin' is thought to be an abbreviation of 'Robin Goblin', the
name Druids gave to the first goblins when they entered Britain.

Gommes - From France, gommes are the equivalent of gnomes, known for their dour
humor, and their metalworking skills.

GorgoniyIn Russian folklore the Gorgoniy is a mythical beast who protects Paradise
against mortals, similar to Gabriel the Archangel.

Grama-devata - Literally means "village dieties." These spirits from India are the lower
dieties, while the higher dieties are referred to as deva.

Green Man - A legendary pagan deity who roams the woodlands of the British Isles and
Europe. He usually is depicted as a horned man peering out of a mask of foliage, usually
the sacred oak. He represents spirits of trees, plants and foliage. It is believed he has rain
making powers to foster livestock with lush meadows. It is also believed by some the
Green Man shares an affinity with the forest-dwelling fairies since green is the fairy

Gremlin - Little, mischievous spirits of tools and machinery. They are responsible for the
little mishaps when working with tools, such as the sudden diversion of a hammer
towards your thumb when you are driving a nail. They blunt sharp objects such as saws
and chisels, misplace tools, etc. Originally they were friendly towards mankind, and
helped them with many inventions. But when those engineers and mechanics claimed all
the credit of these inventions for themselves, this insult soured the gremlin attitude
towards mankind.

Guaxa - This is an awful witch of the Asturies. An old, ugly woman with many wrinkles
and a single tooth, she's a sort of vampire. As soon as there is a fissure in a house where a
child or a young adult sleeps (her preferred victims), the guaxa enters to swallow their
blood, and she comes back until finally the person dies.

Gwrach y Rhibyn - A Welsh fairy who is the warning of death. Always a woman, her
name means "Hag of warning". Once thought to be one of the mother goddesses, she is
now hideous woman, with tangled hair, black teeth, withered, out of proportion arms, and
bat-like wings. The Gwrach y Rhibyn is usually found at a stream or crossroads.
Sometimes the hag of warning will "ride" inside the body of the person she is going to
warn, until they get to a crossroads or stream where she will begin shrieking. This type
woman is considered the Welsh version of the Washer at Fords.

Gwragedd Annwn - Water-spirits from Wales. These lovely creatures are known to
choose mortal men as their husbands. One legend has it that they live in a sunken city in
one of the many lakes in Wales. People claim to have seen towers under water and heard
the chiming of bells. In earlier times, there used to be a door in a rock and those who
dared enter through it came into a beautiful garden situated on an island in the middle of
a lake. In this garden there were luscious fruits, beautiful flowers and the most lovely
music, besides many other wonders. Those brave enough to enter were welcomed by the
Gwragedd Annwn and were invited to stay as long as they wanted, on the condition that
they never took anything back from the garden. One visitor ignored the rule and took a
flower home with him. As soon as he left the island, the flower disappeared and he fell
unconsious to the ground. From that day on, the door has been firmly closed and none has
ever passed through it again.

Gwyllion - The Gwyllion is a mythological creature from Wales. Even though these elfish
creatures are mostly harmless you should always invite them into your house and treat
them well, because if you don't, it may result in destruction. The female fairy is very
hideous and its only job is to cause travelers to become lost. They usually live on
mountain trails, but if the weather becomes bad they resort to going to the valley. If you
do happen to be threatened by a Gwyllion just take out a knife and point it directly at her.

Gytrash - A spirit from the north of England. It appears in the form of a horse, a mule or a
large dog, and haunts solitary ways, and sometimes comes upon belated travelers.

Haferboc - A field spirit from German folklore. The name means "oat goat".

Hammerlinge - German gnomes.

Hag - The hag is a fairy from the British Isles. She is said to be the traces of the most
ancient goddesses. The hag is regarded as the personification of winter. In the winter
months she is usually old and very ugly looking. As the season changes though she
becomes more and more beautiful, and younger. Tangles in the manes of horses and
ponies are called hag-knots, supposed to be used witches as stirrups.

Hans Heiling - Hans Heiling (Jan Svatos in Czech) is a legendary person from German
stories of Loket castle and town in Sokolov county (today's Czech republic). Hans's
Heiling was a foundling. His mother, the water nymph Oharka from the Ohre river, gave
him the power to command spirits and taught him how to master magic. Hans Heiling
became quite rich and powerful and also ordered spirits under his command to build a
great city. The granite rocks above the Ohre, named Hans-Heiling-Felsen (Svatosske
skaly), were believed to be ruins of this city. When Hans Heiling discovered that he could
not achieve common human happiness even with his supernatural powers, he refused
them and soon after died fighting a bear.

Hedley Kow - The Hedley Kow was a naughty, shapechanging, playful elf who lived near
the village of Hedley. His appearance was not scary and his tricks were usually harmless,
which he always ended with a neighing laughter. A typical trick was to change himself
into a bunch of straw. When an elderly woman gathering wood picked up the straw, it
suddenly became so heavy she had to put it down. Immediately the straw became 'alive'
and then it scuttled away laughing. Other tricks included imitating the voice of a lover,
feeding cream to cats, and turning over a bowl of soup.

Heinzelmännchen - Friendly dwarfs or elves from German folk belief. They work at night
for people whom they like, or to whom they are indebted.

Hobgoblin - An impish, ugly and mischievous sprite, particularly Puck or Robin
Goodfellow. The word is a variant of Rob-goblin (or Robin goblin) -- i.e. the goblin

Hsien - Powerful shape-shifting nature spirits who are harmful and can pass through solid
matter. Their elements are air, water and earth.

Ieles - Malevolent cat fairies who attack humans at crossroads and drain their blood.

Igosha - In Russian folklore an Igosha is a household sprite, a handless and legless
monster. Legends say that an Igosha is the spirit of a new-born baby who died without
being christened. Igoshas lives here and there and are very fond of cruel pranks. To
appease one, people should acknowledge his presence loudly, give him a spoon and a loaf
of bread at the table – or a hat and mittens for the winter.

Illes - Hairy trolls who can yake beautiful human forms for short periods.

Imp - A more popular name for this entity is genie. Historically the imp was thought to be
a small demon kept in a bottle or ring. When released or awaken the entity served its
master in magical, alchemical, or healing purposes. Supposedly there are both good and
bad imps. Magicians evoke them in rituals of ceremonial magic and command them with
incantations, words and names of power.

Incubus - In medieval European folklore, the incubus is a male demon (or evil spirit) who
visits women in their sleep to lie with them in ghostly sexual intercourse. The woman
who falls victim to an incubus will not awaken, although may experience it in a dream.
Should she get pregnant the child will grow inside her as any normal child, except that it
will possess supernatural capabilities. Usually the child grows into a person of evil intent
or a powerful wizard. Legend has it that the magician Merlin was the result of the union
of an incubus and a nun. A succubus is the female variety, and she concentrates herself on
men. According to one legend, the incubus and the succubus were fallen angels.

Itchetiky - In Russian folklore itchetiky are shaggy tiny men, spirits of babies who were
drowned by their mothers. They live in water, in whirlpools and close to water-mills.
Sometimes one can hear a sound as if someone slapped his hand upon the water, and this
sound signifies that itchetiky are around somewhere. To meet an itchetik is an evil omen.

Jack Frost - Jack Frost is a figure from folklore, an elfish creature who personifies crisp,
cold weather. He is said to leave those beautiful patterns on autumn leaves and windows
on frosty mornings. It is thought that he originated in Norse folklore as Jokul ("icicle") or
Frosti ("frost"). In Russia, frost is represented as Father Frost, a smith who binds water
and earth together with heavy chains. In Germany however, it is an old women who
causes it to snow by shaking out her bed of white feathers.

Jack o' the bowl - A house spirit of Switzerland. He is so called from the nightly custom
of placing for him a bowl of fresh cream on the cowhouse root. The contents are sure to
disappear before morning.

Jack-in-Irons - A very dangerous giant who haunts the deserted roads in Yorkshire. He is
covered with chains and the heads of his victims. His weapon is a large club with spikes.

Jenny Greenteeth - An ugly old woman with a green skin, long hair and sharp teeth who
inhabits the river Tees. She grabs the ankles of those who stand to close to the water, pulls
them under water and drowns them. Swimming or wading in this river is strongly

Jinn - Creatures that are half-human and half-demon from pre-Islamic times. Originally,
they were spirits of nature that caused madness in humans. They differ not much from
humans: they reproduce, they have the same bodily needs, and they die, although their
life span is much longer. The Arabic word jinn, which means "spirit", is neutral--some of
the jinni serve Allah, while others do not. The Arabs believed the jinni often took the
form of ostriches, or rode them. Dalila, Samson's treacherous mistress, rode and ostrich.
There are five orders of genies: the Marid (the most powerful), the Afrit, the Shaitan, the
Jinn, and the Jann (the least powerful). Jinni can do good or evil, are mischievous and
enjoy punishing humans for wrongs done them, even unintentionally. Thus accidents and
diseases are considered to be their work. They are composed of fire or air and they can
assume both animal and human form. They exist in air, in flame, under the earth and in
inanimate objects, such as rocks, trees and ruins. In the stories of the "Thousand and One
Nights" a jinn often inhabits an old, battered oil lamp. After rubbing the lamp three times,
it will appear and grants the holder of the lamp three wishes. A forth wish will undo the
previous three.

Kabouter - Dutch variant of the leprechaun. They are friendly little beings, about 15 cm.
in height.

Kallraden - Swedish water fairy.

Kaukis - The Prussian version of gnomes.

Kelpie - In old Scotland, the Kelpie is a treacherous water devil who lurks in lakes and
rivers. It usually assumes the shape of a young horse. When a tired traveler stops by a
lake to rest or to have a drink, he would see a horse, apparently peacefully grazing. When
he mounts the horse, the Kelpie dives into the water, but besides wet clothes, the rider
gets away unharmed.

Kludde - In Belgium folklore, a water spirit which roams the Flemish country side. This
creature, called Kludde, hides in the twilight of dawn and sunset and attacks innocent
travelers. Warned travelers listen for the only sound which betrays that Kludde is in the
vicinity: the rattling of the chains with which the spirit is covered. Kludde usually
appears in the shape of a monstrous black dog that walks on his hind legs. The faster one
walks, the faster this monster follows, often swinging through the trees like a giant snake.
No one can ever hope to outrun or escape this creature. The dog is not the only shape in
which it can be seen. It can also assume the shape of a huge, hairy, black cat or a horrible
black bird.

Knockers - A diminutive race of fairy miners found across Europe. The knockers are a
variety of kobolds. They live in mines and are usually good-natured. With a knocking
sound they point out where the rich veins are to be found. Although they are usually
friendly towards miners, they can play strange tricks. For a knocker there is nothing
funnier than to scare miners by changing its ugly face to something even more horrible,
while performing strange dances. A little piece of miners-food must be left for the
knockers, or else they became mad and that would bring bad luck. Whistling and cursing
they dislike as well and that is usually rewarded by the throwing of (harmless) gravel. In
the hundreds of abandoned tin mines in Cornwall, knockers are still waiting for miners to
lead them to hidden, rich veins.

Kobolds - See Fairy Folklore/Kobold.

Kornmutter - A German field spirit, the spirit of the growing grain incarnate in the last

Korrigans - Water fairies of Brittany. They have the power to make men fall in love with
them, most dying when the Korrigan disappears. Korrigans are found in the fountains and
wells of the forest of Broceliande. They are known for bright hair and red flashing eyes,
and only coming out at night, shunning even half-dark. Some say that she and her kind
are pagan princesses of Brittany that rejected Christianity when the holy Apostles brought
it to Armorica, and now dwell here under a ban, outcast and abhorred.

Lamiñas - Lamiñas are evil faeries of the País Vasco. They live in the woods and in the
shores of streams and rivers. They usually appear as women (they can also appear as
men, but that is rare). The only means to distinguish them from normal people is to see
that part of their body which is fish or bird. Of course, usually it is easy beacuase it is
fifty-fifty, but the animal detail can sometimes be as small as a goat leg or a chicken foot.

Lares - Roman guardian spirits of house and fields. It was believed that he blessed the
house and brought fertility to the fields. Just like the Penates, the Lares were worshipped
in small sanctuaries or shrines, called Lararium, which could be found in every Roman
house. Here people sacrificed food to the Lares on holidays. In contrast to their malignant
counterparts the Lemures, the Lares are beneficent and friendly spirits. There were many
different types of guardians. The most important are the Lares Familiares (guardians of
the family), Lares Domestici (guardians of the house), Lares Patrii and Lares Privati.
Other guardians were the Lares Permarini (guardians of the sea), Lares Rurales
(guardians of the land), Lares Compitales (guardians of crossroads), Lares Viales
(guardians of travelers) and Lares Praestitis (guardians of the state). The Lares are usually
depicted as dancing youths, with a horn cup in one hand and a bowl in the other. As
progenitors of the family, they were accompanied by symbolic phallic serpents.

Leanan Sidhe - On the Isle of Man, the Leanan Sidhe is a vampiric female spirit, while on
in Ireland she is the muse of poetry. Those who are inspired by her usually live a glorious,
but short life.

Lemures - The Roman equivalent of bogeymen. They are Roman spirits of deceased
family members. These malignant spirits dwell throughout the house and frighten the
inhabitants. People tried to reconcile or avert the Lemures with strange ceremonies which
took place on May 9, 11, and 13; this was called the "Feast of the Lemures." Their
counterparts are the Lares, friendly and beneficent house spirits.

Leprechaun - Very small sprites who sometimes live in farmhouses or wine cellars. They
are known to aid humans and perform small labors for them. Sometimes they ask humans
for supplies and furniture, in return they give objects which bring luck and fortune.
Leprechauns are called fairy cobblers, because they make shoes for elves (but always one
shoe, never a pair). They are seen quite often by humans and are described as merry little
fellows gaily dressed in old-fashioned clothes; green, with a red cap, leather apron, and
buckled shoes. When they finish their daily tasks, leprechauns like to organize wild feast,
during which time they are referred to as cluricauns. These (often drunk) cluricauns can
then be seen riding in moonlight on the back of a dog or a sheep. According to popular
belief, a leprechaun possesses a treasure (usually a pot of gold) which a human may
obtain if he succeeds in capturing one, which is extremely difficult. Even after capture, a
person may not take his eyes off of him for an instant, for then he will vanish.
Leprechauns are mainly found in Irish folklore.

Little people - Collective name for earth fairies. They can be found living in rocks, caves,
quarries, mineshafts, under rivers, and inside burial mounds. They are found in stories in
many cultures and are called many names, including gnomes, knockers, and dwarves.

Liosalfar - In Norse mythology, liosalfar are the light elves that emerged from the dead
body of the giant Ymir. See also Dockalfar and alfar.

Lliannan-She - In the Isle of Man, a spirit friend, a female fairy who waited to encounter
men. If one spoke to her she followed him always, but remained invisible to everyone

Lorelei - According to German legend, there was once a beautiful young maiden, named
Lorelei, who threw herself headlong into the river in despair over a faithless lover. Upon
her death she was transformed into a siren and could from that time on be heard singing
on a rock along the Rhine River, near St. Goar. Her hypnotic music lured sailors to their
death. The legend is based on an echoing rock with that name near Sankt Goarshausen,

Lunantishee - The Lunantishee, or Lunantishess, are a tribe of fairies who guard
blackthorn bushes (one of the Fairy Trees). They will not allow a blackthorn stick to be
cut on May 11th (originally May Day) or November 11 (originally All Hallows Eve).
Should a person manage to cut a stick, some misfortune will surely befall him or her.

Lutin - In the folklore of Normandy, a goblin, similar to the house-spirits of Germany.
The name was formerly netun and is said to be derived from Neptune. When the lutin
assumes the form of a horse ready equipped, it is called Le Cheval Bayard.

Mab - Mab is the Queen of the Faeries. She is often portrayed as a trickster who robs
dairies and steals babies. Mab first appeared in post-sixteenth century English literature,
in the poems Nimphidia, and Entertainment at Althorpe by Ben Jonson. The origin of
Queen Mab is most likely Celtic, either from Mabb of Welsh Mythology or Maeve
(Maebhe) of the Cuchullain tales.

Makara - Just as the mermaid is half human half fish the Makara is half animal half fish.
For example, he is sometimes described as having the head of an elephant and the body
of a fish. He is generally large and lives in the ocean rather than in lakes or streams.

Mamur - El Mamur. Of the family of imps, it is a small dwarf, sometimes horned, that
wears a red, pointed hat (as all imps) and red chausses. Mamures have many names:
diablillo ("little devil") in Galicia, familiar in most parts of Spain, maridillo, maneiró in
Cataluña, pauto in Asturias, mengue ("small") in Cantabria, carmeno in Andalucía. In
fact, marmeños appear as black beetles, and not dwarves. Mamures are so small they can
dwell in a pin's box. They belong to a human, not to a house, and they work hard, and
help and obey their master. This one can sell them or give them to one of his children or
other relative. Mamures and pautos also protect the human they serve. They are so good,
that they will never be evil and they will work hard, without ever expecting anything in

Manitou - Fairy folk in Algonquin Indian legend. These fairies of eastern North America
are tricksters with antlers or horns who make magic by drumming.

Manes - Fairy spirits of the dead in Roman mythology. See also lares and lemures.

Mara - A goblin from Scandinavian folklore who seizes men in their beds and takes away
all speech and motion.

Margot-la-fee - A treacherous water spirit from France, found in the bodies of salt water .

Meigas - Meigas are the Galician witches. They are women, but that is nearly the only
thing that is defined. They can be good or evil, ugly or of incredible beauty.

Mekumwasuck - According to Passamaquoddy Indians they are little people of the woods
with ugly, hairy faces. They dress outlandishly and bring sickness or death to anyone they
look directly at.

Mermaids - A marine creature with the head and upper body of a beautiful young maiden
and with the lower body of a fish. She can be found in seas and lakes, or lying on a rock
and combing her hair with one hand while holding a mirror in the other. Mermaids
sometimes foretell the future and are often accompanied by seals. According to myth,
they lure sailors by singing and with lovely music. They live in a kingdom on the bottom
of the sea, and it is here they take their prisoners to. From this story, the fear amongst the
sailor grew and they thought that seeing a mermaid would cause bad luck: it could predict
death by drowning. The belief in mermaids is not limited to a few countries, but there are
tales from all over the world.

Merrow - The Irish mere-folk distinguish themselves from other sea-elves by wearing red
feathered hats which they use to find their homes. Should such a hat be stolen, the
Merrow would be unable to return to his home. Although the males are ugly, they are
very friendly and cheerful. The females are gentle and beautiful creatures who often fall
in love with fishermen. Merrows appear as portents of oncoming storms. Sometimes they
come ashore in the shape of small, hornless cattle.

Mimis - The Mimis are rock spirits of Arnhem Land in northern Australia. They are very
thin creatures, for they live in the tiny crevices of rocks. Because they are so thin and
fragile, they keep a close watch on the weather for a strong wind might blow them away,
or even break their bones if they emerge from their hiding places. Mimis only leave their
homes to seek food, usually roots, but a man passing by might be eaten by them.

Naecken - In Swedish folklore, a naked fiddle playing man that comes up on to rocks
within rivers to play.

Nagas - Beautiful earth and water spirits of India who have magical powers and live in
underground cities. They are shape-shifters who often take the hybrid form of snakes and
humans, sometimes with many heads.

Nain Rouge - "Red dwarf". A lutin of house spirit of Normandy, kind to fishermen. There
is another called le petit homme rouge (the little red man).

Nats - The generic name for the spirits of indigenous Burmese religion and folk belief.
They are spirits of the wind, air, rain, sky, earth, forest, rivers and streams, hills, etc., and
also of the house and the cultivated fields. The ghosts of the dead are nats, as well as the
supernaturals of Buddhism. The nats can be harmful unless constantly appeases and
propitiated. The Buddhist monks propitiate them as zealously as any nat-cult priest; there
is a natsin (nat house or spirit shrine) in the shade of every pagoda, as well as one at the
end of every village, where periodic ceremonies are performed. The nats serve as
guardians of the house, village, tribe, and personal property. The eleven nat maidens who
guard the eleven royal umbrellas in Mandalay are called nat-thami. They also protect
boats and treasure. The Burmese have a specific list of Thirty-Seven Nats who, with two
exceptions, are national heroes and heroines of five groups of pseudo-historical tales.
There were originally thirty-three of them, but their number was expanded with four
more in modern times. Their images can be found in the Shwe Zigon pagoda at Pagan.

Neriads - The Neriads are the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris who dwell in the
Mediterranean Sea. These beautiful women were always friendly and helpful towards
sailors fighting perilous storms. They are believed to be able to prophesize. They belong
to the retinue of Poseidon. Also spelled Nerieds.

Nicnivin - In Scottish folklore, the spirits who haunted the roads during hours of dusk and
dark. They were ruled over by the Unseelie Court.

Nippel - Nippel is guardian spirit of the Czech part of Ceský les/Bayerische Wald forest
range. According to the stories of local German villagers, Nippel guards the forest and
kills poachers in the same way as they have killed an animal, but also helps poor but good
people, either by giving them some treasures or warning them if a dangerous situation
will occur. He lives on Niklasberg, a hill between Bela nad Radbuzou and Tremesna and
usually looks like a noble count (when helping)or a little cruel dwarf (when punishing).
There is a simillar spirit on the Bavarian part of the hills, who is named Tyllenberger, but
in other characteristics is equal to Nippel. Nippel and Tyllenberger were not believed to
be the same; there is a story about the time when they first met and celebrated it.

Nixies - In Norse folklore, they are water spirits who try to lure people into the water. The
males can assume many different shapes, including that of a human, fish, and snake. The
females are beautiful women with the tail of a fish. When they are in human forms they
can be recognized by the wet hem of their clothes. The Nixes are considered as malignant
in some quarters, but as harmless and friendly in others.
Noggle - The noggle a mischievous creature in the British isles that isn't really a horse. It
looks like a little gray horse with a saddle, but if someone gets on, it dashes into the water
where it turns into a burning, blue cloud. The Noggle is also a pest if there are mills
around, because it keeps the mills wheels from turning. Sticking a long knife into a hole
in the wheel should start it turning again.

Nuberu - El nuberu is described as small, dark skinned, with big ears and bright eyes. He
wears furs, a large hat and a cloak. In northern Spain, but specially in Asturias, he is a
spirit of the wind, a "Lord of Tempest". He acts depending on how he is treated. If
farmers are good to him, he will send that rain which helps the crops to grow strong and
abundant. But if he believes he is badly treated, he becomes vindictive and sends ice,
heavy, destructive rain and storms. To those he particularly hates, he sends a rain of frogs.

Nuckelavee - The Nuckelavee is the most horrible of all the Scottish elves. He lives
mainly in the sea, but was also held responsible for ruined crops, epidemics, and drought.
His breath could wilt the crops and sicken the livestock. He looks like a horse whose legs
are part fin; he has an enormous snout-like mouth, and a single, fiery eye. His arms reach
to the ground, his body is distorted and his huge head sways on a small neck, as if it is to
weak to hold the head. The most gruesome about his appearance is the fact that he has no
skin. Black blood courses through yellow veins and the pale sinews and powerful
muscles are clear to see. He has an aversion of running water and those who are chased
by him have only to cross a stream to get rid of him.

Nunus - They are little creatures or dwarfs. They live in a rock with two holes. They are
helpful or kind to anyone who passes them; and will even offer to let someone live in
their rock.

Ogre - In folklore and fairy tales Ogres are creatures of very malignant disposition, who
live on human flesh. They are larger and broader than a man but somewhat shorter than a

Orc - A sea-monster fabled by Ariosto, Drayton, and Sylvester to devour men and
women. According to Pliny, it was a huge creature 'armed with teeth'.

Owl-spirits - Air fairies of West Africa that take on the forms of birds.

Pechs (also pehts) - Scottish fairies who build castles.

Penates - In Roman mythology, the Penates ("the inner ones") are the patron gods of the
storeroom. Later they gradually changed into patron gods for the entire household. Their
cult is closely related to that of Vesta and the Lares. They were worshipped at the hearth
and were given their part of the daily meals.

Peg Powler - An ugly old woman with a green skin, long hair and sharp teeth who
inhabits the river Tees. She grabs the ankles of those who stand to close to the water, pulls
them under water and drowns them. Swimming or wading in this river is strongly

Peri - In Persia, the peri were fairy creatures formed out of fire, existing on a diet of
perfume and other odors. The peri where captured and locked awayin iron cages haning
high in the trees by the devs.

Portunes - Portunes are tiny medieval fairies, described by Gervase of Tilbury as being
the size of a finger. They are very old men with wrinkled faces who work on human
farms. Friendly and helpful they may be, at night they cannot resist grabbing the bridle of
a horse and leading the horse and its rider into ponds. They are among the earliest fairies
recorded in English manuscripts.

Pey - In Tamil folklore, the Pey is a demonic being that drinks the blood of fallen or
wounded warriors. The female counterpart of this vampiric creature is the Peymakilir,
who devours corpses while dancing frenziedly.

Phooka - The Phooka is a harmless Irish kobold who appears in a great diversity of
animal shapes. He can be seen in the shape of a dog or horse, usually pitch-black with
fiery eyes. As an apparently tame and shabby pony, the Phooka offers careless travelers a
ride on its back. But as soon as the traveler mounts the horse, he is in for a hell-ride
through marshes and thorn-bushes. Then suddenly, he is thrown into a ditch or mudpool
and the chuckling he hears is the Phooka galloping away. Sometimes he appears in the
form of an eagle and carries people away on his back.

Phynnodderee - A Manx hobgoblin combining the properties of the Scandinavian troll,
the Scottish brownie and the Irish leprechaun. The phynnodderee drives home sheep and
helps in the harvesting if a storm is brewing. He possesses great strength.

Pigwidgin - A fairy or dwarf; anything very small.

Pixy - See Fairy Folklore/Pixies.

Plaksy - The night-hag of Russian folklore.

Plant Rhys Dwfen - The Plant Rhys Dwfen ("children of Deep Rhys") are a tribe of
fairies who inhabit a small land which is invisible because of a special herb that grows
there. They are handsome, less than average in height, and grateful to those who treat
them fairly. They often visit markets in Cardigan where they pay such high prices for
goods that ordinary buyers can not compete with them. When visiting the main land, they
assume human form.

Portunes - Portunes are tiny medieval fairies, described by Gervase of Tilbury as being
the size of a finger. They are very old men with wrinkled faces who work on human
farms. Friendly and helpful they may be, at night they cannot resist grabbing the bridle of
a horse and leading the horse and its rider into ponds.

Puck - Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, is a character from Shakespeare's play "A
Midsummer Night's Dream". With his flute, made from a willow twig, he accompanies
fairies on their moonlight dances. He is closely related to the Irish Phooka and the Bwca
from Wales.

Red Cap - Red Cap is a thoroughly evil creature. He is a short, stocky old man with long
gray hair and claws in stead of hands. He lives on the Scottish Border in ancient ruins of
castles, especially in those with a bloody history of war and murder. He owes his name to
the fact that he wears a red hat, which is colored by the blood of his victims. Red Cap
moves with remarkable speed, despite the fact that he wears iron boots. He can overcome
even the strongest man, unless the intended victim remembers to quote a few words from
the bible.

Roane - Irish seal fairies.

Rübenzahl - Rübenzahl is called Krakonos (pronounce Krakonosh, "a" like in "mark") in
Czech, as the Giant mountains' Czech name is Krkonose. Older stories about him
(P.J.Preatorius) reflect him as an evil spirit with a bit harsh sense for humor, later focus
on his help to poor local people.

Rübezahl - A mountain spirit from German folklore, the ruler of the wind. He lives in the
Riesengebirge (Giant Mountains), the mountain range which separates Poland (Prussian
Silesia) and Czechoslovakia (Bohemia). He is also called Herr Johannes.

Rusalka - According to east-Slavic folklore, a Rusalka is a water spirit or water nymph.
They are the souls of young women or girls who died an unnatural or violent death. If the
girl was murdered in or close to a lake, she would became a Rusalka and inhabit that
particular lake. Rusalkas appear as beautiful young women who try to lure men into the
water, where they will drown them. Rusalki can also be found on nights when there is a
new moon; dancing on meadows or open places in the woods. They are capable of killing
humans with their shrill laughter. A Rusalka's fate can be undone by avenging her death.

Saci - Spirits who haunt the forests of Brazil.

Sea Witches - For centuries stories of sea witches have predominately enhanced British
folklore. The tales are believed by many in the sea faring trade. Allegedly these beings,
which have been described as phantoms, or ghosts of the dead supposedly have the
supernatural powers to control seamen's fate on the waves. Sea witches are still believed
to lurk up and down the coast ready to scuttle ships upon the rocks, and cause them to
founder in storms.

Seelie Court - The Court of the kind and benign fairy host, usually seen around twilight
in long solemn processions. These fairies help the poor with gifts of corn and bread. The
opposite of the Seelie Court ("Blessed Court") is the evil Unseelie Court.

Selkies - The shy Selkies are marine creatures in the shape of a seal. They can be found
near the islands of Orkney and Shetland. A female can shed her skin and come ashore as a
beautiful woman. When a man finds the skin, he can force the Selkie to be a good, if
somewhat sad, wife. Should she ever recover the skin, she will immediately return to sea,
leaving her husband behind. The male Selkies are responsible for storms and also for the
sinking of ships, which is their way of avenging the hunting of seals.

Shellycoat - The Shellycoat is a Scottish bogeyman who haunts the rivers and streams.
He is covered with shells, which rattle when he moves, announcing his presence. He
enjoys misleading wanderers and often puts them on the wrong track. The Shellycoat is
playful, but rather harmless. Generally, the creatures who inhabit rivers are less
dangerous than those who live in lakes and seas.

Shivering Boy - At Triermain Castle, in Northumberland, it is not so much a sight as a
touch that is to be feared .... the touch of tiny, icy fingers, and a little boy's voice
whispering, "Cold, cold, forever more." The boy, legend has it, lived in the fifteenth
century, and had inherited the castle when his father died. The uncle who was made the
boy's ward wanted the castle for himself, so he starved the boy until he was barely alive,
then abandoned him on Thirwell Common in the midst of a winter storm. The boy
perished in the snow. But he returned to the castle in death, and walks the halls, teeth
chattering, a spectral six-year-old shivering with the cold. If he enters the room of
someone asleep, he may simply stand whimpering by the bed ... or he may reach out and
lay an ice-cold hand on the sleepers brow. To feel his touch, or see his sad little figure, is
a portent of trouble to come.

Sidhe - Sidhe (pronounced 'shee') literally means "people of the (fairy) hills". It is the
Gaelic name for the fairies in both Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. Usually these
fairies are attracted to those who are beautiful as well as wealthy.

Si'la - Harmful spirits from the Middle East, a kind of djinn who cannot change their

Silvanes - Nearly invisible Italian weather fairies whose toes point backwards. They mate
with the silvani to produce little baby silvanes called folletti.

Sirens - In Greek mythology, the Sirens are creatures with the head of a female and the
body of a bird. They lived on an island (Sirenum scopuli; three small rocky islands) and
with the irresistible charm of their song they lured mariners to their destruction on the
rocks surrounding their island.

Skogsnufa - Forest spirit of Denmark, a wild-natured woodwife.
Skrat - One of the many creatures that are said to move into the farmhouses from time to
time is the skrat. He usually lives in a beech tree or a cave and looks like a chicken that
has been caught in a downpour. His wingtips and tail drag on the ground. He may also
transform himself into a small bird, a goose, a dog or cat, or even a hair-covered man.
Any family he lives with becomes rich.

Sluagh of the Highlands -A horde of evil spirits in Scotland, who fly in groups like birds.
According to Irish legends, they are the souls of deceased sinners and they try to take
other souls with them. They come flying from the west and therefore, when someone is
dying, people keep the windows on the west-side closed. This way, the soul of the
deceased can not be intercepted before it reaches heaven.

Solitary Fairies - The Solitary Fairies, who exist as individuals and are often associated
with a certain place or region, are most likely illustrated as spiteful, mischievous, and
hostile if provoked. Solitary Fairies, while said to be good, do not share nearly the same
degree of goodness with the Trooping Fairies. In fact, Solitary Fairies have only been
given the title of a good fairy because the human inhabitants of the place where they
dwell are too scared to say otherwise. The Solitary Fairies are known for their malicious
and sometimes cruel games and only seem to exercise these practices when they find the
actions of a person unsuitable to their liking. Apparently it is not hard to get on the bad
side of Solitary Fairies because they are said to have a double morality, which means that
they think they are entitled to whatever they want of a human. They have been known to
steal human babies and replace them with changelings, bestow bad luck upon humans,
take mortals as slaves, and even have a feast at which the main course was a human
woman. One well known example of a Solitary Fairy's playfulness with the lives of
humans is the Strangers. The story tells of a town who stopped believing in the fairies,
which made the fairies unhappy, so to punish the townsfolk, the fairies made the crops
fail, allowed illness to the children, and sent the town into economic turmoil. These
examples do more than just show the cruel actions of Solitary Fairies, but show the
personality as well.

Spriggan - Spriggans are ugly, grotesque creatures and although there are very small, they
can enlarge themselves to the size of a giant. They are the guardians of treasure mounds.
Spriggans are clever and dangerous thieves who are capable of robbing the homes of
humans and stealing their children. Often they would leave a Spriggan-baby in the child's
place. They control whirlwinds with which they destroy corn-fields, and they scorch the
crops, besides other unpleasantness.

Squant - Squant was a mermaid who loved a land giant whose pipe puffed white clouds
over the water. One day she lured him down into the sea, but as soon as she wound her
hair around him he fell asleep, and she has never been able to awaken him.

Stray Sod - A Stray Sod is an enchanted clump of grass. When one steps on the clump, it
triggers a magic spell and under the influence of this spell, all the familiar landmarks
have disappeared. The road you walked upon is suddenly gone and no matter how hard
you look, it can not be seen again. In other cases, a traveler can suddenly notice that he is
walking in a completely different direction, and no matter which way he turns, he cannot
find the right direction again. The spell can be lifted by wearing the clothes inside out (a
well tested method).

Succubus - In medieval European folklore, a female demon (or evil spirit) who visits men
in their sleep to lie with them in ghostly sexual intercourse. The man who falls victim to a
succubus will not awaken, although may experience it in a dream. The male counterpart
is the incubus.

Swan May - According to the mythology of pre-Roman Britain, if you can get the feather
of the Swan May, you can perform great feats of magic, including turning yourself into a
swan. But beware the Swan May, if she should get her feather back, she can escape.

Swar skogsfru - Swedish equivalent of the skognufa of Denmark, also called a woodwife.

Sylph - See Fairy Folklore/Sylph.

Szepasszony - In Hungarian folklore, the Szepasszony is a taboo word. It is the name of
the Fair Lady, a beautiful woman with long hair and a white dress. She is a female demon
who seduces young men and comes out to dance in storms and hail-showers. Noon is the
hour when she is the most powerful. Several expressions are associated with her. To "step
into the platter of the Fair Lady" means to fall under a spell or one can describe a sick
child as being "suckled by the Fair Lady." Water dripping from the eaves forming a
puddle constitutes a platter by which the Fair Lady can cast a spell on someone. It is
considered dangerous to step into a circle of short grass surrounded by taller grass or no
grass at all, since it may be the circle where the Fair Lady dances.

Tangie - A water-spirit of the Orkneys appearing as a man covered with seaweed or as a
little sea-horse.

Tarbh uisge - The water bull, a supernatural creature from the highlands of Scotland.

Tengu - Tormenting spirits from Japanese folklore. These bogeymen, with their long
noses and beaks, live in mountains and forests and are especially after children. Their
leader is Sojo-bo.

Thayè - In Burmese folk believe, the disembodied spirit of a person who has died a
violent death: inimical to mankind. In folktales these spirits are represented with hideous,
giant bodies and long, slimy fingers or tongues.

Tiddy Ones - These are usually groups of influential spirits, rather than individuals. They
are generally helpful. Tiddy Mun was often invoked to withdraw flood waters. However,
if they are hurt (physically or emotionally), they throw tantrums and cast pestilence on
cattle and children.

Tokolush - Small, baboon-like spirit from South Africa who is covered by black hair. He
lives near streams and frightens travelers.

Tomte - A tomte (tomten) usually lives at farms in Sweden. If he is treated with respect he
can be very helpful. Tomten is very proud and sensitive. If you make fun of him or in any
other way treat him disrespectfully, he will most certainly punish you. An "accident" can
happen to you, the cows will give sour milk or the harvest will fail. In fairly modern
times people are suposed to give him a white porridge made of rice on a plate outdoors.
Closely related to tomten is vätter and huldra, but they usually do not live that close to

Tomtra - Male brownie from Finland who plays the fiddle and will only live in a tidy
human home.

Trasgu - El Trasgu. Trasgus are typical from Asturian folklore, but in fact they are known
in all the country (Spain) under the less regional appellative of "trasgos". In others parts
of Europe, they are known as "lutin", "follet", "kobold" or "puck". Trasgos are horned
and have a tail; they also walk with a limp. Trasgos live in old houses, and are specially
fond on those with a big garret or lumber room. They are not sentimentally attached to
the building, but to the family that inhabits there, and the trasgo will follow the family if
it moves to another place. Trasgos love any kind of domestic work, but they must be
repaid with food and warmth, otherwise they can become very angry. They will then
awake sleeping people, displace any object in the house or break dishes. Most of all, they
are very greedy, and will steal any sweet that can be found in the house.

Trenti - Imp or spirit of moss, typical of Cantabria, he is also known as "musgoso" or
"simiot". He is very difficult to see, because he is covered by moss, mushrooms, leaves
and fern, and you can only distinguish his green eyes and black face. He dwells in the
only poor remnants of forest that are still rid of human beings. In summer, he sleeps
under trees, in winter he prefers shelter. His incessant jokes can be very annoying.
Especially, he likes to ambush walkers to frighten them, but his preferred joke is pulling
maid's skirts. Nevertheless, the trenti is never evil.

Troll - In Scandinavian myth, trolls are ugly, malicious creatures and the enemies of
mankind. They are much bigger and stronger than humans, and leave their caves only
after dark to hunt. If they are exposed to sunlight they will instantly turn to stone. Trolls
are very fond of human flesh. In later myths they are roughly the size of humans or elves,
and thought to be the owners of buried treasures. They are sometimes, although very
rarely, portrayed as friendly, less ugly creatures.

Trooping fairies - Trooping Fairies, who dwell in communities, kingdoms, and
monarchies, are portrayed in the fairytales dealing with them as being less spiteful and
malevolent and more eager to welcome humans and help them. In fact, in some cases
mortal men actually married fairy women as is the case in several of the fairytales of
Wales and Ireland, one of which is the story of the Seal Maidens. In another account of
fairy intervention, commonly told in Ireland, a man with a humped back is cured of his
disfigurement by fairies after merely singing a song with the fairies. Although Trooping
Fairies, like almost all fairies, do not enjoy uninvited guests, they typically help anyone
who finds their way into trouble.

Trow - The Trows from the Shetland Islands are related to the Scandinavian Trolls. Like
their Nordic relatives, they hate sunlight, for this turns them into stone. Trows were
observed many times performing a strange dance, which the islanders call 'Henking'.
There are land-trows and sea-trows. A common phrase used by mother who were angry
with their children was 'Trow take thee'.

Tylwyth Teg - The Tylwyth Teg ("the fair people") are Welsh fairies who live in lakes or
streams or in hollows of the hills. The females are called y mamau (the mothers), a title
which links them to the pagan Celtic deities, the Matres. Associated with them are the
usual traditions of moonlight dance, the supernatural passage of time, the stealing of
children, and the substitution of changelings. They are especially interested in children
with golden hair. Their favorites they enrich with precious gifts, which disappear when
these gifts are spoken of.

Underhill people - A type of fairy creature in Cherokee folklore, divided into those who
are benevolent to human kind and those who harm humans.

Undines - See Fairy Folklore/Undines.

Unseelie Court - The evil counterpart of the Seelie Court is always unfavorable towards
mankind. The part which flies through the sky at night is called the 'Horde'. Mortals
unfortunate enough to cross the Horde's path are taken along for a hell-ride. These poor
victims are beaten and pinched and forced to participate in the bizarre nocturnal activities
of these creatures. The Unseelie Court ("Unholy Court") solely consists of those of the
fairy-like beings which are the most ugly and evil.

Urisk - The Urisk is a solitary Scottish elf who lives in remote pools and rivers. He is
friendly and likes the company of humans, but his curious appearance usually scares
away those he approaches.

Uttuku - Assyrian banshees.

Vadleany - In Hungarian folklore, the Vadleany (Forest Girl) is a forest girl who seduces
shepherds, takes away their strength and makes the forest rustle. She is usually naked and
her hair is so long it touches the ground. She can be caught with a pair of boots.

Vardogls - Small fairies from Iceland who dance when the moon is full.
Vättar - Vättar are smallish guardians, distantly related to the tomte. In Finland they are
called maahinen.

Venusleute - Venusleute (people of Venus) were in German tales little people living in
rocks near Zulova (Sumperk county, Czech republic). They were very small, but pretty,
and used to help and give food to lost children. They also bathed, cooked and washed
their clothes in rock "bowls" often found in local rocks. Venusleute also sometimes used a
cap of invisibility.

Vitore - A good Albanian household spirit who, in the shape of a small snake, lives in the
walls of the house. With a soft whistling it announces both pleasant as well as sad events.

Vodnik - In Slavic folklore, a Vodnik is a water demon who comes into existence when a
child is drowned. He lures people into the water and hold them under until they suffocate.
He appears as a fish or as a human with green hair. In Russia he is called Vodjanoj.

Vodyanoi - The vodyanoi is an unfriendly creature who lives in a crystal palace at the
bottom of a river, lake or sea. He decorates his home with treasures from sunken ships,
and he dislikes human beings so much that he drowns them or makes them his slaves,
giving them the ability to live underwater too. It is said that he is only seen or heard at
night. He sometimes looks like a large fish and sometimes like an enormous frog, as large
as a seal, with a human face. He is blamed for breaking dams to let the waters flow.

Walpurgis Night - The day of the Saint Walburga (8th century CE) is celebrated on May
1. But the night before, April 30 or May Day Eve (Beltane Eve), is called Walpurgis
Night; formerly the date of the pagan festival marking the beginning of summer.
According to German legend, this festival has been associated with a witches' carnival,
and on this night it was believed that witches met with the devil. In these nights there
were usually large bonfires in certain places in the Harz Mountains, Germany, with the
purpose to dispel witches.

Water Leaper - The Water Leaper (Llamhigyn Y Dwr) is a tailed, winged, toad-like
creature which lurks in Welsh lakes and preys on fishermen.

Weisse Frau - German water fairy who protects children.

Wild Hunt - In Germany, this murderous hunt is lead by Frau Berchta with her ghostly
dogs, chasing unlucky mortals to their death.

Will-o'-the-wisp - Will-o'-the-wisps are the faint lights seen on marshes and bogs on still
nights after sunset. Usually a soft bluish light, but also reddish or greenish in appearance.
In folklore, they are thought to be imps or pixies leading victims to danger in swamps and
heaths. Sometimes they are believed to be the spirits of stillborn children flitting between
heaven and hell. It is also known as Jack O'Lantern, Peg-a-Lantern, Friar's Lantern,
Spunkie, Fox Fire, and Walking Fire. The classical name for this phenomena is Ignus
Fatuus ("fools fire").
Witte Wieven - In Germanic folklore, women dressed in white who possessed the gift of
prophecy. It was believed they roamed near swamps and mounds.

Woodwives - Typical name for the wild-natured forest spirits of Europe.

Wyvern - A creature very similar to a dragon except it only has four limbs (2 wings, 2
hind legs) and is smaller in size. Usually the other aspects are the same, although
wyverns are generally not characterized as breathing flame.

Xanas - A kind of nymphs or faeries of Asturias, they are derived from Celtic mythology.
They live near streams, and spend their day singing beautiful tunes and combing their
wonderful hair.

Xindhi - The Xindhi are, in Albanian folklore, elves or elfish creatures. Their
approaching is accompanied by the creaking of a door or the flickering of a flame. The
Xindhi are the male spirits and the Xindha are the female spirits. They are known to be
sometimes friendly and helpful, but more often they are cruel to humans.

Yali - In Indian legend, the Yali is a creature with the body of a lion and the trunk and
tusks of an elephant.

Yakishi - Protective tree spirits of India.

Ymir - In Norse mythology, Ymir is the primordial giant and the progenitor of the race of
frost giants. He was created from the melting ice of Niflheim, when it came in contact
with the hot air from Muspell. From Ymir's sleeping body the first giants sprang forth:
one of his legs fathered a son on his other leg while from under his armpit a man and
women grew out. The frost kept melting and from the drops the divine cow Audumla was
created. From her udder flowed four rivers of milk, on which Ymir fed. The cow itself
got nourishment by licking hoar frost and salt from the ice. On the evening on the first
day the hair of a man appeared, on the second day the whole head and on the third day it
became a man, Buri, the first god. His grandchildren are Odin, Ve and Vili. Odin and his
brothers had no liking for Ymir, nor for the growing number of giants, and killed him. In
the huge amount of blood that flowed from Ymir's wounds all the giants, except two,
drowned. From the slain body the brothers created heaven and earth. They used the flesh
to fill the Ginnungagap; his blood to create the lakes and the seas; from his unbroken
bones they made the mountains; the giant's teeth and the fragments of his shattered bones
became rocks and boulders and stones; trees were made from his hair, and the clouds
from his brains. Odin and his brothers raised Ymir's skull and made the sky from it and
beneath its four corners they placed a dwarf. Finally, from Ymir's eyebrow they shaped
Midgard, the realm of man. The maggots which swarmed in Ymir's flesh they gave wits
and the shape of men, but they live under the hills and mountains. They are called dwarfs.
See liosalfar and dockalfar.

Yorkshire hob - Solitary fairy of England who is usually hostile to humans.
Yumboes - Small, silver-haired people of Senegal who dance in the moonlight.

Zips - Shy, thin male fairies from Mexico and Central America.