Saturday, August 11, 2012

Creatures from British folklore

Creatures of English Folklore A Abbey Lubbers Abbey lubbers were spirits who haunted the abbeys of 15th century England. They were said to be the cause of drunkenness and debauchery amongst monks. They especially haunted the abbey wine cellars. The Apple Tree Man The spirit of the oldest tree in Somerset orchards, he was responsible for the orchards fertility. B Barguest A fiery-eyed black dog with a shaggy coat, it was seen as a death portent. Black Annis A fearsome hag who haunted the Dane Hills in Leicestershire. She had iron like claws and lived in a cave, which she hollowed out with her claws. It is said that she ate children and hung their skins on the cave wall. Boggart A type of brownie, who caused poltergeist activity, they were common in Lancashire, and many places are named after them. Boggart Clough, near Manchester, The Boggart Stones, Boggart Lane etc. Bogies Another class of shape shifting spirits who tormented man. Boggles Evil goblin like creatures. Bogey and Bogey Beast Also an evil goblin type of creature more readily associated with the Devil. Brag A shapeshifting goblin from the North of England. Brownie A generic term for fairies in England and Scotland, they were generally benevolent but could turn bad if they were neglected. They were small in appearance and wore brown clothing. Bucca, Bucca Boo A Cornish goblin like creature. C Capelthwaite A black dog localised to Westmorland, that has shape-shifting abilities and is as large as a calf. Cheney's Hounds Hounds belonging to Cheney, a leader of the wild hunt in the Parish of St Teath in Cornwall. He was a squire in life with a cruel reputation. Church Grim A black dog guardian of church yards, they were often seen as a death portent, they protected the dead from the Devil and evil spirits. D Derricks Fairies who resemble dwarfs, they are small in stature and localised to Devon, Berkshire and Hampshire. The Devil's Dandy Dogs Demon dogs of the wild hunt from Cornwall, they are seen as the most dangerous because they hunt for human souls. The Dandy dogs breathe fire, and leave trails of blackened grass behind them. Dobby A hobgoblin belonging to Yorkshire and Lancashire. Dobby stones were stones onto which fairy offerings were placed. Dobie A type of Brownie. F Fetch A phantom who takes on the appearance of the person who sees it. It is said to be a death portent. Feriers A Suffolk name for the fairies. G Gable Ratchets Phantom dogs of the wild hunt. Gabriel Hounds A Lancashire term for packs of spirit hounds from the wild hunt, who rode across the skies making eerie howls. They where said to have human faces. Galley-Beggar A name given to a frightening spirit in Somerset and Suffolk. Gally Trot The name for a supernatural white dog the size of a large calf, from the Northern counties and Suffolk. Gindylow A Yorkshire water spirit that can drag people under the water. Grant A shapeshifting goblin with flashing eyes. Gurt Dog A Somerset name for a benevolent phantom black dog (it haunted the Quantock Hills). Guytrash A phantom cow with saucer eyes, it is said to be a death portent. H Hairy Jack The Lincolnshire name for a phantom black dog that haunts lonely places. Herla's Hounds Phantom dogs of the wild hunt, they are white with red ears, the colour of traditional otherworld creatures. Hinkey Punk The Somerset and Devon version of a Will o the Wisp. Hobbedy's Lantern Another name for the Will o' the wisp or phantom lights, which lure travellers into treacherous areas. Hob A general name given to fairies in the Northern counties. They often haunted caves and other lonely places. Hobgoblin A mainly benevolent sprite who can also be mischievous if neglected. I Ignis Fatuus The Latin name for the Will o' the Wisp or fairy light. J Jack in Irons A Yorkshire spirit who haunts lonely places attired in heavy chains. The spirit was said to attack travellers. Jacky Lantern The West country name for the Will o' the Wisp. Jenny Green Teeth A Lancashire water spirit who drags people down into the water. Jenny Burnt Tail Another name for the Will o' the wisp or phantom light, which lures travellers into treacherous areas. K Knocker A Cornish mine spirit, which was said to knock at the richest lodes. The knockers were mainly benevolent, but if ignored and neglected they could turn malicious. Knuckers The name for the Old English Swamp Dragons. M Mermaids Dangerous female water spirits who are half fish and half human. They were often said to lure young men to their deaths. Mermen The male equivalent of mermaids, there are few stories about them. N Neckan A river sprite. Nixies Water sprites. O Oakmen Wood spirits of Northern England. Old Bloody Bones A Cornish spirit who haunted holes and crevices. Old Shock A Suffolk name for a phantom black dog. P Padfoot Yorkshire name for a large phantom black dog, it was as big as a calf and haunted lonely roads. Peg o Nell The spirit of the river Ribble in Lancashire. Peg Powler The spirit of the river Tees. Pinket The Worcestershire version of the Will o' the Wisp. Piskies A Cornish word for the fairies, Piskies were generally small and mischievous, they haunted lonely and ancient places, and often tricked travellers into getting lost. They are Pixies in other southern counties. Pixies The West Country name for the fairies. Portunes Tiny farming spirits who are only half an inch in height. Puck A Will o' the Wisp type of spirit. R Raw Head and Bloody Bones A Lancashire and Yorkshire water spirit who haunted deep pools, anybody getting too close to the edge would be pulled under. S Shag Foal A Lincolnshire spirit in the shape of a donkey with flaming eyes. Shuck / Black Shuck The East Anglian equivalent of the phantom black dog. Its appearance was seen as a death portent. Silkie A brownie like spirit who haunted specific areas. In some cases it was identified as a ghost. Skriker A Yorkshire and Lancashire version of the phantom black dog, it was large with saucer eyes. Spriggans Dangerous fairies from the West Country, they were said to guard buried treasure, and to lead travellers into dangerous places. They were stunted and ugly in appearance. Sprites Generic term for a spirit often elemental. T Thrummy Cap Cellar dwelling spirit from the North of England. Tiddy Ones A Lincolnshire name for the fairies. W Waff The name for a double spirit in Yorkshire. Wight Germanic word for an earth elemental. Will o the Wisp The most common name for a fairy light. These strange lights associated with swamps were supposed to be spirits who lured travellers into dangerous areas. Will o the Wikes The Norfolk name for the Will o' the Wisp. Wish Hounds The Dartmoor phantom dogs of the wild hunt. They were often described as headless. Wryneck A Lancashire and Yorkshire name for an evil spirit. Y Yarthkin A Malevolent earth spirit. Yell Hounds Phantom dogs of the wild hunt. ______ Creatures of Scottish Folklore

B Baobhan Sith A very dangerous female vampire who haunted the highland regions. Bean Nighe The Scottish version of the washer woman at the ford. She always wore green and had webbed feet. She was not always a death portent, and would grant three wishes in certain circumstances. Baisd Bheulach A shapeshifting demon who haunted the Odail Pass on the Isle of Skye, its howls could be heard in the night. Blue Men of The Minch Water spirits that haunted the straight called the Minch, between the Shiant Islands and Long Island in the Highlands. They lived in clans in underwater caves and were blamed for shipwrecks. Bodach A dark grey humanoid figure who was thought to foretell the death of members in a clan. Bodachan Sabhaill (the little old man of the barn) A spirit who haunted barns in Scotland, in common with a brownie he would occupy his time doing farming chores. Boobrie A gigantic black bird, which is supposed to have lived in the lochs of Argyllshire. It had webbed feet and fed on cattle. Booman The name of a brownie in Shetland and Orkney. Brollachan Scots Gaelic for shapeless thing, a creature of the night. Brown Man of the Muirs A supernatural guardian of the wild creatures from the Border region of Scotland. He wore brown clothes, and had a shock of red frizzy hair and wild eyes. Brownie A generic term for fairies in England and Scotland, they were generally benevolent but could turn bad if they were neglected. They were small in appearance and wore brown clothing. C Cailleach Bheur A blue faced hag of the highlands associated with winter and a guardian of animals. She may represent a crone aspect of the triple goddess once worshiped by the ancient Britons. Cait Sith A supernatural cat from the Highland region, the creature was as big as a dog and completely black apart from one white spot on its breast. Perhaps the belief is related to some of the mystery black cats that have been caught in the region. Caoineag A banshee like spirit attached to the clans of the Highlands, who could be heard wailing at the bottom of waterfalls before there is death or catastrophe within the clan. Her name means 'the weeper'. Caointeach The Argyll version of the washer woman at the ford, a banshee who foretell death in the clans. Ceasg A Highland mermaid whose contact, in common with most mermaids, is perilous to mankind. If captured she would grant 3 wishes. Ciuthach A cave dwelling spirit localised to the Highlands. Coliunn Gun Cheann (The Headless Trunk) A huge hulking monster with no head who haunted the Macdonald lands near Morar House. Travellers would often be found mutilated by the creature. The creature was banished after defeat by a clan member. Crodh Mara Highland fairy water cattle. Cu Sith A green phantom dog who haunted the highland regions. The creature was the size of large calf and could hunt in silence. Cuachag A dangerous river sprite that haunts Glen Cuaich in Invernesshire. D Direach A monster with one leg and one arm who haunted Glen Etive. Doonie A shape shifting Scottish Fairy, who could take the form of a pony or an old man or woman. Dunters Similar to the Red Cap these creatures haunted the old fortresses of the Borders. They are thought to be the folk memory of foundation sacrifices. E Each Uisge The highland water horse of the sea and sea lochs. It would usually appears as a fine horse, anybody trying to mount it would become attached to its adhesive skin. It would then rush into the deepest part of the loch and devour its victim. F Fachan A highland spirit with one leg and one hand standing from a ridge on its chest. Fideal A highland water demon which inhabited Loch Na Fideil near Gairloch. The creature used to drag women and children under the water and devour them. Fuath(an) A generic term for Scottish water spirits who dwell in the sea in rivers, and in fresh water and sea lochs. G Gentle Annis A spirit said to cause the gales in the Firth of Cromarty. Ghillie Dhu Gille Dubh A benevolent fairy who was said to haunt a birch grove at the end of Loch Druing near Gairloch. It wore clothes of moss and lichen and had black hair. Glaistig Fairies with golden hair who helped around farms. Grogan A highland brownie who helped around the farms. Gruagachs A highland brownie who helped around the farms. H Habetrot A border fairy associated with spinning. Henkies One version of the Orkney and Shetland Trow. J Joint Eater An invisible fairy who sits next to people and eats their food so that they gain no benefit from it. K Kelpies A shapeshifting water horse that haunted Scottish rivers. It often appeared as a horse but it could take the form of a man and leap at passers by. L Loireag A water and spinning fairy from the Hebrides. Luideag A dangerous water spirit who haunted the loch of the black trout on the Isle of Skye. M Morool A Shetland sea monster with many eyes, probably a misidentified fish or sea creature. Muilearteach A blue faced hag who takes several forms, she is similar to the Cailleach Bheur. N Noggle / Nuggle The Shetland version of the water horse, it was often associated with water mills. Nuckelavee A hideous creature part horse and part man with long sinewy arms. The creature had no skin and its muscle structure and veins could clearly be seen. It had an aversion to fresh water. P Peallaidh A Perthshire water monster. Pechs Another name for the Picts, who were often seen as fairies by the conquering Scots many hundreds of years later. Powries Another name for the Red Caps who haunted the Border regions. Puddlefoot A Perthshire water spirit who haunted a pool near Pitlochry. R Red cap A fearsome spirit who haunted the old border castles, he was wiry and small, with Iron claws and a red bonnet. They dipped their hats in their victims blood to give them their red colour. S Selkies Seal spirits who could take human form on land. They often intermarried with mortals. Shellycoat A male water spirit from the Borders region. They wore shells and could be dangerous. Shony A sea spirit from the Isle of Lewis. Shoopiltee A water horse from the Shetland Isles, they took the appearance of a small horse. Slaugh A name given to a group of very dangerous spirits from the highlands. They were known as the unforgiven dead. They were always malevolent and sometimes thought to be fallen angels. Spunkies The lowland name for the Will o' the Wisp. T Tangie A shapeshifting sea spirit from the Orkney and Shetland Isles Tarrans Supposed to be the spirits of babies who have died without baptism they manifested as lights, localised to North East Scotland. A similar explanation is given for the West Country Pixies. U Urisk A spirit very similar to a faun in that they are half human and half goat. They are said to haunt pools and waterfalls. W Water Wraiths Female water spirits who drag people down into the depths. They dressed in green and had withered faces. Wulver A Shetland supernatural creature with the body of man and a wolfs head. They were said to be benevolent. ______ Creatures of Welsh Folklore


Afanc The Afanc is a monster that used to haunt a pool called Llyn yr Afanc, on the river Conwy. It was lured from the waters by a maiden, and banished to Glaslyn Lake on Mount Snowdon".


Bendith y Mamau A Welsh name for the fairies it means 'the mothers blessing'.

Bwbachod A Welsh Brownie.

Bwca A Welsh Brownie.


Coblynau Welsh mine spirits like the knockers of Cornwall, they were good natured and knocked at the richest lodes.

Crimbols A fairy changeling left in place of a human baby.

Cwn Annwn The Cwn Annwn, are welsh phantom dogs seen as a death portent. Their growling is louder when they are at a distance, as they draw near the growling grows softer and softer.

Cyhyraeth A Welsh banshee who groans and wails before a death or a tragic event.


Ellylldan Welsh spirit similar to the English Will o' the Wisp, it appears as a light and misleads travellers from their path.

Ellyllon Welsh Elves


Gwartheg y Llyn White fairy cattle with magical attributes.

Gwarch y Rhibyn A banshee with long arms and black teeth. She is said to walk beside people and whisper the name of the person who is about to die.

Gwaragedd Annwn Female water spirits who are described as beautiful with long golden hair. They interact with humans, and unlike many water fairies they are benevolent.

Gwyllion Female mountain spirits who sometimes try to lure travellers off the road.

Gwyn ap Nudd Although technically a god he is the king of the underworld and ruler of the fairies.


Llamhigyn Durr The water leaper, a water spirit who breaks fishermen's nets and lines.


Morgens Welsh mermaids.


Plant Annwn A term used for the fairies, they are the inhabitants of Annwn, ruled over by Gwyn ap Nudd or Arawn.

Plentyn-newid Changelings left in the place of human babies by fairies.

Pwca A welsh fairy similar to a Will o' the Wisp.


Tylwyth Teg A name for the fairies it means 'the fair family'.



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