A creature resembling a beagle, with very short front legs like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It’s very long ears serve as an extra pair of arms, and can grab prey (weird, In know). They are kept as pets by the Aswang, hideous were-bat-insect-things who suck blood and fly around at midnight cackling evilly.
There are lots of legends about Crows and Ravens being evil. Sometimes they serve witches, sometimes they dwell in the ruins of ancient castles and sorcerer’s towers. The Ginwings of the North are similar creatures, but much much eviller. They were kept underground for hundreds of years, imprisoned, but when finally released they are quite a dark and powerful force. Their chief love is gold, and they can smell gold from miles away. When this happens, they swarm and attack, killing everyone that stands in their way. They they go into a frenzy, killing each other for that gold. By the end of the violent battle, there is usually only one or two Gingwings left, who then carry the gold off to their lairs, too tired to fight. Many merchants traveling deserted desert roads have met their doom from Gingwings.
Typhon is a giant from Greek Mythology. He is known by all the other giants and titans for his excellent shadow puppets. Why does he do such great shadow puppets? Because its hands are dragon heads. Yep, that’s right. So whenever it goes to war against human villages or even roman cities, it can smash people and breath fire at the same time. It also can go into Whirlwind Mode, where it flies around in a circle, causing a tornado. When his mother, Gaia, commanded him and the rest of that race to fight Zeus and his rising Olympian clan, he was stuffed under a mountain. However, even in his captive state he still causes destruction, and makes the mountain become a volcano.
He was married to Echidna, who was half snake and half human. Their children were Cereberus, who guards the Underworld, the Hydra, the Chimera, the Dragon, the Sphinx, the Evil Eagle, the Harpies, the Gorgons, and the Sea Serpents. So, Typhon is pretty much the father of half the Mythical Creature list!
What a funny creature is the Mooncalf! A shy little fellow, it stays inside its little house all day long, and only comes out at midnight, to dance its heart out in complicated patterns all across the fields. This is the true origin of Crop Circles.
Alicorns are winged Unicorns. Their horns are very valuable.
A goat with swiveling horns that can be spun around super fast. Sometimes they lift off into the air and fly around.
Well folks, we’ve come to the end of the Monsters and Beasts List. There will only be a couple more of Cool Creatures with Humanoid Features and Spirits of the Unknown before the List of Mythical creatures comes to a close. Wow.
Since there were only six creatures in this post, I’ll leave you will a Bonus Coolness.
The List of Mythical Creatures is divided into three alternating categories: Monsters and Beasts, Cool Creatures with Humanoid Features, and Spirits of the Unknown.
This week: Spirits of the Unknown!
Bugbears are the biggest type of Bogies. Unlike many of their smaller cousins such as the Boggart or the Bogeyman, Bugbears don’t make their home in human housholds, surviving on dropped food or pets that become too annoying. Bugbears are spirits of the wild.
They are huge and ferocious, which earned them the “bear” association, and hunt down deer for sustenance. While they are normally feral creatures, sometimes orcs and goblins capture them as war beasts. Tribes with a Bugbear calvary are almost invincible in open field combat, and it takes a whole big alliance of elves and men to stop them.
Bugbears have been known to sometimes become civilized, and there are rumors about Bugbear cities hidden deep in the jungles.
CURUPIRA AND CAIPORA
Strange, jungle-dwelling animal rights activists. One, the Curupira, drives hunters mad with a high pitched whistle sound and then kills them. The Caipora is more moderate, and only kills those who take more than is needed. The Curupira‘s secret weapon is his backwards feet, which he uses to make misleading tracks. The Caipora‘s secret weapon is his steed, a little pig that rides fast as the wind. Both are depicted as small men.
Silvans are spirits of the forest who live with Dryads. The difference is that Dryads are spirits who LIVE IN trees, and Silvans are spirits MADE OF trees. They are also known as the Green Men, the Barkheads, and Ents.
Dokkaebi are basically just the Japanese Folklore equivalent of European Fairies. They are sometimes mischevious, they can turn invisible or summon objects with magic, they bring good fortune to those who leave out food for it or appease it via a ritual, and their appearance is made evident by a mysterious flame. They also like to waylay travelers, forcing them to wrestle and, if they win, eating you and if they lose, letting you pass.
Sometimes listed as Goblinoids.
Also from Japanese folklore, the Nekomata are two-tailed Cat Spirits that live deep in the mountains and attack people. They are very mysterious, so not much is known about them. It is said they can shapeshift into humans. Some pretend to be house cats, and when they gain their humans’ trusts, POOF! Next day the neighbor comes over and finds bloody skeletons, a broken window, and the Nekomanta’s worries left on the doorstep. It has gone back up to the mountain with it’s friends.
Also known as Elf Fires or Fire Sprites, Wisps are strange lights seen floating in swamps into the night. They dance around, luring anyone foolish enough to walk outside the village walls after nightfall to a certain death by the hands of evil magic. Nobody knows what really causes them, whether it be some fiend from another dimension, sitting in the dark mists of netherspace gathering his mysterious lights, or whether they are just an anomaly, a glitch in the matrix as it were. Whatever they are, they leave in their path only mutilated skeletons hanging from trees.
Water Babies are monsters who lurk under the water. Anybody who passes their lair is pulled down, drowned, and eaten. Most live in woodland streams, but some live in the ocean and eat sailors who fall off ships.
The Sisiutl is a monster that flies through the air. It has two dragon heads and a human head in the middle.
What’s scarier than a monster that lives in mirrors? Not much. Especially if the monster is Bloody Mary.
Welcome to another post in the List of Mythical Creatures series. You can read all the posts here.
Fomorians are strange spirits from Irish folklore, serving as Giant-Kin monsters in Dungeons and Dragons. They are also in Final Fantasy and Magic: The Gathering.
Well, although the rhinotaur is not the most etymologically correct name (Mino-Taur means Minos-Bull or Bull of Minos, and Rhinoceros means nose horned, so Rhinotaur means nose bull or bull of the nose) it’s still pretty cool. A Rhinotaur is basically a humanoid Rhinocerous, just like a Troglodyte is a humanoid lizard.
A Lich is a sort of animated skeleton. They are usually more magical in origin than skeleton soldiers, maybe being necromancers leading an army of other undead.
Columbi are a race of pirates living along the seacoasts. They are distinguishable from humans by their shortness of stature and the ropes they have instead of hair.
Kobolods are a fairly common fantasy race. In folklore, they are just your typical fairyfolk species, but for some reason they are lizards in Dungeons and Dragons.
So skinny they are practically invisible except from the side, able to stay underwater for hours waiting for prey, and possessing a sharp hatchet-like nose that can kill humans or even dwarfs and elves in one stroke, the Wanagameswak is truly dangerous.
They inhabit swamp regions, where they can catch small birds and nue. When migrating, they move in packs, moving swiftly across huge stretches of land and killing anything in their way. They have been described as shimmering and glinting, because of their virtual imperceptibly, so they are almost impossible to catch even when all the local farmers travel into the swamp armed for just that purpose. They dispatch the expedition one man at a time.
Thankfully, they are reclusive and sometimes hibernate for whole decades. But when they are awakened and hungry, you’d better run.
Under the ocean, there is a whole world unexplored by humans. We know more about the surface of the moon than we know about the oceans of our own planet. Deep trenches, dark caverns, great sandy plains, all fathoms beneath the sea. What lives down there, you ask? Well, there are fish of course. There are octopi and whales and sea serpents. But deeper below that, in cities build even father down than the Leviathan’s lair, are the merpeople. Many think the merpeople are all one species, but there are actually many different races and peoples, living together in peace or sometimes in warring factions. There are Gryndylows, and Black Lagoon Men, and Skarkfolk, and Selkies, and Orcamen, and Oceanids, and even Piscians. But the strangest of all is the Sea Bishop.
They are exactly like human bishops, except with a fish tail. The whole species is dedicated to the church, and the lesser cast, the Sea Monks, are in charge of keeping the records for all the mer-cities under Atlantis’ golden sceptre. King Poseidon was crowned by the sea pope, and when his son Tridon takes the throne, they will be present at the ceremony again.
Rivers can be strange and dangerous places. Besides the obvious dangers of being washed away or drowned, many dangerous creatures like to hang around them for hydration and fish. This includes not only bears and wolves, but monsters. One of these is the Burr Woman. Burr Women pretend to be helpless old ladies, and ask passing adventurers for help crossing the stream. Then they kill their victims with foot long nails and crawl back to their cave.
The Wood Woad is from Medieval Mythology and was the inspiration for Narnian Wooses. They are known as “the wild men”, and are very rarely seen by the more civilized peoples. Wood Woads usually live and hunt in family units, but gather into war parties once a year to raid and burn human villages.
Like the Woad, the Kwanokasha lives a reclusive life deep in the forest. However, they are friendly and possess magical powers. When one come across somebody in the woods, he appears and holds out in his three hands a dagger, a bushel of healing herbs, and a bushel of poisonous herbs. If the person chooses the knife, the Kwanokasha decides he is cruel and cuts his throat. If they choose the right herbs, the Kwanokasha teaches him all the secrets of medicine and magic. If they choose the poison, the Kwanokasha decides he must be foolish and sends him away empty handed.
The cultural perception of “fairies” is a multifaceted thing. Because it comes from so many sources, and was passed down mainly by storytelling traditions, each race filtering the legends into their particular set of ancient myths and newer folktales, it is almost impossible to believe that the “elves” of Tolkienesque Fantasy are derived from the same source as the hideously demonic “elf on the shelf.”
THE ANCIENT NATURE DEITIES
Well, everything has to start somewhere! Now, fairy folk have taken on a smaller image mainly influenced by Germanic “Fairy Tales”, and have become completely cut off from the more evil sides of fairy legends (read: Elf on the Shelf). Fairies are often portrayed as the light side of magic as opposed to the dark side consisting of ogres, orcs, and all the typical creatures seen in an evil overlord’s dark army.
Many people think of gods and fairies as completely different subjects, one as mythology full of symbolism and such marks of true literature, and the other as silly children’s stories and at the best amusing cultural traditions. It is perfectly acceptable for a scholar to study the gods and “Classical” mythology, but fairies are from a much sillier strand of folklore.
However, I would argue that mythological ‘gods’ are really just glorified fairies.
Something important to remember is- all mythologies are at the basis a religious tradition solidified over time into a series of tales. All the stories we hear about, The Trojan Horse, Polyphemus, Hercules, Pegasus, they seem majestic mainly because the culture they come from was so civilized.
In my opinion, the tales that Greek Mythology consists of, the poetic cycles and symbolic nature myths, are just the solidified, civilized outpourings of an older tradition. Let’s consider the king god- Zeus. He is the figurehead of the religious element in Classical Mythology.
Well, this is where linguistics come in. Let’s look at the name “Zeus.” Sounds a lot like the Latin Word “Deus” meaning “god.” Surely there’s a common root?
In Proto-Indo-European mythology, the oldest mythology in the world, the chief god was named Dyeus.* As you can see, the “eu” sound carried over to the god of thunder’s name. Other chief gods derive from this ancient deity too, such as Tywos (later called Tyr in old Norse) who predates Thor but was later overlooked as Odin took a more kingly “jovian” role.
And let’s not forget the Divas, the divs, and the duvs. So, the “Eu” sound denotes divinity.
*It is highly likely that the civilizations that predate even Proto-Indo-Europeans were monotheistic but as more tribes gathered in hunter-gathering groups and clans, the worship of star and nature spirits grew to predominance.
Another figure who connects Classical Mythology to the wider world of nature spirits is Pan. He lives in the wilderness of Arcadia- around Mt. Olympus. Pan (whose name means “all”- thus ‘pantheism’ and ‘panorama’) was a nature god. He and his group of satyrs, fauns, nymphs, and other assorted fairies, would roam the countryside playing music.
THEN IT GETS A LOT MORE COMPLICATED
Now that we’ve laid the basis for the whole tradition, I think it’s time to define “fairy”.
Well, etymology tells us that Fairy means, roughly, magic doers. So, that limits a proper fairy to a specifically magic-using spirit or creature.
The most narrow, basic definition of fairies is English in origin, and the confusion in fairyology mirrors the cultural confusion that English fairies come from. They mix names from Norse Mythology (elfs mainly but sometimes dwarfs are included), as well as ideas from all over Europe, such as House-Cleaning fairies, Shoe-Making ‘elfs’ (originally Brownies but morphed with Norse Mythology), Changeling stories, and fairy villages in the woods.
Sometimes, to add to the confusion, fairies become not a category but a specific creature, usually depicted as tiny people with butterfly wings.
Also there are different spellings- Faerie, Fairie, Fairy, Feiee, Faeriee, etc.
As all these traditions merged, the word Fairy became interchangeable with the word elf. This explains why elves have changed so much from their Germanic status of Evil Demodemons.
Aside from the various widths of definition regarding fairies, there are differing views on where they come from. It is generally agreed that they live in a sort of magical dimension, sometimes called Faerie or Alfheim, that connects to deep forests, flower gardens, and other spots. It is usually when Fairies are on vacation to these human-realm territories that they are captured and forced to grant three wishes, give up their gold, or give the hero a magical staff.
There are other stories where the opposite happens- a human goes to the land of the fairies, which he usually finds populated with strange creatures and sights. After following the mysterious path for a while, the hero eventually reaches the Core of Faerie, the court of the Fairy Queen. Reasons for visiting include perhaps that the fairies captured a relative, or maybe just that the hero fell through a porthole. Fairyland goes under many names (examples- Oz, Wonderland, Neverland, Narnia, Aman and Lothlorien, etc.)
Faerie is usually some sort of forest realm, but sometimes it is an island, a Holy Mountain, or a land in the clouds.
Sometimes it is underground, but this usually is only in Dark Faerie.
Along those lines, the Wild Hunt is the more demonic side of fairy lore, also reminiscent of ancient religious traditions (especially the iconography of a chariot in the sky). Basically all the Fey would leave Faerie annually for their favorite tradition- destroying everything in their path.
Many traditions about the Wild Hunt include pagan mythology, such as it being led by Venus or Zeus.
MAGICALLY ADVANTAGED PRECIOUS MOMENT DOLLS, LESSER DEMONS, OR UNDEAD ANCESTORS?
Now that we’ve looked at where the ideas about fairies come from, what defines a fairy, and where fairies live, let’s consider the origin of fairies. The backstory, if you will.
Traditions vary about this. One common element in fantasy is an ancient spirit race that fought wars and carved mountains and generally acted like gods-on-earth. A common gig is for this ancient race to return after years of hiding or maybe even Long-Term Hybernation (like the dragons in Bone). Perhaps this is induced by the humans forsaking them, or by grief over some great loss. Come to think of it, this is really common for dragons. Think about King Yurgen in the Wingfeather Saga (which BTW the ending of that series almost broke my will to live), Inheritance Cycle, ASOIAF, and Serpahina.
But I’m totally getting off track here.
Many stories say that Fairies are the descendants of these ancient gods, now become weak and frail because the magic has departed and the age of men has come (after the age of men comes the age of robots). This can either make them good and beautiful, if the ancient gods were benevolent (the elves in Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings) or evil and deadly if the gods were Death Elementals or jerkface dieties.
Often in the former case the fairies will become environmental crusaders, like Treebeard.
The point of all this is to say that in many stories fairies are demoted angels, because they were kicked out of Heaven.
And then a whole ‘nother tradition says fairies are the spirits of dead ancestors. To me that’s just weird.
GOBLINS, ELFS, DWARFS, AND TROLLS
As fantasy has become a more advanced genre, there have been several Mini-Genres that have emerged. Sword and Sorcery where there is a big strong hero who has to fight an evil warlock (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), Urban Fantasy where the stories are less Epic Scale and more taking place alongside the normal world (Harry Potter), Low Fantasy which takes place in a separate world but not on an epic scale and with limited magic elements (How to Train Your Dragon, Tangled, Till We Have Faces), and High Fantasy, which takes place on an epic scale, with a Dark Lord who wages war on all the good peoples, magical objects, and of course tons of fantasy races.
The prototype is obviously LOTR, which draws on many older Fairy Tales, Hero Legends, and the like, but combines them all into a new type of story. Then everybody did the exact same thing for half a century.
But from this prototype we get the basic fantasy races, all of which are ascended fairies.
Elves, are the most magically advanced.
Then we have dwarfs, short and stout, with an apparent affinity for mining, eating, and being fat.
On the evil side, there are Orcs and Trolls. Orcs are based on Orcneas and Trolls are, of course, trolls. Goblins, Ogres, and the like are usually all grouped together in one category, like Greenskins in Warhammer.
Ents, Maiar (including Gandalf), Tom Bombadil, and all the other spirits included in the mythology fit nicely into the fairy category, with Ents exemplifying the Environmentalist Fairy trope, Gandalf and the Maiar as lesser gods, and Tom Bombadil as a frolicking spirit of nature who sings in the forests and mountain valleys.
“Tolkienesque Fantasy” is a common sub-genre of fantasy, most common in Role Playing Games like Dungeons and Dragons. Of course, over the years, this genre has expanded, and now most settings involve more than the typical three races (elves, dwarves, and orcs). Some of the more common ones are Centaurs (influenced by Harry Potter), Lichi and other Undead, and Beastfolk.
Then there’s usually the Token Human or so.
These all are usually called ‘races’, although they are technically separate species.
Confusingly there are also mixed breeds, such as half-elfs, half-orcs, and the like.
In the standard story of this type, one character from each race joins a group to go stop the Dark Lord and his minions.
Most of these races are fairies, you may notice. That’s because Tolkien based his mythology on Germanic Mythology, which is where all the Grimm brother Fairy Tales come from.
First, dwarves. Dwarves are known for being very stubborn and proud, but also sturdily honest. They are the arch-enemies of the goblins and they live deep in caves, building cities deeper and deeper.
Dwarfs are also commonly depicted as disliking elves. This is actually contradictory to original Norse Mythology, where the two fairy creatures were almost interchangeable. Their synonymy has actually caused a lot of confusion, particularly in regard to the Nine Worlds and Svartalfs. But this topic is covered a lot elsewhere on the blog, so I will stop with this link that will set more of the backdrop for RPG fantasy and D&D and stuff. LINKYDOODLE
By the way, in Norse Mythology elves are called Alfs and dwarfs are called Dvergr.
Speaking of elves, I think it would by appropriate to do them next.
I started off this article by mentioning the contrast between the elves of Tolkienesque fantasy and Elf on the Shelf. Then, as the article progressed, you may have noticed Elves kept popping up. Elves are basically the all purpose fairy. Whatever fairies are in a particular time period, elves will always take front and center.
But in fantasy, elves are high, majestic, in tune with nature, and in possession of magical artifacts from the Good Old Days. Often, they are actually from the Old Days, because elves can live for thousands of years. They prefer the bow over other weapons.
In most fantasy settings, there are three types of elves (or more). There are the High Elves, the Wood Elves, and the Dark Elves. Dark Elves live underground and are basically an Evil Counterpart Race.
Gnomes are another thing entirely. The mysterious underground spirits are from Alchemy. They are often used as small garden spirits in recent stories, but were originally more of Earth Elementals.
Orcs are based on Orcneas. Orcneas are one of the three evil races descended from Cain according to Beowulf, but more on that later. They are typically green or grey and feature most of the time as faceless minions of the Dark Lord. They tame wild wolves as mounts most typically, but also sometimes muster a larger force including trolls and ogres. If they are separate from goblins, goblins will be their smaller cousins.
THE DARKER SIDE
The truth is that, as hard as you try to put your finger on the specific differences between elves, dwarfs, et cetera, it all comes down to the same thing. They are all a specific culture’s channeling of the basic ‘spirit of the unknown’ prototype.
Thus, any title can be applied to any legend with basically the same effect. Early on, elves were often Evil. They were one of the three Descendants of Cain- the others being Eotenas (ettins) and Orcneas.
Often, fairies would be evil phantoms, haunting humans. They were almost like Slenderman and other modern-day apparitions.
Sometimes they would play tricks on humans whose houses they entered, ranging from tying horses’ tails together to killing anybody in sight.
These traditions are now associated with creatures like the Gargoyle and the Demogorgon, but elves and even dwarfs once fell into this category.
Well, that’s it for this week! I’ve gotten really bad about posting on time, but now that the worst of cold season and the holidays are over, hopefully I’ll get on more of a schedule.
Hello readers! I apologize fervently for the long break in between this and my last post. Sorry. Really.
This week: Ten Monsters and Beasts
Our first creature for today is the Tarasque, a turtle dragon man creature. It is the son of the Leviathan and the Onachus. When it started attacking boats and people walking along the shore of its river home, Saint Martha came to tame it. She succeeded and was bringing it back to town when the townspeople attacked.
It didn’t fight back and was killed. Later they felt bad that they had killed a tamed creature and named their town Tarascon in its honor.
Have you ever seen that old symbol of a dragon with its tail in its mouth making a circle?
It’s called an Ouroboros. One of the most ancient symbols representing unity and power, it is even found in the Egyptian Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld.
Well, the Hoop Snake is like that. It rolls around and tries to capture people. The only way to defeat them is to jump through them like a flaming hoop. This confused them and they fall over helpless.
No doubt, this is the weirdest mythical creature I have ever heard of. A talking umbrella. Yep.
The Cape Lobo is a creature from Brazilian Folklore. Like a werewolf, the Cape Lobo transforms at night. But unlike the werewolf, the Cape Lobo becomes a Anteater monster. It attacks humans and sucks out their brains with his snout.
From Hawaiian Folklore. As a shark with four legs, the Nanue has developed over the years to become more and more humanoid. In some versions of the legend, it is a were-shark: a human that becomes a shark.
The Raiju is a lightning powered weasel (or dog) from Japanese Folklore. When traveling long distances, it curls into a ball and flies around- causing Ball Lightning. It is normally calm and peaceful, but during storms it goes wild and yells, causing thunder. Sometimes in its rampage in crashes into buildings and they are promptly struck by lightning from its fur.
This next creature happens to be one of my personal favorites, for obvious reasons. It’s awesome! The Peryton is a FLYING STAG. From ATLANTIS! When Atlantis was destroyed, the Peryton population flew away, and now lives in desolate areas and mountains, hunting mountain goats. They are fierce predators of man and beast, but can be tamed.
Now we come to my All-Time favorite- the Enfield. They are from Medieval Heraldry, meaning they would appear on the shields and banners of knights as they went into battle. The Enfield symbol builds on the ancient image of the Cunning Fox, clever and sometimes even magical. Some banners keep it basic- a fox with bird’s wings, but other versions got fancier and added such flairs as a lion’s tail and mane, a greyhound’s chest, and a wolf’s legs.
POLONG AND PELESIT
A pair of evil creatures, the Polong and Pelesit often work for warlocks. They attack people and can only be called out by garlic. They will repeat the name of the warlock who sent them.
In some areas, the water is so cold that trout are forced to grow coats of fur. That’s the story at least.
Pictures belong to their respective copyright holders and the author does not claim ownership over them.
This authority needs no introduction. It’s about Halloween.👻
Well, the most obvious Halloween creature is the ghost. This comes from the old traditions of Halloween as the Day of the Dead. Families would leave out food for the ghosts and sometimes even dress up as them as part of the ritual.
Ghosts, as well as their fellow undead spirits, make up a huge percentage of Halloween creatures, and maybe also mythical creatures in general.
These are just a few.
There’s just something creepy about skeletons. Especially when they are alive. These can range from the comedic Dancing Skeletons to the Skeleton Wizard.
They will usually serve as horde bad guys, attacking in swarms. Easy to kill, but hard to eradicate.
Often they will serve a necromancer master or something of that sort.
These are a pretty common Halloween creature, but not as common as ghosts. They are made of slime and blob around.
These creatures come and go in the blink of an eye. They are hard to see and fade into the shadows before you can tell anybody else about them.
Definitely the coolest Halloween Haunt around.
They are just floating skulls. They eerily fly around and then scare all the dogs in the neighborhood.
These monsters live in the attic. When little children are sleeping, the Bluers will come and capture them.
Don’t swim on Halloween, folks.
They use their evil magic to summon a whole bunch of ghosts and things. Then they fly around in the middle of the night turning people into werewolves. After that their whole gang of creepy monsters charges through the streets, capturing anyone still Trick-or-Treating. If anyone has the Halloween spirit, it’s these guys.
Banshees are that creepy noise you hear in the middle of the night that sound like “Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.” They are strange and enjoy scaring everybody around. However, they also are useful. If somebody is about to die, you know that you’d better start working on your funeral speech because the Banshee will start wailing like crazy. If it sings for a really long time, you know there’s about to be a battle or a massacre and you can run away.
Creepy dog hacker
The creepy dog hacker has a bad habit of hacking into the Internet on Halloween and posting millions of selfies on Instagram to scare everyone. They are known to work for the Illuminati.
This strange ghost enjoys floating around on Halloween to scare everyone. They gather in huge flocks over towns and wail.
The vampire is a ghost. They go back to get revenge on people in their neighborhood and drink their blood. In the last few centuries Vampirism has been contained, however in the old days it spread easily from one creature to the next, creating such abominations as the vampire rabbit and the vampire pumpkin (no I’m not making those up, they are from real folklore).
These are just the typical house spirits that float around going Boo… Boo… and making noises. They aren’t destructive like poltergeists or creepy like phantoms, they are just small depressed little guys.
As mentioned earlier, part of the witches’s plan is to turn people into monsters. One of their favorite transformation to inflict is to turn a normal person into a wolf. Sometimes a werewolf will keep their old personality, which makes them quite sad because they won’t be able to rejoin their family and friends, but mostly they become monsters. The more human a werewolf is on the inside, the more wolflike they are on the outside. The ones you should really be afraid of are the almost human ones.
These spirits are very weak, but there’s a lot of them. They work for witches.
These scary tree-like monsters hide in the forest and bonk people on the head as they pass. They often will raid houses on Halloween and steal all the pumpkins. They regard this as rescuing their unfortunate smaller cousins from captivity.
They pretend to be statues of lawn decorations (some even disguise as gnomes) but when you look away they swarm onto your back, tearing in with their sharp claws.
The Cucuribita Purplus Deamonus family of spirits includes many Pumpkin-like creatures. They are supposedly all descended from a giant pumpkin that some crazy fairy transformed into a talking sentient by accident (she was going for a carriage). These are some types:
While every body else is having a fun time at Halloween, the Lava Monster mopes around in alleys. He hates Halloween and Ghosts and anything to do with creepiness. For this reason anyone who comes near his house will be promptly chased away with much fiery magmatic explosions.
Monsters are very scary and strange. They come in all shapes and sizes.
Mummies are ancient Pharaohs that have been re-awakened by evil magic. They live in their Pyramids and attack people who mess with their stuff. Their only weakness is Prairie Dogs.
The wraith is a rare spirit. They wear black armor all over them so nobody can see them. Some can use dark magic to get allies for themselves.
Skeletons aren’t necessarily limited to mindless minions. Some have certain upgrades- like this guy.
Or this guy.
And some are giant.
They aren’t all human skeletons, either.
Pretty common. Just corpses reanimated by evil magic.
These spirits enjoy banging on their coffins (hence the name) and making a loud ruckus. They sometimes enjoy music, however, and many monsters around the world enjoy listening to them on the radio.
Like the Banshee, Grim Reapers (and their canine cousins, the Grims) these spirits float around to the doorsteps of people about to die. Their Knocker servants knock on the door, a banshee screams in the distance, and then you’re dead.
Although “Wight” just means “human being”, some people read LOTR and made up these. See, in LOTR there are the ghostly Barrow Wights- the people of the barrow. However some people thought it meant that wights were a type of ghost and these were just Barrow ones. But regardless it became a common creature and has taken on a bit of a “ghost king” role in the phantomical hierarchy.
In the air float around hundreds of thousands of little seeds. Like pollen, they are hard to see and will sometimes get stuck in your lungs. For this reason, in areas where the plague is common all dead bodies will get burned. Whenever a dead body is left unburied for some reason, they become a Corpsevine Walker.
Like normal zombies, they attack the living. That’s the plague’s way of spreading. They are mainly just a nuisance when it’s just one- easy to be trap in a pig pen and burn, but sometimes after battles big flocks can wipe out an entire village.
Hailing from the Middle East, these flesh-eating spirits live in tombs. However, if you wander too near their habitat, then expect a large problem of being eaten.
Zombie gnomes are another type of zombie. They are gnome zombies.
No haunted House is complete without these creepy accessories.
Bats are common creepy animals. They are vampires in disguise.
Cats were once considered holy animals, but that turned around in the Middle Ages and many cats were suspected of being Spirit Guides for witches.
These guys are just creepy for some reason.
As part of the Halloween Jumbo Authority, I shall include a gallery illustrating common Halloween Tropes with explanatory captions.
Well, thank you for reading the Halloween Jumbo Authority! I leave you with this video:
Zombies are dead people (reanimated to work for an evil magician) from Haiti folklore.
Interchangeable with the wampus cat, these creatures are known for transforming into mountain lions. When not in cat form they are human. They come from Vermont folklore, and their name is short for “cat o’ the mountain.”
(There is also a real animal called the catamount)
The Boggarts are another type of Bug or Bogie from English folklore, derived from the puca of Celtic folklore, which themselves are based on Puck, (who is derived from the fauns and satyrs and Pan of classical literature), but unlike the boggle these are more associated with the home than the, well, bog.
They put pins on the stairs.
They put butter in the slippers.
They tie the horses’ tails together.
Well, some say they are brownies that turned evil after being offended. Some say they are evil spirits that can sense your greatest fear and transform into it. Some say they are evil “pixie dust” that has built up for two long, and takes on the shape of a little monster.
These are Japanese spirits that punish evil humans and eat people. Kind of like ogres.
Kappas, also from Japanese folklore, are drowning monsters. Their weakness is if you can get them to bow their head down. You see, their power comes from some water in a bowl on their head. So:
“What?” (looks down) “AAARRGGH!” (faints and disappears beneath the water.)
The vila are spirits from Slavic folklore. They are basically slavic nymphs. They are spirits of the wind, sometimes classified as fairies, and enjoy singing in their free time. So, yeah. For all intents and purposes, these are nymphs.
OK, I’m sorry that a lot of this week’s creatures are Interchangeable Alternately Named. But that happens a lot when one gets deeper into mythology. So as these creatures get rarer, they also get, well, more repetative. But bear with me, because it’s still cool.
“Nain Rouge” is French for Red Dwarf. They take up all the normal fairy roles of Housekeeper, Shapeshifter, and hating oddly specific things, like Salt on the doorstep or horse tails with bows in them.
They spread to Canada along with the French, and in Michigan there is one specific Nain Rouge, THE Nain Rouge, who always shows up when something bad is about to happen.
When a poor man dies, his blood turns into one of these. So some old battlefields will have a whole swarm of these running around. They carry a long spear and will kill anybody they see. They are impossible to outrun, so your only chance is to outsmart them.
The good version of Redcaps. These live in mines and warn workers about cave-ins.
Imps are evil spirits, mischievous and mean. They are known for red or purple skin, devil horns, and a spiked tail. They have, over time, developed into minions for witches. However it is probable that they began as standard fairies.