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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.
Friendly dwarfs or elves from German folk belief. They work at night for people whom they like, or to whom they are indebted.
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 Robin.
Powerful shape-shifting nature spirits who are harmful and can pass through solid matter. Their elements are air, water and earth.
Malevolent cat fairies who attack humans at crossroads and drain their blood.
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.
Hairy trolls who can yake beautiful human forms for short periods.
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.
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.
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.
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 discouraged.
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.
Dutch variant of the leprechaun. They are friendly little beings, about 15 cm. in height.
Swedish water fairy.
The Prussian version of gnomes.
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.
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.
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.
See Fairy Folklore/Kobold.
A German field spirit, the spirit of the growing grain incarnate in the last sheaf.
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.
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