english folklore

Y is for Yeth Hound

Name: Yeth hound (also called yell hound)

Type: black dog

Origin: Devon, England

Description: The yeth hound is a black headless dog, which they say is the spirit of an unbaptised child. It runs around in the woods at night crying and wailing.

Interesting Facts: The yeth hound is possibly one of the inspirations for the dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The headless dog is also mentioned in The Denham Tracts, which is a series of pamphlets on folklore published between 8146 and 1859.

What “Y” creatures do you know of?

P is for Pixie

Illustration from Among Pixies and 
Trolls, a children’s anthology

Name: Pixie (also Pixy, Pixi, Pizkie, Piskies and Pigsies)

Type: fairy or sprite-like being

Origin: Cornish folklore

Description: Pixies are very small beings that live mostly in the high moorland areas near Devon and Cornwall. They’re also associated with exploring ocean caves. Usually, they are naked or scantly clothed and possess pointed ears and a pointed hat. Some say that pixies have wings, and others say they are without wings. One thing they especially enjoy is riding horses. While doing so, they make ringlets in the manes of the horses they ride. As for their demeanor, sometimes they kidnap children or mislead travelers (the cure for being pixie-led is to turn your coat inside out), but they not thought to be malevolent. They’ve been said to be help out widows and those in need at times.

Interesting Facts: Pixies lore predates Christianity in Britain, and the people in Cornwall and Devon took them quite seriously. To this day, there is a Pixie Day from an old tradition re-enacted annually on the Saturday in June nearest Mid-Summer’s Day in Ottery St. Mary, England.

Have you heard of Pixies? Any other “P” beings or creatures you know of?

G is for Green Man

Today’s trip spans the world as this being brought to you by the letter G is found in many cultures.

Name: Green Man (this term originates from 1939 in The Folklore Journal)

Type: Nature Spirit and/or vegetative deity

Origin: True origin unknown. There’s a multitude of variations from different ancient cultures.

Description: The Green Man is a very old primal nature spirit that is closely tied to the cycle of life and nature. It’s commonly seen as rebirth or renaissance and is viewed a part of the seasonal growth during Spring. He’s typically seen as an older man wearing green, even though he can take on a multitude of forms. Most view him as a type of woodland spirit. He has been considered similar to Odin, the Holly King, and Jack in the Green.

He’s found carved in wood or stone in churches all over. He’s appears most commonly in three forms.

  • Foliate Head – covered in green leaves
  • Disgorging Head – spews leaves and vines from mouth
  • Bloodsucker Head – sprouts leaves and vines from mouth and other orifices (No clue why it’s called that. *grin*)

Interesting Facts: The Green Man can be found in one form or another around the world. The Green Knight is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is viewed as similar to the Green Man as well as Robin Hood, due to the close ties with woodlands and green clothing/armor. The Green Man can also be viewed as a great living tree, similar to Tolkien’s walking, self-aware trees. Also, in some of his variations, he is depicted in roles similar to Odin and Osiris.

On a side note, he seems awfully similar to the Jolly Green Giant, huh? Ho, ho, ho… *grin*

Source: Wikipedia.

Bugbear

Hey everyone! Just a quickie Into the Paranormal post today since I’m in the throes of release week. If you’re interested, I’m being interviewed today at Darcy Drake’s blog and Clancy Metzger’s blog. I’d love to see you there.

So, today’s topic…


Bugbear is a bearlike goblin, which is a type of bogeyman from medieval England used to scare children to keep them from misbehaving. The name bugbear is from the Celtic bug, which means evil spirit or goblin. They’re also known for frightening and annoying people in folktales. Female bugbears tend to take and raise babies themselves. Today, the term is also used for scarecrows.

Have you heard of the Bugbear before?