into the paranormal
It’s been a long time since I’ve written a paranormal-related post, so I decided to go for it! Finding new supernatural beasties to research is fun. Previous paranormal posts can be found here.
This week’s creature is Bysen. He is a gnome-like creature who roams the forests on the island of Gotland, Sweden. He enjoys getting people lost, meddling with woodsmen by delaying their transports and tipping their timber over. Basically, he’s a mischevious trickster, but he also acts the ward of the forest and of nature. One of his tasks is to cut down Gotland’s forest, but he manages only one tree per century.
His appearance is often described as a little, grey man who sometimes wears a red, woven cap and carries an ax. Sometimes he even looks like a stump.
Bysar (plural of Bysen) are thought to be deceased men who cheated others of their land by moving property line markers. They receive no peace in death and walk the Earth forever. It’s said that they move the markers along the faulty borders, but if a human were to move the wrongly placed sticks to the right spots, the Bysen would be able to find peace.
Let me know which paranormal creatures you’d like to read about next!
Until next week,
Wow! It’s the last day of the A to Z Challenge. Can you believe April has flown by so quickly? Thank you all for stopping by for my posts. I wish I’d been able to check out more A to Z bloggers this year, but I’ve been in a deadline crunch with my publisher. See you all next year!
Name: Žaltys (means “grass snake”)
Type: household spirit
Origin: Lithuanian mythology
Description: The žaltys is a non-venomous snake, sacred to the sun goddess Saulė. It represents fertility and is a guardian of the home. Some people kept it in special places of their home, believing it could bring good harvest and wealth. If someone killed the žaltys, it brought about great misfortune, but if people found one and gave it milk, they could befriend it and take it in their home.
What “Z” creatures have you heard of?
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?
Name: Xing Tian (means “punished one” or “he who was punished by heaven”
Origin: Chinese mythology
Description: Basically, he’s a headless giant punished by heaven. *grins* Here’s a roughly translated excerpt from Shanhaijing I came across on Wikipedia:
Xingtian fought against [Huang] Di. Di cut off his head, and the head was buried in the Changyang Mountains. But Xingtian, with his breasts as eyes, and his navel as mouth, continued to fight with his axe and shield.
Anyone know of any other “X” creatures? I’m very curious! lol
Name: Wolpertinger (also wolperdinger, poontinger, woiperdinger)
Origin: Bavarian folklore
Description: Wolpertingers live in the alpine forests of Bavaria in Germany. It’s body is a mish-mash of various parts. In general they have wings, antlers, tails, and fangs, all on a small animal like a rabbit or squirrel.
Interesting Fact: They can actually be bought as souvenirs at inns and tourist shops in Germany. Yeesh! Click here for a picture. These creatures would be considered almost like a cousin to the American Jackalope or a Swedish Skvader.
Do you know any of “W” creatures?
Sorry for the delay in getting this up. I’m in a deadline crunch! Better late than never, right?
Name: Vilkacis (means “Wolf-eye.” Also known as Vilkatas and Vilkatis.)
Origin: Latvian mythology / Baltic mythology
Description: I’ll let Wikipedia sum up today’s creature:
“Vilkacis was a type of monster, similar to a werewolf, that was originally a person. In Latvian and Lithuanian mythology, the vilkacis was a good natured creature, who wanted to participate in the folk songs mentioned animal digging of Daugava river. But he failed in every task and upset Dievs. He is described as a clumsy creature, who can be easily fooled by a child or farmer. Occasionally, a vilkacis brought treasure or was otherwise beneficial.”
What “V” creatures do you know of?
Name: Urayuli (means “hairy men”)
Type: hairy humanoid
Origin: Native American mythology of southwestern Alaska
Description: The Urayuli reside in the forests of southwestern Alaska near Lake Iliamna. They supposedly stand 10 feet tall and have shaggy fur and glowing eyes. They’re thought to make high pitch cries, resembling a loon’s. They have very long arms, which reach their ankles. They behave peacefully.
Interesting Facts: They seem to be very Bigfoot/Yeti-like. It’s fascinating how many cultures have these kinds of creatures. The Urayuli are thought to be children who were lost in the woods, particularly at night, and transformed into this kind of creature. Probably another tale to make children behave.
What other “U” beings do you know of?
Finally, I have some news on the giveaway that had been going on this past week. Congratulations to Evita’s Reads and Filia Oktarina! I chose two winners for the prize since I had such an amazing turnout of 245 entries! Thanks everyone for entering!
Name: Tizheruk (Also known as Pal-Rai-Yûk)
Type: sea creature
Origin: Inuit mythology
Description: Large snake-like sea creature, which lives near the coast of an Alaska island. It’s approximately seven feet long with an alligator-like head, six legs, and a flipper on its tail. The Tizheruk snatches people off piers and boats.
Interesting Facts: Other sea monsters inhabit nearby Canadian waters, the Ogopogo (or Naitaka of the Okanakanes) and the Haietlik of the Nootka. The Ogopogo is believed to live in Okanagan Lake, and the Haietlik is a “Lightning Snake” that shoots lightning from its tongue.
What “T” beings or creatures do you know about?
Name: Stymphalian birds
Origin: Greek mythology
Description: Man-eating birds who have bronze beaks and sharp metallic feathers, which they throw at their victims. Also, their feces is quite toxic. Their name comes from the fact that they live near Lake Stymphalia in Arcadia. They’re sacred to the god of war, Ares.
Interesting Facts: The Stymphalian birds were Herucles’s sixth task in The Twelve Labours of Herucles. He scared the birds by shaking a rattle made by Hephaestus for the purpose and given to him by Athena. He shot some with arrows to complete the Labour.
What “S” creatures or beings do you know about?
|Ratatoskr in a 17th century
Name: Ratatoskr (Typically means “drill-tooth” or “bore-tooth,” although some say based off its etymology that it’d be more like rata-/rati- for “the traveler” and -toskr for “tusk.” Basically “the climber tusk” or “tusk the traveler.”)
Type: nature spirit
Origin: Norse mythology
Description: Ratatoskr is… a squirrel. *grins* He climbs up and down Yggdrasil, the world tree, to take messages between the unnamed eagle at the top and the wyrm Níðhöggr who lives under one of the tree roots at the bottom. According to the 16th chapter of Prose Edda‘s Gylfaginning, Ratatoskr “runs up and down the ash. He tells slanderous gossip, provoking the eagle and Níðhöggr.” Some say the fact Ratatoskr is portrayed as a lowly squirrel is due to his behavior in stirring up trouble.
Interesting Facts: He can be found in both the Poetic Edda, which is a compilation of Old Norse poems and a very important source of information about Norse mythology, as well as Prose Edda, which was written by Snorri Sturluson in approximately 1220. The Prose Edda contains eddic and skaldic poetry poetry about Norse mythology. For such a small creature, there’s a lot of different theories on both his name and purpose/role in Norse mythology.
Have you heard of Ratatoskr before? Any “R” creatures or beings you know of?