April 11, 2018

A duppy is a type of ghost or spirit native to Jamaican folklore. Duppies, while ghosts, have much in common with European shapeshifters and roadside tricksters. They have a physical body, like to hide in dark places to then jump on their unsuspecting victims, like to play tricks on people. However, instead of crossroads and woods, Jamaican duppies preferred to hide in bamboo thickets and cottonwood groves, as many of them also feed on bamboo.

Duppies are nocturnal beings, appearing from se...

April 3, 2018

In Nheegatu, the language commonly known as Língua Geral Amazônica, tapirê-iauara can be translated as  Tapir Water-Lady, or as Tapir Nymph.”  This creature enjoys a wide distribution in the Amazonian Region, from the Orinoco in Venezuela down the Amazon River up to Pará.

Habitat-wise, the tapirê-iauara prefers slower-moving waters, near mangrove or palm trees, and avoids human settlements. 

In the past, fear of this creature forced locals out of many nutrient-rich floodplain systems (várzea...

February 16, 2018

Onryō (vengeful spirit, sometimes translated as wrathful spirit) are extremely malevolent and bloodthirsty spirits. However, they have a set goal and –usually— will only harm those who have wronged them. Nonetheless, some  powerful and angry Onryōs linger and continue hurting people even after they have achieved their revenge.

There are many examples of Onryō vengeance. One of them is the story of a samurai who promised his dying wife that he would never remarry. He...

November 27, 2017

As a rule, the lake sprits of northern Europe are monstrous and have nothing to do with the Fae, but there are exceptions to this rule, like thee Kelpies, Fuath, Glashans and Shoplitees.

Although these four magical beings have much more in common that their habitat, as they are all water spirits that take on the form of a horse when the need arises to go on dry land, the Scotish Kelpies and Fuaths take horse forms of giant size, while the Glashans and the Shopiltees show themselves as miniature w...

September 3, 2017

The Wendigo, a supernatural being from the forests of the Northern United States and Canada, it’s said to be half specter, half beast, and to prey on humans, especially children.

As the line of the American Frontier (i.e., contrasting region at the edge of a European-American line of settlement) was pushed westward in the 1700s a curious legend slipped through the cracks, and the attempts to hunt down and capture this legend go on today. While this creature is considered by many to be the creatio...

August 27, 2017

A group of Aztec gods –whose physical appearance is that of an innumerable group of rabbits— associated with drunkenness and intoxication. They are sometimes referred as the “Four-hundred Divine Rabbits” but in this context four hundred is meant to represent an "innumerable" amount.

These naughty bunnies are the children of Mayahuel, the goddess of Pulque (traditional Mexica alcoholic beverage made from agave), and its large number indicates the many degrees of intoxication one can attain when dr...

June 11, 2017

The Ahuizotl is a legendary creature in Aztec mythology. Translated from Nahuatl (the language spoken by the Aztecs) the name means “Thorny One of the Water” (see note below).

The Florentine Codex, a manuscript both written and compiled by Nahuas during the sixteenth century, still provides us with a vast amount of first hand information concerning the ancient customs of the Aztecs before the conquest of Mexico. In this codex, ahuizotl are described as dog-like creatures, with hands capable of ma...

June 4, 2017

In ancient Japanese folklore, the Kappa are water demons that inhabit rivers and lakes and devour disobedient little children.

The Kappa are one of many Japanese water deities. The name, meaning “river child,” is a combination of the words kawa (river) and wappa, a variant form of warawa (child).

Since ancient times, Kappa have been used to warn children of the dangers of lurking in and around rivers and lakes, as kappa have been often said to try to lure people into water to drown them.

The Kappa...

May 7, 2017

A horse-like amphibian, the Nykur is a sinister beast whose sole purpose is to drag those who dare wander carelessly through the Icelandic wilderness into a watery grave. As you read it, nothing pleases a Nykur more than drawing people.

Although the Nykur looks almost exactly like a horse, it’s easily identified by its grey color and backwards hooves.

This horse-like being lives underwater but will occasionally surface to try and lure passing humans to mount it. Once mounted by the unsuspecting wa...

April 30, 2017

The Cihuateteo or Divine Women were the spirits of women who died in childbirth.

For the Aztecs, childbirth was considered a form of battle, and its victims were honored as fallen warriors. For that, the physical remains of the women who died giving birth were given ceremonial burials, as they were thought to strengthen soldiers in battle, while their spirits became the much-feared Cihuateteo (or Cihuatéotl), an elemental force that accompanied the setting sun in the west.

The Cihuateteo were capa...

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