Celtic Creatures

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Mythology Resources

Creatures: African * American * Arthurian * Asian * Celtic * Classical * European * Germanic * Judeo-Christian * Middle Eastern * Oceanic
Spirits: African * American * Arthurian * Asian * Celtic * Classical * European * Germanic * Judeo-Christian * Middle Eastern * Oceanic
Mortals: African * American * Arthurian * Asian * Celtic * Classical * European * Germanic * Judeo-Christian * Middle Eastern * Oceanic
Locations: African * American * Arthurian * Asian * Celtic * Classical * European * Germanic * Judeo-Christian * Middle Eastern * Oceanic
Artifacts: African * American * Arthurian * Asian * Celtic * Classical * European * Germanic * Judeo-Christian * Middle Eastern * Oceanic

  • bogeyman/bugaboo/bogey/bwg/bug - ghost/goblin that causes fear especially among children
    • bugbear - fear spirit that may take shape of bear
  • changeling - faerie child that replaces a baby; similar stories in Scandinavian myth
  • dragon-maid - part woman, part dragon; similar to Melusine
  • hag/crone - wizened old woman; possibly female equivalent of a goblin; often a nightmare spirit similar to a mara
  • swan maiden - woman with swan cloak
  • water horse - aquatic horse that can drown travelers or lead them astray; may be shapeshifter

Breton/Gaulish

  • ankou - death omen; collects souls of the dead
  • bodua - evil spirit whose presence foretells disaster; similar to banshee
  • couril - dwarf or faerie with webbed feet; made stone circles
  • dusii/pilosi - hobgoblin; hairy household spirit
  • garwaf - werewolf
  • korred/pyrenee - male guardian spirits of sacred altars; hairy bodies, long noses
  • korrigan - elf/gnome/dwarf; pretty hair, short people, flashing eyes; druids that hate Christian priests; haunts fountains and wells, sing
  • morgen/mari-morgans (also Welsh) - female water spirits that drown men, cause flooding; siren-like
  • Yannig/Yannig an Od - sea monster that comes ashore at night to hunt; calls like an owl
  • youdic dog - black dog; swamp dogs in Brittany; terrorize travelers

Cornish

  • Bucca - same as Welsh knocker, but faerie of tin mines
  • Dando and his Dogs/Devil's Dandy Dogs - the Wild Hunt
  • kitty-with-a-wick - ghost light
  • pixie/piskie/pisky - mischievous sprites; similar to brownies, may do work; capricious and play tricks such as riding horses at night; may appear as wizened old men (pisky) or youthful (pixie); possibly pointed ears; winged in modern fiction
  • spriggan - grotesque faeries that guard barrows; small but can grow to size of giants

Irish

  • aes sidhe/aos si/daoine sidhe - gods of the mounds, nature spirits, elves, ancestors; survivors of Tuatha Dé Danann that fled underground when defeated by the sons of Mil
  • Aillen Trechenn - three-headed monster
  • alp luachra - invisible spirit that takes form of newt and gets swallowed by sleepers; parasite
  • ballybogs - mud-covered swamp bogies
  • bean sidhe/banshee - death omen woman; fairy
  • bledmall/bledmail - type of sea monster that fishermen feared
  • bledlochtana - monster whose howls cause fear
  • bocanach - giant menacing goat
  • bruckee - giant lake monster with four legs
  • cornu - giant demonic black bird
  • corpan side - a changeling
  • daoine maite - faeries (euphemism)
  • dearg-due/dearg-dul - female vampire; possibly same as leanan-sidhe
  • Dobharchu - man-eating otter
  • Donn Cúailnge - fertile bull
  • dullahan - headless unseelie rider on black horse; uses human spine as a whip; can open all locks by frightened of gold
  • enfield - lion with wolf legs and tail, fox head, eagle claws
  • fear gorta - hungry ghost
  • firbolg - race in Ireland before Dananns; defeated by Dananns (they had defeated fomorians themselves)
  • fomorians/fomorii/fomors/fo-muir - divine race that proceeded gods and firbolg in Ireland; possibly giants like titans, possibly gods of chaos or nature; after defeat by the firbolg (or Dananns) they become monstrous with animal qualities (goat-heads, etc.); driven underground or beneath sea
  • gaborchend/goborchend - goat-headed people (or dog-headed)
  • goborchinu - horse-headed people
  • gunna - brownie in fox skin; thin with long hair; rarely seen; keeps animals away from crops
  • kelpie (also Scottish) - water horse; also Scottish
  • rawhead/bloody bones - bogey that hides in wells and drowns children
  • Jasconius - giant fish mistaken for an island
  • Laignech Faelad - clan of wolf-men; hired by Celtic kings as mercenaries
  • leansidhe/leanashe/leanan-sidhe - female vampire or possessing spirit; may bring her lover fame and glory while draining his life slowly
  • leprechaun - male faerie that work as cobblers and make mischief; possibly bearded elf of diminutive size; wears red (prior to 20th century, then green)
    • clurichaun - leprechaun variant or leprechaun at night; always surly and drunk; ride sheep and dogs, guard wine cellars; may be malicious
  • lunantishee - guardian spirit of blackthorn shrub
  • marbh bheo - the night-walking dead
  • merrow - merfolk
  • muidris - sea serpent
  • murrisk - deadly fish; poisonous enough that if it vomited all nearby fish died and even birds died of fumes
  • neamh marbh - the undead
  • ollipeist - wurm with emerald scales
  • Paiste - Eleven-foot-long wurm with ram horns
  • piast/biast - serpent-salmon dragon; Dragon of the Apocalypse; lives in lakes; same as or kind of arrach; breathes fire
  • puca/phooka/pooka - woodland spirit, Puck; as Cornish Bucca, Welsh Pwca; shapechanger that can appear as animal; may do work or harm
  • shefro - type of trooping faerie
  • Suileach - lake monster with many eyes
  • Tuatha Dé Danann - race of gods that came to Ireland; defeat the fomorians but are later defeated by the sons of Mil Espain and became the aes sidhe

Manx

Scottish

  • arrach - grotesque giant that can disappear into Highlands
  • athach - monster that inhabits lonely places (Irish Fachan is a type of Athach)
  • baobhan sith - similar to Irish banshee, but as a vampiric blood-draining woman; often wears green dress, may have goat legs; may appear as raven; similar to Manx lean-sidhe
  • beannach-nimhe - giant highland monster with poisoned horns
  • bean nighe - type of banshee; washer woman, washes bloody clothes at ford
    • ban nighechan - Little Washer Woman that washes bloody clothes at river; forebodes doom, but if captures may reveal name of doomed and grant wishes
    • bean shith - banshee
    • caoineag/caointeach - weeping banshee; a fuath; unlike bean nighe she is heard but not seen
  • Biasd Bheulach (Isle of Skye) - one-eyed, one-legged man or giant greyhound that howled and caused fear
  • Big Ears - demon cat with giant ears
  • blue men of the minch/na fir ghorma - evil mermen; cause storms at sea
  • bodach - bogeyman; old man
  • bogle - bogeyman; torments children; malicious; shapeshifter
  • boobrie - water bird; white; can roar; form of Each Uisge
  • brownie/broonie/gruagach/grogan - house elf; similar to tomte or domovoi; does house tasks (gruagach may be benevolent or malicious; may have long golden hair)
    • killmoulis - brownie of mills; called on when people are in need; eats through its giants nose
  • brounger - evil sea spirit that extracts a tithe; controls thunder
  • brown man of the muirs - evil spirit of moors; dwarf with red grizzled hair and glowing eyes
  • buckie - goat imp
  • burach bhadi/Wizard's Shackle - giant worm or leech with nine eyes on top of head; lives in shallow lochs
  • burryman - plant spirit
  • carlin - corn spirit
  • cat sith/cat sidhe - fairy cat; large black cat with white spot; spectral cat or witch
  • ceasg - mermaid
  • Cirein Croin - sea serpent
  • corc-chluasask - water monsters with split ears; spawn of Tairbh-Uisge; giant calves that cause trouble
  • corpse light/corpse candle - ghost light
    • spunkie - ghost light, only more malevolent; goblin of lonely places
  • cughtagh - cave-dwelling bogeys
  • Cu Sith/ce sith - giant faerie dog of highlands (size of cow); green shaggy fur
  • Direach/Dithreach - one legged giants, only one-arm which comes out of chest; one eye
  • doonie - horse spirit that guides lost travelers back to road
  • each uisge - water horse
  • eldrich - hideous elf that inspires fear
  • falm - evil spirit; those that see it die early
  • fear liath/the grayman - legendary yeti-like creature
  • Fir Chlis/Nimble Men - the aurora borealis; fallen angels
  • fittletot/whoopity stoorie - elderly spirit woman that wears green
  • frid - spirit that inhabits caves or rocks and can be propitiated with milk
  • fuath/fuathan/fuath-arrachd - evil water spirit which may include kelpies and bean nighes; possibly with shaggy yellow hair
    • beithir - wurm dragon
    • brollachan - well (or mill stream) monster that can say only "myself" and "thyself"; shapeless spirit
    • cuachag - Highland water sprite
    • fachan - giant or dwarf; hand comes out of chest, one leg from hip, one eye; covered in feathers; type of Athach
    • fideal/fidealadh - personification of entangling water grasses
    • glaistig - faerie; beautiful woman but with goat legs beneath dress; drinks blood and attacks travelers or protects herds; hag-like
    • maighdean uaine - green maidens
    • peallaidh - covered in shaggy hair; lives in river (same as Lowland shellycoat); creature of misfortune
    • shellycoat - Lowland river bogey; wears coat of shells; mislead travelers; similar to nix, kelpie, brag
    • urisk/uruisg - man with lower body of goat; live in Highland lochs
    • vough - water spirit afraid of light; noseless females with yellow hair; tails, webbed feet and hands; dress in green, have no noses
  • Ghillie Dhu - tree faerie; shy but kind to children
  • Gigelorum - creature so small it lived in ear of a mite
  • green women - night demons that appear as women in green dresses and eat men
  • hogboon (Orkney) - little gray men that mends tools left outside house
  • Lammikin/Long Lankin - vampire bogey
  • loireag - faerie woman like Habetrot; dressed in white, no ugly lip
  • nuckelavee - most horrible fuath; sea creature; breath kills crops; centaurs with fins, single red eye; skinless; won't cross running water
  • pech/picts - short faerie/gnome with great strength; possibly same as pixies; red hair, long arms, huge feet
  • peerie folk (Orkney) - the little people
  • redcap/powrie/dunter - spirit on England/Scotland border; murderous goblin; dyes cap with blood; very fast but vulnerable to hearing Scripture
  • Seelie and Unseelie Courts - beneficent and malevolent faerie groups, respectively; Seelie still cause mischief but only do real harm if slighted
    • Slaugh - "The Host" (the Unseelie Court); possibly fallen angels
  • selkie/silkie/selchie/seal people (Orkney/Scottish) - seals that can turn into humans
    • fin folk (Orkney) - supernaturals offshore such as mermaids and selkies
  • sianach - ugly, giant, aggressive deer
  • sibhreach - changeling
  • Tarbh Uisge/Tairbe Uisge - water bull; fiery nostrils; rampages (also Irish)
  • trow (Scottish/Orkney) - goblin (derived from Norse trolls) (later called drow)
    • henkie (Orkney/Shetland) - trows with a limp
  • wraith - ghost or apparition of the dead, or an death omen; possibly a guardian; writhing; possibly a spirit of vengeance
  • wulver - werewolf, but not violent; wolf-headed hairy man

Welsh

  • adar llwch gwin - griffin
  • afanc/addanc/abac/avanc - lake monster; crocodile demon (similar to hippocampus)
  • Black Sow - winter demon that steals sacrifices
  • bwbach - brownie
  • bwgan - poltergeist or goblin
  • bwgwl - fear spirit
  • bygel nos - bogle at night
  • coblyn - small mine goblins/kobolds; black or copper faces; ugly but benevolent
  • Cwn Annwn - black dogs; hounds of Annwn
  • Capalu/Chapalu/Capalus - monstrous cat that great appetite; killed by Cai (Sir Kay in Arthurian legend)
  • ceffyl dŵr - water horse; flies
  • coblynau - mine gnome; 1 1/2 foot tall, ugly, cause rockslides; similar to knockers
  • cyhyraeth/cyheuraeth - banshee-like death portent; ghostly voice (no body) which cries for those that will die far from home
  • Diawl - the Devil, or an evil spirit
  • ellylldan - will o' the wisp
  • ellyllon - elves/faeries with fair skin and hair, white silk clothes; live in hills
  • Gwrach y Rhibyn - banshee-vampire
  • gwyllion/gwillion - evil female nocturnal spirits or ghosts; evil mountain hags or goats
  • gwragedd annwn - beautiful lake faeries with golden hair; ladies of the lake
  • gwr-drwgiaid - imp
  • gwyll - sprite that rides horses at night (similar to Cornish pixie)
  • knocker/knacker/bwca - house faerie like a leprechaun or brownie; two-foot tall, grizzled; knock on mine walls, steal tools
  • manawyddan - faerie cobblers; similar to leprechauns
  • Plant Annwn - faeries ruled by Gwyn ap Nudd
  • Plant Rhys Ddwfn - faerie tribe that look like small humans; very rich
  • tylwyth teg - faeries larger than ellyllon, with fair features; live in mountains, woods, or islands; their king is Gwyn ap Nudd
  • water leaper/Llamhigyn Y Dwr - giant frog that lives in swamps; bat wings instead of forelegs, no hind legs; lizard tail; leaps across water
  • Y Wrach - disease hag
  • yr wyll - invisible pixies
  • ysbryd drwg - a devil type