Mythical creatures have been a popular subject in folklore across the world for centuries. Sadly, not all of these mythical creatures, are good. In fact, they seem to either be very good or horrendously bad, there’s no in-between!
With many cultures enthusiastically telling their stories of popular mythical creatures and wild spirits to their loved ones, and the stories being passed down through many generations, Climadoor have created some very fitting illustrations to go with our beloved (or not so) mythical creatures to help you put ‘a face to the name’, how many do you recognise?
Brownie is a well-loved elf-like creature from Anglo-Scottish folklore which, when reading into it, resembles the beloved Dobby from Harry Potter. In fact, the characteristics given to Dobby were taken from the Brownie tales by J.K Rowling whose family came from Scotland.
A Brownie is a house elf that, whilst the owners sleep at night, does the chores and tasks for the family that it works for. Like Dobby, a Brownie will only do these chores if the owners of the house treat it well. A Brownie is easily offended and if the owners offend it or treat it badly, the elf will either leave the house, never to return or turn malicious.
Depending on the region, a Brownie’s appearance can differ slightly, however, they’re known to be pretty ugly, with mottled brown skin, loads of hair and only ever wearing old rags. In today’s folklore, the Brownie is pretty tiny although in much older folklore, the Brownie was much larger, even the same size as a human – scary!
A Domovoy is from Russian/Slavic folklore and is a household spirit. This mythical creature is said to protect houses and the people that live in it, especially children that may live there. Like the Brownie, if a Domovoy is mistreated or becomes angry due to bad behaviour from the owners, it will leave the house, leaving it unprotected and open.
If a Domovoy has been angered but hasn’t left the home, in Slavic folklore, it’s told that the blood from a sacrificed animal will cheer up the Domovoy and allow it to carry on its protective duties.
A Domovoy is known to manifest itself into past relatives or family pets, however, most Slavic folklore depicted the Domovoy as an old man with a very long beard and grey hair.
The Baku is found in Chinese folklore although, due to it dating back to the 17th Century, people have found references to it in Japanese folklore, too.
A Baku is extremely honoured in Chinese culture, so much so that you’ll find a Baku printed onto bedding, sewn into pillows and carved into the pillars that sit above temple doors. Now, you’re wondering what this is all about, right? Well, the Baku is known to protect us against bad dreams, ward off evil spirits, and give good luck, health and fortune wherever it goes.
A Baku is a pretty odd looking mythical creature that has the head of an elephant, body of a bear and legs of a tiger. In Chinese culture, it’s said that this creature looks the way it does because it was created by the gods when they were making our world’s animals; the gods had leftover animal parts and so, created the Baku.
A Matagot is from French folklore and, although is usually depicted as a cat, it’s also known to appear as a rat, fox, dog or cow.
When appearing as a cat, the Matagot takes the form of a black cat, which most countries see as being bad luck. However, a Matagot in French folklore is anything but bad luck. Traditionally, a Matagot brings households luck and wealth when treated with the utmost kindness and respect. If treated wrongly, the Matagot may bring you much misfortune.
According to French folklore, a Matagot is a free-roaming creature but, if the opportunity arises, can be lured into homes by the use of a fresh chicken. To keep the Matagot happy, owners must feed the Matagot with the first mouthful of every meal and supply it with a comfy bed.
According to some sources, Puss in Boots is loosely based around the Matagot. Puss was gifted his boots, and in return, supplied the gifter with food and wealth.
Nisse is a Norwegian folklore mythical creature that resembles a Christmas elf. In fact, Nisse comes from the name Nils, which is the Scandinavian version of Nicholas, however, we wouldn’t go so far as to say he was Santa though!
Nisse is a mischievous farm elf although works extremely hard completing farm chores without asking for much in return. To keep Nisse happy, it’s said that by giving the creature a bowl of porridge with butter on Christmas eve and receiving respect from the farmer is all it asks for.
Although Nisse isn’t very friendly in appearance, it does have elf-like qualities. In Norwegian folklore, a Nisse is very small in height, old in age and has ragged clothes and a long beard.
A Boggart is an English folklore mythical creature that is also known as Bogeyman.
Although the Boggart has come from Engish folklore, it has been scaring children all over the world, with its long shaggy hair, large eyes and thin and long stature.
Bogeyman is said to have been what the English called the men who removed dead bodies from the houses that were contaminated by the black plague in the 13th Century. It’s these men, with their sick appearance of pale skin, sunken dark eyes and slender bodies, where the Boggart is said to have originally come from.
The Banshee comes from Irish folklore and actually has very good intentions despite its creepy appearance.
A Banshee is a spirit that will appear before someone has died; they mourn the dying by crying and wailing uncontrollably until the person has passed. It’s said that a Banshee was created after the tradition of “keeners” died out. Keeners were ladies that were hired to mourn people who were dying in the 8th Century.
Banshees are either beautiful, young women or old hags dressed in shrouds. They have long hair, red eyes and float in long dresses.
Zashiki Warashi is from Japanese folklore, and much like the Baku, brings great fortune, health and wealth to those living in the household.
Zashiki Warashi are playful and mischievous creatures that attach themselves to the children that live within the house; they love singing and playing games.
Zashiki Warashis are quite ghost-like in appearance and tend to look like a child, around 5 or 6 years in age. They wear traditional Japanese clothes such as warrior outfits for boys and kimonos for girls. The hair of a Zashiki Warashi is either short, bobbed, or tied back.