The Banshee, from the Irish bean sídhe [bʲæn ˈʃiː] ("woman of the '" or "woman of the fairy mounds") is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld. Her Scottish counterpart is the bean shìth (also spelled bean-shìdh). The aos sí (people of the mounds, people of peace) are variously believed to be the survivals of pre-Christian Gaelic deities, spirits of nature, or the ancestors.
In Irish mythology, the aos sí are a powerful, supernatural race comparable to the fairies or elves. They are variously believed to live underground in the fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans. This world is described in the Book of Invasions (Book of Leinster) as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living.
A fairy (also faery, faerie, fay, fae; euphemistically wee folk, good folk, people of peace, fair folk, etc. ) is a type of mythological being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term fairy offers many definitions.
In English bober folklore, a boggart (or bogart) is a household fairy which causes things to disappear, milk to sour, and dogs to go lame. Always malevolent, the boggart will follow its family wherever they flee. In Northern England, at least, there was the belief that the boggart should never be named, for when the boggart was given a name, it would not be reasoned with or persuaded and become uncontrollable and destructive.
Not to be confused with Tomten, the Swedish word for Santa Claus. This article is about the mythical creature tomte. For the band, see Tomte (band). There is also a computer game named The Tomte. A tomte or nisse is a mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore. Tomte or Nisse were believed to take care of a farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep.
Tam (or Tamas) Lin (also called Tamlane, Tamlin, Tam Lien, Tam-a-Line, or Tam Lane) is the hero of a folkloric legend originating from the Scottish Borders with England. The story revolves around fairies and mortal men. While this ballad is unique to Scotland, the motif of capturing a person by holding him through all forms of transformation is found throughout Europe in folktales. The story has been adapted into various stories, songs and films.
Biróg, in Irish mythology, is a leanan sídhe or fairy woman. A folktale recorded by John O'Donovan in 1835 relates how the Fomorian warrior Balor, to frustrate a prophesy that he would be killed by his own grandson, imprisons his only daughter Eithne in the tower of Tory Island, away from any contact with men. But Biróg helps a man called Mac Cinnfhaelaidh, whose magical cow Balor stole, to gain access to the tower and seduce her.
A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man, clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief. Like other fairy creatures, leprechauns have been linked to the Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish mythology. Popular depiction shows them as being no taller than a small child.
The legend of the Tooth Fairy is about a fairy that gives a child money or gifts in exchange for a baby tooth that has fallen out. Children typically place the tooth under their pillow at night. The fairy is said to take the tooth from under the pillow and replace it with money once they have fallen asleep.
The Lady of the Lake is the name of several related characters who play parts in Arthurian legend. Depending on the variant, characters' roles include giving King Arthur his sword Excalibur, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father. Various writers and copyists conflated her with, or named her as Nimue, Viviane, Elaine, Niniane, Nivian, Nyneve, Nimueh and other variations. Other versions of the legends make Nimue, Viviane, etc. , into separate characters.
The kelpie is a supernatural water horse from Celtic folklore that is believed to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland and Ireland; the name may be from Scottish Gaelic cailpeach or colpach 'heifer, colt.'
The Púca, is a creature of Celtic folklore, notably in Ireland, the West of Scotland, and Wales. It is one of the myriad of faery folk, and, like many faery folk, is both respected and feared by those who believe in it.
In mythology and folklore, fairies are classified in a variety of ways. Two of the most prominent categories, derived from Scottish folklore, are the division into the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court. William Butler Yeats, in Irish Fairy and Folk Tales, further divided them into the Trooping Fairies and the Solitary Fairies. These categories are generally applied to any fairy-type creature, from elves, pixies and brownies to ogres and giants.
A changeling is a creature found in Western European folklore and folk religion. It is typically described as being the offspring of a fairy, troll, elf or other legendary creature that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. The apparent changeling could also be a stock, an enchanted piece of wood that would soon appear to grow sick and die.
Haltija (haltia) is a spirit, gnome or elf-like creature in Finnish mythology, that guards, helps or protects something or somebody. The word is possibly derived from the Gothic *haltijar, and referred to the original settler of a homestead — although this is not the only possible etymology. In common Finnish, depending on the context, "haltija" means holder, occupant, lord, master, owner-occupier, occupier, possessor, bearer, or owner. There are lots of different haltijas.
A domovoi is a house spirit in Slavic folklore. Domovois (the correct plural form is domoviye) are masculine, typically small, and sometimes covered in hair all over. According to some traditions, the domovoi take on the appearance of current or former owners of the house and have a grey beard, sometimes with tails or little horns. There are tales of neighbours seeing the master of the house out in the yard while in fact the real master is asleep in bed.
A Red Cap or Redcap, also known as a powrie or dunter, is a type of malevolent murderous dwarf, goblin, elf or fairy found in Border Folklore. They are said to inhabit ruined castles found along the border between England and Scotland. Redcaps are said to murder travelers who stray into their homes and dye their hats with their victims' blood (from which they get their name). Redcaps must kill regularly, for if the blood staining their hats dries out, they die.
Tennin (天人) including the female tennyo (天女) and tenshi (天使) are spirits found in Japanese Buddhism that are similar to Western nymphs or fairies. They were imported from Chinese Buddhism, which was influenced itself by the concepts of heavenly beings found in Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism. Tennin are mentioned in Buddhist sutras, and these descriptions form the basis for depictions of the beings in Japanese art, sculpture, and theater.
In Persian mythology which constitutes the mythology of not just persians but all Iranian peoples, peris are descended from fallen angels who have been denied paradise until they have done penance. In earlier sources they are described as agents of evil; later, they are benevolent. They are exquisite, winged, fairy-like creatures ranking between angels and evil spirits. They sometimes visit the realm of mortals.
The term sprite is a broad term referring to a number of preternatural legendary creatures. The term is generally used in reference to elf-like creatures, including fairies, and similar beings (although not earth beings), but can also signify various spiritual beings, including ghosts. In Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books, sprites are a race of fairies with green skin and wings. The word "sprite" is derived from the Latin "spiritus" (spirit).
Fairy painting is a genre of painting and illustration featuring fairies and fairy tale settings, often with extreme attention to detail. The genre is most closely associated with the Victorian era in Great Britain, but has experienced a contemporary revival. Moreover, fairy painting was also seen as escapism for Victorians.
A Gancanagh is a male faerie in Irish mythology that is known for seducing human women. The Gancanagh are thought to have an addictive toxin in their skin that make the humans they seduce literally addicted to them. The women seduced by this type of faerie typically die from the withdrawal, pining away for the Ganacanagh's love or fighting to the death for his love. The faerie is typically depicted carrying a clay pipe, though he does not smoke it because faeries generally detest smoke.