Region of origin: Lancashire, England
A river-hag related to other aquatic fae creatures like the grindylow, Jenny (or Jinny or Ginny or…) Greenteeth lived in stagnant, murky waters in western England near Lancashire and Liverpool and would pull down anyone who ventured too close to the water’s edge, drowning them. Parents would use warnings of Greenteeth to keep small children away from the water and keep them from accidentally falling in. Claiming it may her hair as she sat in the water lurking, she also became associated with pondscum and duckweed or other floating water-plants, that may in reality tangle the child up and prevent them from being able to get back out to dry land. She was similar to Peg Prowler, another hag said to inhabit the River Tees further up north.
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Region of origin: Australia
A small red imp of a figure with a head disproportionately larger than its body, the Yara-ma-yha-who makes it home in fig trees. If anyone stops to rest under its tree, it will descend and latch on to them with its leech-like fingers and toes, draining blood until its victim passes out, at which point it swallows them whole and, sated, falls asleep. Upon awakening, it will regurgitate the person, who find themselves worn down, slightly smaller and redder than before but with no memory of the encounter. The Yara-ma-yha-who will repeat this process over and over until eventually the victim themselves has become a new Yara-ma-yha-who. Tales of the Yara-ma-yha-who are used to discourage children from entering potentially dangerous areas.
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Region of origin: Guyana
One of a class of malevolent spirits in Caribbean folklore known as jumbees, the massacooramaan is an ape-like boogeyman figure who attacks from rivers and other Guyanese bodies of water, upturning small boats and dragging people under the water to drown them before consuming them. It is believed the origins of the story may lie in escaped slaves who fled into the jungles and swamps of Guyana and were faced with surviving the rough waters of rivers they then had to cross.
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Region of origin: Dane Hills, Leicestershire, England
A blue-skinned hag who would capture and eat anyone who she found while out wandering the glens of Leicestershire, Black Annis was particularly fond of taking children, who she would flay before eating with her sharp iron claws, wearing their skins on her belt or hanging them in her cave home. The cave, known as Black Annis’s Bower, was said to be dug out of the sandstone by the witch by hand. In some tales she was said to be able to take the form of a large cat.
Originally posted on Tumblr on November 28, 2016
Region of origin: Ukraine
Literally “bad luck,” the likho is physical manifestation of misfortune, appearing as a cycloptic goblin- or hag-like creature who lived in the dark forests of moralistic fairy tales and fables. The likho would wrap its arms around the story’s protagonist’s neck and cling to their back, weighing them down. In different stories, the likho could be attempted to be removed through tricking or cheating the creature itself, tricking another person into accepting it as part of a gift and passing it on or attempting to drown it by jumping in a river, which usually resulted in the hero drowning themselves and the likho emerging from the river, no worse for wear and ready to find its next victim.
Originally posted on Tumblr on November 11, 2016
Region of origin: Malta
A figure formed of grey slime, the Kaw Kaw or Gawgaw will roam the streets of Malta at night, tracking people who misbehaved by the smell of their guilt then using his viscous form will squeeze into their homes through cracks or open spaces. Once inside, he will meet his victims with a wide, toothless grin and proceed to frighten or torment them through the night or kidnap them away to an unknown land. Kaw Kaw is supposedly most active during the winter months, and in some versions he is actually a human unlucky enough to be born on the night of December 24, cursed by God for sharing a birthday with such a holy time to take on this form between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, meting out punishments throughout the night then awakening human once more but covered in bruises. Alternatively, there are older tales of another creature called Kaw Kaw who was a giant who was large enough cross the island of Malta in two steps.
Originally posted on Tumblr on October 17, 2016
Region of origin: Southern Scotland
A freshwater boggart that haunts rivers around southern Scotland and Northern England, Shellycoat is so named, quite literally, for the coat covered in shells he wears which creates a telltale rattling sound as he moves. Not malevolent but mischievous, he will attempt to pull mostly-harmless pranks on people who venture into his territory in an effort to cause them to lose their way or just mess with them for his own amusement; he would often pretend to be someone drowning to trick would-be rescuers to jump into the river, then laughing at their getting drenched for their efforts.
Originally posted on Tumblr on August 26, 2016