Chesma iyesi

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Chesma iyesi

Region of origin: Turkic regions

A shape-shifting female water spirit, the chesma iyesi will primarily appear as a cat but may take on numerous forms resembling other animals, fairy- and mermaids-like creatures or often simply an attractive human woman, their identity given away by the hems of their clothes being wet. Each chesma iyesi inhabits a particular well, fountain or spring. They are commonly considered dangerous, using their forms to entice young people into the water and drown them, however the kuyu iyesi is a more benevolent guardians of their wells, the water from which is believed to have curative or luck-granting properties.

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Trasgu

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Trasgu

Region of origin: Spain

Related to goblins and kobolds, the trasgu are domestic spirits found throughout Spain and into northern Portugal. They may take up residence on farms or in homes and chiefly make their presence known by causing mischief such as moving items or making noises in the night but will also perform chores and be generally helpful if kept placated with a share of food and milk. Some are said to have a hole in their left or both hands to prevent them from stealing items from the houses they reside in, similar to the Catalonian pesanta. The trasgu will become attached to its family, following them if they move, so the only way to get rid of one is to assign it impossible tasks and, shamed by its inability to complete it, will leave in disgrace. The Cantabrian trasgu are more wild than their rural cousins, instead living in the woods and wearing clothes made from moss and bark to camouflage themselves as they play pranks on people who enter their forest.

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Jenny Greenteeth

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Jenny Greenteeth

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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The Banshee of Marrtown

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The Banshee of Marrtown

Region of origin: Marrtown, West Virginia

As people emigrate to new lands, the creatures and figures of their folklore may travel along with them and as a result, tales of banshees in America have cropped up around communities where Scottish and Irish immigrants have resettled. One such instance is the banshee which haunted Thomas Marr and his family. Marr settled Marrtown with his wife Mary in 1836, and historical details may vary the legend of the banshee states he farmed and picked up extra income by serving as a night watchman at a nearby toll bridge on the Little Kanawha River. Thomas would tell his wife that on several nights on the way to and from the bridge, he would encounter a grey-robed figure on a white horse but was never able to see their face. Then one night in February of 1876, while Mary was waiting for her husband to return, the horse and rider approached the home’s front gate. Going out to meet the rider, Mary saw it was a woman with glowing red eyes. The woman would tell Mary that Thomas had died that night before she rode off, vanishing into the mists of the early morning. The message was confirmed as Thomas’ replacement came to relieve him, the body was found in the Little Kanawha, with conflicting reports saying he had been shot in a robbery, fallen into the river and drowned or was simply scared to death by the banshee’s wail. The banshee would later return when Mary passed and a horrible scream could be heard throughout the house, and was said to either appear or otherwise make its presence known to those of the Marr family line through the decades.

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Fuath

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Fuath

Region of origin: Scottish highlands

Usually regarded as malevolent spirits, the fuath (“hate”) is a class of nocturnal fair folk who inhabit various bodies waters and while not universally aggressive they have earned their reputation by being fearsome guardians of their aquatic homes and the creatures that live there. Similar to the kelpie, fuathan are spectral figures and often capable of taking on multiple forms but in their standard human-like form they are identifiable by yellow hair/fur or manes, tails and webbed hands and feet. Some fuathan are said to intermarry with humans and the resulting offspring may possess some these physical traits. The glaistig is one type of creature belonging to the greater umbrella of fuathan.

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Spriggan

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Spriggan

Region of origin: Cornwall, England, UK

Small sprite-like Cornish fae related to piskies and knockers, spriggans have earned a more violent reputation than their cousins but function more in a protective role than a malicious one, acting as bodyguards to the other fair folk or guardians of castle ruins and barrows and the treasures within. Despite their small stature, spriggans are believed to be the ghosts of ancient giants and can grow to massive sizes, as well as perform an array of magical tricks such as causing bad weather, failed crops and illnesses or leading people astray similar to an ignis fatuus.

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Hākuturi

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Hākuturi

Region of origin: New Zealand

The Hākuturi were small fairies who serve as guardians of forest in New Zealand. Believed to be the offspring of Tāne, a god of the forests and a progenitor to birds, the Hākuturi were able to take on the form of birds and insects and hide in plain sight. In a story of the cultural hero Rata, the Hākuturi restored a tree Rata tried to cut down until he showed proper respect to the sprites and sought their permission, after which they allowed him to remove the tree and helped him carve it into a canoe.

[Sources referenced: X | X | X | X | X ]