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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Papinijuwari

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Papinijuwari

Region of origin: Northern Australia

In Tiwi folklore, the Papinijuwari were a race of cycloptic giants who lived in a hut at the end of the sky. They carried clubs and torches, and it was believed shooting stars were actually the giants on the move through the sky. Looked down up even by other giants and malevolent creatures, the Papinijuwari were ghoulish creatures who fed on the flesh of the dead and drank the blood of the sick, attracted to victims by the smell of the disease. They were capable of rendering themselves invisible and also changing size, able to shrink down and drink the blood from the inside.

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The Hide-behind

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The Hide-behind

Region of origin: Northern United States

Fast, stealthy, and agile, the Hide-behind earns its name from its ability to obscure itself behind even narrow trees and other brush as it stalks its prey, often lumberjacks working near its territory. Once it is upon them, it will let out a fearsome noise and knock them unconscious before dragging its victim back to its lair where it will feast on them, favoring their intestines. It is described as a mix between a grizzly bear and a French sheepdog, six feet tall and bipedal despite the fact that it has never actually been seen. They’re said to detest the smell of alcohol, and being extremely drunk is the best method to ward one off. Noises in the forest at night, such as breaking branches or an owl that has gotten a maraca, may be attributed to the Hide-behind.

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Dip

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Dip

Region of origin: Catalonia

A black dog myth from the Catalan region, but unlike other stories of black dogs who serve as death omens but rarely directly interact with the people who see them, the dip is a vampiric beast in the employ of the Devil, descending in packs from the mountains and attacking anyone they come across to drink their blood. The dip has become particularly associated the town of Pratdip, coincidentally named but etymologically distinct, where the dog is featured on their coat of arms and an annual celebration, the Pratdip Llegendari, is held just before the weekend of All Saints, featuring stories and games symbolically hunting and rounding up the creatures.

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Belphegor

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Belphegor

Region of origin: The Kingdom of Moab

One of the seven princes of Hell as described in de Plancy’s nineteenth-century Dictionnaire Infernal, Belphegor was said to represent the deadly sin of sloth. He did this through granting an individual who made a pact with him, often after appearing to them as a beautiful woman, some clever thought or invention that would result in them gaining great wealth from as little effort as possible, becoming lazy and degenerate as a result. The name Belphegor is derived from Ba’al-Pe’or, or “Lord of Mount Pe’or”, and he was believed to be the patron deity of the nearby Moabites. He became associated with debauchery and orgies, and, with one taken meaning of “Pe’or” being “opening”, flatulence and feces resulting in him often being depicted as sitting on a commode. In more modern tales, Belphegor was sent to earth by Satan to learn if marital love in fact existed, and while he never succeeded in confirming this he did become enamored with Paris during his travels.

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Soucouyant

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Soucouyant

Region of origin: Caribbean islands

A shape-shifting, vampiric jumbie from Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean regions, by day the soucouyant will appear as a normal human woman, usually elderly, but at night will cast off her skin and take on its true form of a flying fireball. The skin will be stored somewhere such as a mortar to protect it while the soucouyant flies out to look for victims. In this form they are said to be able to fit through any size hole or crack in a building and descend upon whoever they find sleeping there, draining them of their blood or life-force through the bottom of their feet or other limbs. The victim may eventually become a soucouyant themselves or, if drained to death, the feeding soucouyant may take their skin as a replacement for their own. The soucouyant’s hidden skin is the key to dealing with one; similar to European witches the soucouyant will be compelled to count every grain of rice or salt spilled on the ground which can prevent them from making it home and back into their human disguise before dawn. Alternatively it will give you a chance to enter their home while they’re out and find the skin before they can return to it, where you can sprinkle the skin with salt or hot pepper which will render it unlivable to the soucouyant. Witches may also take the skin to be used as a component in magic spells or rituals.

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