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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Region of origin: Mesopotamia
Evil vampiric spirits, the ekimmu or edimmu were the unquiet dead of people who in life had behaved immorally or improperly, either towards the gods or their fellow mortals, or did not receive an proper burial. The ekimmu were invisible but were thought to be able to be perceived as a gust of wind. An ekimmu would attach itself to either an individual or a household and drain their life force until they wasted away and died days later, and could also possess a person and control their actions. There were spells or similar protections used to ward ekimmu away from a home, or they could be removed by providing them with the funeral rites they never received. Considered an early precusor to traditional vampire folklore, their methods are similar to the preta, “hungry ghosts” of Hinduism and Buddhism, and the strigoi of Romania and eastern Europe.
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Region of origin: Venezuela
A vengeful spirit, la Sayona is said to attack men who have been or are considering being unfaithful to their wives. Her story has numerous variations, but many state that she was told her husband had been cheating on her with her own mother (in most versions, this was a lie told by another man trying to break up the marriage), and in a blinding rage she set her house on fire with the husband and their child sleeping inside before going after the mother with a machete. As the mother died, she cursed the woman to forever atone as a guardian of women whose husbands committed or were tempted by adultery. She would appear on the side of the road or near the edges of forests to the men who had been marked and seduce them, leading them away before revealing animal-like or skeletal features and either violently dismembering their genitals or afflicting them with telltale rashes and boils, or in some cases the men were simply never seen again. She is considered a more violent counterpart to la Llorona, the weeping woman.
Region of origin: Cambridge, England
Abbey House is considered one of England’s “most haunted houses,” with sightings of the spectral forms including its original owner Alexander Butler, several women, a disappearing squirrel, and then there’s Wolfie. Named after Butler’s hound, several witnesses living in or visiting the house in the early-to-mid Twentieth century have described a strange, small brown animal; physically compared to a short-eared hare but with flipper-like arms and a bird’s beak, seen running around the house and yard on its hind legs, often around twilight. It will disappear when pursued, and even when not visible, the rapid patter of its running footsteps may be heard from elsewhere in the house.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 19, 2016
The Paulding Light
Region of origin: Paulding, Michigan
Since the mid-Twentieth century there have been reports of an orb-like lights that appears to be moving through a valley near Paulding, Michigan. The local legends that built up around the light attributed it to a spectral lantern being carried by the ghost of a railroad brakeman who had lost his head in an accident on the nearby tracks. Perhaps coincidentally, there are similar ghost-lights with a near-identical stories urban legends attached in numerous parts of North America, including Maco, North Carolina, Gurdon, Arkansas, Saratoga, Texas and St. Louis, Saskatchewan.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 9, 2016
Region of origin: The Philippines
Santelmo, or Apoy ni San Elmo (Tagalog for St. Elmo’s Fire), is a ball of light or fire that may be observed floating over swamps or bodies of water, said to be a manifestation of a lingering spirit attached to the location where its body had died. They can be vengeful spirits, luring people who follow them into the water to drown or become lost, never to be seen again. Praying for the souls can help them get into the afterlife and disperse them.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 5, 2016
Region of origin: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States
Per local legend, Stiffy Green was in life the loyal companion to florist and philanthropist John G. Heinl who, when his master passed on, resigned to wait at the mausoleum, refusing food and water until he wasted away and passed himself. The bulldog was then taxidermied and left inside the mausoleum where it was visible through a small window in the door where visitors could peer in and see his eponymous shining green eyes. Since then, there have been reports of disembodied barks in the graveyard late at night and apparitions of the late Heinl taking his beloved dog for a walk. In reality, Stiffy Green is and has always been a concrete statue Heinl owned that was left to decorate his burial site. In the 80s, the mausoleum was vandalized and the dog’s right eye shot out with a pistol, so he was moved and now resides safely in the Vigo County Historical Society.
Originally posted on Tumblr on August 18, 2016