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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Region of origin: Provence, France
The matagot or mandragot is a household spirit or familiar that can take on the form of various animals but is most associated with black cats. There are a flurry of regional variations regarding names, methods of acquisitions and specific behaviors, but largely they are associated with luck and wealth, bringing coins each day to owners who keep them well fed. It was said they could be found one night a year (specifically believed to be the eve of the feast of St. John on June 23rd in the Béarn region), and could be lured to a crossroads with a plump hen, at which point you could capture it in a sack, though you must return to your home silently and without looking back. If provided for, the cat would leave in the night and fetch the money for its owner; believed to be demonic spirits or fae creatures they were able to slip between realms to reach otherwise inaccessible places. A well-kept matagot is a boon to a household, but when poorly-treated or otherwise injured or malnourished may turn on their masters, attacking them or causing them to be stricken with agonizing pain, and even the behaved ones are thought to come at the cost of your soul, associating owners with witchcraft and sorcerers. The story of Puss In Boots was thought to be inspired by matagots, and the mandrake root takes its name from “mandragot”, believing the figure-shaped plant has some relation to spirit’s magic or may be themselves some early stage of the creature’s growth.
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Region of origin: Japan
A staple of Japanese haunted houses, the Mokumokuren are dilapidated shoji doors that, as they fall apart with age and grow holes, become infested by pairs of ghostly, staring eyes. The eyes will act as spies for the other yokai denizens of the house but otherwise are considered largely harmless. However, some stories tell of those daring to sleep under the gaze of the Mokumokuren waking up to find their own eyes missing, possibly added to the door’s collection.
Originally posted on Tumblr on May 2, 2016
Region of origin: Japan
A genial sort of spirit, the Biwa-Bokuboku is a tsukumogami born of a discarded Biwa lute given anthropomorphic form. Stories place him wandering around as a busker, living a solitary life in abandoned buildings or partying it up with other yokai, usually heard at nights playing himself, dancing loudly and singing songs about the neglect he felt from his former owners.
Originally posted on Tumblr on May 1, 2016
Region of origin: Japan
A tsukumogami, the class of yokai who are inanimate objects given life, the chochin-Obake is a paper lantern that after 100 years of existence gains a soul and sentience. As with most yokai, they are harmless pranksters, reveling in spooking humans but not out to inflict any real injury.
Originally posted on Tumblr on April 27, 2016
Region of origin: Lithuania
A household goblin, the aitvaras can be obtained from the egg of a seven-year-old rooster or purchased from the Devil for the price of one Your Soul. Inside its assigned home, it appears as a black rooster with a flaming tail, but outside it takes on the form of a dragon. Despite its infernal origins, an aitvaras can be considered a boon for a household. If treated well and fed often (it likes omelettes), it will bring its home great luck and wealth, though by some tellings that wealth is ill-gotten; misappropriated from neighbors or around town. If mistreated, however, that luck will turn bad. Once settled into a home, the aitvaras can not be made to leave the house, only able to be banished or killed by those pure of heart.
Originally posted on Tumblr on February 17, 2016
Region of origin: Nepal
A class of household luck spirits, the ape-like khyah will live in homes hiding in attics or storerooms away from electric lighting. White-haired khyah provide good luck and wealth to the household while black-haired ones bring misfortune. They are also depicted as attendants to Lakshmi, Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, and their likenesses decorate temples as shrine guardians.
Originally posted on Tumblr on February 1, 2016