English Faeries

The Faerie in England is a blending of the Germanic dwarf-elf people and the Celtic people of the hills. From the translation of the French romance of Huon of Bordeaux came the idea of an organized Faerie world. The Faeries of Spencer and Shakespeare evolved from this translation. They were, like their northern kindred, divided into two classes—the rural Elves, inhabiting the woods, fields, mountains, and caverns; and the domestic or house-spirits, usually called Hobgoblins and Robin Goodfellows. But the Thames, the Avon, and the other English streams, never seem to have been the abode of a Neck or Kelpie.

Joseph Noel Paton –Puck and Fairies, fromA Midsummer Night’s Dream

Perhaps the most famous English Faerie tale was the Cottingley Faeries. Elsie Wright and Frances Griffins of England in 1917 took pictures of Faeries, which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle included in The Coming of the Fairies.

Abbey Lubbers – Abbey lubbers were spirits who haunted the abbeys of 15th century England. They were said to be the cause of drunkenness and debauchery amongst monks. They especially haunted the abbey wine cellars.

The Apple Tree Man -The spirit of the oldest tree in Somerset orchards, he was responsible for the orchards fertility.

Barguest -A fiery-eyed black dog with a shaggy coat, it was seen as a death portent.

Black Annis -A fearsome hag who haunted the Dane Hills in Leicestershire. She had iron like claws and lived in a cave, which she hollowed out with her claws. It is said that she ate children and hung their skins on the cave wall.

Boggart -A type of brownie, who caused poltergeist activity, they were common in Lancashire, and many places are named after them. Boggart Clough, near Manchester, The Boggart Stones, Boggart Lane etc.

Bogies -Another class of shape shifting spirits who tormented man.

Boggles -Evil goblin like creatures.

Bogey and Bogey Beast – Also an evil goblin type of creature more readily associated with the Devil.

Brag -A shapeshifting goblin from the North of England.

Brownie -A generic term for fairies in England and Scotland, they were generally benevolent but could turn bad if they were neglected. They were small in appearance and wore brown clothing.

Bucca, Bucca Boo -A Cornish goblin like creature.

Capelthwaite -A black dog localised to Westmorland, that has shape-shifting abilities and is as large as a calf.

Cheney’s Hounds – Hounds belonging to Cheney, a leader of the wild hunt in the Parish of St Teath in Cornwall. He was a squire in life with a cruel reputation.

Church Grim – A black dog guardian of church yards, they were often seen as a death portent, they protected the dead from the Devil and evil spirits.

Derricks -Fairies who resemble dwarfs, they are small in stature and localised to Devon, Berkshire and Hampshire.

The Devil’s Dandy Dogs – Demon dogs of the wild hunt from Cornwall, they are seen as the most dangerous because they hunt for human souls. The Dandy dogs breathe fire, and leave trails of blackened grass behind them.

Dobby – A hobgoblin belonging to Yorkshire and Lancashire. Dobby stones were stones onto which fairy offerings were placed.

Dobie – A type of Brownie.

Fetch – A phantom who takes on the appearance of the person who sees it. It is said to be a death portent.

Feriers – A Suffolk name for the fairies.

Gable Ratchets – Phantom dogs of the wild hunt.

Gabriel Hounds -A Lancashire term for packs of spirit hounds from the wild hunt, who rode across the skies making eerie howls. They where said to have human faces.

Galley-Beggar -A name given to a frightening spirit in Somerset and Suffolk.

Gally Trot -The name for a supernatural white dog the size of a large calf, from the Northern counties and Suffolk.

Gindylow -A Yorkshire water spirit that can drag people under the water.

Grant -A shapeshifting goblin with flashing eyes.

Gurt Dog – A Somerset name for a benevolent phantom black dog (it haunted the Quantock Hills).

Guytrash – A phantom cow with saucer eyes, it is said to be a death portent.

Hairy Jack – The Lincolnshire name for a phantom black dog that haunts lonely places.

Herla’s Hounds – Phantom dogs of the wild hunt, they are white with red ears, the colour of traditional otherworld creatures.

Hinkey Punk – The Somerset and Devon version of a Will o the Wisp.

Hobbedy’s Lantern – Another name for the Will o’ the wisp or phantom lights, which lure travellers into treacherous areas.

Hob – A general name given to fairies in the Northern counties. They often haunted caves and other lonely places.

Hobgoblin -A mainly benevolent sprite who can also be mischievous if neglected.

Ignis Fatuus -The Latin name for the Will o’ the Wisp or fairy light.

Jack in Irons -A Yorkshire spirit who haunts lonely places attired in heavy chains. The spirit was said to attack travellers.

Jacky Lantern -The West country name for the Will o’ the Wisp.

Jenny Green Teeth -A Lancashire water spirit who drags people down into the water.

Jenny Burnt Tail -Another name for the Will o’ the wisp or phantom light, which lures travellers into treacherous areas.

Knocker -A Cornish mine spirit, which was said to knock at the richest lodes. The knockers were mainly benevolent, but if ignored and neglected they could turn malicious.

Knuckers -The name for the Old English Swamp Dragons.

Mermaids -Dangerous female water spirits who are half fish and half human. They were often said to lure young men to their deaths.

Mermen -The male equivalent of mermaids, there are few stories about them.

Neckan -A river sprite.

Nixies -Water sprites.

Oakmen -Wood spirits of Northern England.

Old Bloody Bones -A Cornish spirit who haunted holes and crevices.

Old Shock -A Suffolk name for a phantom black dog.

Padfoot -Yorkshire name for a large phantom black dog, it was as big as a calf and haunted lonely roads.

Peg o Nell – The spirit of the river Ribble in Lancashire.

Peg Powler -The spirit of the river Tees.

Pinket -The Worcestershire version of the Will o’ the Wisp.

Piskies -A Cornish word for the fairies, Piskies were generally small and mischievous, they haunted lonely and ancient places, and often tricked travellers into getting lost. They are Pixies in other southern counties.

Pixies -The West Country name for the fairies.

Portunes -Tiny farming spirits who are only half an inch in height.

Puck – A Will o’ the Wisp type of spirit.

Raw Head and Bloody Bones
– A Lancashire and Yorkshire water spirit who haunted deep pools, anybody getting too close to the edge would be pulled under.

Shag Foal -A Lincolnshire spirit in the shape of a donkey with flaming eyes.

Shuck / Black Shuck – The East Anglian equivalent of the phantom black dog. Its appearance was seen as a death portent.

Silkie – A brownie like spirit who haunted specific areas. In some cases it was identified as a ghost.

Skriker – A Yorkshire and Lancashire version of the phantom black dog, it was large with saucer eyes.

Spriggans – Dangerous fairies from the West Country, they were said to guard buried treasure, and to lead travellers into dangerous places. They were stunted and ugly in appearance.

Sprites -Generic term for a spirit often elemental.

Thrummy Cap -Cellar dwelling spirit from the North of England.

Tiddy Ones -A Lincolnshire name for the fairies.

Waff -The name for a double spirit in Yorkshire.

Wight -Germanic word for an earth elemental.

Will o the Wisp -The most common name for a fairy light. These strange lights associated with swamps were supposed to be spirits who lured travellers into dangerous areas.

Will o the Wikes – The Norfolk name for the Will o’ the Wisp.

Wish Hounds – The Dartmoor phantom dogs of the wild hunt. They were often described as headless.

Wryneck – A Lancashire and Yorkshire name for an evil spirit.

Yarthkin – A Malevolent earth spirit.

Yell Hounds – Phantom dogs of the wild hunt.