Tag Archives: animal


(Image: “Kappa from Bakemono no e” CC BY-SA 4.0/Cropped) The Kappa, or river child, is a Japanese water monster. Living in any body of water, these small, green monkey-like monsters pulled in those who got too close to the water. They swam using their webbed hands, and the creatures were much stronger than they looked. Kappas […]

The Great Horned Beast

(Image: Hawk 25) The Great Horned Beast is a Navajo legend, passed down through the generations as an oral tale. The gigantic creature had two horns on its forehead and one on its nose, as well as armored plates similar to a turtle’s shell to protect its body, with thick fur underneath. The beast caused earthquakes when […]

The Rainbow Bird

(Image: “Animated Rainbow Phoenix 3D Model”) Originating from Tanzania, the rainbow bird or magical bird is a gigantic fowl with iridescent feathers of every color. It is not beneficent towards humans, usually stealing their crops and food reserves and attacking their livestock to feed itself. The bird can carry immense loads, but its most interesting […]

Burach Bhadi

(Image: Own work) A Scottish monster, the burach bhadi or wizard’s shackle is a giant leech with nine eyes on top of its head. Living in shallow, still pools and lochs, it waited for a person or animal to step into the water and attached to their legs, soon pulling them under. The burach bhadi […]


(Image: chip) Hailing from Yorkshire, England, the grindylow is vaguely humanoid with horribly long arms and fingers. Living in deep marshes, it waits for unwary children to wander by and pulls them into the water, drowning and eating them. It was sometimes a scaled, fishlike creature, but other times it had fur. The grindylow also sometimes preys […]

Lake Monster (Alaskan)

(Image: Norman 241) The Alaskan lake monster is most often a giant fish, originating from the stories of the Gwich’in people. It eats all of the fish in its lake and often lures game in to be swallowed by a whirlpool, causing famine in any nearby settlements. Eventually, the residents attempt to drive the fish […]


(Image: Bertuch) The phoenix is a supernatural bird found in the folklore of Europe and the Middle East. It was the size of an eagle, with the shape of a pheasant and red-purple plumage. Its name is derived from the Greek word for purple. It was said to inhabit Persia, India, Ethiopia, and Arabia. Although its ability to […]

Fearsome Critter

(Image: Blade14) Early American lumberjacks invented the stories of the fearsome critters. These were creatures that often ruined cutting sessions, or played tricks on loggers (Rose 119). Their names often gave some insight into what sort of mischief they caused, such as the Teakettler, which makes the noise of a teakettle outside (Rose 355). The fearsome critters […]

Kukuweaq (Ten-Legged Polar Bear)

(Image: Shadowulf1, “Kukuweaq”) Kukuweaq is a ten-legged polar bear in the legends of the Barrow Inuit. Living in a large glacier wider at the top than the bottom, it hunts seals and four-legged polar bears and keeps the leftovers in a frigid pool of water in the glacier. Based on one description, the kukuweaq may be […]

The Snake with Seven Heads

(Image: “Hydra Silhouette”) An African folktale, the snake with seven heads is a woman’s husband, transformed by a witch for some perceived treachery. In most stories, the wife somehow disrespects the witch by breaking a promise, although sometimes it is the husband who disrespects the witch. The witch retaliates by cursing the husband, causing him to […]

The Flying Fish

(Image: Paré 124) The Flying Fish was the name given to a sea monster that was said to have washed up three miles onshore of Northeast Italy, between the cities of Venice and Ravenna (Rose 124). It was described as being roughly five feet long and ten feet wide (Paré 123-124), with a large head and […]

Rainbow Serpent

(Image: Fairchild, CC BY-SA 3.0/Cropped) The rainbow serpent is a great snake in the legends of Central and West Africa, Australia, and Haiti, but it is most prevalent in the Dreamtime legends of Australia. It is sometimes represented as a gigantic python with rainbow-colored scales, red and yellow stripes down its body, or a celestial blue hue, […]


(Image: Kittlesen, “Nøkken as a Horse”) A Scottish sea creature, the kelpie or kelpy lives in lochs, fjords, and other deep inlets. It was able to shapeshift into the form of an old man, a young boy, or a strong horse, each form able to fool the unwary passerby in its own way. For instance, a […]


(Image: Melo) A Native American legend, the wendigo, windigo, or wiendigo has three distinct forms across multiple tribes. First, the wendigo is a lost hunter who ate human flesh during a hard winter and transformed into a monster in the tales of the Algonquin people. In the region of Ontario, Canada, it is an aquatic creature with the […]


(Image: Perkins 210). Were-creatures are any human who, either by their own will or someone else’s, become an animal on certain nights (Clarkson 202-206). Although the most commonly known in popular culture is the were-wolf, many other variations, such as the vicious were-dog of Papua New Guinea with a will of its own to kill and […]


(Image: Housen, licensed under CC BY 3.0/Cropped) Sphinxes existed in the mythology of Egypt, the Middle East, and Greece. Although the most well-known sphinx is undoubtedly the great sandstone statue in Egypt, depicted with the body of a lion and head of a pharaoh (Androsphinx), some variants exist, such as one with the head of a […]


(Image: “Kitsune”) A famous Japanese legend, the Kitsune is a fox who can turn into a human, or vice versa, among other powers of illusion. It is almost impossible to tell a kitsune from a normal human unless they let some aspect of the fox show through, such as ears or a tail (Don 60-66). Kitsune […]

The Guardian of the Pool

(Image: Foresman) Originating from Central Africa, the Guardian of the Pool is a giant, silver water snake with healing powers. The guardian lives at the bottom of a whirlpool in a fast river. People come to it for help with diseases without knowing that it is a snake, and are scared away by it before […]

Barguest / Barghest

(Image: “Night of the Black Wolf”) A barguest, or barghest, is typically a giant, demonic black dog, and it originates roughly from Northern England. Some stories describe it as having horns or red eyes, and one of the more common variants describe it as a large, black bear. In many stories, it is wrapped in chains […]