(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 kelpy might turn into a sleek black horse and wait for a person to try to mount it, only to carry them into the water to drown (Rose 205). The kelpie is very similar to the Norwegian Nøkken, with the same habitat and shapeshifting ability (Asala 121-124).

Because of its horrible threat against children and adults, the Kelpie shows the danger of the water. Even though a person may know how to swim, being suddenly pulled into a fjord would almost definitely cause them to drown, inspiring the legend of the Kelpie, which can drown even the best swimmers.


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