Learn About Leprechauns

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! In the spirit of things, we will be learning about leprechauns- the Irish folklore fairy that has played many roles in films, advertisements, and prints. Today we will not be discussing the leprechaun on the box of cereal or the mascot to an NBA team (even though I am fond of both) but taking it back to its root. So hide your gold and let’s get to it!

First small fact: the name leprechaun originated from Old Irish luchorpan, “little body.”

In Celtic mythology leprechauns are the guardians of hidden treasure. They live solitary lives typically mending shoes. Dressed in green or red, leprechauns are usually old, ugly and not the best of company. Most stories about leprechauns follow a similar pattern of a human spying on them in order to get their gold. However these cunning creatures use techniques, such as playing on humans’ greed in order to distract them. In other stories if you catch a leprechaun you are granted three wishes, however you must be careful what you ask for because they usually get twisted into something bad. 

How do you catch a leprechaun you may ask? Well, some say to lure them with a piece of gold or unmended shoes. Things a leprechaun may not be able to resist. 

Since these tales, leprechauns more often than not have been described as cheerful little old men dressed in green with a red beard.  

The leprechaun is said to only live in Ireland, so test your luck and see if you can get your hands on a pot of gold!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Here’s where I learned my leprechaun facts!

https://www.britannica.com/art/leprechaun

https://www.ancient.eu/Leprechaun/

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Mummies

As Halloween approaches we still have plenty more creatures to talk about. While this one may not do a lot of talking on their own, mummies have been portrayed as wrapped up mutes both on screen and in ancient folklore. 

When people think of a mummy they usually envision a human form wrapped in layers of tissue from head to toe shuffling towards you. While that may be true enough, mummies come from a more interesting history. 

The process of mummification was popular in many civilizations including Incan, Australian, African, and Aztec but is commonly known for its performance in Egypt. Each ritual varied by culture, but all consisted of honoring the body of the dead by preservation. 

The Egyptian mummy process for royalty and the wealthy included: 

  • Washing the body
  • Removing all organs except the heart and placing them in jars
  • Packing the body and organs in salt to remove moisture
  • Embalming the body with resins and essential oils such as myrrh, cassia, juniper oil and cedar oil
  • Wrapping the embalmed corpse in several layers of linen

The mummies of the pharaohs were placed in a sarcophagus and buried in elaborate tombs with things they would need for the after life such as wine, food, jewels, perfume, and anything they particularly liked. 

According to folklore, disrupting a mummies tomb leads to death. One of the most popular stories is the disruption of King Tut’s tomb by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. While it was an extraordinary find it did come with unexplained deaths by some members of his crew, but Howard Carter was spared from the so-called curse. 

Mummies then became more mainstream by hitting the big screen in in 1932 with the movie The Mummy with Boris Karloff, where they instantly debuted as monsters who cannot feel pain and the most effective way to kill them is to be set on fire. 

From there we have seen them in a countless number of movies and TV shows and they have become a popular costume for Halloween. 

Let the stories of the ancient world spark your own writing creativity. Maybe mummies will be featured in your next book or short story! 

Every story counts. Happy Spooktober!

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Something Wicked This Way Comes – The Ghoul

In the spirit of Halloween it is only right to dedicate this time to the creatures of the dark that we may not typically pay attention to. Join me each week until Halloween to find out what lies beneath the scales and fangs. 

First and foremost… the ghoul. 

Each creature comes from different mythology and pertains to different legends. That being said the ghoul originates under Arabic mythology. They have the ability to shape-shift and are known for inhabiting places like graveyards or deserts. Their true form are known to be hairy and canine like, but one of their most distinct features is their hoof like imprints, and most commonly known to be crawling on all fours. 

However, with so many stories and renditions we see the ghoul in many different forms, for example…

Ghoul on Netflix focuses on “the ghoul” from Arabic Mythology that can shape-shift, and is known for its hoof like print. 

In Supernatural a popular Sci-Fi TV show ghouls are not dead but a form of monster. They typically live in graveyards and feed on human flesh both dead and alive. They can also shape-shift and the only way of killing a ghoul is complete decapitation. 

Tokyo Ghoul is a popular anime show about a character who gets bit by a ghoul and becomes half ghoul – half human. In this version ghouls look exactly like humans but like to eat human flesh. 

So next time you are writing a story and want to incorporate a ghoul think about what features you want to show and the presence it plays among humans.

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Wrong Alps

When I first saw the name of our next mythological creature, I immediately thought, “how are the Swiss Alps lore?” I would like to confirm, we are not talking about the Swiss Alps. Just regular alps.


alp.jpg

AlpGermany

“Shapeshifting goblin that evokes nightmares in sleeping victims.”

Basic Facts:

  • Similar to the picture above, an alp appears small and child-like. Most times, elf-like. But don’t be fooled: they’re still goblins! These little creatures are male a good chunk of the time, too.
  • They can be summoned by witches.
  • What’s so threatening about an alp? Well, they wear a little hat which gives them the powers they do use to terrorize people. They come into a person’s home while they’re sleeping. They’ll sit on the person to cause nightmares. Sometimes, they’ll travel through the person’s nostril to gain control of their whole being for a short period of time.
  • These little guys may be bad most of the time, but there’s a reason! The evil eye is what causes the alps to act out. You can remove it…forcing them to lose their evil intent.
  • If an alp is caught in the act of terror by morning, the alp can be asked to leave. They’ll try to bargain so don’t fall for their tricks! Beware!