Back to Home Page


Click here to enter the 'Social Fays' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Solitary Fays' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Earth Dwellers' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Giants' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Domestic Spirits' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Tricksters and Threats' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Nursery Bogies' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Nature Spirits' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Water Spirits' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Bizarre Beasts' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Dragons' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Faith and Magic' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Night Terrors and Lovers' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Phantoms and Hauntings' gallery
Click here to enter the 'Wraiths, Omens and Visitants' gallery
You Are Here


The Bogeyman

Click here to enlarge this image

“Don’t be bad or the Bogeyman will get you”, as many an exasperated mother told her naughty child . . . but who or what is the Bogeyman? Ask a hundred children to draw it, you will get a hundred vastly differing images returned. The Bogeyman is a creature of many forms and of no fixed form. It is the personification of all our most personal and intimate fears . . . and it is waiting for us now in the shadows.



Click here to enlarge this image

Also known as: Bug-a-Boos, Bucca, Bugs, Bugans, Boggle-Boos, Boo-Baggers, Bugges.
Bugbears are similar to the Bogeymen in their mysterious nature and their potential to be shaped into distinctive forms by the mental workings of young children. Though the term ‘Bugbear’ is often used to refer to any personal phobia or to anything that scares, it can also be used to specifically refer to house monsters, in particular those strange and sinister creatures that dwell under beds, in cupboards or behind the curtains. From these places they glare out menacingly, waiting for a child to leave their bed during the hours of darkness. Night-lights have traditionally been used in some households to keep the nocturnal Bugbears at bay. Though it has been considered that their name in part derives from the early belief that many Bugbears either wore bearskin garments or even had the faces of bears, their appearance and attire can vary greatly. Many Bugbears have assumed a more definite and constant form and have thus evolved into the Nursery Bogies. So many a child may now be terrified by the presence of Clap-Cans, Beither, Mum Poker, Tom Poker, Tanterabogus, Black Ol’ Noll, Long Lankin, WryNeck, Samanach, Le Beu, Tom Dockin or any others of their fiendish ilk.



Click here to enlarge this image

The word ‘Bodach’ roughly translates as ‘Old Man’, and his favourite hobbies include crawling down chimneys and poking young children with his long bony fingers. Like the Bogeyman (and also sometimes the Trows), the Bodach is said to steal away naughty children in particular, but in the Scottish Highlands if any infant (either originally naughty or nice) was believed to be a Changeling, then the substitute child would likely be a Bodach. His strange aspect may raise some suspicion, which could be initially shrugged off as many babies look a bit odd - but due to his very mature tastes and his outspoken manner the Bodach would soon reveal his true identity.
Specifically the Bodach-Glas, or Dark Grey Man (sometimes also known as the Dovach or Mournful One) and the Bodach au Dun or Old Man of the Hill were said to be heralds of death. The phenomenon of this gloomy harbinger extended over the borders into Northumberland. Such an abomination formerly frequented a Willow grove at Bellister near Haltwhistle. It was said to be swathed in a long grey cloak and to hover slightly above the ground. Furthermore a tremendous gash cut across his pallid face dripping gore onto his beard and long, hoary hair. Sure catastrophe followed any encounter with this entity or any of its like kind.



Click here to enlarge this image

Also known as: Dobbies, Dobbs, Bobles, Cloggies, Bodachan Sabhail.
Dobies are the Brownies and Hobs too dim-witted and clumsy to be of any practical use around the home. Instead they occupy their time befriending old people, especially those pensioners whose minds are said to be ‘wandering’ (as the Dobies feel that they are less likely to ridicule them). Dobies are usually jovial and mellow if not too bright, and provide good company for the old folks. In some areas such as County Durham in Northern England, they were also prone to turn up at weddings, christenings and other such celebrations. Dobies very rarely have the inherent capacity to turn bad, that is of course with the notable exception of the West Yorkshire Dobies whose mean and murderous habits are very similar to the Scots Buckies. The White Dobbie of Furness in Scotland was a peculiar gaunt, sickly looking little fellow who always wore a dirty white coat and was constantly accompanied by a strange white Hare with bloodshot eyes. Dobies may be found in houses, barns and Rest Homes across Scotland and England, as far south as the Midlands.



Click here to enlarge this image

The Bwbachs are stout, solitary Welsh Fays dressed in turbans and fur loin-clothes. They affiliate themselves to houses and not the inhabitants. Though they will tolerate the residing family as long as they keep a good fire and food, any visitors to the house are instantly regarded as intruders and will be briskly and vigorously sent running. If displeased, a Bwbach will likely cause a curse of bad luck to befall upon the household. Bwbachs will not bother to help with any chores, yet they still demand that the house be kept clean and cosy. The Bwciod are strange solitary Goblins who will also enter homes because of the warmth they offer. Though they will commonly block the heat of the fire reaching the family, they may rarely be seen as they constantly fidget and can move so fast as to be beyond a blur. Those who mange to grab more than a glimpse of a Bwciod describe them as being extremely thin with big feet and pointed noses and eyes that are a milky purple. Any attempts to move or remove a Bwciod will likely result in chaos.


Rawhead & Bloodybones

Click here to enlarge this image

Also known as: Tommy Rawhead, Old Bloodybones.
Rawhead and-Bloodybones has been quite an industrious fiend in his time, and not a too pleasant one at that. In East Anglia, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire under the name of Tommy Rawhead, he would lure children to their doom in quarries, mires and ponds. In Cornwall, where he was known by the name of Old Bloodybones, his grisly appearance led people to think that he was the Phantom of a soldier who had suffered a brutal and bloody death in a bygone local battle.
Combining his names, Rawhead-and-Bloodybones has since moved his activities indoors as well. Hidden under the stairs he will reach out with his long arms and cruel grasping fingers to seize children up past their bedtime. A female equivalent of this Nursery Bogie is known as Nelly Longarms.



Click here to enlarge this image

Individual Dream-Weavers include The Sandman or Dustman, Billy Winker or Wee Willie Winkie, Old Shut-eye or Awd Luck-oiye, Nanny Button-Cap. These Nursery Bogies are most active come the night, when they move from house to house checking that the children are on the road to sleep. Here they will assist the passage up the wooden hill to the land of Nod by sprinkling magic milk or more frequently golden slumber dust or sand into the sleepy-heads’ eyes. This magic powder or balm opens the doors to dreams and all the strange adventures they entail. Some Dream-weavers are also concerned with setting adults away on their somnolent excursions.


Tooth Fairies

Click here to enlarge this image

Quite possibly the only Fay species to regularly trade with mankind on an uncomplicated basis. When children lose one of their milk teeth it is customary for them to leave it either on their bedside table or under their pillow, then as they sleep the redundant denture will be removed by the Tooth Fairy in exchange for a coin. Though the Tooth Fairies are believed to live in social groups they generally carry out this work singly and it is usually only the females who collect. What they do with the harvested teeth is uncertain but it has been suggested that they use them as building materials in their own kingdom.
An oft- forgotten superstition holds that should the Tooth Fairy fail to collect the fallen denture by midnight, then there is the risk that tiny Witches will fly into the room in egg-shell sky-boats and steal away the tooth. Not only do these witches leave no payment but they can also use the tooth to direct curses and cruel spells against the child.
An alternative belief was once held that it was actually mice rather than faerie denizens that gathered children’s milk teeth from beneath their pillows, however the notion of rodents scrambling under the bed-linen has seemingly since lost its appeal.


Book Bogies

Click here to enlarge this image

The Book Bogies are the creatures responsible for attracting children to particular books and comics, gripping their attention and escorting them on many special adventures. They have transported generations of children to enchanted locations as diverse as magical kingdoms, riverbanks, desert islands, jungles, alien planets and many other strange places and times besides. They have invited children to mingle with knights, pirates, super-heroes, dinosaurs, outlaws, rascals, cowboys & Indians, Arabian Princes & Princesses and many other exciting characters and to feel part of their adventures. The Book Bogies bring the words and pages to life, though of course some of the credit must go to the authors and artists also.
Sometimes their powers wane as a child approaches adolescence and other interests ensue, but whenever an adult makes a chance discovery upon one of their special childhood books, then the Bogey’s bookmark will frequently result in a wave of strange nostalgia, a rush of memories and sometimes even a passing melancholia. They may also be responsible for the Synchronicity that occurs when a relevant book is suddenly discovered at the most pertinent moment.


Jack Frost

Click here to enlarge this image

Jack Frost, who some have suggested is actually the King of the Snow Faeries, tends to be a solitary figure. He is primarily an environmental artist whose atmospheric landscapes can often be seen etched onto the glass of windows on a frosty morning. His many sculptures include the diverse attractive patterns of individual snowflakes, icicles, and the ice-rings sometimes seen in rivers and lakes. Despite his appearance, which may shock some, Jack Frost is not really a malevolent soul. However some of his designs such as the white windows he lays over bodies of water or the icicles he hangs from gutters and branches may be so delicate as to prove dangerous. He is also aware of the other hazards of winter and he will often alert children that they are not adequately attired for the harsh weather by touching their necks, noses, ears, hands and toes with his chilling breath and long icy fingers.


Father Christmas

Click here to enlarge this image

Father Christmas is a combination of both the Holly King (the personification of the Pagan winter festival of Yule and Santa Claus) and the Eastern saint Nicholas who represents the Christian Adventtide. He is both these things and more, a curious conglomerate of various Heathen and Christian motifs. Now only visiting the Celtic Isles on Christmas Eve, Father Christmas employs several Elves in the construction of gifts, and uses Reindeers to pull his flying sled. He was once accompanied by strange and ill-tempered dwarves such as Knecht Ruprecht and Black Peter, who would whip impatient, greedy and badly-behaved children with birch-wood canes.



Click here to enlarge this image

The Easter Bunny is not actually a ‘bunny’ or rabbit at all, but is actually a hare. The hare was the sacred animal of Eostre (or Oestra or Ostera), the ancient Teutonic Goddess of the Spring Moon. At the time of the vernal equinox (March or April) the hares are famed for going ‘mad’ and it was at this time of the year that out of character for its species, one of Eostre’s hares laid an egg. Not just any old egg, but the Egg of New Life - the Easter Egg. But surely Easter is a Christian festival marking Jesus Christ’s resurrection after dying on the cross, and not ceremonial to a Pagan hare-headed goddess? Well, actually it’s both. Following debate at the Synod of Whitby in the 5th Century, the ‘Christian Easter’ is destined to fall roughly around the same time as the ‘Pagan Easter’ due to its association to the Judaic Passover which is also fixed by the lunar cycle. Both festivals could also be said to reflect new life, either Christ’s return from the dead or the blossom and birth of Spring. So it was not much of a stretch for the ascending Christian Church to merge both festivals. This is known as ‘assimilation’ and was a habit frequently employed in those times and these isles to ease and encourage rather than force the conversion of heathens. Perhaps it is a little surprising, however, that the pagan name was retained.


All artwork and text © Andrew L. Paciorek