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~ Thursday, June 12, 2003

Some nasty water spirits from British folklore:

Rawhead or Bloody Bones - a boggart or water-goblin who lurks in water, waiting to pull in passing strangers.

Jenny Greenteeth - Northern English water-witch who can be detected by green scum or weed on the top of deep water. Those, particularly children, getting too close will be yanked in and held under until they drown.

Nelly Long-arms - similar to the above, but with the emphasis on long rubbery arms which will envelop any over-curious child or traveller.

Peg-a-lantern - a bog sprite who uses a light to waylay night travellers, who are entranced into following the light until swallowed by the swamp.

The Hedley Kow - a Northumbrian imp, one of whose many deviant pleasures was tricking the unwary into drowning. A favourite ploy was to shape-shift into the form of two comely young women who would lure men to a wet, weedy grave.

The Water Cow - a Scottish water spirit which lowed like a cow and could change shape in order to lure the doomed into lochs.

Peg Powler - a nixie, or bad water nymph who delighted in snatching and drowning anyone who got too close to deep water or fast rivers, especially children of course.

The Doolie - this Scottish spirit, perhaps a relative of the kelpie, or ghostly water-horse, tended to wait by fords, trying to entice those crossing to take the most treacherous path across the river.

fuath - a sort of Northern Scottish equivalent of Greenteeth, with green clothes, webbed feet and bright yellow hair. But the intention was the same. Drown and drown and drown.

Source: various

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