Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Revisiting the Denham Tracts

Aeons & Augauries has a post talking about different types of humanoids that reminded me of the Denham Tracts list of spirits and fairies (including the notable pre-Tolkien inclusion of Hobbits). There's also an article in Dragon Magazine #158 that gives a lot of alternate names, though I'm a bit more wary of how the author defined some of the alternate terms.

"What a happiness this must have been seventy or eighty years ago and upwards, to those chosen few who had the good luck to be born on the eve of this festival of all festivals; when the whole earth was so overrun with ghosts, boggles, Bloody Bones, spirits, demons, ignis fatui, brownies, bugbears, black dogs, spectres, shellycoats, scarecrows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-Goodfellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, breaknecks, fantasms, hobgoblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbies, hob-thrusts, fetches, kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mum-pokers, Jemmy-burties, urchins, satyrs, pans, fauns, sirens, tritons, centaurs, calcars, nymphs, imps, incubuses, spoorns, men-in-the-oak, hell-wains, fire-drakes, kit-a-can-sticks, Tom-tumblers, melch-dicks, larrs, kitty-witches, hobby-lanthorns, Dick-a-Tuesdays, Elf-fires, Gyl-burnt-tales, knockers, elves, rawheads, Meg-with-the-wads, old-shocks, ouphs, pad-foots, pixies, pictrees, giants, dwarfs, Tom-pokers, tutgots, snapdragons, sprets, spunks, conjurers, thurses, spurns, tantarrabobs, swaithes, tints, tod-lowries, Jack-in-the-Wads, mormos, changelings, redcaps, yeth-hounds, colt-pixies, Tom-thumbs, black-bugs, boggarts, scar-bugs, shag-foals, hodge-pochers, hob-thrushes, bugs, bull-beggars, bygorns, bolls, caddies, bomen, brags, wraiths, waffs, flay-boggarts, fiends, gallytrots, imps, gytrashes, patches, hob-and-lanthorns, gringes, boguests, bonelesses, Peg-powlers, pucks, fays, kidnappers, gallybeggars, hudskins, nickers, madcaps, trolls, robinets, friars' lanthorns, silkies, cauld-lads, death-hearses, goblins, hob-headlesses, bugaboos, kows, or cowes, nickies, nacks, waiths, miffies, buckies, ghouls, sylphs, guests, swarths, freiths, freits, gy-carlins[1], pigmies, chittifaces, nixies, Jinny-burnt-tails, dudmen, hell-hounds, dopple-gangers, boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes, grants, hobbits, hobgoblins, brown-men, cowies, dunnies, wirrikows, alholdes, mannikins, follets, korreds [2], lubberkins, cluricauns, kobolds, leprechauns, kors, mares, korreds, puckles, korigans, sylvans, succubuses, blackmen, shadows, banshees, lian-hanshees, clabbernappers, Gabriel-hounds, mawkins, doubles, corpse lights or candles, scrats, mahounds, trows, gnomes, sprites, fates, fiends, sibyls, nicknevins, whitewomen, fairies, thrummy-caps[3], cutties, and nisses, and apparitions of every shape, make, form, fashion, kind and description, that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost. Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its spectre, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!"

The wiki article has a lot of links, showing us that many of the listed names are just variants of the same thing, and there are a couple of repeated entries, so I went in to take a look and came up with the following list:

alholdes*
banshees
barguests (Barghest, Bargtjest, Bo-guest, Bargheist, Bargeist, Barguist, Bargest, or Barguest; a type of Black Dog)
black dogs (Black Dog)
black-bugs*
blackmen*
Bloody Bones
boggarts
boggleboes (Bogeyman)
boggles (Bogle)
boggy-boes (Bogeyman)
bogies (Bogle)
boguests (Bargest)
bolls*
bomen (Bogeyman)
bonelesses*
brags
breaknecks*
brown-men (Simonside Dwarf; aka Bogle, Duergar)
brownies (brounie or urisk (Lowland Scots) or brùnaidh, ùruisg, or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic))
buckies (Bucca; Bucka, Puca)
bugaboos (Bugbear)
bugbears
bugs (Bogle)
bull-beggars (Bugbear)
bygorns*
caddies*
calcars*
cauld-lads (Cauld Lad of Hylton; ghost)
centaurs
changelings
chittifaces*
clabbernappers*
cluricauns
colt-pixies*
conjurers
corpse lights or candles (possibly "ghost candles"; Will-o'-the-wisp; Jack O' Lantern, or Joan of the Wad, Jenny Burn-tail, Kitty wi' the Whisp, or Spunkie)
cowies (Hedley Kow)
cutties (Cutty Soams, or bluecaps)
death-hearses
demons
Dick-a-Tuesdays (Will-o'-the-wisp)
dobbies (Hobs)
dopple-gangers
doubles (Doppleganger)
dudmen*
dunnies
dwarfs
Elf-fires (Will-o'-the-wisp)
elves
fairies
fantasms
fates
fauns
fays
fetches
fiends (x2)
fire-drakes
flay-boggarts*
follets**
freiths*
freits*
friars' lanthorns (Will-o'-the-wisp)
Gabriel-hounds (Hellhound)
gallybeggars (Bugbear)
gallytrots (Black Dog)
ghosts
ghouls
giants
gnomes
goblins
grants*
gringes*
guests (Ghost)
gy-carlins (Queen of Elfhame/Elphame)
Gyl-burnt-tales (Will-o'-the-wisp)
gytrashes (A type of Black Dog)
hags
hell-hounds
hell-wains (Wild Hunt)
hob-and-lanthorns (Will-o'-the-wisp)
hob-headlesses (Hob or Brag)
hob-thrushes (Hob)
hob-thrusts*
hobbits***
hobby-lanthorns (Will-o'-the-wisp)
hobgoblins (x2)
hobhoulards (Hob)
hodge-pochers (Hob)
hudskins*
ignis fatui (Will-o'-the-wisp)
imps (x2)
incubuses
Jack-in-the-Wads (Will-o'-the-wisp)
Jemmy-burties (Will O'-The-Wisp)
Jinny-burnt-tails (Will-o'-the-wisp)
kelpies
kidnappers
kit-a-can-sticks (Will-o'-the-wisp)
kitty-witches*
knockers
kobolds
korigans (aka kornandon, ozigan, nozigan, torrigan, viltañs, poulpikan, paotred ar sabad (???))
korreds** (x2)
kors*
kows or cowes (Hedley Kow)
larrs (Lares)
leprechauns
lian-hanshees (Leanan sidhe, leannan si, lhiannan shee)
lubberkins (Lubber Fiend, Lob, Lubberkin, Lurdane, Lob Lie-By-The-Fire; a type of brownie, hob, domovoi, tomte similar to Robin Goodfellow or Hobgoblin; also Abbey Lubber)
madcaps (possibly a redcap)
mahounds (a demon or the Devil)
mannikins
mares (Nightmare)
mawkins*
Meg-with-the-wads (Will-o'-the-wisp)
melch-dicks (Will-o'-the-wisp)
men-in-the-oak*
miffies*
mock-beggars*
mormos (Mormo, greek spirit)
mum-pokers*
nacks (Neck-water spirit)
nickers (Neck-water spirit)
nickies (Neck-water spirit)
nicknevins (Nicneven, Nicnevin, Nicnevan; a Fairy Queen or Witch; a type of Gyre-Carling/Gyre-Carlin/Gy-Carling/Gay-Carlin; etymology suggests "greedy old woman" or "ogress")
night-bats*
nisses
nixies
nymphs
old-shocks (Old Shuck; a type of Black Dog)
ouphs (Changeling)
pad-foots (Black Dog)
pans
patches*
Peg-powlers
pictrees (a type of Brag?)
pigmies
pixies
portunes (Roman god of keys, doors, livestock)
puckles (Puck)
pucks
rawheads (Bloody Bones)
redcaps
redmen*
Robin-Goodfellows (Pucks)
robinets*
satyrs
scar-bugs*
scarecrows
scrags*
scrats*
shadows
shag-foals (Black Dog)
shellycoats
sibyls
silkies (Selkie)
sirens
snapdragons
spectres
spirits
spoorns*
sprets (Sprites)
sprites
spunks (Will-o'-the-wisp)
spurns*
succubuses
swaithes (Svartalf)
swarths (Svartalf)
sylphs
sylvans
tantarrabobs*
thrummy-caps (A type of elf)
thurses (Jotunn)
tints*
tod-lowries*
Tom-pokers*
Tom-thumbs
Tom-tumblers*
tritons
trolls
trows
tutgots*
urchins (Elf)
waffs (Ghost)
waiths (Ghost)
warlocks
whitewomen (ghost or "Witte Wievan/Wittewijven" wise women/elvs of Netherlands/Belgium/France; akak Juffers/Joffers/Dames Blanches (white ladies))
wirrikows (Wirry-cow)
witches
wizard
wraiths
yeth-hounds (a type of Black Dog)

Notes:
*possibly made up
**follet may be a type of french hobgoblin, the lutin or nain rouge
**korred may be a variant of korrigan
***predates Tolkien's usage


Obviously, not all of the entries are humanoids, Will-o'wisps, Barguests*, Black Dogs, Hell Hounds, Wirry-Cows, various types of ghosts & spirits, and some other undead are included. Some of the possibly made up names are also interesting, because they're more likely alternate or regional spellings of the other included creatures. Tracing the variant names through Wikipedia gives us some interesting notes, but mostly shows that the term 'hobgoblin' covers the majority of the mischievous humanoids, covering brownies, bogles, bogies, bogeymen, pucks, buccas, pookas, etc. which in turn links to ettins (giants), barguests (which leads to black dogs), headless humanoids, Brags (which leads to kelpies and other water horse/necks which leads to nixies), and changeling/shapeshifter creatures (which is no doubt why so many of these creatures bleed over into other, non-humanoid types...they have a preferred shapeshifted form in order to play pranks on the people they encounter.

Given this list, even with a few duplicate entries, I'm kind of surprised and disappointed that some other names didn't show up. Dullahans have become more popular lately as one of the many headless horseman (or coachman for the "death-hearses" entry) variants. Black Dog (and other hell hound/ghost dog variants) didn't appear as much as I would have thought; Black Shuck, Black Hounds, Wishthounds, Padfoots, the Grim, Shags, Shugs or Black Shugs, Trashes, Strikers, Skrikers, Lean Dogs, Gurt Dogs ("Great Dogs"), Hairy Jacks, Yell-Hounds, Cù Sìth (though more widely recognized as an "elf hound"), Black Dogs of Death (Tchico), and Tchian d'Bouôlé (Black Dog of Bouley Bay), Oude Rode Ogen ("Old Red Eyes") aka "Beast of Flanders", Tchén al tchinne ("Chained Hound"), etc. Banshees also seemed under-represented. I'm somewhat surprised that undines/ondines and salamanders didn't make this list either, given that sylphs and gnomes did. Some other common types that also seem to have been missed: Bean nighe, Billy Blind, Bluecap, Bodach, Caoineag, Cat Sìth, Coblynau, Drow (related more to trow than the commonly depicted modern 'dark elf'), Each uisge, Fear darrig, Fuath, Ghillie Dhu, Glaistig, Grindylow, Hedley Kow, Huldra, Jack-o'-lantern (a surprising lack of this variant), Jenny Greenteeth, Kabouter, Killmoulis, Klabautermann, Knucker, Leanan sídhe, Merrow, Nain Rouge, Sluagh, and Tomte.