The Goblins

The Goblins-By Angelique Duncan

The Goblins

The Goblins are related to the Brownies and Gnomes of the British Isle. Often they are called Knockers, Kobolds, Bogart, Boogey or Boogey Man interchangeably. Goblins come from the ground and live in marshes, under bridges, abandoned farms and mines. They are the mischievous and sinister cousin species to the benevolent Good Folk, however the Goblins never learned or refused, to live in harmony with mankind.

Goblins have been described differently depending on region and era. Usually they are said to be humanlike and small in nature. Some folklore says they are under a foot tall while others state they are the size of a small child. Often in ancient stories they are said to be hairy with long arms and large feet or distorted features. Sometimes they are described to have hoofed feet and horns or pointed ears. Some say they have large round eyes that are red or yellow. In modern illustrations they are depicted as humanoid, hairless with greenish or grey skin and with devil like features.

Once it was popular belief that Goblins inhabited caves and mines. Some stories tell that the Goblins would knock to warn the working miners of cave-ins or poisonous gases. However some folklore suggests the opposite, that the Goblins would cause the mines to cave and that they were actually responsible for creating the poisonous gases to get rid of the humans so they could keep resources for themselves.

Folklore surrounding the Goblins states that they are responsible for abducting travelers on dark roads and for stealing pets and children, especially around Halloween. Some believe that Goblins looking for a new dwelling would follow people and take over their homes.

It is said that one should never invite one into your home or adopt a Goblins company. They are destructive creatures that cause misery and ill fortune. Goblins are the ones who make things go wrong. If you find sand in your bed, milk that sours too soon, knocked over things, pulled up plants from the garden, untied shoes and stained linens regularly in your home; you may have a Goblin.

At night Goblins will torment the people they have attached to by pulling the sheets off the bed and rearranging pillows. They have been reported to pinch or poke people while they are sleeping. Other tactics of the Goblins is to put cold hands on people’s feet, tug on their ears or nose or slap ones face while one sleeps.

Their behavior can escalate beyond acts of inconvenient mischief, to acts of terror. Goblins have been said to steal or endanger livestock and ruin crops. They cause harm to small animals and can make them disappear. Goblins are known as thieves and can bring financial ruin. Once it was believed that when a horse gets skittish and spooked or if a dog growls or barks when nothing seems to be there, the animals are aware that a Goblin is present.

Once a home is invested with a Goblin they can be near impossible to get rid of. Goblins are said to follow a family or individual if they attempt to abandon it, often increasing their acts of ill intent out of anger. Popular deterrents to prevent Goblins from entering the home are to hang a horseshoe over ones door or to keep a bowl of salt next to the door. One must be careful to never allow their shoes to lie upside down, as this invites Goblins to your home. Many folklores state the only way to rid oneself of a Goblin is to either outwit them by extreme trickery or by ultimately killing it. Be very careful when traveling near abandoned buildings, bridges or caves. Pay attention when your dog seems to bark randomly. Goblins may be near.

Angelique Duncan is proprietor of Twilight Faerie Nostalgic and Capricious Objects. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and vintage inspired traditional holiday art. Visit again next month for more traditions and folklore.