Venture into dark and lonely landscapes and you may encounter another paranormal wonder, the Spriggan. They are as mean as they are ugly, and represent the dark side of the fairy kingdom. What does folklore have to tell us about these cryptozoology nightmares? Could they be real?
I had never heard about this creature until I saw the amazing portrait of one by super talented artist, Darrel Bevan (see photo right). I was intrigued so I did a little digging.
Spriggans come to us from Cornish folklore and it describes them as very dark and malevolent creatures. They are part of the fairy world, thought to be cousins of the pleasant and playful Piskies, but who act more like bodyguards of the fairy realm.
The article in Mysterious Britain cites folklore that tells us they live in Cornwall in “castle ruins, barrows, certain standing stones and windswept crags.” Back in the day the locals blamed them for ruining crops, creating bad weather, and in some cases, stealing human children only to replace them with changelings.
They are thought to be quite ugly with crumpled faces and “crooked skinny bodies.”
Some believe they are the spirits of giants that used to inhabit that part of Britain. Folklore says they can change their size to be large enough to combat giants and trolls.
Like many fairy folk, Spriggans can be tricksters. It’s said that they lure travelers to dangerous places like swamps and ragged precipices. Folklore highly recommends that you do not offend one, or attack anything in the fairy realm. The Spriggans will take their revenge.
Stephen King Connection
According to Wiki, after visiting a friend in England, King wrote a short story partly involving a Spriggan. He had taken a walk along a railway line called Parkland Walk that was full of “atmosphere” and unsettling possibilities. Along that walk is a sculpture of a Spriggan in an arched wall, seemingly walking out of the brickwork. (Photos of the Spriggan in the archway in this article come from Parkland Walk.)
The story is called Crouch End, after the home of the friend he was visiting.
I find it impossible to gather any solid data to prove the existence of anything in the fairy world. It’s probably like a lot of paranormal things. If you experience it, then you know. If you never have, then you can’t be sure if it exists or not.
That’s why I stick with the cryptozoological world. It’s a little easier to measure and quantify things there.
By the way, if you like to see beautiful images of cryptid creatures and characters from fantasy novels and movies, check out Darrel’s Facebook page. I think his work is outstanding! (No, I don’t know him, nor am I affiliated with him in any way. I’m just a fan.)
So have you ever encountered a Spriggan?