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Water Creatures and Spirits

{Ashrays | Aughisky | Blue Men of the Minch | Boobrie |Bunyip | Bucca | Cabyll-Ushtey | Chrodh Mara | Each Uisge | Glaistig | Kappa | Kelpie | Mermaids | Naaki | Najade | Nixes | Nokke | Roane | Rusalki | Selkies | Undine | Vodink (Russia-Vodjanoj) | Water Leaper}


Known as Water Lovers or Asrais, these creatures are both male and female. Their bodies are very translucent, giving them the appearance that they are a sea ghost. They cannot live on land and are completely nocturnal. They can be found underwater.
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An aughisky is an Irish water-horse not at all unlike Each Uisge from Scottish Highlands. It is said that they came out of the sea and galloped along the shore or sometimes through fields. Anyone who could catch one and lead if from the shore it would be a wonderful mount, but if it ever again saw the sea it would gallop back into the waters, carrying the rider with it and ripping it to pieces.
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Blue Men of the Minch

They used to particularly the straights between Long Island and Shiant Island and were known for wrecking passing ships. The only way to save the ship is for the captain to talk to them in rhyme and get the last word. They live in underwater caves and were ruled by a chieftain.
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A waterbird about a foot high. The boobrie is from Scotland and is sometimes called waterbird or waterhorse. It has large, sharp claws which resemble human hands. This creature is dark in color, with black feathers and a large bill that reaches three feet in length beyond its body. It preys on ships transporting livestock, its favorite food.
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A monstrous creatures from Aboriginal land. The bunyip lives in swamps, lakes, and rivers of the Austrailian Outback. It is believed to bring disease and is roughly the size of a cow. Usually the bunyip leaves humans alone but when their source of food is disturbed they take humans under the water to their death in revenge.
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Bucca is a Cornish spirit, possibly once a fertility god because fishermen used to leave fish and spilled ale out for them so that the Bucca would give a good catch. It is sometimes said that there are two types of Bucca; white and black. One for good and one for bad.
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The cabyll-ushtey is the water-horse of the Isle of man. The spirit is as dangerous as Each Uisge but not as many stories are told about it.
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Chrodh Mara

Chrodh Mara are Highland water-cattle that are not nearly as dangerous as the Highland water-horse. They are hornless, dun in color and their ears are rounded. If a water-bull mates with one of a heard of earthly cow the stock is a great improvement but a a water-cow joins and earthly herd she must be forever watched for if not she will make for a fairy hill, which will open for her, the cow herd will follow her and they will be lost in the hill.
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Each Usige

These Highland water-horses are pretty fierce and dangerous, much more than any other water-horse. Generally, the each usige is a beautiful, sleek horse which pratically offers to be ridden but beware. If you mount the horse it will carry you off at great speed into the water where only your liver will be eaten. Do not even touch the spirit for it is said that the skin of an each usige is sticky and you are not able to tear yourself away from it after touching it. They are generally found in sea water but sometimes they are sighted near fresh water.
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Half human and half goat, this beautiful female water spirit tries to hide her goat half under a green robe. She invites men to dance with her, then she drinks their blood. She is, however, kind to children and the elderly. She even herds cattle for farmers at times.
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A kappa is a Japanese water spirit that pulls children into the water, drowning them. They are said to be very intelligent and feed themselves with cucumbers and blood. A kappa's head must always be wet and they cannot survive being from water for too long.
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In old Scotland, the Kelpie is a evil water devil that lurks in lakes and rivers. It usually takes on the shape of a young horse and when a tired travler stops by a lake to rest or have a drink he may see the horse, mount it and the Kelpie takes it into the water. Fortunatly and not like the case with each usige, the traveler is able to walk away unharmed.
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From the waist up, a mermaid is a beautiful, alluring woman. From the waist down she has the body and tail of a fish, complete with scales. A mermaid often carries a comb in one hand and glass in another so that when she stops she can look at herself in a mirror while combing her hair. While grooming herself she is likely to sing with a voice so enchanting that men cannot resist it. Some mermaids are kind and gentle but some are cruel. Some mermaids have been known to haunt fresh or salt water and even drink blood!
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Naakis are Finnish water spirits.
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A najade is a Slavic water nymph.
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A nixe is a Norse water spirit that lures people to the water in which they reside. Male nixes assume any shape while females are just beautiful women with the tail of a fish. Nixes are thought to be harmless and friendly in some quarters but are considered as malignant in others.
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A musical river sprite which can be heard singing at dawn and dusk. Avoiding humans, they are never seen. If you attempt to follow the voice of one, they will either stop singing or move and sing somewhere else, throwing the chaser off their trail.
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Roane is the Gaelic name for seals but the people of Highland used to believe that these seals were not animals but faerie people. It was believed that they wore the skins to pass through water and are known to have been one of the kindest type of faerie people.
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Russian beauties from the deep. These lovely female water faeries, with their long green hair, love to play water games with humans. Although they are not intentionally malicious, many humans have meet their doom at the hands of a Rusalka.
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Selkies are the seal people of Orkney and Shetland. It is not the common seal that they think of as a faerie in disguise, rather they believe it is the sea-lions, crested seals and all of the larger creatures that are of a faerie nature. They are believed to be faerie people who live on dry land under the sea or on lonely skerries and wear sealskins to move through water easily. They were thought to have been Fallen Angels and tend to be very beautiful.
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An undine is from Teutonic folklore. They are female water spirits that love to associate with humans, even to the point that they join in during the merry-making of the humans.
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Vodnik (Russia-Vodjanoj)

Vodniks originate from Slavic folklore and are waterdemons that begin their existance after a child has been drowned. They lure people into the water where they sufficate them. They either take on the form of a fish or a human with green hair.
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Water Leaper

Water Leapers are tailed, winged, toad like creatures. They lurk in Welsh lakes and prey on fishermen.
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Some of the information found on this website was extracted from:

Faeries - illustrated by Brian Froud A Witches Guide to Faery Folk - features a dictionary of 230 faeries!

Also check out these items for more creatures and spirits:

Photographing Faeries - weird but good movie Merlin - very good movie The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns Labyrinth - a movie Good Faeries/Bad Faeries - 2 books in 1, illustrated by Brian Froud The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries
click on the picture to check it out at


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Text/Research by Dominic Marks. Editing/html page design by April Ingram