Monster of the Week: Hellhounds

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GytrashHellhounds are great infernal dogs that hunt the damned, guard the underworld and defend their demonic masters. There are tales of hellhounds in ancient Greek and Viking writings, and legends and even stories of sightings can now be found throughout the world. Hellhounds are often described as oversized black dogs with sharp teeth and glowing red eyes. Hellhounds transcend supernatural categories, alternately considered apparitions (the Black Dogs of Britain), creatures of Faerie (the hellhounds of the Wild Hunt) or demons (the Cajedo Negro of South America). Continue reading

Monster of the Week: The Cluricaun

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cluricaune book illustration

Wood engraving from Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (Croker).

You’ve heard of the Irish leprechaun, but do you know about the Cluricaun? Although considered by some to be the same creature, just more liquored up, the Cluricaun is among the “solitary” class of creatures of Faerie, who “are nearly all gloomy and terrible in some way” (Yeats). Like other Irish elvish creatures, Cluricauns are said to be descended from the Tuatha Dé Danann. The naughty drunkard of the family (called Clobhairr-ceann in Irish), the Cluricaun is a trickster, thief and mischief-maker who inhabits beer and wine cellars. He (for, as with leprechauns, there is no lore of the existence of females of the species) is known to go out drunk-riding on the backs of hapless dogs and sheep on moonlit nights. His face is flushed with gin blossoms and his clothing is neat and bright, and often includes blue stockings, gold-laced hats and silver-buckled shoes—but rarely an apron or tool belt. Unlike some other, more industrious creatures of Faerie, a Cluricaun doesn’t work! Continue reading