The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kelpie

The kelpie is a shape-shifting water horse of Celtic origins that is believed to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland and Ireland. Its hide was generally supposed to be black (though in some stories it was white), and will appear to be a lost pony, but can be identified by its constantly dripping mane. Its skin is like that of a seal but is deathly cold to the touch.


Description
The Kelpie is the supernatural shape-shifting water horse that haunts the rivers and streams of Scotland. It is probably one of the best known of Scottish water spirits and is often mistakenly thought to haunt lochs, which are the reserve of the Each Uisge. The creature could take many forms and had an insatiable appetite for humans; its most common guise was that of a beautiful tame horse standing by the riverside - a tempting ride for a weary traveller. Anybody foolish enough to mount the horse - perhaps a stranger unaware of the local traditions - would find themselves in dire peril, as the horse would rear and charge headlong into the deepest part of the water, submerging with a noise like thunder to the travellers watery grave.


The Kelpie was also said to warn of impending storms by wailing and howling, which would carry on through the tempest. This association with thunder - the sound its tail makes as it submerges under water - and storms, may be related to ancient worship of river and weather deities by the ancient Celts, although this is difficult to substantiate.


Capture
There was one way in which a Kelpie could be defeated and tamed; the Kelpies power of shape shifting was said to reside in its bridle, and anybody who could claim possession of it could force the Kelpie to submit to their will. A Kelpie in subjugation was highly prized, it had the strength of at least 10 horses and the endurance of many more, but the fairy races were always dangerous captives especially those as malignant as the Kelpie.
It was said that the MacGregor clan were in possession of a Kelpies bridle, passed down through the generations from when one of their clan managed to save himself from a Kelpie near Loch Slochd.

Known Locations
The Kelpie was thought to inhabit rivers throughout Scotland, and one is recorded as being banished by St Columba from the River Ness, which later became associated with the Loch Ness Monster. Another Kelpie abode was the river Conon (Conan) in Perthshire, which was treacherous in flood, and associated with other cruel and foreboding water spirits.

Other Names-similiar creatures, but not quite--
In Orkney a similar creature was called the Nuggle, and in Shetland a similar creature was called the Shoopiltee, the Njogel, or the Tangi. On the Isle of Man it is known as the Cabbyl-Ushtey or the Glashtin. It also appears in Scandinavian regions where in Sweden it is known by the name Bäckahästen, the brook horse. In Norway it is called nokken, where the horse shape is often used, but is not its true form. In the Faroe Islands it is called Nykur and in Iceland it is called Nykur or Nennir. Another similar Scottish water horse is the Each uisge BUT REMEMBER! These are separate but similiar species. Where the exact variations occur in their genetics are yet to be confirmed.

A special thanks to Wikipedia and to Mysterious Britain for the additional information. And to xDante of Deviantart.com for this slightly stolen image.

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