From the Percy Jackson series to The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, mythical creatures – both in literature and television – are the source of popular culture fascination. But why are we only focusing on creepy zombies, mermaids, and hydras when there are so many other stellar mythological creatures out there? Here are four mythical creatures that deserve a little primetime spot light.
Number One: The Kelpie. Scottish legends hold within their depths a wide range of mythical creatures, with one of the most interesting being the kelpie. Also referred to as “water kelpie,” the kelpie are freshwater-inhabiting shape shifters. Though the creatures often prefer the shape of a water horse, Scottish legend holds that kelpie can also turn into beautiful women complete, of course, with horse’s hooves.
Number Two: Alp-Luachra. Most people equate Irish fairies with tiny, magical creatures prone to mischief and fanciful play. However, the Irish also have a much more sinister version of the playful fairy: the Alp-Luachra, or “Joint-Eater.” Irish tradition holds that people who fall asleep next to running water will find themselves in possession of an Alp-Luachra, an evil fairy who sits in the throat to prevent food nutrients from entering a person’s body.
Number Three: The Churel. A creepy creature popular in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, a churel is the reanimated corpse of woman who has died in childbed due to negligence from the relatives delivering her baby. When she reanimates, the churel is akin to the Westernized notion of a “witch,” with one unique feature: the churel comes back to life with the sole purpose of seeking vengeance on her family by drinking the blood of her male relatives.
Number Four: The Trauco. A product of Chilean mythology, the Trauco is a mythical creature that brings to mind George R. R. Martin’s fictional character Tyrion Lannister. The Trauco is a stunted half-man with tiny legs and no feet. Using his magical abilities, the Trauco can entrance a woman from miles away, drawing her to himself for sex. Many unmarried Chilean women blame the Trauco for their pregnancies, and Chilean men fear the deadly stare of the Truaco.