Boggart

related topics
{god, call, give}
{black, white, people}
{film, series, show}
{land, century, early}
{food, make, wine}
{area, community, home}
{island, water, area}
{build, building, house}
{area, part, region}
{line, north, south}
{household, population, female}
{language, word, form}
{math, energy, light}
{village, small, smallsup}

In English folklore, a boggart (or bogart) is a household fairy which causes things to disappear, milk to sour, and dogs to go lame. Always malevolent, the boggart will follow its family wherever they flee. In Northern England, at least, there was the belief that the boggart should never be named, for when the boggart was given a name, it would not be reasoned with nor persuaded, but would become uncontrollable and destructive.

It is said that the boggart crawls into people's beds at night and puts a clammy hand on their faces. Sometimes he strips the bedsheets off them. Sometimes a boggart will also pull on a person's ears. Hanging a horseshoe on the door of a house is said to keep a boggart away.

In the folklore of North-West England, boggarts live under bridges on dangerous sharp bends on roads, and it is considered bad luck for drivers not to offer their polite greetings as they cross.

The Scottish variant is the bogle (or boggle).

Contents

The Farmer and the Boggart

In one old tale said to originate from the village of Mumby in the Lincolnshire countryside, the boggart is described as being rather squat, hairy and smelly. The story goes that a farmer bought a patch of land that was inhabited by the boggart. When the farmer tried to cultivate the field the boggart got angry, but after much arguing they decided to work the land together and share the bounty. The farmer, however, being greedy, began to ponder a way to cheat the boggart out of his share. When they were debating what to plant, he asked the boggart, 'Which half of the crop do you want for your share, the part below the ground or the part above it?' The boggart thought for a while before answering 'The part below the ground.' The farmer sowed the field with barley. At harvest time the farmer boasted a big pile of barley while all the boggart had to show for his work was stubble. It flew into a rage and screeched that next time it would take what lay above the ground. The next time the farmer sowed the field with potatoes. At harvest time the farmer laughed as he claimed his massive pile of potatoes while the boggart was yet again left with nothing to show for his efforts. Simmering with rage, the boggart stormed off, never to return again.

This story is identical to the European fable The Farmer and the Devil, cited in many 17th century French works. (See Bonne Continuation, Nina M. Furry et Hannelore Jarausch)

Geographical names

A variety of geographic locations and architectural landmarks have been named for the boggart. There is a large municipal park called 'Boggart Hole Clough,' which is bordered by Moston and Blackley in Manchester, England. Clough is a northern dialect word for a steep sided, wooded valley; a large part of Boggart Hole Clough is made up of these valleys and is said to be[who?] inhabited by boggarts. Supposed mysterious disappearances over the years, particularly in the early 19th century, were often attributed[who?] to the Boggart of the Clough.[citation needed]

Full article ▸

related documents
Iktomi
Mammon
Enyalius
Vamana
Book of Numbers
Orcus
Laocoön
Gáe Bulg
Mares of Diomedes
Samuel (Bible)
Brigid
Ancient of Days
Triptolemus
Arion
Ask and Embla
Stormbringer
Vayu
Duamutef
Gigantes
Wepwawet
Niobe
Bes
Ahalya
Igbo mythology
Epigram
Humpty Dumpty
Ptah
Mictlantecuhtli
Wizard (Middle-earth)
Einherjar