Almost every culture on Earth has legends of imaginary beasts. some are like humans with supernatural powers ; some are part-humans with supernatural powers; some are part human, part animal; while others are unlike anything we know.
Giants or ogres are enormous human-shaped creatures. They are usually seen as fearsome but stupid monsters that feed on human flesh. Famous giants include goliath in the bible, and cyclops, atlas and the Titans in greek mythology.
Leprechauns are small Irish fairies who bring good luck. They are helpful creatures, usually shown wearing Green clothes, with an apron, buckled shoes and a red cap. their fun-loving nature means that leprechauns are fond of alcohol, music and sport, but they are also mischievous and love practical jokes. Other “Little people”, including elves, dwarfs, gnomes and pixies, appear in many European fairy stories.
A centaur is half-horse and half-man, with the head and arms of a man and the body of a horse. It is one of the best known of all Greek mythological creatures and is said to have come from Thessaly in northern Greece. The myth may have arisen because of the skilful horsemanship of the people there.
Fairies also feature in many tales. They are usually sweet, Kindly creatures. In the Middle ages, however, people believed Ages, however, People believed that fairies stole children and replaced them with fairy beings known as changelings.
Mermaids are beautiful creatures with the head and body of a woman and the tail of fish. The first mermaid legend is thought to have been the story of Atargatis, a Syrian moon goddess of about 1000 BC. Atargatis had a child with a human. She then killed her lovers, abandoned the child and jumped into a lake, where she took the form of a mermaid.
Vampires are the “undead” who drink the blood of the living to survive. Ideas about vampires include the belief that plunging a wooden stake through a vampire’s heart can destroy it. Some people also think that you can protect yourself against vampires with garlic, holy water, crosses and bibles and that a vampire cannot enter a home unless invited.
Werewolves, or Lycanthropes, are mythical creatures in the folktales of many cultures. They usually appear as men by day, but may turn into wolves on the night of a full moon. The werewolf is bloodthirsty and ruthless. It devours its prey and shows none of the remorse that it might have felt in human form.
Trolls are grotesque, malicious, rather dim-witted creatures in Scandinavian folklore. They are said to be steal sleeping children, sometimes replacing them with one of their own. Trolls have poor eyesight and are an activity only at night because sunlight turns them to stone.