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Till Eulenspiegel fountain in Mölln

Till Eulenspiegel: The Crude Pranks and Hilarious Hi-jinks of a 14th Century German Fool

Till Eulenspiegel is a notable character from German folklore and the protagonist in a number of folktales. Most recognized for his trickery, it may surprise people to know that Till Eulenspiegel...
Detail of an artistic representation of an Egyptian vampire queen. Before the Egyptians, there were Sumerian vampires.

Bloodsucking Baobhan Sith, Satan, and Dracula all Have Their Origins in Sumerian Vampires

Many folktales, stories, and myths around the world begin with folk “straying from the path” and meeting beautiful females, only to discover that they are treacherous vampires. Since Bram Stoker’s...
Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bon Echo Provincial Park: Shaped By Three Diverse Personalities and an Ojibwe Trickster

Bon Echo Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, is well known for Mazinaw Lake, the seventh-deepest lake in Ontario. The southeastern shore of the lake features the massive 100 m (330 ft) high Mazinaw...
Anansi

Anansi – Deity or Storybook Trickster?

Most have probably heard of the Anansi tales from their childhood such as the one about how the pig got his snout. In this tale, in order for Anansi to get out of paying a debt to the pig, he dupes...
A stereotypical depiction of a leprechaun

Fascinating Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Leprechauns

The leprechaun is perhaps one of the best-known creatures in Irish folklore. Leprechauns are popularly depicted as little men with beards dressed in green coats and tall green hats. Other well-known...
Drawing of the Medieval Birdman of Stirling Castle.

The Birdman of Stirling Castle: An Alchemical Pilot Searches for The Fifth Element

History books are peppered with stories of medieval European Alchemists attempting to turn base metals into gold and to produce elixirs of immortality. However, there was one disastrous alchemical...
Detail; Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed fox

Quick as a Fox, Powerful as a Demon: Legendary Foxes and Their Trickster/Temptress Ways

The fox plays a wide range of roles in 42 out of the 358 of Aesop’s fables. It is generally described as a quick, intelligent and adaptable animal which no doubt led to its importance as a symbol of...
Seers, Women of Action: The Sibyls of the Ancient World

Seers, Women of Action: The Sibyls of the Ancient World

Virgil, in his Aeneid , describes Deiphobe, better known as the Sibyl of Cumae, as coming from “a hundred perforations in the rock, a hundred mouths from which the many utterances rush” (43-5, 163)...
Deriv; Wayang kulit figure, representing Semar (CC BY-SA 3.0) and Mask of Semar for traditional Javanese theater performance (CC BY-SA 3.0), and sarong from Java, c. 1880.

Semar: The Fallen God and Divine Jester of Indonesian Mythology

Semar is probably one of the oldest characters in Indonesian mythology who was said to not have been derived from Hindu mythology. He was made famous by performances of Wayang (Shadow Puppets) in the...
Vahagn: The Armenian Dragon Slayer God and Bringer of Fire

Vahagn: The Armenian Dragon Slayer God and Bringer of Fire

Vahagn is a deity that was worshipped in Armenia during the period prior to the coming of Christianity. Vahagn was revered as a fire god. The name Vahagn is derived from a combination of two Sanskrit...
Prince Arthur and the Fairy Queen by Johann Heinrich Füssli, c. 1788

Amoral Tricksters that Enhance World Mythology and Entertain Cultures

Mythologies around the world speak of beings which cannot be defined as good or evil. German folklore mentions a household elemental named kobold . Even though he can be helpful, as a trickster, he...
Prophet Elijah (Al-Khidr) Rescuing Nur ad-Dahr from the Sea, a scene from the Hamzanama, here imagined in a Persian miniature by Mir Sayyid Ali (c. 1550 C.E.).

The Strange Life of Al-Khidr, the Legendary Immortal Prophet, Mystic, Trickster and Sea Spirit

In ancient Islamic legend, there exists the wonderful, contrary figure of Al-Khiḍr, an immortal prophet who kills a youth out of mercy and who scuttles a boat of some travelers to deny the greed of a...
The devil carrying Danila Prepeleac.

Danila Prepeleac – The Man Who Tricked the Devil

Romanian mythology and folklore present a more comic image of the Devil. Also, in many cases, the Devil is fooled by clever humans who manage to escape him by means of various tricks. One example of...
Detail, An illustration of Loki with a fishnet, from an Icelandic 18th century manuscript.

Loki – The Trickster Redeemed?

For a long time, Loki, the Trickster of Norse mythology, has been demonized as a figure of evil. But is he really so? Many mythologies speak about beings that are neither good, nor evil, entities of...
 Featured image: Detail, An

The Enigmatic Loki, a Trickster among Gods in Norse Mythology

The Norse trickster god, Loki is undoubtedly the most debated figure from Norse mythology to this day. Though he appears to be a scheming, mischievous deity who has no real loyalties, scholars still...