There isn't a culture around the world that doesn't mention a small, human-looking race of creatures in their legends and folklore. Out of all them, this article will attempt to reveal the secrets behind the mythological creatures known as goblins.
Much like other magical and fantasy creatures, goblins are beings halfway between humans and spirits (also referred to as 'elves' in some cultures). They are portrayed as having the appearance of small humans and depending on which tradition we are referring to; we can find goblins with good intentions but also evil goblins.
They are small in size, usually the same height as a child no taller than a meter, they have pointy ears, round (or small) noses, and greenish skin.
All around the world, there are records of goblin stories, and people believe that their popularity started with the Roman Empire. The Romans had certain superstitions according to which, secondary gods resided in people's houses and acted as a sort of protectors.
This tradition aligns with that of the Northerners, who believed goblins to be nature gods, although of lesser importance.
When people mention goblins, the country of Ireland naturally comes to mind, an area where goblins are a true national symbol. In Ireland, they are known as 'leprechauns' and tend to live in forests, which they also protect.
They are notorious for being rich, for guarding pots of gold that were buried in times of war. If you run into a goblin and stare at it, it will not be able to escape; however, if you look away, you will most definitely lose sight of it.
Nowadays, goblins are depicted wearing green clothes, big-buckled shoes, and three-cornered hats with wide brims even though in the past they were shown wearing red clothing.
It goes without saying, however, that goblins are not exclusive Irish property and we can also find them in Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and in Latin America in countries such as Honduras, Mexico, and El Salvador.
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We are sure that as a child you have read the story ''The Elves and the Shoemaker'', made famous by the Grimm brothers. We are also sure that you do not know all of the goblin facts that we are about to explore in this article.
There isn't a lot of information regarding either the birth of goblins or their death if they die at all. There is, however, a theory according to which we can make a goblin. To do this, one must find an enchanted plant that can only be picked during the magical night of St. John and place it inside a tinted, glass bottle, to be opened again at dawn. A goblin would then jump out of the bottle, and its purpose will be that of our servant.
Knowledgeable in the field of magic, occult sciences, and fortune-telling, goblins are potent creatures, capable of using these energies against anyone who tries to disturb them. However, their magic is useless if the person has on them a four-leafed clover. These clovers are, as superstition suggests, a symbol of good luck.
A common trait among goblins is their fun-loving, mischievous nature. Records state that once they enter a human's house, goblins turn invisible and enjoy doing naughty things such as season the food with horrible flavours, or break objects they find in their way. Due to this, when people would discover broken items in their homes that no one would admit having done, they would tend to blame it on these magical creatures. In Germany, they were allegedly so evil that they would cause illnesses to farm animals.
In Spain, each area has its own goblin stories, complete with unique names and characteristics. Therefore, we can find the trasgu, the nuberu, the imp, the mischievous goblin, the devils, and the boggart. These stories are common in Galicia, Asturias, Basque Country, and Aragon.
According to a Spanish story, there was a goblin living in the famous gardens of El Retiro in Madrid, that would terrorize King Felipe's royal gardeners. The legend speaks of a goblin that would sneak into El Retiro at night and plant flowers in random places, and there were even some witnesses that claim to have seen it, although no one was ever able to catch it. Nowadays, people say that any couple taking a stroll in that area that encounters a goblin will stay together forever, and in honour of this legend, there is a statue of a goblin in the famous gardens of Madrid.
According to the Christmas tradition, Santa Claus (or Santa Klaus) has a workshop at the North Pole where he makes all of the toys that he gives out on the night of 24th December. He doesn't make the toys by himself, though: he is helped by goblins wearing bright-coloured clothes, hats, pointy shoes, and bells all over.
They are sometimes identified as elves, the reason being that for many authors the word 'goblin' is an umbrella term for all the magical, anthropomorphous beings that have a smaller size than usual, such as elves, gnomes, dwarfs.
This might seem like the plot of a B listed movie, but according to tradition, Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, had a misfortunate encounter with these magical creatures. When Saint Patrick evangelized the pagan Celts, the druids developed a grudge for him. Because of this, they summoned a horde of goblins, so that the faithful would have trouble praying in a noisy temple.
The clergyman uttered the following words: "In the name of the All-Powerful God, I expel thee, impure spirits" and the goblins left the sacred temple forever. It is worth mentioning that certain demonologists consider goblins to be a type of demon.