My Favourite Monsters A-Z – Redcap

October 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm (horror, writing) (, , , , , , )

You might think I’d find something demonic or undead, like a revenant, more frightening than a fairy, but this is one particularly scary fairy. Described in various ways, but usually as a little old man with clawed hands, red eyes and unruly hair, he wears a cap that is red because it has been bathed in the blood of someone the redcap has murdered. Some legends say he has to keep this cap wet with blood because if it dries out, he dies. He lives in uninhabited castles along the border between England and Scotland and preys upon travellers who invade his home – a very nasty fairy indeed.

I first came across the redcap as a child, in Nancy Arrowsmith’s “A Field Guide to the Little People” and her gory description of the murderous little bugger left me with nightmares.

Here’s my sketch of a redcap.

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