Who wants Halloween when you can have the rich Spanish folklore? Here’s a list of 10 fantastic beasts and where to find them, but in Spain!
Spanish mythology is varied and fascinating at the same time. Unfortunately, it goes almost unnoticed. Perhaps this is because mythology usually goes hand in hand with rural life.
#1. Gaueko (Basque Country)
The north of Spain is full of mysterious creatures and tales. A very popular mythological animal is el Gaueko, which represents the night and it is also considered the god of darkness. Gaueko has the appearance of a black wolf, and people say that he eats sheperds and even entire herds.
But, how can we spot him? Well, they say he lives in the Basque Country and, when he is about to appear, there is a gust of wind followed by a voice saying, “La noche para el Gaueko, el día para los del día” (In English, ‘Night is for Gaueko, and the day for those that like the day’).
#2. Tarasca (Andalusia and Castile- La Mancha)
Tarasca is a peculiar creature and one of the most fantastic beasts you can find in Spain. It has the shape of a giant snake or dragon, and it has the power to invocate the rain, storms and even hail! But, listen, there is a way to dominate this beast.
It turns out that the Tarasca is fascinated by beautiful women. The legend says that, if a pretty woman discovers its den and looks at the Tarasca right in the eye, the monster will completely obey. The locals claim that Santa Marta once touched it with holy water and she could tame it.
#3. Horpí (Catalunya)
Whoever finds a horpí can consider themselves lucky!
Even though this creature is a large snake (they can be 2 meters long!), they are not poisonous. The legend says that its brain contains a green gemstone that is very valuable. If someone puts this precious stone in their mouth, they will be protected from any harm!
#4. Gailán (Granada)
This evil creature lives near the town of Granada, in southern Spain. It has the shape of a big cat with a human face, and sparkling eyes.
Gailán devotes its time to attack people and animals, and it can even kill an entire herd. It doesn’t hunt for survival but for pure pleasure.
#5. El Bú (Castile- La Mancha)
El Bú is an anthropomorphic, black owl with great wings. Moreover, they say it has big, red eyes which are capable of paralising their victims. It’s said that, when children don’t want to sleep, their grandmas would open the window to call el Bú in order to scare them.
#6. Trasgo (Northern Spain)
Elves are very present in the European folklore.
The trasgo or trasno is an elf of Celtic origin. Like all elves or fairies, trasgos are tiny creatures who love making jokes and hiding objects to infuriate people.
Do you want to know a fun fact? Its name derives from the Latin term transgredi, which means ‘the one who transgresses or infringes’. The name fits them like a glove, right?
#7. Cucafera (Catalunya)
Probably, this is one of my favourite fantastic beasts!
Cucafera is a monster from the Catalan mythology. It’s represented as a big turtle that has a shell that completely protects its body. The Cucafera is commonly used to scare the children because, apparently, she eats thirteen cats and three alive kids every day! Now that’s scary!
#8. Lobo de Santiago (Galicia)
According to a popular legend, lobo de Santiago refers to a big, white wolf that protects pilgrims through the Way of St. James. Also, this wolf defends honest people from evil. Locals say this wolf is the soul of a pilgrim who was murdered and that came back to life with this mission. So now you know, if you see a white wolf in Galicia, there is nothing to be afraid of.
#9. Heresunge (Basque Country)
Also called Eresunge or Edesungue, this fantastic creature looks like a seven-headed dragon. It is malicious but very smart, and it can eat entire flocks by attracting preys with their breath. But, don’t believe he is not interested in human flesh, because he is! Sometimes, the Heresunge abandons its den to fly over hamlets and villages, where he inflicts terror with its fire breath.
#10. Fiera Corrupia (North of Spain)
A Fiera Corrupia is a mythological animal of horrible appearance. Nowadays, we would laugh at it as we are so used to seeing alien-looking creatures, but imagine in the 18th century!
It’s likely that this evil creature was based on the beast of Revelation, which murdered everyone they encountered. The Fiera Corrupia is often described as a beast that has the head of a bull, a body covered in scales like a lizard, and enormous and filed nails.