The ghastly creature I’d like to introduce you to today will never be mistaken for anything less than monstrous. Though not exceptionally tall, the redcap is a murderous goblin that secrets himself in the crumbling ruins of old castles along the border between England and Scotland. This heinous creature derives its name from the red cap on his head, the color achieved by soaking the hat in human blood.
It is the goblin’s lot in life to constantly seek new victims for should their cap dry out, their life will end. Because they must constantly kill to remain alive, they often move from castle to watchtower or any pile of crumbling stone that may provide temporary residence and shelter them from witchfinders and exorcists.
From a distance, a redcap may be mistaken for a stocky old man with a gray beard, but there is nothing arthritic about their movements. These vile creatures are capable of remarkable speed even though they shod their feet with iron boots. Possessed of burning red eyes, lethally pointed teeth and eagle claws in place of hands, they are the spawn of nightmares. Some tales say they carry a pikestaff or scythe to aid in killing. Small in stature, they have incredible strength and can easily overpower a grown man.
After making a kill, the goblin will drink his victim’s blood then dip his cap in what remains, renewing its crimson hue. It is impossible to outrun or even out power a redcap, but like most creatures of faerie, they are not without weakness. Brandishing a crucifix will send them fleeing, and reciting any passage from the Bible aloud will make them disappear instantly.
One of the things that fascinate me most about folklore is how even those creatures that seem indestructible at first glance always have some type of fatal fragility. Thank goodness for Bible verses and crucifixes! I would not want to meet a redcap even on Halloween.
What about you? *queue spooky music*