A bogle, boggle or bogill is a British (particularly Northumbrian and Scots) term for a ghost or folkloric being, used for a variety of related folkloric creatures including Shellycoats, Barguests, Brags, the Hedley Kow and even giants such as those associated with Cobb's Causey (also known as "ettins", "yetuns" or "yotuns" in Northumberland).
The name is derived from the Middle-English Bugge (of which the term bogey is also derived) which is in turn a cognate of the German term word bögge (of which böggel-mann ("Goblin") is derived) and possibly the Norwegian dialect word bugge meaning "important man". The Welsh Bwg could also be connected, and was thought in the past to be the origin of the English term; however, it has been suggested that it is itself a borrowing from Middle English. They are reputed to live for the simple purpose of perplexing mankind, rather than seriously harming or serving them.
Of Brownyis and of Bogillis full is this Buke.
There is a popular story of a bogle known as Tatty Bogle, who would hide himself in potato fields (hence his name) and either attack unwary humans or cause blight within the patch. This bogle was depicted as a scarecrow, "bogle" being an old name for "scarecrow" in various parts of England and Scotland. Another popular Scottish reference to bogles comes in The Bogle by the Boor Tree, a poem passed down in the Scottish dialect. In this ghostly ode, the Bogle is heard in the wind and in the trees to "fricht wee weans".
It is unclear what the connection is between "Bogle" and various other similarly named creatures in various folklores. The "Bocan" of the Highlands may be a cognate of the Norse Puki however, and thus also the English "Puck".
The Larne Weekly Reporter of 31 March 1866, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, carried a front page article entitled Bogles in Ballygowan, detailing strange goings on in a rural area where a particular house became the target for missiles being thrown through windows and on one occasion through the roof. Local people were terrified. The occurrences appeared to have ceased after several months and were being blamed on the fact that the house in question had been refurbished using materials from an older house that was apparently the preserve of the "little people". This is one of the few references in Northern Ireland to "bogles" although the phrase "bogey man" is widely used.
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