From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In English folklore, grindylow or grundylow is a creature in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire.[1] The name is thought to be connected to Grendel,[1][2] a name or term used in Beowulf and in many Old English charters where it is seen in connection with meres, bogs and lakes.[3]

Grindylows are supernatural creatures that appear in the folklore of England, most notably the Lancaster area. They are diminutive humans with scaly skin, a greenish complexion, sharp claws and teeth and long, wiry arms with lengthy fingers at the end. They dwell in ponds and marshes waiting for children to come by. When they spot some children they grab them with their shockingly strong grip and drag them under the surface of the waters. [4][5] Grindylows have been used as shadowy figures to frighten children away from pools, marshes or ponds where they could drown.[6][7]

Peg Powler and Jenny Greenteeth are similar water spirits.[4][8][9]

In popular culture[edit]

  • A hostile race called grindylows appears in The Scar, a novel by China Miéville. They are described as humanoid with grey-green mottled skin, large dark eyes, foot-long teeth and a single eel-like tail below the waist.
  • A grindylow is in the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter as well as the companion series called Soulwood. While they are still ravaging creatures of death, a young grindylow is cute like a green kitten and can be quite loyal to those who know it.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Nineteenth Century and After, Volume 68 (1910). Leonard Scott Pub. Co. p. 556.
  2. ^ Schilling, Karl Georg (1906). A Grammar of the Dialect of Oldham. p. 17.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Harland, John (1867). Lancashire Folk-Lore. Frederick Warne and Co. p. 53.
  5. ^ Briggs, Katharine (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies. Pantheon Books. p. 206. ISBN 0394409183.
  6. ^ Wright, Elizabeth Mary (1913). Rustic Speech and Folk-Lore. Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press. pp. 198-199.
  7. ^ Colbert, David (2008) [2001]. The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter. Berkley Publishing Group. pp. 123-124. ISBN 0-9708442-0-4
  8. ^ Briggs (1976). pp. 242, 323.
  9. ^ Wright (1913). pp. 198-199, 202.
  10. ^ Rowling, J. K. (1999). Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Scholastic Press. p. 154. ISBN 0-439-13635-0.
  11. ^ Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2. Paizo Publishing they resemble their appearance in the Harry Potter films, though tend to be depicted as blue. December 2010. ISBN 978-1-60125-268-5.