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Hinzelmann or Heinzelmann (sometimes called Luring) was a kobold in the mythology of northern Germany. He was described as a household spirit of ambivalent nature, similar to Puck (Robin Goodfellow). Like Puck, he would provide good luck and perform household tasks, but would become malicious if not appeased.
Descriptions in mythology
Heinzelmann's myth says that he started haunting the castle Hudemühlen in 1584 after being cast from the forest of Bohemia. At first he was shy, later he was conversing and jesting openly with all inhabitants of the house, including the master. He sang verses, the most repeated one said that evil luck would take his place if he was ever chased out.
Heinzelmann usually took the form of a congenial child in red velvet. In one tale he showed his true form to a maid, who fainted; it was that of a small child, around four years of age, stabbed and slashed with two swords.
Some local lore dating back generations puts the Heinzelman in the role of elves, leaving trinkets or candies in the shoes of well-behaved children, when said shoes are left by the door in the days leading up to Christmas.
Hinzelmann is an important character in the novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman, in which he protects Lakeside, a fictional town in Wisconsin from economic trouble in return for the town's children as sacrifices. His fictional history describes him as being a god to a tribe of nomads living in the Black Forest before its invasion by the Romans.
- Lilian Gask (1865-) (First published 1912). "Chapter IX: The Little White Feather."". The Fairies and the Christmas Child (Willy Pogány (1882-1955) ed.). London: Harrap & Co., n.d. pp. 175–196. Check date values in:
- Thomas Keightley (1828), The fairy mythology, Volume 2, W. H. Ainsworth