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For other uses, see Spriggan (disambiguation).
Sculpture by Marilyn Collins
Grouping Mythological creature
First reported In folklore
Country England
Region Cornwall

A spriggan (/ˈsprɪən/[citation needed], a singular borrowed from the Cornish plural spyryjyon 'spirits') is a legendary creature known from Cornish faery lore. Spriggans are particular to West Penwith in Cornwall.

Spriggans in folklore[edit]

Spriggans are the “biggest” and “strongest” of all the Boggies. They are also known to be Fairy bodyguards and are the close relatives to Bauchans and Maugs. The biggest distinguishing quality the Spriggan has is that when they Spasm Burst they grow immense in size and strength. Normally 3 feet tall they look like Hob-Goblins, but when angered they can grow to 8 feet tall and look more like a Giant version of their former selves, retaining all the characteristics and qualities that identify that particular Spriggan, like facial hair, markings, general facial structure, etc…, it’s just that their proportions grow into Ogre-like proportions.

Spiggans are relatively moody and aren’t deep thinkers, nor are they particularly social fey. They do tend to steal a lot, but more so because they think they are entitled to others things just because they can take it and usually no one can do anything about it. So “stealing” isn’t the right term if they take it in front of your face and then ignore you even being there. However despite this they aren’t overtly violent, that is, they don’t seek to cause suffering or pain to others. So this makes them Ideal for protecting the more gentler fairies against the vicious ones like Barguest, Redcaps, Hobyahs, Boggles and the like, which they have no problem squashing.


A sculpture of a spriggan by Marilyn Collins can be seen in Crouch End, London, in some arches lining a section of the Parkland Walk (a disused railway line). If walking along the Parkland Walk from Finsbury Park to Highgate station the Spriggan is to the right just before the disused railway platforms of the former Crouch End station. To the left, on the southside of the Parkland Walk is Crouch Hill Park where Ashmount School has been located since January 2013. The sculpture is sometimes mistaken for the Green Man or Pan.

Spriggans in popular culture[edit]

Spriggans appear as magical, treelike creatures in several of the Elder Scrolls role-playing video games by Bethesda Softworks. Spriggans generally appear in wooded areas, guarding hidden glades, cave entrances, or forest ruins. They are hostile towards the player and most other humanoid characters, attacking them on sight. They also possess the ability to command woodland creatures to fight alongside them. In the Bloodmoon expansion to Morrowind, spriggans can regenerate after death twice and only remain dead after being killed three times.

In Magic: The Gathering, it is a Goblin creature type. Cards such as Hungry Spriggan and Tower Above show their ability to swell.

In the MMO Glitch, Spriggan is a god-like being who was responsible for the creation of trees.

The main character in Sword Art Online light novel, manga, and anime series, Kirito, takes the form of a Spriggan in the Alfheim Online game. Spriggans are said to only possess illusionary magic that is not seen as being helpful in battle, however Kirito utilizes both a transformation illusion and a smokescreen to overcome opponents in battles in which he was greatly outmatched.

In the Beyond the Spiderwick trilogy, a creature named Sandspur is later discovered to be spriggan.

A spriggan by the name of Sprig is a companion to Max Sumner and his friends in the Grey Griffins series.

In the online game Elsword there is a boss in a stage called Spriggan that is a rather small miniature knight about half of the character's height, but has an attack which consists of his true form being rather tall "Shadow" inside the armor to come out and perform stronger attacks, the shadow being 3 to 4 times a character's height.

The Warmachine tabletop miniatures game has a model in their Khador faction called a Spriggan.

In the online video game Wizard101, a spriggan is a creature found in the world of Avalon in which you must defeat.

Horror writer Stephen King once visited his friend, Peter Straub, whose house is in Crouch End.[1] The legend goes that after asking for a good place to go for a walk, he was directed towards the old railway line, now called the Parkland Walk. While here, he was inspired by the strange unsettling surroundings and the sculpture of a spriggan (a pan-like green man), which was pushing its way out of an old arched wall. King wrote the short story "Crouch End", based on his visit, which was later adapted as an episode of Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, which included the spriggan in the introduction.[citation needed]

In the season three episode "Fae-Ge Against the Machine" of the sci-fi series Lost Girl, the character named Balzac is a spriggan. In the episode, it is stated that a deal with a spriggan is binding and must be upheld.

The Spriggan is a demon of the Fairy family in the Shin Megami Tensei series. He appears Strange Journey and Soul Hackers. He looks like a giant statue and has a childish personality.

In Hiro Mashima's manga Fairy Tail, series antagonist Zeref assumes the name Spriggan in opposition of the titular guild when acting as emperor of the Alvarez Empire, referring to himself as a "grotesque fairy".

In the PlayStation video game, "Wild ARMs 2", the elemental bosses of the four Raypoint temples are subtitled "Spriggan".


  1. ^ "An Interview with Peter Straub (March, 2010) | Bookbanter". Bookbanter.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07.