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  • Charlaine LeRoux

Folklore Friday: It's a hemogoblin!

Hey Bookworms! It’s the first week of daylight saving time so I thought what better way to celebrate the long, dark nights and cool weather than to do a little gabbin’ about goblins. Not just any goblins though, whaddya say we talk about Red Caps?

The first thing I want to stress is that you shouldn’t confuse Red Caps with Red Hats. The Red Hat Society is a group of sassy ladies who enjoy each other’s company. They mean you no harm. The Red Cap is a bloodthirsty murder goblin who lives in castle ruins along the blood soaked borderlands of Scotland and England.

Obviously, they wear jaunty little caps that look a little like something a garden gnome would wear. Red Caps generally look like very small old men with gnarly, long talons on their hands and wicked sharp fangs. These little dudes are super fast and strong. There is no way you could best one in a fight. They also carry a pike with them at all times. Not pike as in fish, but pike as in the long, stabby, spear-like weapon. They will jack you up, although technically, it would be equally scary if a little old guy with claws and fangs popped up out of nowhere and started attacking you with a carnivorous fish. It would be slimy and leave some pretty serious bruises. Also, it would smell terrible. What I’m saying is, pike are bad news either way. Try to avoid them.

Red Caps make their home in the ruins of castles along the once fearsome battlefields where the Scottish and English waged war back in the day. Castles and battlefields are all over the dang place, so if you’re out doing some exploring and get a little too curious for your own good, you’re bound to run into a Red Cap. So for heaven’s sake don’t go traipsing through castle ruins in Scotland. It won’t end well. Like I said, Red Caps are hella fast and don’t forget about the whole pike situation. They kill trespassers and then dye their caps with the blood of their victims. It’s where the name “Red Cap” comes from. It’s also extremely gross.

The only way to escape a Red Cap is to quote scripture at them. It’s also an excellent way to escape me. If you don’t know any scripture, you can hold a cross between yourself and the Red Cap. You can make one with two pieces of wood Van Helsing style if need be. Once a Red Cap is confronted with scripture or a cross, they have no choice but to flee. They snarl and disappear in a flash of smoke and fire leaving only a single fang behind as proof they were ever there.

Do Red Caps love stage magic? Is David Copperfield a Red Cap/human hybrid? Why do they leave a fang? Who knew Red Caps were so extra? I wish I could answer those questions, I really do, but Red Caps are pretty antisocial. They aren’t really into Q & A sessions. The main thing to remember is that they are basically supernatural grumpy old Scottish men who want you to stay off their lawn. So if you ever have a chance to go roam around the beautiful countrysides of the UK, mind your dang business and don’t explore where you shouldn’t. Otherwise you’ll end up providing the dye for a goblin’s hat.


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