M is for… Markupo

The Markupo is a Philippine serpent with a red crest, a thorny tongue, a forked tail, and a pleasant singing voice. It exhales a poison of extraordinary deadliness – if the poison is sprinkled on a plant, the plant will wither and its very shadow will kill anyone it touches.

K is for… Karnabo

The bastard offspring of a sorcerer and a ghoul, the Karnabo lives in Regniowez in the Ardennes. It has an elephant’s trunk (capable of a chilling whistle) and lethal basilisk eyes. Its misdeeds are many, but it does cure paronychia on Good Fridays.

J is for… Jarjacha

The Jarjacha is a long-necked, four-legged nocturnal animal with glowing eyes. It only eats incestuous people. Its mocking call – jar-jar-jar-jar-jar – echoing in the mountains of Peru is a sign that someone in the village has been Up To No Good, and the guilty parties are duly sought out and punished.

I is for… Ieltxu

Ieltxu is a Basque spirit that appears as a human, a pig, or a bird shooting flames from its mouth. It is mischievous rather than evil, but that distinction is moot after you’ve spent a miserable night following its flame in the wilderness.

H is for… Haüt

The Haüt is a grotesque South American monster described by Thevet. It is the size of a large African monkey, with a childlike face. Its paws have long claws shaped like fishbones and its fur never looks wet. Despite its ugliness it is harmless and frequently emits deep sighs like a man in pain. As it refuses all food given to it in captivity, it is believed that the haüt, like the bird of paradise, lives on nothing but air.

G is for… Guirivilu

The Guirivilu hails from Mapuche folklore of Chile and Argentina. An aquatic vulpine creature, it has a long prehensile tail tipped with a vicious hook. It is – of course – a threat to anything in the water, but cutting off its tail makes it harmless.