Variations: Carnabot

The Karnabo is found on the Rocroi plateau, near Regniowez in France. It is an Ardennes bogey, comparable to the Mahwot but with a more restricted distribution. Belief in it may trace back to some forgotten historical event. It lives in an abandoned, sealed-off slate quarry.

In appearance the Karnabo is hideous to behold. It is almost human in shape, but it has basilisk eyes and a long, trunk-like nose. It is believed to have come from Rièzes, and to be the offspring of an itinerant sorcerer and a 67-year-old female ghoul. Its evil deeds are numberless.

The horrible nasal whistling of the Karnabo is enough to paralyze or asphyxiate anyone foolish enough to wander within range of the quarry. Livestock are killed outright. While the Karnabo may have inherited its father’s diabolical powers, it also learned from him how to cure paronychia by chanting magical phrases. It works its curative powers on Good Fridays.

Once a young girl dared to play in the vicinity of the slate quarry. As soon as she came near the entrance of the tunnel, the Karnabo pounced on her and dragged her underground. Since then neither her nor the Karnabo have been seen, and the entrance has been sealed off. On stormy nights the sobbing of the girl and the nasal roars of the Karnabo can still be heard.


Lambot, J. (1987) L’Ardenne. Pierre Mardaga, Brussels.

Meyrac, A. (1890) Traditions, coutumes, légendes et contes des Ardennes. Petit Ardennais, Charleville.


  1. The name sounds familiar but I didn’t know anything about Karnabo till now. Must be in one of Pierre Dubois’s books. Or maybe “A Field Guide to the Little People” by Nancy Arrowsmith. But, hey, nice to know that if I get swollen fingers or toes, Good Friday isn’t too far off!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, he’s not all so different from some actual doctors I know: effective on some days but otherwise just bound to make things worse. The elephant trunk element actually vaguely (very vaguely) reminds me of some other monster sporting one, though in the place of an arm. It was some kind of papal antichrist from Italy, with the head of a donkey, a dragon for a tail, a chicken leg … think it literally had an old man’s face on its backside. A real Frankenstein’s monster. I wouldn’t for all the good of that description be able to give you its name though.

    Liked by 1 person

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