A few weeks ago, Filmmassacre requested I do Strix for my next vampire post. Well, on Saturday, his wish will be fulfilled.
KlaubautermannNorthern German sailors believed in a sort of ship’s goblin called a “Klaubautermann.” (The ‘baut’ part in his name doesn’t mean boat. The word translates from the German as ‘knocking man.’) He supposedly looked a lot like a dwarf, being a little guy and a smart dresser–he wore riding boots, yellow trousers, and a tall hat. He had red hair and bad dental hygene, as you could tell from the green teeth.
Like the Kobold, he helped around the place, doing ship-board chores. He would also play tricks on lazy sailors (again, like the Kobold), to goad them into pulling their weight. In a good mood, he would protect the ship and also entertain the crew by singing songs, which the sailors would join in with.
If he wasn’t happy with the crew, he would make lots of noise–which is how he got his name. If he really wasn’t happy, he would let all kinds of bad things happen to the ship.
Despite his stylin’ appearance, no one wanted to ever see the Klaubautermann. It meant you were going to die.
- Benjamin Thorpe, Northern Mythology: Comprising the Principal Popular Traditions and Superstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands, E. Lumley, 1852
- Melville, Francis; The Book of Faeries: A Guide to the World of Elves, Pixies, Goblins, and Other Magic Spirits, 2002, Quarto Inc
- Simon J. Bronner, Crossing the Line: Violence, Play, and Drama in Naval Equator Traditions, Amsterdam University Press, 2007