I'm doing research for one of the stories I'm working on and found the Greek deity Epiales, the god/spirit of nightmares. I'm trying to implement him into a story as an antagonist to where he seeks to wreak havoc on humanity by forcing their nightmares upon them; however, I would also like if there was a reason, as if he was wronged by humanity or a god, or if he just hated them. Sadly these are the only "credible" sources I could find.



When I search up "Epiales Lore" or "Epiales mythology," I get either a Wikipedia, not enough information to go off of, or something that is completely unrelated.

What I'm aiming for is if Epiales had some sort of lore to him, such as who he fought, did he have some sort of significance besides what he is able to do, or if he was somewhat defeated by a hero or not.

Whatever he went through, I am simply asking for a source with every detail on him, not a small summary or a Wikipedia.

Thank you for your time

Sidenote: this question was asked from the world-building section of stack exchange and I was directed to posting it here, so I am not familiar with every tag for this section

  • 2
    I added some applicable tags for you. Welcome to Mythology and Folklore!
    – Tom Sol
    Oct 15, 2019 at 17:19
  • 1
    Added a note on the names (Epiales/Ephialtes), which area essentially the same word (the latter is an Aeolian form.)
    – DukeZhou
    Oct 16, 2019 at 20:05
  • Theoi is as credible as you get, considering it's chiefly a collection of primary sources. What more do you want besides what the ancients actually had said?
    – cmw
    Dec 31, 2023 at 21:49

2 Answers 2


Here's a link to the Aeschylus mention in Suppliant Women.

Unfortunately, it's a single line with little detail. (In the Greek text, Epiales aka "Dark Dream", is ὄναρ μέλαν".)

Here is a passage from Apollodorus that describes Ephialtes, a leader of the giants in the Gigantomachy, vanquised at the hands of Apollo and Heracles:

"But in the battle Porphyrion attacked Hercules and Hera. Nevertheless Zeus inspired him with lust for Hera, and when he tore her robes and would have forced her, she called for help, and Zeus smote him with a thunderbolt, and Hercules shot him dead with an arrow. As for the other giants, Ephialtes was shot by Apollo with an arrow in his left eye and by Hercules in his right."
SOURCE: Apollodorus Library (i.6.2)

Graves makes reference to Ephialtes having first engaged Ares and "beaten him to his knees," although this may be a conflation with a passage from the Iliad (5.385), where Ephialtes, referenced as a son of Aloeus, binds Ares in a bronze jar.

Note: Ephialtes can translate as "assaulter", here in the sense of a nightmare. (This is consistent with the Alcaeus fragment (406) as "the daimon who assaults sleepers".)

Graves has an interesting interpretation of the Apollodorus:

"Ephialtes, the name of the giants' leader means literally 'he who leaps upon' (incubus in Latin); and the attempts of Porphyrion to strangle and rape Hera, and of Pallas to rape Athene, suggest that the story mainly concerns the wisdom of invoking Heracles the Savior when threatened by erotic nightmares..."

You'll notice that in the Theoi Aeschylus entry, the nightmare, as spider, is likened to a rapist. This interpretation likely derives from the theme of The Suppliants, which involves fleeing from forced marriage, and the idea that women were carried off, literally, for this purpose.

There is also reference to Ephialtes in Pausinias (9.29.1), where he and Otus were the first to sacrifice to the Muses on Mount Helicon.

Note on the Names: ἐπιαλές (epiales) doesn't have a direct lexical entry but is a form of ἐπιάλλω ("send upon, lay upon"). This is related to ἐπιάλτης, where the Aeolian form is ἐφιάλτης (π replaced by φ to produce ephialtes), translated as "nightmare, conceived as a throttling demon."



  • The most prevalent version of his name in literature across time thus far is Ephialtes.
  • There seems to be a lost myth in which he does indeed get into a fight with and is defeated by a hero, none other than Herakles [Hercules] himself. In the clearest reference to this story, the daimon's name is Epiales; and apparently after the confrontation, Epiales turns into a hedgehog.
  • He is said to be a messenger, quite similar to an angel, sent (benevolently) by the healing-god Asklepios [Asclepius]; and he is also sometimes identified with the woodland deity Pan.
  • He survives into Modern Greek folklore (as recently as the 1600s if not later still than that) as a sort of goblin identified with certain other boogeymen haunting the popular culture of Greece. As with the ancient Ephialtes, certain writers explain away the nightmare-visions of these creatures as merely the result of over-eating and its consequent bad digestion, or that they are just tall tales invented to mess with little kids and with the uneducated and illiterate (which, until fairly recent modern times, happens to make up the bulk of the human population).


There is something which appears to fit the criteria of your question precisely, but it is in German, with generous sprinklings of (completely untranslated) Ancient Greek (complete with some Latin occasionally peppered in for good measure):

          Ephialtes: Eine pathologisch-mythologische Abhandlung über die Alpträume und Alpdämonen des klassischen Altertums

It was written (132 pages) by Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher and published 1900, in Leipzig, in Vol. 20 of The Treatises of the Philological-Historical Class of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences. It is fully accessible in its entirety at the link above and is quite comprehensive.

An English translation of it is available on the same website but only in Limited Book Preview form (although, as of the time of this post, it can be borrowed to be read online for an hour at a time), and the full title of which is:

          Pan and the Nightmare:
          Being the Only English Translation (from the German by A.V. O'Brien, M.D.) of
          Ephialtes: A Pathological-Mythological Treatise on the Nightmare in Classical Antiquity,
          by Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1900), together with
          An Essay on Pan,
          Serving as a Psychological Introduction to Roscher's Ephialtes,
             by James Hillman
            1972, Spring Publications

Beyond this, as far as my findings go, there is no single Internet source in English containing a consolidation of all the information you're looking for (at least not as of the time of this posting).


Most of the original literature mentioning the subject refers to him, or it, as Ephialtes rather than Epiales. The bulk of information on Ephialtes is in medical manuals concerned with defining and describing diseases and other ailments, accompanied by treatment instructions for them. As summarised in the short Wikipedia article "Ephialtes (illness)", this term generally refers to an anxiety disorder which causes sleep paralysis connected with dreaming:

The idea of an incubus as a causative factor in nightmares stemmed from the belief that some spirit or ghostly person crept in during the night and lay upon the sleeper, so as to constrict the chest and breathing—leading to a sense of suffocation, side by side with a terrifying dream of being either crushed or (in the case of a woman) sexually violated by the (male) incubus or ephialtes.

In English and German

As another Wikipedia article points out, the English word nightmare itself happens to originate from "a malicious entity in Germanic and Slavic folklore that rides on people's chests while they sleep, bringing on bad dreams". In German "nightmares" are Alpträume, "elf-dreams," and Alpdrücke, "elf-oppression" or "elf-pressures," with an identical concept, in which an Alp, "elf,"

sits astride a sleeper's chest and becomes heavier until the crushing weight awakens the terrified and breathless dreamer. The victim awakes unable to move under the Alp's weight. This may have been an early explanation for sleep apnea and sleep paralysis, as well as night terrors. It may also include lucid dreams.

Roscher is also the general editor of the Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, which contains a brief "Ephialtes" article differentiating among three different personages bearing this name.

The first two are two different giants, both of whom fought against the gods. Here is my translation of the main portion of the entry on the third among these characters:

a Spukgeist {"spook-spirit"} of the same kind as the incubus and the German Alpe; he is designated as a demon and identified with Pan... He is also called Epialtes, Epiales, Epheles, Epopheles, and so on; Tiphys, Euopan, Baboutzikarios.

The article also cites Hesychius of Alexandria, who refers to this Spukgeist as Opheles. Book 1 of Strabo's Geography is also cited as a source, in which the author disparages the myths as merely the means by which bumpkins are indoctrinated into superstition and by which children are amused and terrified. In so saying Strabo then lists Ephialtes together with Lamia, "the Gorgon" and Mormolyke as nothing more than kid-stuff.

Tussling with Herakles

Sophron of Syracuse wrote mimes which currently survive only in fragments. The reason I refer to the story of the confrontation between Ephialtes and Herakles as a lost myth is because we know about it solely from a few of the aforementioned fragments, Numbered 68-73 (or 67-72 in a different system), which afford us only tantalisingly scant (and bizarre) detail.

Alan H. Sommerstein's 2009 book Talking About Laughter: And Other Studies in Greek Comedy (Oxford University Press) breaks it down (pp. 156-157), telling us of:

the nightmare-demon Epioles or Epiales, who suffocates (someone's? his own?) father, but is himself suffocated by Herakles and in the process turns, apparently, into a hedgehog. A version of Epiales reappears, as Mastromarco among others has noted, as a victim of Herakles-Aristophanes in Wasps 1038-9 (and also, as we shall see later, in a comedy by Phrynichos). Mastromarco seems to equate him with the giant Ephialtes, slain by Herakles (and Apollo) in the Gigantomachy [21] (Apollod. 1.6.2); but there is no evidence, literary or artistic, of any connection whatever between the Giants, whose typical weapons are boulders and whom Herakles fights with bows and arrows, and the nightmare-demon who chokes and is choked with bare hands. It is quite likely that the idea of a combat between Herakles and the folklore bogy Epiales was an invention of Sophron's, probably inspired by the similarity of name between Ēpiales and Ĕphialtes.

The 1907 Neue Bearbeitung (Stuttgart) of Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft contains an "Epiales" article which (in my own translation from the German) defines the personage as "a Spukdaemon {'spook-daemon'} comparable to our Alp {'elf'}" and interpreting this story as being comedic because herein "Herakles himself acts as an Alp against the Alp," rendering unto the dream-demon a taste of his own medicine.

The most relevant part of Roscher's Ephialtes to you would be pp. 52-53, wherein this story is discussed, after going through the numerous different forms of this entity's name provided by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Here is my own translation thereof:

But by far the most important thing we learn from Eustathius's note is the myth contained in the fragment of Sophron, which shows that Herakles was also haunted by the demon of nightmare (and fever?), but giving tit for tat, he choked that fiend in the same way he had tried to strangle him. As I have already explained in RhM 1898, p. 179, in this otherwise lost legend we have to see a parallel to the battle of Herakles with Γῆρας, Old Age personified, transmitted only through archaic artwork, or with Thanatos in Euripides' Alkestis.

Roscher then points to Illustration #5 of Plate XXXVI in Vol. 2 of Charles William King's collection Antique Gems and Rings. (See image below, followed by my translation of his description thereof.)

King - AntiqueGems+Rings Vol.2, Pl. 36, No.5

Perhaps that myth of Epiales and Herakles is within {this picture} ... Herakles sits in the posture of one who is exhausted or just falling asleep, his head and torso leaning forward, his right hand resting on his club, on a stone (?); approaching from behind, surreptitiously, so it would appear, is a powerful bearded man with large wings, who holds a branch or poppy-stem in his left hand, and with his right, seems to grasp the hero's throat as though to strangle it (cf. therefore the definition of Ήπιάλης {Hepiales} as a demon, ὅς τοῖς κοιμωμένοις ἐφέρπει or ἐπέρχεται in Bekk. An. 42, I & in Etym. M. 434, 5). Similarly, Hypnos often appears in artwork as a bearded demon, usually standing behind the sleeper, less often walking towards him, and casting sleep from a horn above him; sometimes he touches the temples of the weary person with a branch or poppy-stalk wet with lethaean dew; he is often winged. It scarcely needs to be remarked that the demon of the nightmare, which acts only in sleep or in the stage immediately preceding it (see pp. 11 & 24), or the fever (ήπίαλος) accompanied by restless, frightful dreams, i.e. Ήπιάλης, must from the outset have had many things in common with Hypnos (and Oneiros).

Footnote 149 on p. 53 points out that in his Fabulae, the Roman writer Hyginus lists names of Somnia, "Dreams" (i.e. the personifications and spirits of dreams), who were born, among other entities, to Erebus (Darkness) and Nox (Night). One of these names is Epaphus, and, like several other things in Hyginus, is most likely a mistake, which Roscher says should be read as "Epialus."

He does make reference, however, to a 4-century BC magical tablet from Crete (quoted in untranslated Ancient Greek in that footnote), containing a chant saying (going by my own novice translation), "Epaphos, Epaphos, Epaphos, flee, flee along with the she-wolf (Lýkaina?), || Flee, o dog", etc. Another author, Schmidt, is cited here as interpreting Epaphos to be:

"a kind of Alp". However, as several undoubted demons in animal form are named one after another in these verses... it is thus probable to me that we also have to perceive in ἕπαφος {epaphos} an animal demon, namely the hoopoe.


Phrynichus the Comedian

As with Sophron, the work of the comic poet Phrynichus can now be found only in scant fragmentary condition. One of the ten plays that he wrote, Sommerstein (on p. 173 of his book) tells us:

appears to have been named after the nightmare-demon Epialtes, who in... fr. 1... appears to be addressing the audience and saying he was given his name 'on account of his manly virtue' (ἀνδραγαθίας οὕνεκα); it looks very much as if the audience's sympathies are to be engaged on Epialtes' side right from the start.

And we know virtually nothing else about this theatre-piece, which I have otherwise seen generally entitled Ephialtes (rather than Epialtes).

To your Question regarding "all of the details," the most pertinent resource after Roscher's Ephialtes is the 2018 book published by Brill (Leiden & Boston), ed. Chiara Thumiger & P.N. Singer, Mental Illness in Ancient Medicine: From Celsus to Paul of Aegina. For our purposes, the book's second chapter, by Nadine Metzger, entitled '"Not a Daimōn, but a Severe Illness": Oribasius, Posidonius and Later Ancient Perspectives on Superhuman Agents Causing Disease,' is the one most applicable.

Central to your query is the second half of the chapter (pp. 94-106), which Metzger entitles "The Case of Ephialtes in Fourth-Century Medicine", and wherein (pp. 94-95) she writes:

Connections are made in all the sources between Ephialtes and epilēpsia, and their respective attacks are considered comparable with one another—one while awake, one during sleep. Accordingly, the late antique compilers place their comparatively short chapters on Ephialtes directly before the much more important epilēpsia categorising both as a sickness of the head.

Chapters on Ephialtes can be found in the medical compilations of Oribasius (Synopsis), Aëtius of Amida, Paul of Aegina and Paulus Nicaeus...

Paulus Nicaeus writes that many people believe Ephialtes to be a god or daimōn whch attacks sufferers at night.

It is then pointed out that these writers' opinions differ regarding the origin of this Ephialtes, whereupon Aëtius 6.12 is cited as quoting Posidonius (pp. 95-96):

The so-called Ephialtes is no daimōn, but rather a sickness and premonitory symptom of epilēpsia, mania and apoplēxia.

A Message of Healing from Asklepios

According to Oribasius' Synopsis 8.2 (on p. 96 of Mental Illness in Ancient Medicine):

The so-called Ephialtes is no evil daimōn, but rather on the one hand a serious illness, and on the other hand a heavenly interpreter and servant of Asclepius.

Metzger continues on pp. 100-101:

This "emissary of Asclepius" refers to the healing practice of incubation, in which a cure is granted or therapeutic measures revealed to the suffering patient through a dream vision in a shrine to Asclepius. A dream vision could also provide insight into one's health independently of an incubation; numerous examples of such prognostic dreams can be found in Artemidorus' work on dream interpretation, written in the second half of the second century CE.

As a matter of fact, Artemidorus specifically discusses Ephialtes in his dream book. The passage places central importance on the characteristic which defines Ephialtes in the medical sources, namely nightmare oppression. Other than that Ephialtes is able to speak with dreamers, give something to them, or engage them in sexual intercourse. He can make prophecies and, most importantly, give the sick a positive prognosis...

R.J. White's translation of Artemidorus' Oneirocritica: Interpretation of Dreams 2.37 is then quoted:

Regardless of what he does when he approaches, it signifies that the sick will recover. For he never associates with a man who is going to die.

Regarding this, Metzger says (p. 101) that:

Similarly to Artemidorus, Oribasius' text contains the possibility of Ephialtes having a medical-prognostic function too; his mentioning of Asclepius as a healing god, who usually appears to sick people in dreams to provide them with insight into their condition, implies that his "mediator" Ephialtes fulfils the same function. Apparently, Oribasius not only displays an open-minded attitude towards the possibility of heavenly influence on the human body, but recognises the healing powers of Asclepius transmitted through his emissaries...

Moreover on p. 102:

By Oribasius' time, the idea of a daimonic mediator operating between Asclepius and the human patient has unfolded in Neoplatonic philosophy. Primarily this cosmology tends to place higher deities such as Asclepius far into transcendency and excludes them from interacting with mortal materiality, generally considered to be in opposition to the heavenly sphere. To maintain this higher deity's influence on the world, a messenger—a daimonic intermediary—which makes contact with the human must be assumed. This allows the philosophically important distance between man and god to be upheld over the course of this contact. The idea can already be found in Plato's Symposium, in which Eros is described as intermediary between the gods and humans (ἑρμηνεῦον καὶ διαπορθμεῦον). Daimones are made of more material matter (ὕλη) than the gods, which allows them to interact with the material world in a way in which the gods cannot. This concept becomes elaborately fleshed out in Neoplatonic demonology.

Thus Henk Versnel elaborates in his book Coping with the Gods: Wayward Readings in Greek Theology (Brill, 2011:404) that Artemidorus in this sense enumerates Ephialtes together with Hekate and Pan as "the epigegoi (terrestrial) and aisthetoi gods (who can be perceived with the senses as opposed to those through intellect only: noetoi)."

Prescriptions Against Bad Dreams

Jovan Bilbija contributes the 10th chapter, entitled "The Stuff of Dreams: Substances and Dreams in Greek and Latin Literature" (pp. 217-251) to the 2013 Routledge book Dreams, Healing, and Medicine in Greece: From Antiquity to the Present (ed. Steven Oberhelman).

According to p. 223 thereof: "In medical literature, substances for preventing bad dreams are generally medicines against ἐφιάλτης/incubus." Bilbija then summarises the basic variations of purgatives to be ingested and talismans to be worn in order to rid oneself of this ephialtes-incubus.

On p. 238 some ancient writers are quoted recommending hellebore, regarding which Bilbija says in Footnote 114:

In our passages it is the purgative black hellebore (Helleborus cyclophyllus Boiss.); cf. C. Hünemörder, BNP, s.v. "Hellebore." The term ἑλλέβορος was also used for Veratrum album L.

Helleborus cyclophyllus

Entry A for this plant is Rufus of Ephesus apud Oribasius, Medical Questions 7.26.177:

Hellebore (ἑλλέβορος) can be administered as a purgative (καθαρτήριον) to those who are throttled at night by a nightmare (ἐφιάλτης).

Footnote 115 (same page):

Elsewhere, Oribasius (Medical Questions 7.26.15 [p. 228, 31-p. 229, 3 Raeder]) mentions purgation as a remedy for frightening and disturbing dreams (ἐνύπνια φοβερὰ καὶ ταραχώδη).

Entry B for the same plant (on the same page) is Oribasius, Synopsis for Eustathius 8.2 (p. 245, 10-12 Raeder):

Hellebore is especially useful to those who suffer from nightmares (ἐφιάλτικοί). They should be given one drachma of black hellebore (μέλας ἑλλέβορος) mixed with three obols of scammony (σκαμμωνία) and some aromatics like anise, wild carrot, or parsley.

Hiera of Colocynth is listed next, which, according to Bilbija, denotes the Citrullus colocynthis. He quotes Scribonius Largus (100), who, writing in Latin, recommends this for "relief to those who suffer from shortness of breath, asphyxiation, and nightmare (incubo)." The Greek quotes continue (on p. 239) with more from the same above-cited section of Oribasius' Synopsis as Entry B for this plant:

The hiera of colocynth (ἡ διὰ τῆς σικυωνίασ ἱερά) is very serviceable to those who suffer from nightmares (ἐφιάλτικοί). Patients should keep their diet light and avoid flatulent food.

Citrullus colocynthis

Entry C for this plant is Aëtius of Amida 6.12 (p. 152, 27-8 Olivieri):

When a person suffers from nightmares because of an unhealthy state of the humors (κακοχυμία), one may purge him with the hiera of Archigenes (ἡ ἱερά Αρχιγένουσ).

Footnote 124: "Aëtius provides a recipe for this hiera of colocynth at 3.115 (p. 304, 9-16 Olivieri)."

And that covers all of the "Other references not currently quoted" on your Theoi.com Epiales page, except for the following, also listed in Dreams, Healing, and Medicine in Greece.

Dioscorides 3.140:

Drinking 15 black grains (κόκκοι) of peony (γλυκισίδη) with hydromel or wine will help those who are throttled (οἱ πνιγόμενοι) by nightmares (ἐφιάλται). It also helps those with stomach problems and it relieves women with a suffocating or painful womb.

Dioscorides, On Simple Medicines 1.28:

Those who are often suffocated by nightmares (οἱ ὑπὸ τῶν ἐφιαλτῶν πνιγόμενοι) are healed by frequent drinks of a mixture of 15 black grains of peony (γλυκισίδη) with water.

Oribasius, Synopsis for Eustathius 8.2 (p. 245, 13-15 Raeder):

Those who suffer from nightmares (ἐφιάλτικοί) will benefit from frequently drinking 15 pounded grains of peony (παιωνία) with water.

Based on those, if one were to make up a single English word for the victims of Ephialtes (rather than the translation "those who suffer from nightmares"), it should probably be "ephialtics" (cf. epileptics).

This is Francis Adams' 1844 translation of Paul of Aegina 3.15 (with my own emphasis):

Some say that this disorder is called ephialtes in Greek, from the name of a man, or from those in it fancying as if one leaped upon them. But Themison, in the tenth book of his Epistles, calls it pnigaleon, from a Greek word signifying suffocation. It attacks persons after a surfeit, and who are labouring under protracted indigestion. Persons suffering an attack experience incapability of motion, a torpid sensation in their sleep, a sense of suffocation, and oppression, as if from one pressing them down, with inability to cry out, or they utter inarticulate sounds. Some imagine often that they even hear the person who is going to press them down, that he offers lustful violence to them, but flies when they attempt to grasp him with their fingers. The evil must be guarded against at the commencement; for when it continues long, and attacks every night, it is the forerunner of some serious disease, such as apoplexy, mania, or epilepsy, when the exciting cause is determined to the head; for such as persons affected with epilepsy are, during the day, those labouring under nightmare are in their sleep. We must evacuate the patient's general system by opening a vein and administering purgatives. Black hellebore is especially serviceable to such persons when given to the amount of a drachm, if three oboli of scammony, and some of the aromatics, such as anise, wild carrot, and Macedonian parsley, be mixed with it. The composition called hiera, from wild gourd, is also of great service; it is the hiera of Ruffus. The diet should be light, and they ought to avoid everything that is flatulent. They are benefited also by the fruit of peony: fifteen of the black grains of which may be pounded with water and drunk frequently.

Adams provides some supplementary details in his Commentary on this chapter on p. 389 of Vol. 1 of The Seven Books of Paulus Ægineta.

Identification with Modern Ghouls

The Suda entry "Ephialtes" says that he is "the one called by many Baboutzikarios" just before a second definition: "The vapour which rises into the head, caused by overeating and indigestion, is called ephialtes by physicians."

Evy Johanne Håland says in her book Competing Ideologies in Greek Culture, Ancient and Modern (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019:119) that the Baboutzikarios is said to be of Slavic origin. This would then dovetail with our English night-mare, which as we have already observed (see the "In English and German" section of this Answer) above, also has a Slavic connection.

Leo Allatius published a sort of cultural guidebook in 1645, which Karen Hartnup expounds upon in her own 2004 book which incorporates the title of his text into its own: 'On the Beliefs of the Greeks': Leo Allatios and Popular Orthodoxy (Brill: Leiden & Boston).

Hartnup reports the following about Allatius' narration of some of the practices of his fellow Christian Greeks in the 1600s (pp. 29-30, with my own emphasis):

In chapter X Allatios accepts Psellos' interpretation of the babutzikarios, a kind of frightening goblin that is supposed to appear over the Christmas period... Even though such demons do not exist, people actually see the demonic beings but this is because of hallucinations brough about by over-indulgence in the seasonal festivities. Allatios points out that this exotiko is not always understood this way. The Byzantine dictionary Suidas describes the babutzikarios in terms of ephialtes — a nightmare brought on by indigestion. However, the 'common people' continue to believe that those born at Christmas are every year possessed by the devil during this week and attack people on the roads, asking 'Rope or lead?' Those who reply 'Lead', the possessed person crushes to death; those who reply 'Rope', he sets free. The Greeks distract the possessed over the Christmas season by making them count the holes in a sieve. This kind of babutzikarios is identical to the creature called by others 'kallikantzaros', which is the focus of Allatios' next chapter...

Kallikantzaroi are also goblin-like creatures that appear between Christmas and the New Year. People try to ward them off by wearing new clothes and the population of Chios believes that they congregate in wooded and inaccessible places, where those of unsound mind are also thought to originate. In order to prevent those born between Christmas and New Year becoming kallikantzaroi they burn the soles of their feet and remove their nails.


Which comes to my attention courtesy of tblue, a fellow Mythology StackExchange user.

  • 1
    Added 1 more source
    – Adinkra
    Oct 25, 2019 at 18:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.