Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The Grogoch was originally a half human, half-spirit entity who originated in Scotland and settled in Ireland. Well-known throughout north Antrim, Rathlin Island and parts of Donegal, he may also be found on the Isle of Man where they are called Phynnodderee.
He has the power of invisibility but will often allow certain trusted people to observe him. A very sociable being, he may even attach himself to certain individuals and help them with their planting and harvesting or with domestic chores, all for no payment other than a jug of cream.
The Grogoch, for those unfamiliar with Irish folklore, is a dwarf 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall, who sleeps in caves or hollow trees but can be induced to do household chores in peasants’ cottages.
Resembling a very small elderly man, though covered in coarse, dense reddish hair or fur, he wears no clothes, but sports a variety of twigs and dirt from his travels. Grogochs are not noted for their personal hygiene: there are no records of any female grogochs. The grogoch is impervious to searing heat or freezing cold.
His home may be a cave, hollow or cleft in the landscape. In numerous parts of the northern countryside are large leaning stones which are known as 'grogochs' houses'.
He will scuttle about the kitchen looking for odd jobs to do and will invariably get under people's feet. Like many other fairies, the grogoch has a great fear of the clergy and will not enter a house if a priest or minister is there. If the grogoch is becoming a nuisance, it is advisable to get a clergyman into the house and drive the creature away to inadvertently torment someone else.
In a lot of ways the Grogoch could have been the inspiration behind Dobby the House Elf in Harry potter. Of course minus the hair, who knows?