By Published On: 1st March, 2024Categories: Spiritual Beings0 Comments on Spiritual Beings 3 – Others944 words4.7 min read

 Familiar spirits and Ghosts– In European folklore of the mediaeval period, early modern times, even today, we have heard mention of ‘familiar spirits’. This could just mean a ‘close friend’, or ‘companion’ as in a dog (canis familiaris). A dog is man’s best friend, they say. But that is not what we are talking about here. These are supernatural entities or spiritual guardians that would protect and/or assist witches in their practice of magic, often referred to as ‘familiars’.  According to records, those who had contact with ‘familiar spirits’ reported that they could manifest as numerous forms, usually as an animal, but sometimes as a human or humanoid figure, and were described as “clearly defined, three-dimensional forms, vivid with colour and animated with movement and sound”, as opposed to ghosts with their smokey undefined form(s). Ghosts are described as the spirit of a dead person or a non-human form that is believed to be able to appear to the living. Descriptions of a ghost vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes to realistic life-like forms (wikipedia). Often  their appearances are made user-friendly, think of the cupids in love relations or Casper the friendly ghost. Tales often feature spirits of the deceased who are believed to linger in the physical world either to communicate with the living or to seek vengeance for past wrongs.  An example of a ghost or ‘familiar spirit’ found in the Bible is in 1 Samuel 28. After Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from Israel in Samuel’s days of ministry, he went disguised to the medium at Endor having no success inquiring of the Lord. Saul asked to bring up the familiar spirit (KJV) of the prophet Samuel for guidance on what to do, to fight the Philistines or not to fight. When the medium brought up Samuel(?), Saul asked what do you see?  Interestingly enough the medium does not say: ‘ it is Samuel”  but what she did say was that she saw “a god” coming out of the earth, other translations say “old man”, wearing a cloak. Saul presumed this to be Samuel but was it or was this a ‘familiar spirit’. Now Samuel(?) came up asking why he was disturbed and brought up. He, Samuel(?) did not give a straight answer to the question, but explained that the Lord had turned from Saul. Accurate history can be given by a ‘familiar spirit’ and can be used at the same time to lead people astray. ‘Familiar spirits’ can also attach  themselves to families. And can be brought up through seances etc. The living people might think they hear their own loved ones talking to them, but are being deceived by spirits familiar with their family.

Fairies are found in folklore of multiple European cultures (including: Celtic, Slavic, Germanic, English and French) and portrayed as a form of spirit. Casting them as either demoted angels or demons in Christian tradition, or as deities in pagan belief systems, or as spirits of the dead, or spirits of nature. Sometimes portrayed as magical creatures with human appearance, magical powers and a penchant for trickery (See above in ‘Demons’).

Gnomes. We all know the phrase: “leave some chocolates for the gnomes” if we have not finished our work or we don’t want to do the work. By saying this, we presume that the gnomes are cute and will do the work for us. A gnome is a mythological creature in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th Century and later adopted by authors including those of modern fantasy literature (Example of this Rien Poortvliet-Dutch artist and storyteller). Statues of gnomes were introduced as lawn ornaments to protect and nurture during the 19th century, and grew in popularity during the 20th century to become known as ‘garden gnomes’.   But beware, for these may also work against you (tricky little devils!). 

Goblins: According to, “Garden Sculptures and statues, adding these fun garden goblins to your garden will bring an unexpected charm to your garden, they are about to become the highlight of Halloween and no one can resist their charm.”  But where do they come from to be in our society’s psyche? Throughout the Middle Ages they had been ascribed with conflicting abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on their story and country of origin, ranging from mischievous household spirits to malicious, bestial thieves. So why in the garden or at the front door of houses/ businesses etc.?  Is the Middle Ages theory still very vivid today as people are looking for alternate beliefs, compared to their understanding and awakening to the truth of who they are as part of the Oneness with God, with full authority to resist evil. Tricky goblins are definitely better outside than in!

Gargoyles. On a lot of Catholic churches, Cathedrals dating to the Middle Ages have statues of gargoyles on their roofs. Some state that gargoyles were meant to illustrate evil and sin, in addition to the practical function of projecting water away from a building.  Gargoyles were also intended to symbolise ‘guardianship’ of the building and to ward off evil spirits. Their open mouths were symbolic of them devouring giants. 

There are many other creatures including ‘Brownies’, ‘Dwarves’ (portrayed in the books of J.R.R. Tolkien), ‘Duendes’, ‘Imps’, ‘Leprechauns’, ‘Kobolds’, ‘Pukwudgie’, ‘Dokkaebi’, ‘Ifrit’, and ‘Nereids’.  And what about the ‘gremlins’ in your computer?  These are all commonly used as a blanket term for all small fairy creatures/spirits from different cultures. Don’t forget all the water spirits. Some mentioned are good hearted, others not. Some want a reward for services others do not.

Leave A Comment