Dear friends of Training Centre Raya London,
we are happy to see you in our blog! Today’s article is about a rascal creature in the English folklore – the boggart. Along with that, you will find more about local folk beliefs, and you will improve your English language knowledge.
Since ancient times people used to explain scary and unknown phenomena with the works of ghosts from the invisible world. Every slamming of the door without wind, disappearing pets and utensils from the cupboard, the consequent misfortunes of the family must have been the work of some evil creature making people’s lives miserable.
The boggart is definitely a mischievous and a bad resident of the house, whom we do not see, but know by his frequent rascals. The idea of a home boggart came from the depths of time, as the origin of its name suggests. The English “boggart”, or “bogie”, “boggle” as you may also find it, is related to the Irish name “puca”, as well as to the inhabitant of Welsh mythology “pwca” or “bwga”. In any case, it is a malevolent ghost because of whom milk sours and dogs go mad. They say that at night he sneaks up to people’s beds and places his clammy, wet hands on their faces. Although his mischief takes place inside houses, the boggart is believed to sleep in swamps, under bridges, or may hide behind some sharp, ominous bend in the road.
Sudden phenomena that bring misfortune were explained with the presence of a boggart. If a horse suddenly runs away carrying the luggage, it is said that he “took boggarts”. If a man got lost in the swamps and was never seen again, people said he had an unfortunate encounter with a boggart who devoured him.
A bogart should never be given a name. If you named him once, he would go berserk and become uncontrollable, causing terrible troubles.
But what does the boggart look like? Different folklore explorers bump into different descriptions. Sometimes he is in a humanoid shape, but with too long arms or resembles a beast. He is even seen in the image of a horse. In any case, he is hairy and has an extraordinary physical strength.
Even until last century there were still people who blamed unexpected and frightening events on the presence of a boggart. Doors slamming at night, evil laughter, traces of cloven hooves in the dust in front of the house, a cart suddenly overturning – all this was the work of a boggart. But how did people resist it? A horseshoe above the bedroom door or a pile of salt at the front door ensured that the boggart could not come in and do any harm.
These days, places with names associated with this frightening ghost can still be found. There is a public park in Manchester called “Boggart Hole Clough”. In Burnley, Lancashire there is a bridge called “Boggart Bridge” which is believed to cost you the soul of a living being to cross. Even one of the moons of the planet Uranus has a crater called Bogle – one of the names of the boggart.
The Boggart also finds its place in literature and even in the cinema. Do you remember the boggart from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”? There he didn’t have a form of his own but took the form of your greatest fear.
What about you, friends? Have you recently heard a cupboard slamming at night or the sound of a chain being dragged along the ground? If you have, then immediately find a horseshoe and nail it over the door!
We are looking forward to new meetings with new stories!
Author: Iveta Radeva