The Irish Pooka (also known as Púca, Phooka, Phouka) is a member of the Irish Fairy Kingdom, and a much-feared one at that. It is believed to be a type of earth energy and is rather frightening and alarming to human folk.
Shape shifting comes easily to the Pooka and it is known for appearing as a large black goat with wicked horns and evil claws, bull, horse, donkey and eagle. Sneakily, it has the power of speech and can call out in a quite normal voice to unsuspecting people, luring them to a terrifying adventure they will never forget. Those who dare to travel the back roads at night risk being carried away on the back of this creature, galloping madly through the night. It is said the human is never the same afterwards….
This mysterious entity does not live only on land. It is also known to frighten fisherman and sailors, often following ships out to sea.
Samhain, or Halloween, is a special time for this mystical being. It is reputed that all crops in the field, or berries in the hedges are fairy-blasted if not brought in by the evening of October 31st and one must not touch them after this date. November 1st is a day sacred to the Pooka, when all may breathe a sigh of relief, for it is the one day when it actually behaves itself.
Image copyright Brian Froud. Please visit World of Froud