I have a confession to make. I’m a Jimmy Stewart fan. To me, it just isn’t Christmas season without a showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” because it reminds me of the impact one person has on other people’s lives. However, this is a horror podcast, and, as good of a movie it is, it’s not my all-time favorite. That honor goes to another of Jimmy’s classics, “Harvey.” If you’ve never seen the movie, Jimmy Stewart plays a middle-aged man with a best friend named Harvey, a six-foot three and a half-inch invisible rabbit. Said rabbit is also referred to in the movie as a pooka, which is the subject of this week’s Nightmare Fuel.
A pooka is a much-feared member of the fae world in Ireland. Known as mischief makers, they enjoy nothing more than to spread fear and havoc. The appearance of these hobgoblins depends on where in Ireland you find yourself. Sometimes they appear as a small, deformed goblin demanding a portion of the season’s crops. Other times it can be a huge, hairy bogeyman terrorizing travelers out at night. Additional reported forms are an eagle with a massive wingspan or a black goat with curly horns. The hobgoblin’s favorite, however, is a sleek, dark horse with deep yellow eyes and a long mane. Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about a pooka is its ability to speak with a human voice.
The little creatures are known to be destructive and vindictive if slighted or ignored. It will damage property and scoop up travelers out late and toss them into muddy bogs or ditches. Some say that the mere sight of the little beasties can frighten hens into not laying eggs and cows not giving milk.
That is not to say that the pooka is all mayhem and chaos. There are some stories of them being helpful when given the proper respect by providing prophecies and warnings when asked.
So, the next time you hear a human voice calling to you when no one else is around; don’t be so quick to dismiss it as a figment of your imagination. It may be a pooka, and there may be painful consequences if it views your disregard as a slight to it.
Until next time addicts,