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bogle


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A variant on the terms ‘boggart’ and ‘bogy’, used for particularly frightening and evil specimens. Mrs Balfour said it was ‘a not uncommon theory’ in part of Lincolnshire that bogles are really the dead, still able to appear and to act, until the time their corpses are fully decayed (Balfour, 1891: 402). Jessica Lofthouse describes those of north Lancashire and Cumbria as ‘spine-chilling’ creatures, which could appear as ‘a light, a ball of fire, a ghostly shape, a phantom hound or bull or calf, or red hen or black cock’. They guarded buried treasure, punished the wicked, and ‘could uncover the graves of the dead’ (North-Country Folklore, (1976), 35).


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