Rivers, streams, pools
Similar entities: Black Annis
, Water Woman
, Weisse Frau
, Jenny Greentooth
, Greentoothed Woman
, Nellie Longarms
with sharp green
teeth and long green hair that is said to inhabit the river Tees
. She waits in the water for the approach of unwary
humans, especially naughty children, and she grabs the ankles of those who unknowingly wander too close to the water's edge. Some acconts show her dragging her victim to an underwater lair, where she devour
s them. Others simply show her pulling her victims underwater to drown
them. Obviously, swimming or wading in this river is strongly discouraged.
Warnings that Peg Powler may be nearby include the presence of green foam
on the river (known as Peg Powler's Suds) and/or the presence of green surface scum
(known as Peg Powler's Cream) on slower sections of the river. The alder
tree was considered as a charm that held evil faeries
at bay, as in this Mother Goose
ryme which shows a fear of water faeries like Peg Powler:
"Mother, may I go out to swim?"
"Yes, my darling daughter.
Hang your clothes on an alder limb
And don't go near the water."
is a general name for all types of drowning faeries. Peg Powler is also known as Jenny Greenteeth
, a similar green hag who is known to haunt stagnant
pools of water in Lancashire
. Another green hag, Nellie Longarms
, is thought to inhabit Derbyshire
. Interestingly, a German
version of the Bean-Fionn, called the Weisse Frau
, was said to love children and protect them. She was also said to help travelers, but she angered easily, especially if you were to abuse
The tales were no doubt created to scare young children away from the precarious
banks of rivers and streams. Some variations of the story even make sure to specify that the children who were attacked were explicitly disobeying their parents' wishes.