An initially terrifying creature in the Moomin series of books by Tove Jansson, the Groke is a large, slow moving, shuffling monster who is attracted to light.

She freezes the ground wherever she walks and sits, killing any vegetation.

As we get to know the Groke better, we begin to feel less scared, and more pitiful, since she is only seeking light and warmth due to her extreme loneliness.

In the original Swedish (Jansson was a Finland Swede), her name is Mårran, and in Finnish, she has the beautifully apt sounding Mörkö.

We first meet her in Finn Family Moomontroll, and she also features in Moominpappa's Memoirs (formerly known as The Exploits of Moominpappa), Moominland Midwinter and Moominpappa at Sea.

As with many Moomin monsters, we know nothing of her lineage or whether there are more than one of her.


Sources:
http://www.geocities.com/lindashippert/moomin/moominnf.html
Thanks to heyoka for additional info.

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The groke is probably the single scariest thing that children growing up in Britain during the 90's were exposed to on TV.

This thing haunted me for years, and probably contributes in no small part to many people's memories of the Moomins anime as weird and scary. I actually wanted her to die, probably the first time I had wished death upon any creature, animated or real.

I honestly have no idea why the producers of the Moomins anime or Tove Jansonn would want to put this in something supposedly aimed at children. Not only does she relentlessly shuffle towards people, she freezes everything she touches and has continuously bared teeth and unblinking eyes.

Upon reaching the Moomin House, inside which the residents of Moomin Valley have congregated for safety, we witness one of the most dramatic and tense moments in all of the Moomin tales.

It is like an post-apocalyptic siege, each character is armed and gathered around the kitchen table playing cards by the light of a single lamp. As the Groke nears the house, her freezing aura extinguishes the lamp leaving the scene bathed in nothing but pale moonlight.

The characters grab their weapons and prepare themselves for the worst on the porch of the Moomin House. Moomin has a baseball bat, Snufkin a broom, Moominmama has her handbag, Sniff is pathetically unarmed and Little My gleefully wields a rolling pin that is bigger than her.

Last but not least, Moominpappa stands at the front, pipe clenched between his teeth, packing
a blunderbuss. If this is not an argument for home defense, I don't know what is. If the Groke comes to my house, I want the most firepower I can get! I think that is reason enough to own a gun! The Groke could come at any time!

As they all face off with the Groke, Moominmama , ever the gentle (read boring) diplomat, manages to appease the Groke with a piece of jewelery before Moominpappa has a chance to blast her freaky face full of lead.

I don't think this is the right message to give to children. They shouldn't grow up thinking that you should bribe your way out of dangerous situations. Instead they should learn to shoot your way out with a blunderbuss, but I guess the producers didn't see it that way.

Of course these days there are no more Moomins on the TV, probably because it shows a happy and complete family unit which, in this day and age of enlightened thinking and moral 'freedom', would be classed as politically incorrect. The idea of Moominpappa protecting his family with a gun would also cause outrage to the ever useless Gun Control Network and British Government.

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