13 Places to Find Little Legends and Compact Cryptids - Atlas Obscura Lists

13 Places to Find Little Legends and Compact Cryptids

From grumpy water goblins to tiny trolls.

Many of the creatures from folklore or urban legends are large creatures that roam through forests or claim entire bodies of water as their homes. Part of what makes their tales so captivating is that these massive beings might be hiding right under our noses. But for every Sasquatch and Loch Ness Monster, there are dozens of smaller mythological beings, from fairies to water goblins, that are said to lurk in the more magical corners of our world. 

Travelers crossing the Devil’s Stream along Charles Bridge in Prague, Czechia, will notice a peculiar statue near an old water mill. What appears to be a grumpy, older gentleman smoking a pipe is a vodník, a water goblin from Czech folklore. These mischievous creatures are said to love beer, and residents will leave water buckets at local pubs for them to stand on.

In the mountains of Croatia, you can find the ruins of Ružica Grad, a once-magnificent castle. The location is said to be a meeting place for fairies, who caused the castle to crumble to reclaim their location. From a Swedish troll to a water spirit that loves cucumbers, here are 13 places dedicated to a few smaller, little-known creatures from legend and folklore.