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Origin: faerie tale of Scottish origin apparently first collected in Perth, Australia in the 1890s
Now out in the woods lived the Hobyahs. Every night, up from under the earth, out from the deep, dark woods, came the Hobyahs. They came running towards the house through the long tall grass, creep-creep-creeping on their long, thin toes, skip-skip-skipping through the soft grass, waving their wild tails. And they whispered in sepulchral monotone, "Knock over the hempstalks, break down the house, carry off the little old man, eat up the little old woman!" ...So on the third night the Hobyahs broke down the house. They didn't carry off the little old man, because he hid under the kitchen table and they couldn't find him, but they did carry off the little old woman to their Hobyah house deep in the earth, and they put her in a bag and hung her from the ceiling, where they poked at her with their long fingers, and said with a terrible cry, "Look me! Look me!" And then they went to sleep until the next night, for the Hobyahs slept in the daytime....
— Traditional, "The Hobyahs"
According to the recorded fairy tale, Hobyahs are nocturnal, cannibalistic creatures with 'wild tails' and long fingers and toes, and a strong dislike of dogs, who have become largely extinct since being chased from the world by dogs. Illustrations sometimes depict them as small, twisted creatures of vaguely reptilian or amphibian form. In the film Celia (1989 film), they are depicted as stooped, slimy, blue-skinned, and roughly human-size. In Mythos lore, "Hobyah" might refer to any of a number of similar creatures:
- See Ghast for Lovecraft's vaguely humanoid race fearsome scavengers.
- See Ghoul for Lovecraft's subterranean race of degenerate cannibals.
- See Grey Alien for more information about these long-fingered nocturnal beings presumed to come from space.
- See Deep One for this race of hybrid fish-men.
- See Dero for this technologically advanced race of hideous, dwarfish, subterranean madmen and cannibal monsters.
- See Serpent Man for more information about this troglodytic race of reptile-men.
- See Troll for information about this similar race of wild-men.
- See Sasquatch for more information about these giant, hairy wildmen.
- See Faerie for more details about Machen's race of degenerate, primitive, troglogytic, and monstrous faeries.
- See "Frazetta Man" for more information about Voormis, Gnophkehs, Worms of the Earth, and various other degenerate races of men.
Heresies and Controversies
- The name "Hobyah" seems to refer to the word "Hob", referring to a household spirit which performs useful household tasks, but expects to be respected and honored with gifts (typically food or small treasures) by those it helps. The name thus seems to be related to words such as "hobbit" and "hobgoblin".
- film: Celia (1989 film)