An emaciated man with a leathery body and little or no hair, a
Redcap carries a sharp wooden scythe or an iron pike to strike down
all who invade the area he has decided to guard for the time being.
The Red Cap he wears, and for which he was named, is said to be
made of dried human skin, died in blood. He is very fast in spite
of the heavy iron pike he wields and the iron-shod boots he
They are border goblins and live solitary
Redcaps are said to murder travelers who stray into their homes,
sometimes by pushing boulders off cliffs and on to them, staining
their hats with their victims' blood (from which they get their
Redcaps must kill regularly, for if the blood staining their
hats dries out, they die. Outrunning the buck-toothed little
daemons is quite impossible; the only way to escape one is to quote
a passage from the Bible. They lose a tooth on hearing it, which
they leave behind.
The Red Cap moves from place to place on a whim throughout the
extreme lowlands of Scotland along the English border. He haunts
the ruins of old castles and cairns which he guards with his
The most infamous redcap of all was Robin Redcap. As the
familiar of Lord William de Soulis, Robin wreaked much harm and
ruin in the lands of his master's dwelling, Hermitage Castle. Men
were murdered, women cruelly abused, and dark arts were practiced.
So much infamy and blasphemy was said to have been committed at
Hermitage Castle that the great stone keep was thought to be
sinking under a great weight of sin, as though the very ground
wanted to hide it from the sight of God.
Yet Soulis, for all the evil he wrought, met a very horrible
end: he was taken to the Nine Stane Rigg, a circle of stones hard
by the castle, and there he was wrapped in lead and boiled to death
in a great cauldron.
Kankakee County Cachers and Campers