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GenresProgressive Rock
Record labels Relapse Records
Members Claudio Simonetti
Fabio Pignatelli
Massimo Morante
Agostino Marangolo
Played by Paul Frees
Movies/Shows The Return of the King
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SongsSuspiria: SuspiriaSuspiria · 1977 Profondo rossoFilms In Musica · 1975 Goblin Gang to Chill and Snort Keyboard Dust to · 2021 View 25+ more
ListSuspiria: SuspiriaSuspiria · 1977
Profondo rossoFilms In Musica · 1975
Goblin GangSongs to Chill and Snort Keyboard Dust to · 2021
AlbumsProfondo Rosso
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Date of Upd.
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Goblin History

Goblin is an Italian progressive rock band known for their film scores. They frequently collaborate with Dario Argento, most notably creating the scores for Profondo Rosso in 1975 and Suspiria in 1977.

A goblin is a small, grotesque, monstrous creature that appears in the folklore of multiple European cultures. First attested in stories from the Middle Ages, they are ascribed conflicting abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin, varying from mischievous household spirits to malicious, bestial thieves. They often have magical abilities similar to a fairy or demon, such as the ability to shapeshift.Similar creatures include brownies, dwarfs, duendes, gnomes, imps, leprechauns, and kobolds, but it is also commonly used as a blanket term for all small, fay creatures. The term is sometimes expanded to include goblin-like creatures of other cultures, such as the pukwudgie, dokkaebi or ifrit.


Alternative spellings include gobblin, gobeline, gobling, goblyn, goblino, and gobbelin. The term goblette has been used to refer to female goblins.English goblin is first recorded in the 14th century and is probably from unattested Anglo-Norman *gobelin, similar to Old French gobelin, already attested around 1195 in Ambroise of Normandy's Guerre sainte, and to Medieval Latin gobelinus in Orderic Vitalis before 1141, which was the name of a devil or daemon haunting the country around Évreux, Normandy.

It may be related both to German kobold and to Medieval Latin cabalus - or *gobalus, itself from Greek κόβαλος (kobalos), "rogue", "knave", "imp", "goblin". German Kobold contains the Germanic root kov- (Middle German Kobe "refuge, cavity", "hollow in a rock", Dial. English cove "hollow in a rock", English "sheltered recess on a coast", Old Norse kofi "hut, shed" ) which means originally a "hollow in the earth". The word is probably related to Dial. Norman gobe "hollow in a cliff", with simple suffix -lin or double suffixation -el-in (cf. Norman surnames Beuzelin, Gosselin, Étancelin, etc.)Alternatively, it may be a diminutive or other derivative of the French proper name Gobel, more often Gobeau, diminutive forms Gobelet, Goblin, Goblot, but their signification is probably "somebody who sells tumblers or beakers or cups". Moreover, these proper names are not from Normandy, where the word gobelin, gobelinus first appears in the old documents.

The Welsh coblyn, a type of knocker, derives from the Old French gobelin via the English goblin.

Goblins in folklore

European folklore

Goblins are common in English, Scottish, and Irish folklore, serving as a blanket term for all sorts of evil or mischievous spirits.

A redcap is a type of goblin who dyes its hat in human blood in Anglo-Scottish border folklore.

Hobgoblins are friendly trickster goblins from English, Scottish, and Pilgrim folklore and literature.

The Erlking is a malevolent goblin from German legend.

The Trasgu is a Northern Spanish and Northern Portuguese mythological creature of Celtic and Roman origin.

Goblin-like creatures in other cultures

A pukwudgie is a type of goblin from Wamponoag folklore

The Muki (mythology) is a pale goblin who lives in caves in the Andes in Quechuan folklore.Many Asian lagyt creatures have been likened to, or translated as, goblins. Some examples for these:

The Goblin of Adachigahara (Japanese fairy tale)

The Goblin Rat, from The Boy Who Drew Cats (Japanese fairy tale).

Twenty-Two Goblins (Indian fairy tale)

In South Korea, goblins, known as dokkaebi (도깨비), are important creatures in folklore, where they reward good people and punish the evil, playing tricks on them.

In Bangladesh, Santal people believe in gudrobonga which is very similar to goblins.Other Goblins had been identified with creatures from another culture:

Goblins have at times been conflated with the jinn, specifically ifrit and ghilan, of Islamic culture.

Goblins in fiction

Collected folk stories

"The Goblin Pony", from The Grey Fairy Book (French fairy tale).

The Benevolent Goblin, from Gesta Romanorum (England).

"The Goblins at the Bath House" (Estonia), from A Book of Ghosts and Goblins (1969).

"The Goblins Turned to Stone" (Dutch fairy tale).

King Gobb (Moldovan Gypsy folktale).

Goblins are featured in the Danish fairy tales:The Elf Mound, The Goblin and the Grocer, and The Goblin and the Woman.

Goblins are featured in the Norwegian folktale The Christmas Visitors at Kvame.

Goblins are featured in the Swedish fairy tales The Four big Trolls and little Peter Pastureman, and Dag, and Daga and the Flying Troll of Sky Mountain where they alongside sprites and gnomes live among trolls.

Goblins are Featured in the French fairy tale called The Golden Branch.

Chinese Ghouls and Goblins (England 1928)

The Korean nursery song 'Mountain Goblin(산도깨비)' tells of meeting a dokkaebi and running away to live.

Modern fiction

Goblinoids are a category of humanoid legendary creatures related to the goblin. The term was popularized in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, in which goblins and related creatures are a staple of random encounters. Goblinoids are typically barbaric foes of the various human and "demi-human" races. Even though goblinoids in modern fantasy fiction are derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's orcs, in his Middle-earth "orc" and "goblin" were names for the same race of creatures. The main types of goblinoids in Dungeons & Dragons are goblins, bugbears and hobgoblins; these creatures are also figures of mythology, next to ordinary goblins.

In the Harry Potter book series and the shared universe in which its film adaptations are set, goblins are depicted as strange, but civilised, humanoids, who often serve as bankers or craftsmen. These depictions of goblins have been likened by critics to antisemitic caricatures.The Green Goblin is a well-known supervillain, one of the archenemies of Spider-Man, who has various abilities including enhanced stamina, durability, agility, reflexes and superhuman strength due to ingesting a substance known as the "Goblin Formula". He has appeared in various Spider-Man related media, such as comics, television series, video games, and films, including Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) as Norman Osborn, and Spider-Man 3 (2007) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) as Harry Osborn.

In early English translations, The Smurfs were called goblins.

Goblin-related place names

'The Gap of Goeblin', a hole and tunnel in Mortain, France.

Goblin Combe, in north Somerset, UK

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah, US

Goblin Crescent, Bryndwr, Christchurch, New Zealand

Yester Castle (also known as "Goblin Hall") East Lothian, Scotland

Goblin Bay, Beausoleil Island, Ontario, Canada

Cowcaddens and Cowlairs, Glasgow, Scotland. 'Cow' is an old Scots word for Goblin, while 'cad' means 'nasty'. 'Dens' and 'lairs' refers to goblin homes.

541132 Leleākūhonua (then known as 2015 TG387) is a minor planet in the outer solar system nicknamed "The Goblin"

See also



Goblin (Dungeons and Dragons)

Dwarf (folklore)







Further reading

Briggs, K. M. (2003). The Anatomy of Puck. London: Routledge.

Briggs, K. M. (1967). The Fairies in English Literature and Tradition. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Briggs, K. M. (1978). The Vanishing People. London: B.T. Batsford. ISBN 9780394502489.

Carryl, Charles E. (1884). Davy And The Goblin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Dubois, Pierre (2005). The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, and Other Little Creatures. New York: Abbeville Press. ISBN 0-789-20878-4.

Froud, Brian (1996). The Goblin Companion. Atlanta: Turner. ISBN 9781570362842.

Froud, Brian (1983). Goblins!. New York: Macmillan.

Page, Michael and Robert Ingpen (1987). British Goblins: Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were. New York: Viking.

Purkiss, Diane (2001). At the Bottom of the Garden. New York: New York University Press.

Rose, Carol (1996). Spirits, Fairies, Gnomes and Goblins: an Encyclopedia of the Little People. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780874368116.

Sikes, Wirt (1973). British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions. Wakefield: EP Pub.

Silver, Carole G. (1999). Strange and Secret Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512199-5.

Zanger, Jules (1997). "Goblins, Morlocks, and Weasels". Children's Literature in Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 8: 154–162. doi:10.1007/BF01146190. S2CID 161822697.

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