The Irish Pooka- Irish Mythological Creature

the pooka in goblin form
the pooka in goblin form | Source
the pooka in horse form
the pooka in horse form | Source


There are several names for this guy. You may know him as Puka, Pwwka, Phouka, Pwca. No matter what you call him he is still the same creature of Celtic Mythology. This guy is based out of Ireland but is also mentioned throughout the West of Scotland and Wales.

In this hub you'll discover what the Irish Pooka is, how the Irish people view this creature, and a few stories about the Pooka. You may end up learning some information that you might just find very interesting.

What Is The Pooka?

The name of this creature actually translates to mean Goblin. The pookas of Irish mythology are viewed as tricksters, as shape-changing beings. They come in many forms because their shape-changing capabilities.

The many well known forms the Pooka likes to take on include the shapes of a rabbit, a horse, a goat, a goblin, or a dog. No matter what form it takes on the fur on the shape is next to always dark. The top most common form is a black horse with golden eyes.

This Irish creature is associated with the Pagan holiday known as Samhain, which falls on Halloween. It's said however that November first is the one day out of the year that this creature is said to behave correctly. No tricks at all.

The Pooka will roam the countryside, especially at nightfall, creating mischief and harm. They are mainly located at high mountaintops. He'll knock down fences, gates, stomp on crops. Also a part of the Pooka myth is that when he is in the form of the horse he will take a human on a ride. Whenever he does this he will lead the human on a wild ride. Eventually he'll shake them off come morning time. It's said that he favors the drunks.

The sight of a Pooka can cause hens to stop laying eggs and the cows from giving milk.

This creature has the power of speech and has been known to stand outside of ones house and call out to them. He'll vandalize their property.

He will come in the form of a goblin at times demanding the farmers to share with him their harvest. They'll leave out some of it and this is now called the "Pooka's Share".

An interesting little thing to know is that the Easter Bunny tale comes from the Pooka. For some see this creature has a large Rabbit.

How The Irish Viewed The Pooka

The Irish feared the Pooka. To tell you the truth this creature is one of the most feared in the mythology. However not all of them did. There are reports that some of the Irish looked at the Pooka as being helpful at times. They claimed that he'd offer them warnings and prophecies. He's also been known to give people advise and lead them away from harm. So not all of them feared this creature. They each had their own opinion. They either feared him greatly or looked at him as being helpful, there was no in between views.


There's a story of only one man being able to ride the Pooka while he was in the form of the horse with out falling off. This man was King Brian Boru. He used a bridle that contained three hairs from the pooka's tail. He was able to control his magic and eventually the pooka grew tired and surrendered to the king. Upon the surrender the king was granted two promises. First was that it would no longer torment Christian people by vandalizing their land and crops. Second was that it would never again attack an Irishman unless he was drunk or had an evil intent. The pooka agreed to the promises. It seems however that the creature has forgotten his promises and to this day there are claims of the Pooka. Attacks on the sober and so on and so forth.


I find this creature to be fascinating even more so that some still believe in him and still claim that he visits them every year on November 1st. It is claimed the he comes to Leinster, Ireland on this day each year. Yes, these claims are still being made. Interesting huh? Even better yet that the Easter Bunny was derived from this creature.

The pooka enjoys a good night of trickery, no matter who you are. However there are good claims of this creature as well. Perhaps he is yet another misunderstood being.

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Comments 11 comments

Princess Pitt 4 years ago

I don't know what makes me love the Irish culture sOoo much...! Interesting hub you got here..thanks for sharing. (m_m)

Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Princess Pitt, I like all kinds of mythology myself, however I am a huge fan of Celtic Lore, especially the Irish. I have Irish ancestors which makes it all the more interesting. Thank you for reading, I'm glad you liked it.

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kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

Thanks for taking my next hub idea.

Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Awww kitty, I'm sorry :( We need to keep in contact about stuff like this lol

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

Haha, agreed.

TKs view profile image

TKs view 4 years ago from The Middle Path

When I was a kid, we had a black cat my mom named pooka, because it would hide most of the day. I think nearly a week passed before my dad even noticed we had two black cats. We always named our animals after mythical creatures. Enjoyed reading your hub.

Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

That's awesome TK, that you guys always named your animals after mythical creatures. Glad you liked the hub.

Daniella Lopez profile image

Daniella Lopez 4 years ago from Arkansas

We used to call my little sister Pooka because she was always up to no good. :P

Great hub! Voted up!

Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Daniella, lol that's great. Sounds like something I should have called my brother and should still call my brother from time to time. Thank you for reading and for your comment.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Interesting hub. Never heard of the Pooka and sure hope it stays away from me!

Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 3 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Thank you... I hope it stays away as well.

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