Gello, a young woman from the isle of Lesbos, died without bearing children. The spiritual ramification of this is that, having left no descendents, she cannot assume the functions of an ancestral spirit. Instead, Gello became a killer ghost. In revenge for her own untimely death, Gello preys upon the children of women whose maternity she envies.

Gello the baby killer eventually developed into a much feared Demon. Like the Lamia, Gello multiplied. The plural of Gello is Gelloudes. The Gelloudes, multiple manifestations of Gello, almost like clones, spread out so that they could do even more damage. The Gelloudes are now considered a distinct class of spirit, classified as Exotika.

Gello survived the abolition of Pagan religions, continuing to prey on babies although now combated by saints, especially Saint Sisinius. According to one legend, Gello killed the children of Melitene, the saint’s sister. He pursued her, determined to end her reign of terror. Gello fled, shape-shifting to avoid detection, but was eventually trapped. Gello was forced to cough up a list of twelve and a half names, which protect against her depredations. Post the names so that they’re visible and Gello will leave you alone. Alternatively, the sight of the name Sisinius is sufficient to keep her away. (A large cottage industry in Sisinius amulets once existed.)

Gello and the Gelloudes have never disappeared, remaining a fixture of modern Greek folklore. Newborns and young babies who fail to thrive are described as “eaten by Gello.” In addition to Sisinius amulets, Ethiopian magic scroll amulets are designed to protect against her. Because Gello may kill babies slowly, time may exist to expel her. This modern ritual is intended to supplement medical intervention, not replace it:


This entire spell must be accomplished between sunset and dawn.

Go to the shore at sunset; your goal is to collect forty small round stones thrown up by forty waves (one stone per wave). It may be necessary to wait for more than forty waves. Only one stone may be obtained per wave.

If you are unable to collect forty stones by sunrise, go home, leaving whatever you’ve collected. Begin anew at sunset. (However, this is an inauspicious sign and should stimulate intensified prayer and petition. If the spirits are with you and luck is on your side, then the stones will appear quickly.)

When forty stones are collected, take them home and boil them in vinegar.

Allow the vapors to permeate your home. (Do not feed the potion to the baby. This spell is not for internal consumption.) Gello’s influence will allegedly be broken by dawn.


Gyllou (Ethiopia)




Gello is an amazing shape-shifter who takes completely unexpected forms. Saint Sisinius once discovered her in the guise of a single goat hair clinging to a king’s beard.


  • Ancestor
  • Exotika
  • Ghost
  • Lamia
  • Lilith


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.