Goblin Universe

The phrase Goblin Universe” is often applied to the earth’s supernatural and otherwise esoteric residents. Long ago classification systems were created for legendary beings and entities of the Goblin Universe.

As the anthropologist John Napier points out, this kind of sorting became so detailed that classical Greek mythology, for example, recognized three types of Cyclopes.

“Goblin Universe” was first used popularly in Napier’s much-read Bigfoot (1972). Nevertheless, the Goblin Universe figured in scholarly discussions about Bigfoot and, by extension, cryptozoology in general as early as 1964. Among the first places it appeared was in “Unknown Hominids and New World Legends,” by Bacil F. Kirtley, Western Folklore,vol. XXIII, April 1964, no. 2. Most people, however, incorrectly cite Napier as the source of the phrase.

F.W. Holiday’s book The Goblin Universe (1986), published seven years after his death, combined the author’s early Lake Monster research with occult speculations about the nature of the beasts. Soon Goblin Universe came to mean paranormal explanations, though that is not entirely what Napier or Holiday had in mind. Before his death (and too late to put his revised views into print), Holiday would reject such approaches, returning to an earlier conviction that Lake Monsters are animals in the biological sense.


The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark

Cryptozoologists commonly refer to creatures that have never been proven to exist in the real world as being part of the “goblin universe.” This phrase was first used in the 1960s and later popularized through two books, anthropologist John Napier’s Bigfoot (1972) and lake monster researcher F.W. Holiday’s The Goblin Universe (1986). In these and other early mentions of the goblin universe, the phrase was simply meant to distinguish unidentified creatures from identified creatures. Today, however, goblin universe is sometimes intended to suggest an otherworldly origin for mysterious creatures.



The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning