Quick Cryptid Snippet: The Kelpie

The Kelpie is a shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the rivers and ponds of Scotland. It has been described as appearing like that of a horse, but is also able to adopt the form of a man or a woman. This human body is often regarded as extremely beautiful and perfect all around, but there are some accounts that state that the kelpie sometimes retains some of its true horse features while in this form. Sometimes the hooves remain on the feet or hands, and sometimes the entire lower half of the body looks like that of a horse. They are also described as having hair that resembles seaweed and other aquatic plants. It is this noticeable feature that often gives away the monsters secret.

While in full horse form, the Kelpie attempts to lure unsuspecting people (often children) onto its back as if to let them ride it. Once seated, the rider becomes stuck to the Kelpies skin and is unable to remove themselves from its back . The Kelpie then runs towards a lake, pond, or river where it proceeds to drown the victim and eventually eat them. The best way to recognize that the Kelpie is more than a normal horse (in order to avoid an untimely death) is to look at its hooves. While in its true form, all four hooves of the creature are turned backwards.

Kelpies were also known to occasionally mate with normal horses. When this act occurred and offspring were produced, the resulting progeny would be black as the night and impervious to drowning. They would also have extremely short ears (uncommon for a horse), lack all ability to shape shift, and lack any desire to consume the flesh of its victims.  

Some legends claim that you can kill a Kelpie with a silver bullet or spear. Once the skin is penetrated by the silver object, the Kelpie would melt into a jelly-like substance and dissolve back into the water never to be seen again.

– The Pine Barrens Institute