Originating from Germanic folklore, the imp was a small lesser goblin. Imps were often mischievous rather than evil or harmful (goblins in Germanic legend were not necessarily evil), and in some regions, they were portrayed as attendants of the gods.
Imps are often shown as small and not very attractive creatures. Their behavior is described as being wild and uncontrollable, much the same as fairies, and in some cultures, they were considered the same beings, both sharing the same sense of free spirit and enjoyment of all things fun. It was later in history that people began to associate fairies with being good and imps with being malicious and evil. However, both creatures were fond of pranks and misleading people. Most of the time, the pranks were harmless fun, but some could be upsetting and harmful, such as switching babies or leading travellers astray in places with which they were not familiar. Though imps are often thought of as being immortal, many cultures believed that they could be damaged or harmed by certain weapons and enchantments, or be kept out of people's homes by the use of wards.
Even if the imp was successful in getting the friendship it sought, it often still played pranks and jokes on its friend, either out of boredom or simply because this was the nature of the imp. This trait gave way to using the term "impish" for someone who loves pranks and practical jokes. Being associated with hell and fire, imps take a particular pleasure from playing with temperatures.
To this end, it came to be believed that imps were the familiar spirit servants of witches and warlocks, where the little demons served as spies and informants. During the time of the witch hunts, supernatural creatures such as imps were sought out as proof of witchcraft, though often, the so-called "imp" was typically a black dog, black cat, lizard, toad, or some other form of uncommon pet.
- 5/5 my favorite mythological creature5% (1)21% (3)11% (4)Vote
- 4/5 i like it a lot14% (3)14% (2)14% (5)Vote
- 3/5 meh they are ok41% (9)57% (8)47% (17)Vote
- 2/5 i dont really like it23% (5)0% (0)14% (5)Vote
- 1/5 i hate it0% (0)8% (1)3% (1)Vote
- 0/5 worst mythological creature ever!5% (1)0% (0)3% (1)Vote
- WTF is an Imp?12% (3)0% (0)8% (3)Vote
Most Helpful Guy
This is the only Imp I believe in: