Who are Gremlins, are they dangerous to humans

Advertisement · Scroll to continue

(ORDO NEWS) — Unlike many other mythical creatures, gremlins are relatively recent. These small, malevolent creatures are characterized by an ardent hatred of technology. They do not directly harm people, but people can be hurt because of their actions.

The origins of everything

It is assumed that gremlins have not existed for very long in English folklore. How old they are is not known, but they are clearly younger than the same gnomes or dragons. Now it is not even possible to say exactly where exactly the term “gremlin” came from. According to one version, it was invented by the writer Roald Dahl, who published the first book about these creatures. According to the other, the basis for this word is the Irish gruaimin, which means “evil little joker” in translation. Fremlin’s beer, supposedly a favorite drink of English pilots, is also called the progenitor of the term.

According to the original concepts of gremlins, these lop-eared green-skinned creatures first lived in underground labyrinths, from where the race later decided to move closer to human civilization (and to the mechanisms that they simply adore). The paws of gremlins are soft, covered with wool, they step on them lightly and carefully, almost inaudibly. The “ritual” of death of these creatures is also interesting: a dead gremlin is always struck by lightning, after which the corpse is completely burned up (accordingly, if a gremlin dies in a human house, lightning strikes this house, and the gremlin can burn out in a fire). This is why humans have never found the dead bodies of gremlins.

In addition to mechanisms, gremlins are partial to underground spaces. Entire colonies of gremlins live, for example, in subway tunnels. In addition, they love the scrap metal dumps where gremlins create full-fledged cities. And, of course, these creatures get very angry when the people of their city, unknowingly, destroy.

World War II gremlins

These creatures began to experience their “renaissance” in the 40s of the last century. Then, during the Second World War, English pilots believed that it was the gremlins who were to blame for various technical problems that followed the aircraft. At the same time, a stereotype began to take shape that gremlins do not like technology, therefore they break everything they can get to. However, over time, it somehow happened by itself that the gremlins are not bad guys at all, and in general they break only German aircraft, thereby helping to win the Battle of Britain. Tales of gremlins have become famous aviators’ folklore, much the same as tales of “Soldier Kilroy” for the infantry who fought on the Western Front. Around the same time, the term “gremlin effect” appeared, which denotes cases of unexplained failure of equipment, by all indications, completely serviceable.

gremliny i131376 2

Dahl’s book was also the most “toothless” work on gremlins. The fact is that Roald wrote a children’s book, in which the gremlins are trying to destroy English planes because people previously destroyed their house when building a factory for the production of the same planes. But in the end, gremlins and English pilots join forces in the battle against German pilots in World War II …

The cartoon creatures from Roald Dahl’s book have been described in sufficient detail. Outwardly, they looked more like funny, hardworking little people than scary monsters with green skin. Dahl’s book was illustrated, and in the pictures in the guise of gremlins, the style of cartoons from the Disney studio was clearly seen. In addition, the way of life of creatures is interesting. Little gremlins were called “widgets” or “pieces” in Russian. These creatures were asexual and chose what to become: a man or a woman – when they grew up a little. The female gremlins were called the Fifinella.

gremliny i131376 3

The book was commissioned by the famous Walt Disney studio, and a feature-length cartoon of the same name based on it was also planned. However, Disney eventually abandoned the cartoon due to some copyright problems for gremlins (although these creations later appeared in the Epic Mickey game series). Thus, the world was deprived of the first full-length film adaptation of the gremlins. And it took almost 40 years for these fantasy creatures to get to the big screens – but now in the format of a full-length film.

Gremlins in the movies

Strictly speaking, gremlins first appeared on screens back in the 40s of the last century, in the Warner Bros. cartoons, where these creatures met, for example, Bugs Bunny and other animals of this company. Then gremlins were depicted as small creatures with wings and duck beaks. For example, Bugs Bunny had to fight one of the gremlins aboard a falling bomber in 1943 – and the gremlin became one of the few creatures that could defeat Bugs Bunny in a fight.

The next important appearance of the gremlin in the cinema took place in one of the episodes of the famous TV show “The Twilight Zone”. Of course, big screens were out of the question, but the story for TV, based on the story “A Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” by Richard Matheson, turned out to be very stylish and atmospheric, and its plot became so exciting that it subsequently received a remake in a full-length version ” The Twilight Zone ”, which includes several separate stories.


The original 25-minute black and white film is set aboard an airplane. One of the passengers, businessman Arthur Wilson, sees through the window a large shaggy humanoid creature that runs along the wing of an airplane, first examines it, and then tries to damage the engine. At the same time, none of the other passengers on the plane notices the gremlin – as soon as someone else looks through the window, the creature is constantly blown away by the wind, then it just goes away by itself. As a result, Wilson shoots the gremlin with a revolver stolen from one of the passengers. After the plane arrived on the ground, when Wilson was taken out in a straitjacket, we were shown a close-up of the damage to the wing and the gremlin blood present there … Subsequently, this episode of the series was repeatedly parodied in various motion pictures and animated series.

But the real fame came to the gremlins after the release of two films about these creatures at once. The films Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch shaped the image of these creatures as many imagine them today.

Initially, gremlins (also called “mogwai”) are very cute, cute, fluffy creatures with big eyes. They are kind and affectionate, have the rudiments of speech (rather, they do not utter, but simply repeat the words they heard earlier, correlating them with specific people or animals). However, these fluffy good-natures can be very dangerous if you do not follow the rules of caring for them.

First of all, you cannot wet the mogwai, because after that, fluffy lumps are separated from their bodies, from which other mogwai are formed. Accordingly, the more the mogwai gets wet, the more people like it appear from its fur. But it is much worse if you feed the mogwai at night. It was after this, in place of the woolen and good-natured creature, a strange cocoon appears, from which an aggressive gremlin later crawls out!

By the way, gremlins are the exact opposite of good-natured mogwai. These creatures are hairless, with sharp large teeth and large ears dangling on either side of the head. Like mogwai, gremlins can multiply when wet. In addition, they are extremely aggressive – it seems that they are just having fun, but the games of the gremlins from the films are not limited to a banal breakdown of equipment. In films, these creatures easily kill many people, so the dilogy is still not recommended for children to watch. These creatures very often bite and beat their enemies with their paws, however, in addition, gremlins are smart enough to also use melee weapons and firearms in fights. The gremlins from the film also have weak points: both fluffy good-natures and hairless aggressors equally dislike sunlight. Otherwise, they are just like ordinary people.

1 gremliny

As for the genre of cinematic “Gremlins” – these are rather two “black comedies”, with a large number of corpses (both among people and among gremlins), but absolutely not scary. True, the original version of the script was much more terrifying than the “cute” horror movie that came out in the end. In this version, for example, there was a scene of a gremlins attack on a McDonald’s restaurant. Moreover, the attackers ate absolutely all the people in the restaurant, but did not touch the inedible, in their opinion, hamburgers.

In addition to the films, the book “Gremlins” was also on sale at that time, the plot of which largely overlaps with the events of the first motion picture. The book claims that the Mogwai are aliens, which finally separates them from those creatures that existed in English folklore of the 40s.

Rumor has it that Warner Bros. is busy with a new film about these creatures. And it is not yet known what exactly it will be: an old, good “black comedy” in the style of the first films, or a restart, which, in the best traditions of our time, will become “darker and more realistic” – and then we will get a real large-scale horror film, than- then resembling a zombie movie. We are quite happy with both options.

Gremlins in literature

However, the negative image of the gremlins, which has become canonical, is not accepted by everyone. Even before the films were released, the famous master of horror stories Harlan Ellison wrote the story “Together with the Little People.” In this short story, gremlins are little people who help write stories for an uninspired author. It’s even strange that a man like Harlan Ellison could create such a kind fairy tale. It was just from him that one should expect more bloody and horror. Nevertheless, it turned out how it happened – “Together with the little people” can be read by those who do not like horror and fantasy. The first is not here at all, the second is the very minimum. Rather, it’s just a short and entertaining story for the evening.

2 gremliny

It is especially worth highlighting such an interesting phenomenon as the “Kremlin”. In some literary works, this is the name for the special gremlins who are in the service of the Kremlin. Like their British counterparts, many of the Kremlin took part in World War II, helping Russian soldiers and officers to fight the Nazis.

Fantasy world gremlins

Unlike orcs, goblins, and other such creatures, gremlins are not frequent visitors to the fantasy worlds. Nevertheless, there are still several fantasy projects on the account of these shorties. For example, gremlins are included in the famous role-playing system Dungeons & Dragons. Outwardly, they are not at all like the monsters from full-length films. No, in fantasy, gremlins are a race with their own way of life, whose representatives outwardly resemble little men with somewhat deformed faces. What unites them with gremlins from other works of art is that they also do not like mechanisms and are constantly trying to break something. Accordingly, they harm members of other races who hunt and kill gremlins.

3 gremliny

Those who have played Heroes of Might and Magic probably know the gremlins there. Here they are already big warriors, human-sized, using firearms. As troops, however, they are rather weak. But they have repair skills – they know how to repair military mechanisms.

Today, gremlins are also used in simple flash toys for office workers. And by the release of the first full-length film, in 1984, the game Gremlins went on sale for DOS. Here we played as a bank clerk, Billy, against the gremlins. Some interesting features were introduced in the game, such as a time limit until 6 am. In addition, the plot of the project reflected the features of the film script – for example, the ability of gremlins to share in water. In addition to gremlins, there are also mogwai in the game that turn into gremlins after having a snack (moreover, food in Gremlins is often lying on the floor). The graphics in the game are terrible, but nothing more could be asked of 1984.

But in the days of 8-bit consoles, a project based on the plot of the movie “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” was very popular. In this game, we took control of a furry moghwy that sought to destroy its fearsome greenskin fellow gremlins. To fight enemies, the Mogwai used various weapons. Well, and the graphics itself – it became much nicer on consoles than on DOS.

Toy gremlins

Many children of the 90s, such as the author of these lines, perfectly remember the time when peculiar fantasy warriors were very popular, possessing completely human bodies and moving arms into which, if desired, weapons could be inserted. Some of these toys have the heads of animals such as rams and horses. Others were with the heads of fantasy monsters such as goblins, orcs, skeletons – yes, of course, among these creatures there were also gremlins. In the toy version, these were aggressive monsters with bared mouths and large characteristic ears. And it was precisely the goblins and gremlins that enjoyed the greatest popularity among children. Interestingly, the then children knew practically nothing about the gremlins, except for their name. However, even then, all the boys associated this word with a grinning and eared creature. Understanding that Who they are, and how they differ from other monsters, came much later … Subsequently, several more similar toys were released, made in an even more fantasy style. This is not to say that they turned out to be very popular, nevertheless, many children remember them. And on the other hand, there are also series of toys based on the films of the Gremlins dilogy and on the book by Roald Dahl. Each series has its own fans, although these toys differ greatly from each other.

4 gremliny

Over time, the gremlins have evolved into something similar to the American “urban legends”. Superstitious people believed that these little creatures live in various technical devices (up to bicycles) and break them. It is also believed that gremlins are big lovers of a mixture of beer and machine oil, which can “appease” little people. It is quite possible that their image will radically change (once again) precisely after the release of a new film about these creatures. We can only wait and hope that the motion picture is just around the corner.

Prototypes in the cultures of other peoples

In the mythology of other peoples, there are creatures that vaguely resemble gremlins or perform similar functions.

  1. Yehudi is a creature of American folklore who staggers around and gets underfoot. It looks like a gremlin, but it is too lazy to do anything on its own.
  2. Skazzamurieddu – in Italian mythology, mischievous brownies who amuse themselves by teasing children and hiding small things. If they are pissed off, they begin to organize pogroms and break everything they can get their hands on.
  3. Servans – in the mythology of Switzerland and northern Italy, house spirits that plot against people. They settle near the hearth. They love to steal various necessary things, spoil food and mock pets.
  4. Lantukhi – in Jewish folklore, petty imps who have fun, causing petty troubles to others. Not dangerous.
  5. Pixies are small winged fairies in British mythology. They are distinguished by an evil character and a constant desire to arrange nasty things on people.
  6. Sinister is the prototype of gremlins in Slavic folklore.
  7. Matokhi – also belong to the world of Slavic mythical creatures. They spend most of their time invisible, inciting children to leprosy.

gremliny i131376 9

Gremlins appearance

gremliny i131376 10

Modern mythology describes several types of gremlins at once. Each of them specializes in one type of equipment, which he breaks and spoils. Common features of all gremlins are very small stature (no more than 50 cm, there are much less), long ears, sharp teeth and developed fingers. In most gremlins, the whole body, except for the legs, is covered with small scales, and the legs are covered with hair, so it is impossible to hear their movement.

There are references to several types of gremlins:

  • Greens are the most common variety; they gravitate towards large equipment;
  • Blue – slightly less than green congeners, attack small household appliances;
  • Grays are small creatures that damage wristwatches and other small equipment;
  • Fuel drinkers – live in any means of transportation, cause high fuel consumption;
  • Princess – distracts pilots and drivers while driving.

gremliny i131376 11

The word gremlin itself, translated from Irish, means “evil gnome” or “evil joker”. All small pests move quickly and practically do not catch the eye of a person.

Gremlins’ abilities

gremliny i131376 12

Gremlins have developed incredible technical skills. They are able to quickly figure out any device and find a way to break it. But their high intelligence is narrowly directed – in everything that does not concern technology, gremlins show very weak mental abilities. They do not know how to concentrate on any business, they are very sloppy, lacking the instinct of self-preservation.

Gremlins are creatures with supernatural powers. These creatures are able to send visions to people, tell them the wrong decisions, whisper and sing in different voices. Some pilots talked about a separate subspecies – the whispering gremlins. They distract pilots greatly, give them false guidance. The Gremlin Princess is believed to be of this subspecies.


gremliny i131376 13

The mythical creatures of the gremlins multiply rapidly, but how they do it – there is no definite answer. According to the most common legend, a larva separates from an adult, which first pupates, and then develops into a new adult. The first instance and its descendants may look like completely different life forms. For example, the first individual may have more developed intelligence, while its offspring will be stupid. For the original adult to reproduce, it must be exposed to water. Another option is that it happens on its own after a certain time.

Also in mythology, there is no consensus about the field of gremlins. Some legends claim that these creatures are hermaphrodite or asexual, and each individual can reproduce. Others mention that the creatures are male and female. Female gremlins are called Fifinella.


The creatures themselves have several varieties. They differ in character, appearance and manner of appearance. Also, each subspecies of these creatures is responsible for incapacitating a specific part of the mechanism.

Gremlins classification:

  1. Gremlin princess. Sends visions to pilots, distracting them from the flight.
  2. George the White-bearded Bummer. Always sits next to the antenna that is responsible for communication with the ground and blocks transmission.
  3. Fat gremlins. They are unevenly distributed throughout the aircraft, making specific parts heavier and unbalancing. They cannot be removed before landing. Outwardly, they resemble green balls, but their actual weight is much higher than it looks visually.
  4. Ice or high-altitude. They are considered the most dangerous. They cover the engine with ice crusts, turning it off. They have a blue color, increased body hairiness, six legs and long ears.
  5. Fuel drinkers. They live next to fuel tanks. They never part with the pipes through which they drink fuel. Red noses are a characteristic feature of their appearance.
  6. Whisperers. Instills in pilots doubts about the correctness of their actions. Basically, they act in poor visibility when the aircraft is controlled by instruments.
  7. Whistling in the wind. Thanks to special slits on the pants, they emit a whistle that pilots perceive as wind. They believe that the plane is flying faster than the instruments show and slow down. This could lead to a fall.
  8. Handymen. The smallest representatives of the species. Have a grayish color. They tickle pilots, switch the receiver, or throw mud at the windshield.
  9. Ground. Performing their dirty tricks on the ground during pre-flight checks. Tools are often stolen from mechanics.
  10. Fainting. They drop heavy things on people’s heads or cloud their consciousness with visions. They are trying by any means to incapacitate the pilots.

Pest control

In modern folklore, several ways have appeared to deal with gremlins and their dirty tricks:

gremliny i131376 14

  • To cajole – offer a saucer of beer or machine oil. After that, small creatures will cease to harm;
  • Distract – leave a broken device in a conspicuous place, in which gremlins can dig with pleasure without harming the rest of the equipment;
  • Scare – often and carefully inspect constantly breaking equipment. So you can not only find out what the gremlins look like, but also scare the secretive creatures;
  • Give names. This is also a manifestation of attention to the gremlins, which can scare them. It is also believed that creatures with a name have a personality, they become more developed and lose interest in spoiling technology;
  • Destroy – turn on bright lights or loud music.

You can use more modern methods of struggle – for example, try to shoot gremlins in a photo or video – from such attention they should scatter and never return.

All about gremlins and mogwis from the movie

In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about gremlins and mogwis, their biology, abilities, weaknesses, and much more.

Who are the mogwai and gremlins?

First, a little history. The word “mogwai” originates from ancient Chinese mythology and has several translations: these are spirits, and devils, and even monsters.

Initially, they were all evil demons who took great pleasure in causing pain and suffering to people, as well as humiliating them in every possible way.

In legends, the Mogwai bred during the rainy seasons, but the gremlins appeared much later. These creatures, like the word itself, were invented by pilots of the Royal Air Force of Great Britain in the 1920s.

Gremlins were very gifted mechanics, but due to their mischievous nature, they could either help fix something or make an airplane or other equipment unusable.

Subsequently, the eared creatures began to blame for everything: they dulled knives, lowered the wheels, turned on cold water instead of hot.

Gremlins have been responsible for numerous misfortunes and catastrophes in human history.

According to the book on the film, it was because of them that World War II began.

Of course, for the films, the Mogwai and Gremlins have been heavily reworked, while leaving certain traits and abilities intact.

Both of them became representatives of the same species, the life cycle of which is divided into three stages: mogwai -> cocoon -> gremlin.

Moreover, the last 2 stages are a mistake made when creating these creatures on a distant planet located several million light years from Earth.

Who created the mogwa and gremlins?

Thanks to the official novelization, it is known that the Mogwai were created by an ingenious and very kind scientist named McTurman. The main goal of the calm and peaceful fur balls was to spread kindness and peace throughout the galaxy.

That is why the Mogvais were made perfect organisms capable of surviving on any planet and in any conditions, as well as they were given the opportunity to reproduce asexually at an incredible speed.

By order of the galactic council, the creatures were sent to planets whose populations were unable to settle their
differences peacefully.

However, McTurman, despite his genius, made several mistakes in his research, due to which only the first batch of Mogwai was good, and all those who emerged from them subsequently became evil and insidious creatures.

What the mogwai look like

They are small, from 30 to 70 centimeters, fluffy, rodent-like creatures. They have large ears and three short, plump fingers and toes.

5 gremliny

Fully good and the very first Mogwai, such as Gizmo, are called eternal because of their long lifespan exceeding several thousand years.

Evil mogwai and gremlins do not live long, only a few years, which further aggravates their already immoral behavior, and also arouses in them hatred of eternal powers and can learn any language, but are not able to fully speak it, limiting themselves to individual words and in short phrases.

This is due to the fact that their thought process is so fast that they are not able to express in words what they think.

The creatures are very energetic, love to dance, sing and eat, and are incredibly curious, which is why they often get into trouble.

The fur is usually white, brown, black, or orange, and on rare occasions gremlins and evil magwai have distinctive external features such as mohawks on their heads, longer claws on their hands, or increased intelligence.

All this, together or separately, is of great importance in the primitive social structure of a given race, making such representatives of the species the leaders.

All mogwai are capable of curling up into a ball, thus moving at great speed. Also, the creatures are very vindictive and forever remember the person who offended them, trying to punish him in all available ways.

This moment is very clearly visible in the film – gremlins and evil mogwai began to attack and even kill people only after they showed aggression towards them.

If you become the owner of a mighty, then you should follow three rules:

  • protect the creature from bright artificial light, which causes him severe discomfort and even pain, and prolonged contact with sunlight completely leads to death
  • Mogwai should not be soaked in plain water, given to drink or bathed in it. It is water that is responsible for the reproduction of the creature and in just one minute creates from 4 to 6 adults. However, alcohol, juice or soda does not have the same effect.
  • The most important thing is that the Mogwai should not be fed after midnight, no matter how much he asked, because otherwise he will form cocoons around him, from which gremlins will eventually appear.

Cocoons and gremlins, as well as behavioral patterns, are defects that were not noticed when the mogwai were created.

If all newly born pussies became spoiled and mischievous, then having turned into gremlins, they finally lost any positive qualities.

Gremlins – enemies or helpers?

According to the last of the legends, earlier gremlins were really not evil entities, they were kind helpers, like our brownies. They knew how to repair objects, made trinkets, loved to destroy anthills and bird nests.

Monsters were always ready to help a person, and people began to use it. Over time, the creatures realized that in fact, no one appreciates them and their work goes unnoticed. This annoyed the little creatures, at some point they got angry, began to use their knowledge to harm.

Later, the gremlins began to destroy whatever equipment they could get their hands on. Some of the pilots especially believe in these creatures. They believe that all malfunctions on board are due to their machinations. According to one version, the word gremlin came from the use of the Irish word “gruaimin”, which means “evil gnome” or “evil joker”, with a combination of the name of Fremlin’s, beloved by pilots.


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.

Advertisement · Scroll to continue
Sponsored Content