Ignis Fatuus is more of a phenomenon than a myth or legend, but that is still no reason for it not to be included in my ATC series on Mythical Beings and Imaginary Friends.

This particular being loves to send the spooks up unsuspecting travellers late at night. Why these late night travellers would be around a swamp or bog or marshland is beyond me, but there is always some kind of odd or dangerous element to all of these legends so we shall leave it there. Ignis Fatuus is known by many names, and just pops up like a dancing flame whenever and wherever it pleases. It poses no real threat, apart from the impish element of surprise it invokes, or the fact that it causes curious passers by to walk off their safe path and find themselves lost. It will swiftly run or fade away should anybody dare attempt to get close to it.

Its more familiar name is Will-o’ The Wisp, or Jack O’Lantern… or simply Ghost Candles when they make an appearance in graveyards.

This ATC, as with all of the others in this series has been created using pastels, gel pens and gold and silver markers. I tried to give it a little swirling and almost solid form but in reality they look more like a flickering candle flame… however, legends being legends can have their stories and appearances altered over time. This is my interpretation of a will-o’ the wisp.


Posted by Tom Merriman

A future writer living in the present day

18 Comments

  1. Ohhh! He’s really cute and endearing Tom! I think he’s lovely and clearly very cheeky just to add to his appeal!😀

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    1. Pleased you like Ol’ Ignis here, Icewolf. He is very cheeky.

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  2. ..Hmmm..so he isn’t Casper’s brother . Now you do know you have to go out at night to frog gig. Could explain why someone would be in the swamp at night. He is kinda cut but not my type.

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    1. You may be right there, Beverly… although he is no relation to Casper whatsoever – it’s just the angle that makes him look that way!
      Ahem…

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  3. These frequently fly around my neighborhood. I suspect it has something to do with my neighborhood being a former Superfund site…

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    1. That’s as good a reason as any, CM.

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  4. I’d never heard of Ignis Fatuus before, although I knew about will-o’ the wisps. I like your rendition! 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Diane. Ignis Fatuus is the Latin name (so does that make it the official one???)

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  5. He looks full of mischief !

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    1. Oh he is, Raili! He bursts out of nowhere giving everyone a heck of a fright! 😀

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  6. Oh, this character has lots of personality and seems to be full of mischief.

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    1. Thanks, Eugenia. I like how this one turned out.

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  7. Would that be any relation to ignus flatulus, which is when one eats beans and ignites emissions?

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    1. Could be, Col, although on the opposite side of the spectrum… one attracts, the other repels.

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  8. Methane can sometimes spontainiously ignite causing a brief burst of dancing flame, it is also a dangerous greenhouse gas trapped in permafrost.

    When permafrost melts you get explosions causing huge craters, so it looks like Will O’The Wisp will soon have bigger brothers!!! 🙂

    God Bless!

    Prenin.

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    1. A frightening thought, Prenin. Monster will-o’ the wisps! Perfect for Hallowe’en!

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