Finland is considered to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with many thousands of kilometres of untouched forests that span as far as the eye can see.

The people of the country also boast a rich and complex mythology that has been a part of their generation for countless generations, and in that time, a host of legendary creatures and cryptids have become part of their ancestors’ belief systems.

While we may not have any evidence of these creatures today, there are still many out there that believe these creatures lurk within the lakes and forests that make up much of the country, and like many mythical cryptids, have had a profound impact on the mythologies of the ancient people that reside in Finland. Here we will look at some of the most famous mythical creatures that inhabit the wild areas of the country.

1. The Haltija

The Haltija are what other cultures would call gnomes or elves, and are believed to live around much of the country. There are many different kinds out there, such as tonttu, which are house elves that provided the inspiration for the elves that help Santa Claus in his workshop.

There are also water Haltija, which come out of the ocean, and wear clothing that is made out of stones. These are benevolent spirits that can be asked to help with the curing of disease or the cutting down of trees.

2. Peikko

A rough equivalent of the peikko in western cultures would be the bogeyman and is a feared and powerful entity that lurks in the wilder parts of the country. They can change size at will, go completely invisible, and can sleep for up to a century at a time.

Over the years, the peikko has become something to be feared, known for kidnapping unsuspecting children that get lost in the woods.

3. The Keiju

The Keiju could be considered as something of a fairy, are consist of small and extremely attract creatures humanoid in most ways except for the wings that can be found on their backs. They reside within meadows as well as forest ponds, and are similar in many ways to the fey, which are found in pagan beliefs.

The Keiju are quite shy and will try their best to try and avoid human interaction as much as possible, but if a person does happen to stumble across one while taking a walk outside after a few hours of; they are known to be friendly and will happily dance.

4. Otso

Otso are an incredibly important part of Finnish mythology, and the ancestors of modern Finns often worshipped them as gods. They are depicted as the spirits of bears and are the kings of the forest. They are regarded as both powerful, divine, and greatly intelligent.

If a bear was killed or discovered dead, the ancient Finns would perform a ceremony where they would remove the skull from the bear and leave it in a special clearing, along with an assortment of sacrificial offerings.