A Common Ground Goblin (Diabolus vulgaris)

Goblins are toad-like monsters that appear in The Spiderwick Chronicles. They serve as the main antagonists in The Seeing Stone, minor antagonists in The Wrath of Mulgarath, and deuteragonist in the film.

Field Guide descriptionEdit

Goblins (Family: AdentlifeEdit


Greater Bull Goblin

Most goblin species are born without teeth. They must find substitutes, either the teeth of other animals, or else sharp objects like glass, rock, or metals other than iron and steel.

There are many signs to look for if you suspect goblin folk are in the vicinity. Cats, dogs, and other small domesticated animals going missing is a telltale sign, as goblins will capture and eat them. Nightmares-especially of being chased-are another indication. For some reason, goblins have this effect on humans.

Certain types of goblin species haunt battlefields where many soldiers have fallen. They soak their hats in the blood of the slain and their own victims. Appropriately, they are called Redcaps. Goblins in Irish mythology are not described so grostequely, but depicted as tiny humans.

Known speciesEdit

  • Common Ground Goblin (Diabolus vulgaris)
  • Greater Bull Goblin (Diabolus invidiosus)
  • Spitting Bog Goblin (Scientific name unknown)
  • Red Cap (Scientific name unknown)
  • Gremlin  (Scientific name unknown)
  • Hobgoblin  (Diabolus praestigiator)

Additional factsEdit

  • Certain specimens of Goblins have bioluminiscent patches on their tongues they use to lure in Sprites, their favorite food. Other species have Sprite-like growths on their foreheads used to attract the tiny Faeries. Oftentimes, they make their body invisible, only leaving the anglerfish-like growths still visible.
  • Goblins have an acute sense of smell and hearing, thanks to their big nose and ears. Their large mouths allow them to swallow prey whole. Even their eyes are perfect for nocturnal activity.
  • Goblins urinate to mark their territory.
  • In the U.S.A., many recorded sightings of Redcaps have occurred in the battlefields of the Revolutionary War.
  • Goglins' large eyes can move independently of one another. Many species have a number of small, secondary eyes registering body heat like an insect.
  • Bull Goblins are known to have the ability to change their color pattern, not unlike some species of Flunders.
  • The rare goblin who is mischievous but good-natured is known as a hobgoblin.
  • Goblins and Hobgoblins are related to Knockers.
  • goblins and hob goblins eat birds.

Known GoblinsEdit

One little Goblin lived under the floorboards of the Spiderwick Estate and was "continually tormenting" the house cat, and ultimately chased it away.

A Goblin pack camped in a forest north of the Estate. This pack consisted of Claw-Snotbelly, Flowerbutt and around eight others. Hogsqueal lived with this pack until he tried to save a cat from being eaten by the other. As penance, the Goblins lock him in a cage. The pack later captured Simon Grace and a Griffin named Byron. After Jared and Mallory rescue Simon and Hogsqueal, they trick the Goblins into heading toward a hungry River Troll, who proceeds to eat them.

Mulgarath the Oger later gathered a large number of Goblins to serve as his army and elects Wormrat would be his second-in-command. At least one of these Goblins are killed by Mallory, who was brefily traumatized by killing a sentient being. After Mulgarath's death, the Goblins form themselves into squabbling bands. 

Another Goblin was eating the trash of Devon L.'s family. Devon managed to capture the Goblin, who then used glamour to look like a big toad. Devon made the Goblin promise to not eat any more trash or cats before he released it. Devon later felt good when he saw lots more cats in the neighborhood- until the neighbors' long-eared bunny disappeared.

One member of the International Sprite League kept a Goblin in a cage for years, believing it was a Sprite; he didn't have the Sight and thus couldn't see what he kept.

Another member of the ISL caught one of the above-mentioned decoy Sprites, keeping an invisible specimen in a cage. The creature remained hidden until dark, where-apon it opened its prison and mauradered its "owner's" home, eating anything fitting into its mouth.

Unfortunately, there is an organization called the Goblineers Association who specializes on keeping Goblins as pets.

Role in the filmEdit

The Goblins serve as the Deuteragonist in the film. While the Goblins in the book seem to only be green, the movie Goblins vary in shades of green, brown, and orange. They succeed in capturing Simon, and chase Simon and Jared back to the Spiderwick Mansion. Mallory fends off a group of them (including their leader Wormrat) before the rest of the army arrives. Unable to enter the house due to the circle. they surround the house, preventing anyone from leaving.

18870469 w434 h q80

Red Cap with some Goblin underlings.

They follow Jared and Mallory, as the sneak away to see Lucinda, and Wormrat succeeds in getting a few of the Field Guide's pages. From these pages, they are able to make a potion to break the circle and storm the house. However the humans are armed with tomato sauce bombs (which is fatal to Goblins) and are able to repel the Goblins attack. When Mulgarath arrives, the family is force to retreat into the kitchen. They then dump the remaining tomato bombs into the oven and setting it to explode. The dim Goblins only discover this right before the stove explodes, melting all the goblins. 

In folkloreEdit

In British folklore, a Goblin is a generally evil, prankish spirit. Goblins range from mean-sprited pranksters inspector gadget handcuffs for goblins before kidnap children.