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10 Monsters That Can Make–or Break–Your Bank

by Garth Haslam
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Money has always been a worry for people… and when they need it but don’t have it, some people may resort to supernatural means to make ends meet!

Related: 10 Evil Winter-Dwelling Beasts From Folklore

10 Jambhala

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Some people pray for money, and in some places, that might work. In Tibet, there is an actual god in charge of wealth named Jambhala, who got the job by taking the hits from rocks thrown by a demon at the Buddha. So this guy’s got some spunk!

Jambhala, however, is a Buddhist god, which means his sense of wealth and yours might not actually be the same. Jambhala is all about assisting people to get past financial worries that prevent them from pursuing a path of spiritual well-being. It’s hard to focus on spiritual improvement if you’re starving, after all. But if you’re hoping to actually be wealthy—to have more than you need—Jambhala is not going to be your go-to guy. He helps with need, not greed![1]

9 Jin Chan, the Three-Legged Frog

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In China, people ask a statue of a three-legged frog to help attract money to their households… and there’s a story that explains why.

Long, long ago in the distant past, a frog known as Jin Chan was a greedy monster that would commit any crime—even murder—to obtain more wealth, which this beast then kept in a massive hoard. A Daoist monk name Liu Hai was determined to stop the frog’s evil (and restore the local economy), and so confronted the monster at its stolen hoard. The two of them then battled for many days.

Liu Han eventually emerged victorious, having wounded Jin Chan so grievously that the monstrous frog fully expected to die… but the monk showed kindness. He nursed the injured creature back to health. Jin Chan was so moved by this that the frog decided it would no longer steal wealth; it would instead help bring wealth to those people who needed it from then on.

Because of all that, many businesses and households now have a statue of the three-legged frog, which is believed to be a charm to both attract and protect wealth. Oh, and the three legs? Some stories say Jin Chan used to have four… but it lost one during the fight with Liu Hai![2]


8 Matagot

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Some people are lucky enough to work with a monster that just plain brings in extra money.

In France, a steady stream of cash can be earned if you are lucky enough to strike up an agreement or contract with a Matagot. This animal spirit-being can be a cow, fox, or rat… but most often takes the form of a black cat. Matagots are said to bring their human partner a coin each day, assuming, of course, that the human partner keeps up their end of the agreement, which often includes feeding the spirit the first bites of food at each meal.

But be careful, for if the human partner should break their agreement, the punishment that can be brought down on them by the Matagot can be both frightful and deadly. The Matagot must either be released from the agreement or passed to another person before the human partner dies. Otherwise, the partner will linger in agony for an unknown length of time before they can finally pass away![3]

7 Tommyknockers

Creepy Folklore – The Knockers

Mining for gold, silver, and gems could be a good way to earn extra… as long as you have the right monsters helping you out.

Mining has always been a dangerous job, but in certain mines in the USA, there is said to be a group of fairy-like beings who help miners when they’re in danger. Of course, these same supernatural helpers are also said to be real pain-in-the-rear pranksters as well, occasionally making tools and food vanish. These beings are known as “Tommyknockers” because it is told that they will knock on mine walls to warn of possible cave-ins. They are also said to guide miners to rich deposits as well, which is a big help!

But remember this: Tommyknockers only help those miners they like… and they don’t like miners who say they don’t exist. If made angry, the Tommyknockers will not help or warn the miners anymore, and they may even arrange an “accident” for miners they really hate. So, if you’re a miner and you want help finding where the gold is, be sure to let the Tommyknockers know you’re a believer![4]


6 Zashiki-Warashi

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Another way to try to ease money issues might be to look for a house in Japan that is occupied by a child-like spirit known as a Zashiki-Warashi. These spirits can bring wealth and prosperity to the people living in the homes they occupy as long as these spirits are treated with kindness and respect. Well, as long as those people can also put up with the equivalent of a minor haunting.

A Zashiki-Warashi are said to only be visible to occupants of the houses they are in, and even then, it’s really rare for them to actually be seen. When seen, they most often appear to be children in old and traditional-style Japanese clothes. Typically, the presence of these beings is signaled by noises of giggling and playing about or footprints tracked through ashes or dirt on the floor… if you have a well-behaved spirit, that is. Sometimes, the Zashiki-Warashi are rough and pushy, but even such a troublemaker brings fortune to the house they live in as long as they stay.

Be careful, though; there are plenty of tales of people who have insulted or even physically hurt the Zashiki-Warashi in their homes, only to have the spirit walk out on them. When this happens, whole families have died from the resulting misfortune that immediately replaces the luck and abundance the household once had![5]

5 Iliphru

Of course, when some people worry about money, they consider getting it the old-fashioned way… stealing it from a supernatural entity!

In the region of India called Ladakh, people talk of “Iliphru,” who are essentially dwarves with three arms (the extra protrudes from their chests). These diminutive beings are active at night, and it’s advised that if you meet one, you should try to grab their hat, for if you do, the Iliphru will give you a hat-full of gold to get their headgear back.

It’s also been said that simply finding a hat or sock left behind by one of these beings is a sort of “good luck” charm because it ensures the Iliphru that lost it will often visit the finder. Does this mean you can use the lost clothing to extort money from the dwarf?[6]


4 Leprechaun

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That reminds me of another short monster that people typically associate with free cash: the leprechauns of Ireland.

It is said these beings are fairies that can lead you to a pot of gold if you manage to capture one. Of course, being led to gold and actually getting it are two different things… one man was led to a bush in a field of bushes and told the gold was under it. He marked it with his scarf and made the leprechaun swear to not touch the marker before releasing the fairy and running home to fetch a shovel. When he arrived back at the field, every single bush in that huge field had a scarf identical to his own tied to it!

No one seems to ask why leprechauns have gold to begin with. Leprechauns fix shoes for other fairies… and the gold people try to take is what the leprechaun earned through its own work. Little wonder they don’t want to just hand the treasure over![7]

3 Toyol

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While some people in need of money are willing to steal it, very few of them want to be punished for doing so. Therefore, some enterprising people just get a monster to do the stealing for them. One such monster is the toyol, a sort of zombie from Malaysia.

To make a toyol, start with a dead infant and then use a little black magic to resurrect them into a sort of “helper.” A toyol will perform anything it is told to by its master, from theft to murder. Not surprisingly, toyol look like unhealthy children—they can be dried out in appearance and are often now depicted as having green skin. These creatures are minorly intelligent and independent, so they can follow orders fairly well, and they are usually very loyal to their creators. Toyols, however—despite being physically child-like themselves—literally do not play well with children and will become actively violent to child and master alike if a child comes to live in the same house.

By the way, in case you don’t want to dig up a dead child and play with black magic yourself, you can always try to inherit control of a toyol from someone who has one already when they die. But first, you do have to know someone with a toyol![8]


2 Mammon

Mammon, The Demon That Can Make You Rich

By the way, I mentioned all the somewhat unsavory ways you could gain wealth from monsters as a way of testing you. If you thought to yourself, “Yeah, I would totally dig up a dead child, rob a fairy, or extort a dwarf for more cash,” then you might have already encountered one of the biggest monsters in relation to wealth: the high demon named Mammon.

According to Christian beliefs going waaaaay back, Mammon is the demon in charge of GREED itself. It’s Mammon’s goal to prevent people from doing good deeds during their lives that would spiritually help them when they die. The main way Mammon interferes with this is by ensnaring a victim’s intellect and heart around an unnatural desire to obtain wealth, a greed so strong that it justifies even the most hideous of acts on the part of those most deeply ensnared.

So, yeah, again… if any of the really immoral ways of earning money above appeal to you, maybe swing by a Christian church to ask for an exorcism, ‘kay?[9]

1 Yeongno

Yeongno: This Korean Demon EATS the Rich

Oh, and one more little warning. If you really do manage to get well and truly rich, maybe avoid Korea.

There are tales there that tell of a group of monsters known as Yeongno, which are a type of demon or dragon. According to the stories, these Yeongno were tossed out of the Korean equivalent of Heaven for unnamed crimes. Now, they all wander the country looking for aristocrats and nouveau riche to eat. This is because if a Yeongno eats 100 rich and snobby people, then that Yeongno can return to Heaven… which kind of tells you a lot about Heaven’s opinion of rich people![10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

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