We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about the Ifrit.
An ifrit is a type of djinn in the folklore of several Islamic cultures. Like all djinn, they were created by God and have free will, but they are usually depicted as evil and cunning.
They are associated with the element of fire and are usually depicted as immensely strong beings with large wings, a demonic appearance, and black skin. They can be either male or female. They prefer to live in caves or underground or in ruins and have complex societies with tribes and kings. They cannot be harmed by ordinary means, but they can be tricked and can also be killed or compelled to perform tasks by magic. In the Qur’an, King Solomon is said to have controlled an entire tribe of ifrit. There are also several stories about cunning ifrit in One Thousand and One Nights.
I mention the ifrit and other creatures from Turkish folklore in my novel Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book I: Yasamin.