Galligantus is a giant that appears in the fairy tale: "Jack the Giant Killer".
The story is a series of encounters with giants. The first is caught in a pit trap and killed, for which Jack receives a belt engraved with the words "This is the valiant Cornish man, who killed the giant Cormoran."
For this, Jack gains popularity within his village and throughout the land. He sets off on a series of challenges, where he encounters a second giant. The second, Blunderbore, is killed by being strangled with a cord along with his brother (also a giant). The third encounter is with a Welsh giant, who tries to kill Jack while he is resting at his castle. Jack is able to trick this giant, however, and also manages to trick the giant into stabbing himself at breakfast. In the fourth encounter, Jack uses his coat of 'invisibility', which he received in the castle of the third giant, to attack a giant and his brother with impunity. The final encounter is with the giant Galligantus, whom he first scares with a blast on a magic 'trumpet', then cuts off his head and sends it to King Arthur. Jack is rewarded by receiving the hand of the king's daughter in marriage.
As with most fairy tales, there are many different versions of the same story. For example, Ruth Manning-Sanders's book A Book of Giants contains six variants. In one of these versions, Jack has an uncle who is a three headed-giant, whom he tricks into giving him a sword of sharpness, boots of speed, a cloak of darkness, and a cap of knowledge.
In 1962, an American feature film adaptation of the story, starring Kerwin Mathews and Torin Thatcher, was released, directed by Nathan Juran. Two versions of this film exist. In one, the imp in the bottle speaks with an Irish voice, and in the other version the imp speaks in a high pitched sing song voice with a xylophone as back up.
- One telling of Jack the Giant Killer
- Flora Annie Steel's telling of Jack the Giant Killer, in her 1918 English Fairy Tales, from Project Gutenberg
- The Story of Jack and the Giants, by Edward Dalziel, with many illustrations. Published 1851; from the collection of the University of California Libriaries, via the Internet Archive.