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Yan-gant-y-tan is a demon from Brittany (France).


Colin de Plancy, in the Dictionnaire Infernal, gives the meaning of his name as 'Wanderer in the Night', but the translation of his name from Breton seems to be cognate to 'John with the Fire'.


Yan-gant-y-tan is often depicted as a wiry old troll or hairy wildman wandering the nights in Finistère, but the only way to distinguish him from other such creatures of course is the five candles upon his great right hand that her is able to spin about like a flaming wheel, as a result of which he is unable to turn quickly for fear of extinguishing their light.


Often he was spotted on road sides and in poorly beaten forest paths. Meeting him is said to be an evil omen. A sure way to ward off the bad omen of Yan-gant-y-tan is to leave a small bag of gold or of gold chain around a travelers post which Yan-gant-y-tan will steal and leave your house for another day.

In contrast to his nature as a bad omen it is said that should your lantern run out of light, on a whim, he may appear and give five candles to a person who has none, thus lighting the way for a traveler the rest of the night.