Ankou

Ankou is a creature representing death in the Breton mythology. He is also called the “king of dead.” There many different descriptions of the Ankou's appearance. Some local tales describe Ankou as a man or skeleton holding a scythe. There are also tales with him as a man-like shadow wearing an old hat with a scythe in his hand. He sits on a cart into which he puts dead people. The cart is often pulled by two horses. One of these horses is old and very thin. The one is young and full of strength. There are also descriptions where the cart is pulled by four horses. Some beliefs mention him as the first child of Adam and Eve. In certain tales Ankou is the first person who dies in certain year. This person collects dead people before going to the afterlife.

Ankou
Ankou

Here is one of numerous tales about Ankou. It was night. Three drunk men have been returning home. Suddenly they came across an old man on his cart. They started throwing stones at him. They broke an axle on the cart. Two men then ran away. One man stayed. He felt sorry for the old man. He replaced the broken axle with a branch. He tied it to the cart with one of his shoelaces. In the morning two men who ran away were found dead. The hair of the one who stayed turned all white. He always refused to talk what exactly had happened that night.