A bluecap is a brownie or spirit who worked in the mines of Northern England as a putter, a man or boy employed to push wagons out of the mines. They were usually unseen, appearing only as a blue light;[1] miners would sometimes see the flickering light settle on a full tub of coal, transporting it as though “impelled by the sturdiest sinews”.[2] If treated with respect, bluecaps might even lead miners to rich deposits of minerals.[3]

The blucaps were said to be hard workers, but unlike other brownies they expected to be paid a working-man’s wage. Their payment was left in a solitary corner of the mine, and they would accept no more or less than they were owed, the same as any other putter.[2]



Allen, J. (2005). Fantasy Encyclopedia. Kingfisher Books.
Briggs, K. M. (1979). Abbey Lubbers, Banshees, & Boggarts. Kestrel Books.
Briggs, K. M. (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogeys and Other Supernatural Creatures. Pantheon Books.