The sprites or fairies of German folklore. They are of two kinds. The first is a household sprite like the English brownie, helping with the housework if properly fed and treated, but mischievous, playing pranks on people. Kobolds are often given names, like "Chimmeken," "Heinze," or "Walther." The second type are underground sprites who haunt caves and mines and are often evil and malicious. The metallurgist George Landmann describes these spirits in his book De Animatibus subterraneis (1657).
(See also Elementary Spirits ; Knockers )