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Nightgaunts (also Night-Gaunts) are a race of creatures which appear in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.


Spindly black humanoids, Nightgaunts have a tough, leathery skin, inward-curving horns, a whiplike tail with a barbed tip, vicious talons which they supposedly use to "tickle" their victims into submission, and large bat-like wings. They are universally silent, emitting no vocalisations and making not a sound even when in motion, but are known to dislike flying over water.


The Nightgaunts are known to haunt various locations across the cosmos; some Gaunts serve the Elder God Nodens, the Lord of the Great Abyss; others suckle at the black breasts of the Outer God Yibb-Tstll and do her dark bidding; while others still guard the vast extinct volcano Ngranek deep in the Dreamlands, where they are sometimes mounted and ridden by the ghouls that inhabit that cursed place.



  • Night-Gaunts (1929), H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (1943), H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Clock of Dreams (1978), Brian Lumley
  • Nightgaunts appear as a lesser antagonist in Fantasy Flights' Arkham Horror board game.


  • Nightgaunts were originally inspired by a recurrent nightmare Lovecraft had as a child of around six or seven.
  • The appearance of the Nightgaunt is clearly inspired by that of the gods of dreams, nightmares and sleep from late classical Graeco-Roman mythology, in which Morpheus, Hypnos and their family are described as possessing this appearance.

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