Orcus (myth)

  Orcus, in Roman mythology, a name of the god of the lower world. Dis, or Father Dis, is another name given to the same god, although originally Orcus was rather the slayer, or angel of death; while Dis ruled the shades in the abode of the dead. The name Pluto was also in com­mon use among the Romans to designate this god. The name and character of Orcus have descended to a sort of forest elf ap­pearing in folk lore tales. He is a black, hairy monster who delights in making a meal of a good fat child, but is occasion­ally friendly and helpful to lost children who stumble upon his dwelling. The Ital­ians call him an orco; the Spanish an ogro; the English an ogre.