In the magical tale of Aladdin in 'The Arabian Nights', the genie that suddenly appears out of the lamp is powerful, playful and utterly mysterious. Supernatural, shape-shifting figures have been given many names over the ages - genie, demon, spirit, ghoul, shaitan and jinn. Those who have seen them believe jinn shadow us in our daily lives, causing endless mischief, providing amazing services and sometimes inducing sheer terror. Legends of the Fire Spirits explores the enduring phenomenon of the jinn. From North Africa to Central Asia, from the Mediterranean to sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, this riveting book draws on long-forgotten ancient testimonies, medieval histories, colonial records, anthropologists' reports and travellers' tales to explore the different types of jinn, their behaviour, society, culture and long history of contact with humankind. It documents their links with famous figures in history and illustrates the varied and vivid portrayals of jinn in world literature.