Trials of Nyarlathotep
“Shocking and uncouth black things with smooth, oily, whale-like surfaces, unpleasant horns that curved inward toward each other, bat wings whose beating made no sound, ugly prehensile paws, and barbed tails that lashed needlessly and disquietingly. And worst of all, they never spoke or laughed, and never smiled because they had no faces at all to smile with, but only a suggestive blankness where a face ought to be. All they ever did was clutch and fly and tickle; that was the way of nightgaunts.”
- H.P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
Nightgaunts are creatures of the Dreamlands that serve Nodens by, among other things, grasping and carrying off intruders, who are unceremoniously dumped in the most dismal and horrible places imaginable and left to die. Nightgaunts are stationed at various spots in the lonely parts of the Dreamlands, coming out at night to seek their prey.
In primeval times they dwelled in the Waking World as well, and some suggest that may still be the case. Whilst not very intelligent, nightgaunts can understand some languages (such as the gibberings of ghouls) and are friendly to some occult races.