My last article for now, so I’m going to tell you about some of creatures that are supposedly native to the mist shrouded isle we call home (Ireland if you haven’t guessed yet). There will be no leprechauns on this list, all respect to Sidhe but this ain’t about them. so here are a few of the monsters that used (I certainly hope so) haunt the Irish nights.
1. The Dearg Due
Dearg-due, an Irish name meaning “red blood sucker,” is a female demon that seduces men and then drains them of their blood.
According to the Celtic legend, an Irish woman who was known throughout the country for her beauty, fell in love with a local peasant, which was unacceptable to her father. Dad forced her into an arranged marriage with a rich man who treated her terribly, and eventually she commit suicide. She was buried near Strongbow’s Tree in Waterford, and one night, she rose from her grave to seek revenge on her father and husband, sucking their blood until they dropped dead.
Now known as Dearg-due, the vampire rises once a year, using her beauty to lure men to their deaths. Not to worry, though – there is one way to defeat Dearg-due. To prevent the undead from rising from the grave, simply build a pile of stones over her grave. No, it won’t kill her, but at least you’ll hold her off until next year.
2. The Sluagh
Though they’re not so much “demons,” Sluagh are scary creatures that hunt down souls.
According to Irish folklore, Sluagh are dead sinners that come back as malicious spirits. These spirits come from the west, flying in groups like flocks of birds, and try to enter a house where someone is dying to take away that person’s soul. Some Irish families would keep their west-facing windows shut at all times to keep the Sluagh out of their homes. Some say the Sluagh is the Irish version of the Wild Hunt, a European folktale about ghostly hounds or spirits traveling around in packs foretelling of death and disaster.
3. The Banshee
Ah the classic, you’ve probably heard either your mother or your grandmother talking about this mournful specter at a funeral. One of the most recognizable Celtic creatures, having made a guest appearance in “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” and all, the Banshee is a female spirit whose wail, if heard outside of a house, foretells the death of one of its inhabitants. Descriptions of her appearance vary, from an ugly old hag to a beautiful young woman, but all agree that the creature’s blood curdling wail will be heard three times before someone dies.