Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a day to drink green beer and everyone is Irish for a day, right? Well, kinda. The holiday’s origins are much more pious (albeit still mythical) but thanks to Irish soldiers with the English army in America in 1762, we have the glorious celebration with a taste of the Emerald Isle.
If you would like to learn more about the history of St. Patrick’s Day, click this link. It’s pretty interesting in itself. But, that’s not why we’re here. No, I like my green wrapped in something scary. Let’s talk Irish creatures and demons.
Ireland has a rich culture steeped in the supernatural and otherworldly. Even faeries can get dangerous. Here is a list of some of the most noteworthy Irish baddies.
The Dubhlachan/ Dubhlachain
Often pronounced as Dullahan in English, this headless rider foretells of death. He carries his phosphorescent head under his arm which glows with a sickly smile. He is able to use his head as a lantern to light the countryside and find the home of the dying.
In some legends, he actively seeks out victims but in most, he just plays the part as an omen. Not one to be watched working if he sees you looking at him, he will throw a bucket of blood on you marking you or he might blind you in one eye.
Ban Sidhe/ Banshee
This one we all know and I have, on multiple occasions, accused family members of screeching like one of these. Across the board, sidhe is the word for faerie, so you will see it a lot in Irish legends. Faeries can come in good or bad flavors, this one being the latter.
Another bad omen, this faerie woman is known for her eerie and earsplitting scream. It is said that if a Banshee’s scream is heard three times, someone will die. She is portrayed as both an old hag and a beautiful woman. She is sometimes known to hang around the Dullahan and does their work together.
The Morrigan is a trinity of sisters that come together to make a great queen and foretells of fate and war. The team differs from legend to legend, but most say The Morrigan is made up of Babd, Macha, and Nemain.
With their hands in war, they are often linked to Viking and Norse mythology. Babd can also take the form of a crow (crows are often seen as bad omens as well). They are also the antagonists of the novel A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.
There’s that sidhe word again. She is a muse that creates some of the most talented artists and inspired works of art. At the same time, she slowly drains the life from her victims meaning they die young but leave a beautiful legacy behind.
She can be described as an energy or life force vampire.
Another member of the faerie realm, this army of spirits is made up of those who were evil in life. Depraved even in death, they search from the sky for victims, shooting beim sidhe (evil spells) at them. They target the dying to take their souls with them to join them
There is so much more mythology and supernatural stories that it would be impossible to cover them all. This year while you’re out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, keep your eye on the night sky, look for unknown lights and keep your ears open for screams. You never know what might be out there.
Are St. Patrick’s Day Leprechauns more your style? Check out some of the best Leprechaun kills in the franchise.
(Featured image courtesy of demonhunterscompendium.blogspot.com)