Orcadian folklore had a strong Scandinavian influence, and it may be that the nuckelavee is a composite of a water horse from Celtic mythology and a creature imported by the Norsemen. Some Irish mythology creatures, like the Pooka, have a nice, fun tale tied to them while others, like the Abhartach, are nothing short of terrifying! 10. The Fairy Hounds of Celtic Mythology The celts were known for their rich culture, and in their folklore, there is the presence of hellhounds in the form of fairy dogs. In this article we will explore Irish monsters and Celtic folklore creatures including: The Leprechaun Creatures similar to the Leprechaun The Banshee The Dullahan - The origin of the headless horseman Changelings The Pca / Pooka - The trickster spirit Failnis - Wolves in Irish folklore Fear Gorta - The Hungry man Patrick eventually made it to the Hawks Rock, where he waited for Caorthannach. The tale of the Abhartach is one thats hard to debunk, and many believe that its real. Dearg-due means "red bloodsucker," and in Irish folklore, it refers to a female demon that seduces men and then sucks and drains them of their blood. To prevent the undead from rising from the grave, simply build a pile of stones over her grave. Rebeccas armature of Abhartach #initialproject #modelmaking #sculpy #abhartach #vampire #armature #irish #folklore #sculpture, A post shared by Model Makers (@4thyearmodelmakers) on Nov 21, 2019 at 11:12am PST. This beast appears not only in the legends of King Arhtur, but also in Edmund Spensers epic tale The Faerie Queene, which in part, tackles the troubled relationship between England and Ireland in the 16th century. She represented the circle of life and was associated with both birth and death. No, it wont kill her, but at least youll hold her off until next year! The Irish demon would sometimes transform into a handsome man to lure women into its trap, but a telltale sign that it was a kelpie was if that man had kelp in its hair. Several versions of the Banshee legend say the feared ghost rode alongside the Dullahan in a black cart drawn by six black horses. These Celtic monsters were restless spirits that were said to be neither welcome in hell or heaven, so they were left to roam the lands. Not all fairy children are changelings. Some versions of this legend say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while others say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die. In fact, their name translates as Red Man from Gaelic. Commonly known in Irish folklore as the foreteller of death, the Dullahan is the Irish counterpart of the headless horseman. The old tales call Carman or Carmun as the Celtic goddess of evil magic. A year after her death, she rose from her grave as a vengeful spirit. If a human emerges, he will be dragged outside and killed. The original Dearg Due is said to have been a beautiful lord's daughter who fell in love with a peasant. Their beards are usually bright red, however, just like their clothes. 2. yeah I was a very tired lad. This culture was in its prime during the Iron age, but much of the mythology was lost due to the Roman Empires conquest over Europe and the various tribes of Celts that were spread across the continent. Youve everything from scary Celtic monsters to more gentle, magical beings, below. The ruler of all fairies, the Fairy Queen is one of the most famous Celtic creatures. Usually black, these mythic horses ride across the fields of Ireland at night, stampede over crops, fences, and peoples properties, they scare farm animals from producing milk or eggs for weeks, and they cause a lot of other mischief along the way. You must be wise in making these wishes though because he might trick you. Such people would then usually take their own lives. Not to worry, though there is one way to defeat Dearg-due. Some stories represent the creature with the form of a vulture, while others describe it as a fire-breathing dragon. http://www.classics.upenn.edu/myth/php/tools/dictionary.php?regexp=RHEA&method=standard, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Celtic_deities&oldid=1139194287, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, Adsagsona - Gallic goddess of magic named on the, Cissonia - a Gallic goddess of trade, companion of, Matronae Dervonnae - Gallic mother goddesses in, Matronae Vediantiae (Deae Vediantiae) - Gallic mother goddesses in, Seixomniai Leuciticai - a Celtic goddess, equated with, Bergimus - a mountain god of Cisalpine Gaul, Brasennus - a god known from a lone inscription in Cisalpine Gaul, Cuslanus - a god in Cisalpine Gaul associated with, Deus Ducavavius - a god known from a lone inscription in Cisalpine Gaul, Deus Orevaius - a god known from a lone inscription at, Paronnus - a god known from a lone inscription at, Besencl (Besenclae) - a community and house protector, Erbina - a goddess of wild animals, hunting, and domestic security, Laneana (Laneanis) - a goddess of springs and floods, Reva (Reua) - personification of water flows, This page was last edited on 13 February 2023, at 21:59. My readings are very dynamic and profound. The ancient Celts had hundreds of Irish mythical deities, but as with most cultures, they had their demons as well. The pair is said to whip the horses with a human spinal cord. The Pooka, The Leprechaun, The Fairy Queen and Glas Gaibhnenn. The Cwn Annwn are the hunting dogs of Arawn, Lord of the Otherworld and are associated with the Welsh form of the Wild Hunt. For these reasons, the cat was often believed to be a spy for evil beings lurking outside the home. Today, she is remembered yearly in a festival that marks the start of harvest in Leinster in Irelands Great East. Copyright 2023 Irish Studio LLC All rights reserved. They were pastoral people of Greek or Eastern origin. In Ireland, there are those who claim to be descendants of merrows who were caught by fishermen in their nets. Her name literally translates as "Red Bloodsucker" and she's said to lure men by seducing them in the night before biting them and sucking away their blood. Once that happened, the leanan sidhe would come, steal their fresh corpse, and take it to her lair. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her. Carman is the Celtic goddess of evil magic. Their mythology survived, however, thanks largely to the efforts of later Irish and . Photo by Khomenko Maryna/shutterstock.com. Sometimes they wear white, and other times they are adorned in grey or black. Photo by Ververidis Vasilis/shutterstock.com. Her name translates to red bloodsucker and, according to legend, shes a cunning vampire who seduces men and drains them of their blood. In fact, it was a 3-headed Celtic monster! Mythology Bestiary - The incredible Creatures of Celtic Mythology and Folklore - Balor - Kelps - Leprechaun - Selkie - Leanan Sidhe - Banshee - Spriggan - Sl. Often portrayed in contemporary fantasy fiction and video games, this foreteller of death is the Irish version of the headless horseman. However, all wasnt as it seemed. All Rights Reserved. The God of Death would provide his Fomori with victims, but the evil race was left to their own devices when Balor was killed by his son Lug, who shot him with a slingshot. The Irish symbol of luck, leprechauns are probably the most famous Celtic mythological creature. Ladies, take note meet a guy with seaweed on his head on Halloween night, dont go home with him!  Variant spellings, or readings, of the name Esus in the manuscripts of Lucan include Hesus, Aesus, and Haesus. As with most evil forces, the Dullahan has a weakness gold. According to legend, this Irish folklore creature uses the spine of a human as a whip. They spoke Gaulish. The Bodach, The Man-Wolves of Ossory, The Sluagh and Bnnach. In common with many other sea-monsters, it is unable to tolerate fresh water, therefore, those it is pursuing have only to cross a river or stream to be rid of it. Not all Irish folklore creatures are sinister, there are those that are actually generally good such as the Daoine Maithe. If a Merrow wants to walk on land, she must abandon her cap or cape. The original Dearg Due is said to have been a beautiful lords daughter who fell in love with a peasant. They spoke Hispano-Celtic languages. Perhaps itd be a good idea to stay away from any bodies of water! The Leanan Sidhe appear to these hapless souls, offer inspiration by asking them to be her lover. Their names and attributes varied between languages and locations, with some deities worshipped by all tribes while others were specific to a particular region or people. He whipped out an instrument and played soothing music until C Chulainn fell asleep. He even calls himself God's messenger on earth. Below is a list of demons and demoness names from theology, mythology, and demonology worldwide. The most important of the gods, Lugh (see Lugus), is the offspring of the marriage of a god, Cian, and the daughter of the monstrous Balor, and it is stated that originally the gods and the Fomoire were allies. How did he free himself? The Leanan Sidhe will then take their dead lover back into her lair, collect their blood into a cauldron, which is the source of her youth, beauty, and artistic inspiration. As with similar malevolent entities such as the kelpie, it possibly offered an explanation for incidents that islanders in ancient times could not otherwise understand. Contrary to popular belief, the Leprechaun has nothing to do with the term the Luck of the Irish. Were Irelands Viking invaders high on hallucinogenic herbal tea? Said to be the scariest type of fairy in Irish folklore, the Pooka are primarily creatures of the night. Balor - Celtic demon king. The Leanan Sidhe is another Irish folklore creature that resembles a vampire. [b], The nuckelavee is a mythical sea-creature that appears as a horse-like demon when it ventures onto land. The kelpie is a monster right out of Celtic myth. According to legend, the Sluaghs were angry about their fate and would snatch the soul of anyone with who they cross paths. These manuscripts include the Ulster Cycle, the Mythological Cycle, the Fenian Cycle, and the Cycle of the Kings. After all, mythology is storytelling at its finest. However, when a merrow finds her cap or cape again, she is overtaken by the desire to return to the water and leave her husband and children. Read more about the Banshee here. Dearg Due - the Irish vampire. 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. He used to own a cool bronze boat with a tin sail. Once a traveler hops on, the horse takes them on the last ride of their life. In Irish folklore, Bnnach are a supernatural race that were known to haunt battlefields. This Celtic mythological creature is best described as a mermaid in appearance, however, this is where the similarities. The character of Merlin originally came from pagan mythology. Although youll often hear the Oilliphist described as a Celtic monster, it was said to take on the appearance of a dragon. She is one of the Tuatha D . Some myths say that they are the descendants of fallen angels and others that they are the children of the Tuatha De Danann, the peoples of the goddess Danu who first came to Ireland. The kelpie galloped around Ireland, looking like a lost pony, attempting to trick women and children into riding on it. Farewell Its been a while, but Beck and Kip are still in my heart and drifting in between short story drabbles in my free time. Right: Olga Vasileva. I think the one I'd be more afraid to see would have to be The Far Darrig,because of it seems that he like's to play his food be for he attacks his prey and finish him/her off and that why I feel afraid of The Far Darrig, also could you give facts about why it is a myth. The Celts were doing alright until Christianity came along. Elln Trechend was a true Celtic monster. According to some myths they are witches, according to others these female beings are ghosts. This destructive witch roamed around with her three evil sons: Dub (darkness in Irish), Dother (evil) and Dain (violence), destroying anything or anyone in their path. Sounds a little bit like the story of Tir Na Nog, right?! He just keeps on riding, the horse keeps on running but when they stop a human dies. 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 persons soul. Origin: Celtic Role: Goddess Symbol: Crow Husband: Dadga, possibly Children: Possibly Adair Other Names: Morrigu, Morgane, Morrighan Who Is The Morrigan? The Celtic Britons inhabited most of the island of Great Britain and spoke Common Brittonic or British. These Celtic monsters were restless spirits that were said to be neither welcome in hell or heaven, so they were left to roam the lands. First up is arguably the scariest of the many Irish mythology creatures / Irish monsters the Abhartach. 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. A unique and solitary creature possessing extensive evil powers, its malevolent behaviour can influence events throughout the islands. Elln Trechend is known to emerge from a cave and embark on a rampage of destruction in a tale called the Cath Maige Mucrama. Ah, the Dearg Due. Years later, she rose from the grave and started wandering across Ireland, punishing men by taking their life force away. The late 19th century saw an upsurge of interest in transcribing folklore, but the recorders used inconsistent spelling and frequently anglicised words, thus the same entity could be given different names. Specific dates are not given for exactly when Traill Dennison gathered the tales but his various transcripts were published between 1880 and 1894. But the strange thing about this pony is that its mane would always be dripping with water. Rather than directly suck the blood of her victims, Leanan Sidhe got creative, and collected their blood in a giant red cauldron, which was the source of her beauty and artistic inspiration. As with Dearg-due, to prevent the undead Leanan Sidhe from rising, one must put a cairn of stones over her resting place. The Pooka has the power of human speech and it loves to confuse and terrify people. Though the saint was desperately thirsty, he refused to drink from the poisoned wells and prayed for guidance. The local deities from Celtic nature worship were the spirits of a particular feature of the landscape, such as mountains, trees, or rivers, and thus were generally only known by the locals in the surrounding areas. Sign up to IrishCentral's newsletter to stay up-to-date with everything Irish! In this guide, we tell the story of this Celtic mythological creature, and offer insight into where in Ireland it roamed (and where its now buried). The creature is scared of the substance, so any lonely travelers this Halloween night would be wise to have some on him in case they have a run-in with this headless horror! When you see him, he must grant you three wishes before he can be released. She fell in love with a peasant, which was frowned upon by her father. As alluded to by Traill Dennison, to whom the story was told, Tammas's account bears a certain resemblance to the events in, "Jo Benn's 1529 Description of North Ronaldsay", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nuckelavee&oldid=1141494086, Articles containing Scottish Gaelic-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 25 February 2023, at 09:56. However, eerily, the sonar encountered a large solid mass, which has fuelled speculation that the lake is inhabited by one of the last remaining Celtic mythological creatures. There was also a fairy cat that was known as the King of the Cats. As with most evil forces, the Dullahan has a weakness gold. Banshee - the Irish wailing ghost. The scientific phenomenon known as Quantum Physics (Quantum Theory) has been discovered and is being widely embraced by many scientific leaders. These creatures, especially the Merrows are amazing swimmers, and this ability is said to come from their clothing, which varies depending on which part of Ireland youre in. The Gauls inhabited the region corresponding to modern-day France, Belgium, Switzerland, southern and western Germany, Luxembourg and northern Italy. Were building the worlds most authoritative, online mythology resource, with engaging, accessible content that is both educational and compelling to read. Leprechauns are not the only magical little people in Celtic mythology. Ghosts, fairies, goblins - Irish old timers share Halloween memories, The most haunted spots in Ireland to visit this Halloween, How File Na Marbh or 'Feast of the Dead' became Halloween, The scariest Irish spirits and monsters for Halloween, International Irish Coffee Day: The history and recipe of Irish coffee. Her name literally translates as Red Bloodsucker and shes said to lure men by seducing them in the night before biting them and sucking away their blood. Morrigan, sometimes known as Morrigu, was an Irish goddess of death on the battlefield who help the Tuatha De Danann at . Demons from Celtic mythology. After Celtic lands became Christianised, there were attempts by Christian writers to euhemerize or even demonize most of the pre-Christian deities, while a few others became Saints in the church. The Fear Gorta is one of a number of Celtic folklore creatures that emerged during the time of the famine in Ireland. The God of Death would provide his Fomori with victims, but the evil race was left to their own devices when Balor was killed by his son Lug, who shot him with a slingshot. Those who chased the Fear Gorta away, however, were cursed with bad luck. Leanan Sidhe the Evil Irish Fairy-Muse, A post shared by Emlyn Boyle Artist (@emlyn_artist76), A post shared by Alison Johnstun (@alisonjohnstun), A post shared by Amelia Leonards (@amelialeonardsart), A post shared by Morgana das Fadas (@morgana.das.fadas), A post shared by Tami Wicinas (@twicinas). According to Irish folklore, Sluagh is dead sinners that come back as malicious spirits. The base Kelpie myth shows them as beautiful and captivating creatures that attract travelers and children by offering them a ride on their back. The Gods told us to do it. The Celtic deities are known from a variety of sources such as written Celtic mythology, ancient places of worship, statues, engravings, religious objects, as well as place and personal names. Just like mermaids, merrows usually live in the water. When the Tuatha De Danann, the peoples of the goddess Danu, came to the rescue. Celtic mythology is the collection of stories and folklore from various ancient Celtic cultures like the Irish, the Welsh, and the Gauls. Theres no mystery why, during a time when food was scarce, stories of this Irish mythical creature were a firm favourite.  The male torso has no legs, but its arms can reach the ground from its position on top of the equine body, the legs of which have fin like appendages. On this Wikipedia the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title. A post shared by Amelia Leonards (@amelialeonardsart) on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:03am PDT. Annnnd were back to creepy Celtic monsters again, next, with the Bnnach. Descriptions of her appearance vary, from an ugly old hag to a beautiful young woman, but all agree that the creatures blood curdling wail will be heard three times before someone dies. Some Irish families would keep their west-facing windows shut at all times to keep the Sluagh out of their homes. Learn more about our mission. Right, its time for some less creepy Celtic Mythological Creatures. Many of these myths were suppressed by Roman conquerors, with their first widespread recordings dating from the early medieval period. Irelands most popular baby names of 2022 - by county! Today, the leprechaun has also become a mascot for St. Patricks Day, as well as a favorite design in Irish souvenirs. Carman put a blight on Irelands crops and terrorized the Irish until the Tuatha De Danann, the peoples of the goddess Danu, used their magic to fight and defeat her, and drove her sons across the sea. The womans husband was terrible to her, so she ended up committing suicide out of sorrow. Some Irish families would keep their west-facing windows shut at all times to keep the Sluagh out of their homes. He was invincible and could destroy any wild beast that he crossed paths with. Balor is the demonic God of Death in Celtic mythology. Dont worry if you dont know exactly what kind of reading you need. The Daoine Maithe are the fairy folk in Irish mythology. Everybody sits in the jail of his own thoughts. He collects gold and hides them in a pot at the end of the rainbow. Though theyre not so much demons, Sluagh are scary creatures that hunt down souls. , Stories of mythical Orcadian demons are recorded in the 16th-century Latin manuscripts of Jo Ben,[a] who may have been referring to the nuckelavee in his description of the Orkney island of Stronsay. As with Dearg-due, to prevent the undead Leanan Sidhe from rising, one must put a cairn of stones over her resting place. The Abhartach, Balor of the Evil Eye, The Banshee and The Dearg Due. The Celtic culture has always feared an array of evil forces. Some versions of this legend say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die. There are quite a few Irish clans that even today claim to be descendants from merrows who came to the land centuries ago. @IrishCentral. Learn how your comment data is processed. Unlike leprechauns, who just chill in the woods near their pots of gold, the Far Darrig roam around with giant burlap sacks, looking to kidnap people. The Daoine Maithe are usually kind creatures but becomes cruel when mistreated. Another interesting point about them is that if you catch a leprechaun, they can grant you three wishes to let them free just like a genie or many other mythological creatures across different religions. However, not long after falling in love with Leanan sdhe, its lovers passed away. Celtic MythologyCeltic Mythology in ContextAdventure, heroism, romance, and magic are a few of the elements that make Celtic mythology one of the most entrancing mythologies of Europe. The Leanan sdhe was known to spark up relationships with humans. They are wicked, violent tricksters who are different forms depending on which part of Ireland youre hearing a Pooka story from. Although similar to the boogeyman in appearance, the Bodach is one of a number of Celtic mythological creatures who, according to legend, was completely harmless. Now known as Dearg-due, the vampire rises once a year, using her beauty to lure men to their deaths. In essence, the Fear Gorta myth served to teach people to always be kind and generous, even to those who seem unappealing to them. An evil cousin to the banshee or the bean sidhe, the leanan sidhe is said to be a malicious fairy or demon who seduces aspiring authors and musicians. Photo left: zef art Right: John Duncan (1911). There is another legend that says Carman cursed Irelands crops and terrorized the Irish. Photo by Volodymyr Burdiak/shutterstock.com. Another key difference between the Dullahan and the banshee is that the headless horseman does not hesitate to harm onlookers with his whip. Posted on Published: July 19, 2020- Last updated: September 22, 2022, Drinking Age In Ireland: Drinking Laws And Tips, Dunguaire Castle History And All The Things You Need To Know, Irish Culture And Traditions - Ireland Travel Guides,  Read more about creatures from Irish folklore here. The merrow is said to be half fish (from the waist down) and half beautiful woman (from the waist up) and, according to legend, is friendly and modest.  Marwick also only mentions one head with a single red eye, and he borrows some of Tammas's characterisation by recording the creature's mouth as "like a whale's". The beasts constant cry was said to sound like the bark of 30 dogs. No, it wont kill her, but at least youll hold her off until next year! She controlled the weather and the winds and was popular among many Irish poets. Irish mythological creatures: Photo by Wilqkuku (Shutterstock). These airborne shrieking demons may have had a goat-like appearance and were associated with violence and death. A tip to artists: perhaps you should look elsewhere for inspiration, rather than risk falling into the evil hands of the Leanan Sidhe! All Rights Reserved. Instead, they wander around, carrying their rotting flesh from village to village, asking strangers for food. Dearg-due, an Irish name meaning "red blood sucker," is a female demon that seduces men and then drains them of their blood. A person is a piece of the entire called by us Universe, a section restricted in existence. Rather than directly suck the blood of her victims, Leanan Sidhe got creative and collected their blood in a giant red cauldron, which was the source of her beauty and artistic inspiration. I see nothing about Beag- also called Bec, the keeper of a magical well. The interesting bit to this story is that the lovers of Leanan sdhe were said to have lived inspired lives. They take to the waters, jumps high then submerges, bringing the traveler along with them to drown. While typically good, the Daoine Maithe can become vengeful if they are mistreated by people. Considered as an omen of death and the fear of every child, the banshee is one of the scariest creatures in Irish folklore. Celtic mythology [ edit] Brigit, Irish goddess of fire, poetry, arts, and crafts Aed, Irish god whose name means "fire" Grannus, god of fire, health, water springs, and the sun Nantosuelta, goddess of fire, nature, fertility, rivers and the earth Etruscan mythology [ edit] Sethlans, fire god of smithing and crafts Greek mythology [ edit] More ghosts rather than demons or spirits, the Sluagh are said to be the souls of dead sinners. We exist to make planning your Irish Road Trip easy. The one sure-fire way to deal with a Far Darring is to say out loud You will not mock me! before they manage to trap you. These were a race of gigantic warriors who liked nothing better than to invade somewhere, pillage it and then gloat horribly. Often referred to as the Queen of Winter, Cailleach is one of the great Celtic mythological creatures.