Every year, when St.Patrick’s Day rolls out, everyone is struck with all things Irish, and this includes the tales and folklore that the beautiful culture has to offer the world. Walk into any pub on t. Patty’s say and you would be surrounded by song and story of the folklore that surrounds the magical heritage of the Celts. The stories of leprechauns and banshees are exciting both to children and adults. What many people don’t know about are the other creatures such as Dullahans, pookas, kelpie, etc. These creatures are not the cute kinds; they are more the sinister variety and some of the creepiest creatures in Celtic folklore. Here are some of the weirdest and scariest stories and creatures that make up the Celtic Folklore interesting.
These creatures are better known as the rowdy cousins of leprechauns. They are party animals, and they ride around on sheep and dogs while being intoxicated. They are usually harmless creatures, but their moods depend on how you treat them. Their revenge is not very sweet and comes in the form of trashing wine cellars or damaging your homes.
Many of the creatures in Celtic folklore are associated with death. The Dullahan is the variety that is associated with death as well. The Dullahans are the spirits of Irish men who ride on black horses. Their armory is a human head and a whip made of the human spine. The Dullahan is very scary as they ride up to the next guy who’s time is up, say their name and finish them off. The only means to stop them is with gold.
While vampires are the bloodsuckers of the west, the Abratach are the blood-suckers of the Celts. Abhartach is a person who was very cruel and heartless to the people of villages. He was also a powerful mage and was killed by another chief. He resurrected himself from the dead and was killed a few times. Each time he rose from the dead until the one critical time he was done for good. Folklore suggests that this is where Bram Stoker’s Dracula found inspiration from.
Pookas are horses that are master tricksters. They usually look like horses or like goats. Sometimes the pooka has been known to take the human form. They have a very mixed reputation for bringing good and bad fortune. Depending on the situation they are known to either help or harm communities of men.
The Caoranach is by no means as cute as the name suggests. The creature takes a female serpent form and is the worst kind of creature. She is the mother of all demons and monsters in Celtic folklore. There are several versions of her fictitious story. She killed at Loch Dearg. The story also goes to suggest that when she was dead her blood spilled into the water of Loch Dearg. Loch Dearg is the name of a lake which means ‘Dark Lake.’ The name is said to signify the dark blood of Caoranach that changed the color of the lake.