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  • banshee | a female wraith whose keening foretells the pending death of a person in the household, tied to a person or family similar to an attendant fairy. she doesn't cause a person's death though. the banshee is seen as a young, fair woman, having long, unbound hair, and dressed in white, though, sometimes she is seen dressed in a gray cloak over a green dress. because of continuous weeping, her eyes are always red.
  • bean nighe | a relation of the banshee, the bean nighe is the spirit of a woman who died in childbirth, condemned to wash blood the shrouds of the soon-to-be-dead until the time at which these creatures would have died of old age themselves. the spirit has one nostril, one long fang, sagging breasts, and webbed feet. if you’re brave enough to steal a suck off her breast, you can claim status as her foster child, and she will grant you a wish.
  • changelings | the sickly, deformed baby of the sheoque fairies who steal into human homes and 'trade' their own sickly babies for healthy human babies. changelings work evil in a household and are generally ugly and ill tempered. they also generally have wizened features coupled with yellow, parchment-like skin and dark eyes, betraying wisdom beyond their apparent years, along with physical deformities, among which a crooked back or lame hand are common. their temperament, however, is what most marks changelings. while babies are generally joyful and pleasant, the fairy substitute is never happy, except when some calamity befalls the household. they howl and screech throughout the waking hours often beyond mortal endurance. no matter how much food they devour, they still want more, yet remain runty as ever. changelings do not live long in the mortal world, usually shriveling up and dying within the first two or three years of their human existence while the family's true child plucks flowers in fairyland, only rarely into their teens. a changeling can be one of three types: actual fairy children; senile fairies disguised as children or, inanimate objects, such as pieces of wood, which take on the appearance of a child through fairy magic known as a stock. no luck will come to a family in which there is a changeling because the creature drains away all the good fortune from the household. changelings may be driven from a house. when this is achieved, the human child or adult will invariably be returned unharmed. to dispose of changelings masking as mortals, there are three time-tested methods recommended: (1) heat a red-hot shovel, shovel the fairy up and cast him onto a dung heap or into a chimney fire and (2) force lusmore (foxglove) tea down his throat and wait until it burns out his intestines. these work because heat and fire are anathema to the changeling and it will fly away or (3) the least severe method of expulsion is to trick the fairy into revealing its true age.
  • clurichaun | a mischevious, booze-loving fairy related to (but not the same as) the leprechaun. perpetually drunk, if you treat them well, they will protect your wine cellar, and if not, well, they'll drink your cellar dry, destroy all your possessions, and run off your livestock just for good measure.
  • dullahan | the headless phantom coachman, who drives a black coach, known as coach-a-bower (cóiste-bodhar), sometimes drawn by headless horses. the dullahan are usually accompanied by the banshee, wailing as if in the funeral. in other tradition, the dullahan doesn't ride in a coach, but rides a headless horse. if a person opens a door when he or she hears a coach rumbling by, that person may have a pitcher of blood thrown onto their face and is subsequently marked for death. it seems that dullahan can take off or put on his head at will. the cracking of whip is the omen of death.
  • fachen | a monster that only has half of a body. its appearance is described as so hideous that it has the power to cause instant heart attacks. it has a mane full of black feathers and a wide mouth.
  • fetch | the supernatural double or doppelgänger of some individual, which comes to ensure to its original a happy longevity if seen in the morning or immediate dissolution if seen in the evening.
  • gancanagh | a relative of leprechauns known for seducing women with his enchanting voice and then promptly disappearing, leaving the maidens to pine away for him until they die. he appears in lonely glens, smoking his clay pipe. he has no shadow, birds stopped singing in his presence, and there is an aura of mist surrounding him. few of his victims live for very long, dying of despair and a broken heart.
  • kelpie | it appears to be a beautiful, lost horse or pony, but dripping wet, with cold, smooth skin. it uses its beauty to lure people, and especially children, into riding it. once it has gained an unsuspecting rider, its skin becomes adhesive and it immediately lunges for the nearest pond or lake, intending to drown its terrified passenger and subsequently devour them.
  • leprechaun | probably the most familiar creature from irish folklore, the leprechaun is commonly known to be short, wear green (though actually leprechauns of old wore red), and hide pots of gold at the end of rainbows. less commonly though, they are known to be shoemakers by trade, to use telekinesis to make your heart explode, and to enjoy performing rap solos.
  • merrow | described as being affectionate, gentle, and kind creatures. because of this, the merrow were said to create attachments to humans – even claiming some as their husband or wife. some tales state that the merrow have lived among humans for many years. others say the merrow will eventually return to where they once lived under the sea. tales say that merrows wear a specialized hat that allows them to dive beneath the waves, and if this headgear is lost, they will have no power to return under the water. merrows resemble the selkies (seal shapeshifters), as they have been known to shed their outer skins so that they can take on a more attractive form. irish tales describe merrow-maidens as tempting young men to follow them into the waves of the water, where they enter an enchanted state.
  • pooka | a shape shifting creature, also known as púca, is either benevolent or malevolent fairy depending on the writer. when the pooka is either mischievous or malevolent, it often takes the shape of horse or an ass, offering unsuspecting traveller a ride that ends in a dangerous if not deadly fashion. Others believe that the pooka is benevolent and helpful like the Scottish brownie. they appear most frequently on Novemeber Eve, also known as Samhain eve, in which the pooka would spoil blackberry.
  • selkies | they are a race of seal people, who can shed their skins to take on the form of beautiful humans. without their skins, they cannot return to the sea. selkie stories generally talk of fishermen who take selkies as brides, since once they have hidden the skin, the selkie is beholden to them. selkies make good companions, right up until the day one of your half-selkie children accidentally finds the skin, and they disappear back into the ocean forever.
mar 28 2011 ∞
oct 16 2012 +