Horrifying Irish Legends

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind

Yes I know I’m late for St Patrick’s Day. I forgot I had written this. Sinusitis is nasty and I just forgot. But legends are always great, it doesn’t have to be on a specific date.

A large part of the population sees St Patrick’s Day as a drinking holiday. However, the holiday’s origins are much more pious (albeit still mythical), we have the glorious celebration of the Emerald Isle. The history of St. Patrick’s Day is very interesting in itself. But, that’s not why we’re here. I like my green wrapped in something macabre. Let’s talk Irish creatures, demons, and monsters. Ireland has a rich culture steeped in the supernatural. Here is a list of some of the most noteworthy Irish baddies.



This one we all know. Banshee or Ban Sidhe, sidhe is the word for faerie. Yet some call her a spirit. Faeries can come in good or bad, this one is the latter. This faerie/spirit 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. 

Leanan Sidhe


Leanan Sidhe 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 of her victims meaning they die young but leave a beautiful legacy behind. 

This sounds like an energy or life force vampire.



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. They target the dying to take their souls with them to join them.



A headless rider who foretells 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.

This kids is the basis of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. 


Abhartach was an immensely evil chieftain who practiced dark magic and constantly oppressed and killed his subjects for fun. Eventually, he was slain by a rival tribe. However, Abhartach's black magic allowed him to return as a neamh-mairbh (walking dead) and demanded that his subjects sacrifice others to him and allow him to freely feast on their blood. His subjects constantly slew him, but he always returned to life thanks to his magic.

Some have theorized this is where the idea of Dracula came from. 



A fetch, based in Irish folklore, is a supernatural double or an apparition of a living person. The sighting of a fetch is regarded as an omen, usually for impending death.

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.

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