February 16, 2012

The Dullahan

The next beastie on this list comes from the Emerald Isles, lovely Ireland!

With many similarities to the Headless Horseman, the Irish Dullahan is a kind of unseelie fairy. This is no Tinkerbell, though. The Dullahan is a figure of death, a headless creature riding a huge black horse, which is sometimes also headless, with the dullahan's own head carried protectively under its arm.

The eyes are massive and bloodshot, moving constantly in an attempt to locate the unfortunate soul it's been sent to collect. The flesh is a feted green, and sags loosely from the skull.

Sometimes the dullahan drives a funeral coach, decked with candles supported by skulls, wheel spokes made from thigh bones and a wagon covering made from a stretched dried skin.

When this fairy stops riding, it is apparently where a person is supposed to die. Once stopped, the dullahan's cracked lips will part and call out the victim's name, causing said person to drop dead.

It's impossible to lock out a dullahan. Locks and gates of all manner and design open without being touched as they approach. And if you are unfortunate to come across one at night, and you are not its intended victim, keep your eyes firmly averted and do not speak to it. The Dullahan despises being watched while working, and if witnessed, they will dump a tub of blood onto you, marking you as the next to die. Or, if you are fortunate, they'll merely blind you with the whip they carry, fashioned from a human spine.

The only known way to drive away a dullahan is with a bit of gold, be it a coin or a pin. This is not proven to work for those meant to die, however, so... just stay in at night when visiting Ireland.

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

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