Irish folktales have plenty scary stories for Halloween. The spooky season is finally upon us.
And you know what that means — All Hallow's Eve is approaching, which means it's time for pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and frightening Irish ghost stories!
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Irish Folktales Featuring Ghosts
Ireland is a land of many folklore tales that feature a variety of ghostly figures. Whether these spooky Irish stories are true or false, there is no denying that each has a way of sending an unsettling shiver down your spine.
From ghost stories to myths, legends to forgotten tales, these scary stories have been passed down from generation to generation in Ireland. They are at the very core of Irish culture. Get to know the creepiest, darkest corners of Irish mythology with these 5 spooky Irish folktales for Halloween!
The Abhartach (pronounced ow-er-tock) is also known as "The Irish Vampire." This spooky creature was an evil dwarf with menacingly magical powers. It frightened and terrorized villagers relentlessly until one day, the villagers had enough. They pleaded with the local chieftain to find and kill the dwarf.
It wasn't long before the chieftain had completed his mission, and the villagers celebrated his triumph. But alas, the Irish vampire was still alive! It escaped its grave to return with a vengeance that left all the villagers scrambling in a panic.
The chieftain returned to finish things once and for all. But the dwarf resurrected again from his grave. This time, he cast a blanket of fear across all of Ireland. The chieftain was mystified, so he tracked down a local druid, who revealed that he could only kill the dwarf if he buried him upside down. The chieftain did as such, and the Abhartach was finally dead!
Puck - The Malahide Castle Jester
Malahide Castle has stood nestled in the secluded Dublin suburb of Malahide since the 12th century, making it the perfect vessel for the scariest interactive ghosts. Many frightening tales take place in this famed haunted castle, but the most disturbing one has to be the tale of Puck and The White Lady.
In the 16th century, a family resided at Malahide Castle. They had a jester named Puck who had fallen in love with a family member named Lady Elenora Fitzgerald. Eventually, Elenora ended up in prison as a traitor, which devasted Puck.
One cold winter night on the castle grounds, Puck was mistaken for an intruder and was stabbed to death. Since his demise, legend says that he still haunts the halls to this very day, searching for his beloved, waiting for her release.
The Malahide Castle has been a sight of fascination ever since. It has guests and owners looking in wonder at the portrait of the lady in white. The White Lady is said to wander out of her portrait frame and haunt the castle halls. Many have claimed sightings of her over the years.
In Irish history, some believe the Banshee to embody the form of an older woman. In contrast, others say that Banshees look more like fairies. Nevertheless, these eerie female spirits are mainly distinguished by their wail — a hair-raising scream that myths have said to be an omen of impending death.
This piece of Irish folklore has led some to believe that upon hearing the wail of the Banshee, a family member will die soon.
Others think there's a Banshee for each family on the Emerald Isle.
The story of Keening Woman is an example of a myth meeting reality. "Keening" was a practice many women did to express the grief of dead or dying loved ones, which many claim may be the origin of the tale of the Banshee.
The Morrigan was an evil warrior goddess who could shape-shift, especially into a crow or raven. She was most associated with inciting war, terrifying warriors to insanity in battle, and bringing death to whom she saw fit.
She was an influential, mythical figure who could predict the fate of any struggle, not caring if it deeply discouraged the warriors destined to lose.
Many Irish writers have told the story of the Morrigan and Cu Chulainn, a warrior she met in battle while he was defending Ulster from Queen Maeve.
The Morrigan had fallen in love with Cu Chulainn. In her attempt to seduce him before the battle, he rejected her, which infuriated the goddess of war. Not shockingly, this led to the warrior's horrible, untimely death.
The tales of the headless horseman are widely known among many cultures today. In Ireland, they call this terrifying ghost "The Dullahan," an incarnation of the Celtic gods Black Crom and Crom Dubh. Legend says the Dullahan comes out on a dark Halloween night riding his wicked stallion.
Merely witnessing this harbinger of death will have you either blanketed in a bucket of blood or blinded in one eye.
But if he stops in his tracks, he will swiftly suck the soul right out of your body until you meet a horrifying death.
However, there is one thing that could save you. And that's gold. The Dullahan is terrified of gold. So next time you're out on Halloween night, don't forget that gold! It could save your life.
Get Spooky This Halloween, the Irish Way
We hope these spooky stories gave you quite the thrill! There's more to these frightening Irish folktales than the teasers presented here.
Still, these bone-chilling snippets of horror are just enough to get you geared up for Halloween time.
Ready to get spooky this Hallow's Eve, the Irish way? Then, check out these posts.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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