Monster Monday: Baobhan Sith

We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about the Baobhan Sith.

The Fairy Wood by Henry Meynell Rheam (1903)
The Fairy Wood by Henry Meynell Rheam (1903)

The Baobhan Sith is a faerie-like spirit from the Scottish Highlands similar to a vampire who preys on young travelers at night, usually men. In some stories, she is particularly attracted to hunters. She prefers rural areas.

The Baobhan Sith appears as a beautiful woman, usually in a white or green dress. Sometimes she is depicted as having goat’s feet, which she hides under her dress. She uses her beauty to enchant and lure unwary young men into the wilderness where she invites them to dance with her, which they do until they are exhausted.  Then she uses her sharp talons to puncture her victim’s neck and drinks his blood. Sometimes they hunt in packs and in some stories can shapshift into wolves.

They are only active at night and must flee underground at sunrise. In certain stories they are depicted as being afraid of horses, and a person can escape by staying on his horse if he can resist their charms. Also, because the Baobhan Sith is a faerie, she has the usually weakness of a faerie, including being vulnerable to cold iron.

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