Mythological Creatures of Ireland
Irish folklore is rich with wonderful, scary, and downright strange mythological beings. The country’s original mythologies prior to the era of Christianity have been well-preserved by medieval books and other forms of classic literature.
The country’s folklore have had considerable influence on their culture, affecting its traditions, art, and music. Today, let’s look at some of the strangest, most mysterious creatures born from The Emerald Isle.
- The Leprechaun
Perhaps the most popular mythological being from Ireland is the Leprechaun. These green-clad creatures are a sign of luck and wealth. They are typically portrayed as meager, bearded old men with a coat and long top hat, and often play pranks on people. They prefer being alone, investing their energy making and retouching shoes. They are known for having a concealed pot of gold sitting at the end of a rainbow.
Ladies, beware! This is one of those creatures that you would want to avoid. According to legends, the Gancanagh is a spirit that takes on the appearance of an extremely attractive man who spends their time seducing women. He does this by secreting a “love toxin” that can make any woman swoon and fall in love.
Once the woman is love-stricken, the Gancanagh will disappear, leaving the poor victim behind while she suffers the worst heartache she will ever experience.
- The Cluricaun/Clurichaun
This cousin of the Leprechaun is just as playful as his relative, but a lot less sober. Based on several works of literature, the Clurichaun is a tiny elf or fairy with a face full of stubble and a highly mischievous personality. These tiny creatures are a lot less work-oriented compared to the Leprechaun and would rather spend his entire life in a state of pure drunkenness.
The Kelpie is a dangerous creature that often takes on the form of a wet pony. This appearance is meant to win the sympathy of unsuspecting humans, usually children. When the person approaches the creature, they will be tricked into riding its back and what was once a smooth skin turns into an extremely adherent surface that traps the person and prevents them from getting off. Once the victim is stuck, the Kelpie then runs to the nearest body of water and dives head-on, eventually drowning the person on its back. Once underwater, it is said to devour the person except for their liver and their heart. No reason has been provided for this behavior.
Some stories depict the Kelpie as a beautiful woman or man meant to attract adults instead of children.
The Banshee is another popular creature from the Irish mythology. According to legends, they are the spirit of a woman. Banshees are known for their haunting screams that can only be heard by family members of people who are about to die. This omen of death is not something that you want to hear on a cold night.
Ireland is a country with rich history, no wonder they have so many wonderful mythological creatures. If you want to hear these stories from the Irish people themselves, book a flight to Ireland today!