So, my lovely lads and lassies are you ready for a Scottish tale that is a bit darker? 😉
We have talked about fairies before but this fairy that I am about to talk to you about is not like the rest...
What is different about her, you may ask? Well, this fairy is a real Scottish, female vampire. That’s right, a fairy that sucks blood and her name is none other than Baobhan Sith!
First things first. Gaelic is not easy for anyone and unless you have traveled through time like Claire Fraser of the well-known book series’ “Outlander”, chances are that you don’t know how to speak this beautiful language.
So how do you pronounce the word “Baobhan Sith”?
The correct pronunciation is “baa’-van shee” and the word means “fairy woman”.
What is Different About the Baobhan Sith?
For one, these blood-sucking fairies don’t have fangs like the vampires we all know and...are terrified of! Besides, this is Scotland. They don’t do anything similar to the rest of the world and that’s why we love it!
Who are the Ones we should be Afraid of?
The Baobhan Sith usually attacks men and not women. So, ladies, you can relax. For once history and folklore are on our side!
Hunters are the Baobhan Sith’s preferred victim since she is drawn to them by their bloodied clothes. She appears to them as a beautiful woman dressed in a long, green dress that hides her hoove-like legs.
You should know that the green color is typical for the representation of Scottish fairies.
The Baobhan Sith’s next step is...the seduction! She dances and lures her victim until she has enchanted him completely. When the unsuspecting man is surrendered to her charm her fingers transform into talons and she attacks him.
Scary, my bonnie lass, I know. But don’t worry it is nothing but a myth!
Now, where were we? Oh yes! The beautiful but terrifying fairy appears when a man wishes to have a female company. That’s when the Baobhan Sith knows it’s time to attack.
So be careful, lads...
How to Protect Yourself
The only thing that can stop a Baobhan Sith is iron. So put the garlic aside. It will not help you with this particular Scottish fairy.
According to the legend, these blood-sucking fairies can’t get near you if there is iron around you. That is why, if you are a lonely hunter, taking a horse will keep you safe since the horse’s hooves are dressed with iron.
Baobhan Siths are notoriously scared of horses!
More Interesting Facts
- The Baobhan Sith can shapeshift! You would expect that a vampire would turn into a bat but the Baobhan Sith transforms into nothing less than the mighty wolf!
- It is rare to find a Baobhan Sith all alone. Usually, they appear in a group and attack in one also…
- It is still uncertain whether this myth was created by the Scottish paganists themselves or by Christians, who wanted to discourage people from joining the “dance of the fairies”.
- Some people even think that the vampire myth began with the Baobhan Sith. Wow! Count Dracula should really be careful.
- I left the best for last. If a Baobhan Sith has just drunk a man’s blood, then it can mimic his appearance. Now that's what I call food for thought! How many stories could be told about the Baobhan Sith?
I know I can think of many. Can you?
Of course, all these are only part of a myth and for our entertainment only... But this doesn’t mean that people are not inspired by this Scottish Folklore tale until this day!
The BaoBhan Sith in Literature and Films
I am certainly not the only writer who has found the Baobhan Sith to be of particular interest. Many writers have written stories and books based on this terrifying but fascinating creature of Scottish folklore and there is even a film about it!
If you do a small search then I am sure you will find even more fascinating tales about the mighty Baobhan Sith.
Go on then… I’ll leave you to it!
Until the next time!
Written by Lydia Kendall