Article by Wynter Wilkins Lore Sahjaza
Some information about a few types of vampire and vampire entities associated with Irish folklore.
In Irish Lore there are a few types of Vampire and Vampiric like entities. Though the lands are more known for a pantheon of deities, the Fae folk who can bless and run amok, and a myriad of other wondrous beings, there are some which do possess the traits what most know as vampiric.
A Dearg-diulai, which means literally “red blood sucker”, is a vampiric entity which often embodies a beautiful woman who feeds upon the blood of wayward and unwary travelers and those who can be seduced by her sexuality. Legends exist in Waterford, in Antrim, and in County Kerry about the female Dearg-diulai. There are legends which exist of the rare male Dearg-diulai as well in County Derry and Slaghtaverrty. Though in his case they deal with unspeakable acts of evil and cruelty prior to death which only continued on after he crossed into the realm of being classified as this type of vampiric entity.
A Gancanagh is known to be a vampiric type of Fae who seduces human women by possessing an addictive toxicity to his skin. Women who are seduced by this type of vampiric Fae die from pinning, withdraw, or fighting for his love.
A Leanashe/Lhainnan-Shee/Leanan Sidhe are also part of the grand vampiric Fae tradition of these lands in many ways. Most of the folklore her can be traced to the Isle of Man, however it can be found all over Ireland and many parts of Scotland as well. This vampiric spirit appears as a beautiful and irresistible woman. She attaches herself to a man and then begins to pull the life force from him while slowly ruining his body and his soul. Now there is some confusion as to whether these are all the same type of vampire of if they vary in one small way. Many legends associate the Leanan Sidhe with a Vampiric Fae Muse. It is believed that they inspire the artist that they attach to and feed from their creative output. They drive the artist to fits of madness in creation and thus burning through their energy at high rates of speed. Those arts who are chosen by this type of vampire live explosively bright and short lives often. It is believed that you can only free yourself from this type in one of two ways: find another as creative as you that the vampire can and will accept as the new donor or die.
But do not let these legends discourage you from visiting the beautiful lands of Ireland. And while there walking alone beside a still lake, when you are approached by a woman so beautiful the gods themselves would weep, and as you believe yourself to be in a dream and wander toward her for that embrace, remember…..