The word, Banshee derives from the Irish Gaelic, Bean Sidhe, meaning “woman of the hills” or “woman of the fairy mounds.” To hear the wail or shriek of a Banshee is to hear the news that a loved one has died or is about to die. Catch her, and she must reveal the name of the doomed. She is often described as wearing green with a grey cloak and has glowing red eyes as a result of all of her weeping. Banshees can be either youthful or old in appearance.
Phookas typically dwell near water and teeter in the middle between benevolent and malevolent. They have dark fur, the body of a man and the head of a animal, often a goat, horse, bull or dog. Their danger comes from their complete unpredictability. When in a generous mood, they bestow gifts and helpful services, but they have also been known to slaughter farm animals, take innocent travelers on terrifyingly wild rides and abandon them in unknown places …if they don’t decide to eat them first. Trying to communicate with a Phooka can leave one clouded with confusion. They speak in riddles and nonsense. One can never be sure if a Phooka’s advice will lead one away from or straight into harm.
Kelpies are terrifying shapeshifting water horses who live in Scottish lochs. They will lure unsuspecting travellers by offering rides, only to carry them to the bottom of lakes where they are drowned and devoured. Kelpies eat their prey and toss the entrails on the shore. They eat animals, humans and other faeries as well. They sometimes shape shift into attractive men to lure women to their death.
Grindylows, sometimes called river hags, are nasty freshwater nature spirits who would grab children who got too close to the water’s edge and drown them. They inhabit bogs, ponds and rivers. The most famous of them are known by the names, Jenny Greenteeth and Peg Powler. Grindylow folklore originated in Yorkshire and Lancashire, England, although similar creatures also hail from Russia, Jamaica, and Australia.
Said to be the most evil of Goblins, Redcaps are malevolent and extremely violent in nature. They are named for their headgear: a cap dyed red from the blood of their victims. They inhabit stone ruins, abandoned castles and eerie crypts, most notably along the border of Scotland and England. They take pleasure in committing acts of violence and murder, and even drink the blood of those they kill and torture. In early medieval times, the Picts would bathe the foundation stones of their buildings in the blood of sacrifices. Some believe Redcaps are the spirits of those sacrifices.
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween! Put out Jack-o-lanterns and iron objects to guard your home from unwanted spirits. I am also currently accepting bookings for Faerie and Halloween Tarot readings. Click here for more info!