The baobhan sith is a female vampire who seduces her victims by appearing as a beautiful woman, only to turn into a violent creature of the night. Typically she preys upon hunters in remote areas. The baobhan sith are amongst Scotland’s most dangerous mythical creatures.
Tales of the Baobhan Sith
In one tale there were four hunters who took shelter for the night in a lonely shieling or hut. One of the men supplied vocal music while the others began dancing. As the night stretched, their spirits soared, music filled the air and their feet moved to its rhythm. Their hearts yearned for partners to share the dance, a desire that seemed to materialize when four women sauntered into the shieling. Three joined the dance while the fourth kept the vocalist company. However, the jovial scene soon gave way to horror as the vocalist noticed the blood leaking from his dancing friends.
Fleeing for his life, he took refuge amongst the horses. His shadowy pursuer, unable to reach him there, vanished with the dawn. Upon his return to the shieling, he discovered the macabre scene of his friends, lifeless and drained of blood. Perhaps, the iron horseshoes, a known bane of fairy-kind, were his saving grace.
In a parallel tale, one of the men noticed that the women had deer hooves instead of feet and fled from them. He returned the next morning to find that the other hunters had their “throats cut and chests laid open”.
In another haunting story, the hunters took refuge in a cave rather than a sheiling. Each of the men said he wished his own sweetheart were there that night. All but one whose name was Macphee stated that he preferred his wife to remain at home. As if in response to their longing, a group of women stepped into the cave. The black dog accompanying Macphee became his saviour, driving the women away and sparing Macphee the fate his comrades met.
One recurring motif in these stories is that the baobhan sith appear almost immediately after the hunters express their desire for female companionship. This mirrors a traditional Scottish belief that if one were to make a wish at night without also invoking God’s protection, then that wish would be granted in some terrible manner.
Baobhan Sith Appearance:
The Baobhan Sith is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman. She often wears a long green dress that conceals her deer hooves – a common giveaway of her true nature in folklore. This clever disguise allows her to get close to unsuspecting men, her primary targets.
Baobhan Sith Habitat:
Baobhan Sith does not have a specific habitat per se, according to the legends. She is a wandering spirit who appears out of nowhere, especially in wilderness areas where men might be hunting or travelling.
Baobhan Sith Behaviour:
The Baobhan Sith is a type of female vampire in Scottish mythology, known for seducing men and then draining their blood. She lures her victims with her enchanting beauty and charm, leading them to dance or walk with her until they are isolated. Once alone, she reveals her true vampire nature and feeds on their blood. The Baobhan Sith is considered highly dangerous and is feared for her cunning and deadly allure. Instead of feet she has deer hooves which she typically hides by wearing a green dress.
There are no known variants of the Baobhan Sith per se. However, she does share characteristics with similar creatures in Celtic folklore. For example, she is similar to the Irish banshee in her connection with death, although the banshee foretells death rather than causing it. She also shares traits with the succubus, a demon who seduces men in their dreams.
Baobhan Sith Location in Scotland:
While the Baobhan Sith is part of Scottish folklore as a whole, she is not associated with any particular locale in Scotland. She can appear anywhere, especially in isolated, rural, or wilderness areas. Her tales are widespread throughout Scotland, reflecting universal fears and cautions against the unknown and the allure of deceptive appearances.