Medieval Vampire Legends in UK and Ireland


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KELLIE HAULOTTE looks at some British and Irish vampires over the centuries 

When people hear the word vampire, Transylvania seems to always come to mind but the UK and Ireland have their own share of vampire legends.

This article is going to look at both different myths and two different accounts both from the 12th century.

Ireland and Scotland have specific names to vampire creatures in their mythology; the Dearg-due and Baobhan Sith.

First, the Dearg-due comes from Irish folklore and its name means “Red Blood Sucker”.

The Baobhan Sith comes from Scottish mythology and it’s a female vampire. This vampire appears to young men; they seduce them, and then eventually drained their blood. They like to hunt in the forests and at night. According to the lore, they can’t go out in the sunlight.

Irish Vampire Dearg Due
Irish Vampire Dearg Due

So the dearg-due and baobhan sith are just two types of vampires that show up in British and Irish vampire mythology.

Now that two myths were touched on, there are two different sightings to look at that are quite strange and morbid.

Medieval Vampire Legends in UK and Ireland 1
Scottish Vampire Baobhan Sith

Sightings of British and Irish vampires

The first one took place in Buckinghamshire, England, where the vampire made its appearance by the chronicler, William of Newburg. Newburg wrote in his report that a local deceased man had come back to life and was terrorizing his family. He also wrote in his report on how Bishop of Lincoln stepped in and solved the problem by having the body burned. Once that happened to the body, the man was never seen again. This early account is just one of many about vampirism in the UK.

The second account that took place in the medieval age was written by Walter Map.

Map wrote these accounts in his book, “De Nagis Curialium” which was written around 1190. The one account mentioned is rather gruesome; it involved a knight and his wife. See the knight and his wife had a baby, the poor thing was found dead with its throat ripped open. This happened to three of their children until they found the culprit, a woman who the townspeople called a demon. She was also known to have shapeshifted and resembled an early account of a  vampire.

When I researched the story, Elizabeth Bathory came to mind because of the obsession with youth and virgins.

So those are just some of the legends about vampires in the medieval age from gruesome accounts that supposedly happened to names that are found in mythology. We sometimes forget that the vampire legend isn’t just in Eastern Europe!

KELLIE HAULOTTE is an author and journalist. She has written two eBooks that were vampire fiction, “Plasma,” and “Draco: The Vampire Hunter.” She has also self-published a poetry book called, “Blue Nights and Summer Days.” When not writing, she watches horror films, reads a lot of books, and likes to collect vintage artefacts. You can follow her on twitter here.


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