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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/02/12

Friday, November 2, 2012

TOP 10 SCARY MYTHOLOGICAL CELTIC MONSTERS AND DEMONS!

    The ancient Celts had hundreds of deities, but as with most cultures, they had their demons as well. Some of the Celtic “monsters” were originally gods, but were later demonized as pagan creatures when many of the Celts became Christians. But the Celtic culture has always feared an array of evil forces.
    IrishCentral has hunted down the 10 most frightening of these Celtic and Irish demons and monsters.











1. Dearg Due – The Irish Vampire


   Yes, Dracula himself is an Irish creation (Irishman Bram Stoker created the modern image of the monster in his masterpiece novel), but there’s also a vampire that resides right smack in the middle of Ireland.
    Dearg-due, an Irish name meaning “red blood sucker,” is a female demon that seduces men and then drains them of their blood.
    According to the Celtic legend, an Irish woman who was known throughout the country for her beauty, fell in love with a local peasant, which was unacceptable to her father.
    Dad forced her into an arranged marriage with a rich man who treated her terribly, and eventually she committed suicide.
She was buried near Strongbow’s Tree in Waterford, and one night, she rose from her grave to seek revenge on her father and husband, sucking their blood until they dropped dead.
    Now known as Dearg-due, the vampire rises once a year, using her beauty to lure men to their deaths.
    Not to worry, though – there is one way to defeat Dearg-due.
    To prevent the undead from rising from the grave, simply build a pile of stones over her grave. No, it won’t kill her, but at least you’ll hold her off until next year!






2. The Dullahan – the Irish Headless Horseman


   Another legendary Irish monster is the Dullahan, a name that can be translated to “dark man.”
    Often portrayed in contemporary fantasy fiction and video games, this foreteller of death is the Irish version of the headless horseman.
    The Dullahan rides a headless black horse with flaming eyes, carrying his head under one arm. When he stops riding, a human dies.
    Some versions of this legend say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die.
    As with most evil forces, the Dullahan has a weakness – gold.
    The creature is scared of the substance, so any lonely travelers this Halloween night would be wise to have some on him in case they have a run-in with this headless horror!









3. Banshee – The Irish Wailing Ghost


    A famous Irish creature that some say teams up with the Dullahan is the Banshee.
One of the most recognizable Celtic creatures, having made a guest appearance in “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” and all, the Banshee is a female spirit whose wail, if heard outside of a house, foretells the death of one of its inhabitants.
    Several versions of the Banshee legend say the feared ghost rode alongside the Dullahan in a black cart drawn by six black horses. The pair is said to whip the horses with a human spinal cord.
    But most legends say the Banshee was terrifying enough on her own.
    Descriptions of her appearance vary, from an ugly old hag to a beautiful young woman, but all agree that the creature’s blood curdling wail will be heard three times before someone dies.










4. Balor – The Celtic Demon King


    Balor is the demonic God of Death in Celtic mythology.
    Sporting one eye and a single gigantic leg, the evil creature was King of the Fomori, demons who lived in the dark depths of lakes and seas.
    Balor can kill someone just by staring at them with his evil eye, so he kept it closed most of the time, so as not to constantly be tripping over dead bodies.
    The God of Death would provide his Fomori with victims, but the evil race was left to their own devices when Balor was killed by his son Lug, who shot him with a slingshot.
    Now the Fomori have returned to their waters and transformed into sea monsters who prey on humans.
    Perhaps it’d be a good idea to stay away from any bodies of water this Halloween!










5. Sluagh – The Dead Irish Sinners


    Though they’re not so much “demons,” Sluagh are scary creatures that hunt down souls.
    According to Irish folklore, Sluagh are dead sinners that come back as malicious spirits.
    These spirits come from the west, flying in groups like flocks of birds, and try to enter a house where someone is dying to take away that person’s soul.
Some Irish families would keep their west-facing windows shut at all times to keep the Sluagh out of their homes.
    Some say the Sluagh is the Irish version of the Wild Hunt, a European folktale about ghostly hounds or spirits traveling around in packs foretelling of death and disaster.





6. Carman – The Celtic Witch


    Carman is the Celtic goddess of evil magic.
    This destructive witch roamed around with her three evil sons: Dub (“darkness” in Irish), Dother (“evil”) and Dain (“violence”), destroying anything or anyone in their path.
    Carman put a blight on Ireland’s crops and terrorized the Irish until the Tuatha De Danann, the “peoples of the goddess Danu,” used their magic to fight and defeat her, and drove her sons across the sea.
    Guess this is one demon you can check off your list of scary creatures to worry about this Halloween.












7. Kelpie – The Celtic Sea Monster


   The kelpie is a monster right out of Celtic myth. The creature can take on multiple shapes, but usually it appears in the form of a horse.
    The kelpie galloped around Ireland, looking like a lost pony, attempting to trick women and children into riding on it. But the strange thing about this pony is that its mane would always be dripping with water.
    If a woman hopped on, the monster would then run into the water, drowning its victim, and then would take her to its lair to eat her.
    The Irish demon would sometimes transform into a handsome man to lure women to its trap, but a telltale sign that it was a kelpie was if that “man” had kelp in its hair.
Ladies, take note – meet a guy with seaweed on his head on Halloween night, don’t go home with him!





8. Caorthannach – The Celtic Fire-Spitter


   Caorthannach, thought by some to be the devil’s mother, is a demon that was fought off by St. Patrick when he banished the snakes out of Ireland.
    The saint is said to have stood on the mountain now known as Croagh Patrick and expelled all the serpents and demons out of the Emerald Isle into the sea to drown.
    One monster, however, managed to escape – Caorthannach, the fire-spitter. The demon slid down a mountain away from the saint, but Patrick spotted her, and chased her down upon the fastest horse in Ireland, which was brought to him.
    The pursuit was a long one, and Caorthannach knew St. Patrick would need water to quench his thirst along the way, so she spit fire as she fled, and poisoned every well she passed.
Though the saint was desperately thirsty, he refused to drink from the poisoned wells and prayed for guidance.
    Patrick eventually made it to the Hawk’s Rock, where he waited for Caorthannach. As the demon approached, he jumped out from his hiding spot and banished her from Ireland with a single word.
    The evil fire-spitter drowned in the ocean, leaving a swell behind that created the famous Hawk’s Well.











9. Leanan Sidhe – The Evil Irish Fairy-Muse



    Both a muse and a demon, Leanan Sidhe is another one of Ireland’s mythological vampires.
    The fairy was a beautiful woman who was said to give inspiration to poets and musicians – but at the price of their lives.
    She would make the artist her lover, sharing with them her intelligence, creativity and magic, but when she left, the men would be so depressed, they'd die.
    Leanan Sidhe would then take her dead lovers back to her lair.
    Rather than directly suck the blood of her victims, Leanan Sidhe got creative, and collected their blood in a giant red cauldron, which was the source of her beauty and artistic inspiration.
    As with Dearg-due, to prevent the undead Leanan Sidhe from rising, one must put a cairn of stones over her resting place.
    A tip to artists: perhaps you should look elsewhere for inspiration, rather than risking falling into the evil hands of the Leanan Sidhe!











10. Questing Beast – The Celtic Hybrid Monster


    Another snake-like evil Celtic creature is the Questing Beast, a monster with the head of a snake, the body of a leopard, the backside of a lion and the hooves of a deer.
    The beast’s constant cry was said to sound like the bark of 30 dogs.
    The Questing Beast, known to be quick, was hunted down by many a knight, and in Celtic myth was chased by King Pellinore, an Arthurian character.
    This beast appears not only in the legends of King Arhtur, but also in Edmund Spenser’s epic tale “The Faerie Queene,” which in part, tackles the troubled relationship between England and Ireland in the 16th century.
    This is one scary creature you don’t have to worry about this Halloween – unless you dress up as a knight.

DIY BOOKPAGE GARLAND!

   This diy comes from www.theshabbycreekcottage.com .  It's never too early to think of new fall/Halloween and winter/Christmas decorations and gifts to make.  Always be prepared.  Before you know it, it's that time of the year again!


I think I’m gettin’ my creative mojo back! Today’s post isn’t technically Halloween, but it is part of my Halloween mantle (which you’ll see later this week), so I think it counts :)




Book Page Garland




I love working with book pages. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer and I love being surrounded by words where ever I can squeeze them in, but I also love the look of the written word on a page. For this project I used nearly an entire hard back book from the Dollar Tree, some left over coffee for staining the pages, and my trusty stapler. Oh and staples – lots and lots and LOT o’ staples. I coffee stained mine by crumpling them up, wetting them with coffee, then drying them in the oven. After the first batch was dry (it only takes a few minutes), I did the batches of freshly stained pages while the next batch was drying. Since I used 2 cookie sheets, I could do 8 pages at a time – so the timing worked out perfectly for my project. You could do all of them then sit down & watch a movie while putting it together – I just wasn’t that patient.




Book Page Garland Tutorial




Once your pages are all dried & stuff, then crumple them long ways into somewhat of a fan shape and put a staple or two to keep them together. Make some tighter, some looser, really vary them for the best effect.




Book Page Garland how to




The more the merrier! I worked in batches of 8 (just like in the staining.) I’d staple 8 pages individually…





Book page garland demo




then staple them together in a line, layering them in front and behind of each other.




Book pages garland




Once I had two sets of 8 sheets done, then I layered them together and stapled them.




Book page ruffled garland




These sections look nice and full once you’ve got all those sheets on there. After I had all my double layer sections, then I stapled the sections together end to end, overlapping just a little so that it was one continuous garland.




Book page garland anthropologie style




Staples – lots and lots and lots o’ staples. It’s kinda like the Frankenstein of garlands I think…




Book Page Garland close up




All those pages & staples really make the layers and layers worth all the effort….
I tucked the staple side down onto the mantle – but watch out! Those staples can be sharp if you don’t get them in all the way (and I thought it would be easier/better than hot glue!)




Book page garland like pottery barn





Look at all that ruffley paper – yum-o! It’s the perfect anchor for my big old Halloween mantle… which you’ll see more of later this week.

PUMPKIN FUDGE!


   This recipe comes from www.allrecipes.com .  A nice snack, since fall and winter are just around the corner.



   Pumpkin lovers will sing songs of praise over this holiday confection! Creamy and smooth, it will end any meal happily.






Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 7 ounces marshmallow creme
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Line a 9x9 inch pan with aluminum foil, and set aside.
  2. In a 3 quart saucepan, heat milk and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. Mix in pumpkin puree and cinnamon; bring back to a boil. Stir in marshmallow creme and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 18 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and add white chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until creamy and all chips are melted. Pour into prepared pan. Cool, remove from pan, and cut into squares. Store in a cool, dry place.




Pumpkin lovers will sing songs of praise over this holiday confection! Creamy and smooth, it will end any meal happily."