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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 06/19/15

Friday, June 19, 2015

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 StPatrick 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.

SUPERMAN CELEBRATION FROM METROPOLIS, ILLINOIS!

Original "Superman" George Reeves and "Lois Lane" Noel Neill




   Metropolis, IL’s biggest week of the year is drawing near. From June 11th, through , June 14th,  the town of fewer than 7000 people will become a real metropolis, or at least close to it, as thousands of visitors from around the country, and even around the world, visit for the 33rd annual Superman Celebration!
   "It's a chance for people of all ages to come together and just enjoy a weekend of fun," explained Metropolis Tourism Director Angie Shelton. "You never know who you'll meet... and you never know what you’ll see!"
   As always, a big draw for Superman enthusiasts is the lineup of celebrities. Last year's special guests included Laura Vandervoort and Sam Witwer from television’s Smallville; Noel Neill, Lois Lane from The Adventures of Superman; Ilya Salkind, producer of Superman I, II and III; and the legendary comic book artist, Carmine Infantino.










   In addition to Infantino, artists and writers, including Dave Beaty, Josh Elder and members of the Mid-south Cartoonist Association, were among those who shared their love of comics with visitors to the Celebration.
To honor Noel Neill, the "First Lady of Metropolis," a statue of her likeness was unveiled at 10 a.m. Friday, June 11 at the corner of Eighth and Market streets. The slightly larger-than-life bronze statue features Neill in her famous pose as reporter Lois Lane. The statue is the centerpiece of a newly constructed setting which features engraved bricks. Hundreds of people purchased personalized bricks to help fund the $65,000 project.









   Returning to this year's line-up are the 2nd Annual Superman Super Site Meet & Greet at Dippin Dots (RSVP here!), Stump the Superman Expert, a Cheetos Eating Contest and game-show type event, "60 Seconds to be Super."
   During the four-day celebration, visitors can sample food items at numerous cafes-on-wheels and browse sidewalk sales. The always-popular carnival brings all sorts of exciting rides, along with concessions, including corn dogs and cotton candy.
   Right in the middle of all of the activities visitors will have the opportunity to pose with the world-famous 15-foot-tall bronze statue of Superman and tour the SuperMuseum, which holds the largest collection of Superman memorabilia in the world.









   The annual Superman Celebration takes place in Metropolis, Illinois which has welcomed tourists and curiosity seekers to the one-and-only official "Home of Superman" for over three decades. A billboard with the image of Superman points the way to downtown Metropolis for motorists entering the city from the east side. Other images of the super hero can be found all around this town of less than seven thousand inhabitants.
   Superman souvenirs are available everywhere as well. At one time, the Chamber gave away free packets of Kryptonite to children but were forced to cease this tradition when "DC Comics" claimed the practice was a copyright violation.









   Things haven't always been so rosy in Metropolis though.
   In 1972, the town had plans to build a thousand-acre "Amazing World of Superman", a $50 million theme park, with a 200-foot-tall statue. Cars would drive between Superman's legs to enter the park. Then the Arabs shut off the oil and the bankers shut down Metropolis's dream.
   The town took over a decade to recover. Then, very cautiously, Metropolis scraped together a thousand bucks in 1986 and put up a seven-foot fiberglass Superman in the town square. It quickly became a target for literal-minded vandals who wanted to see if the Man of Steel was stronger than a speeding bullet. He wasn't, and once again Metropolis's efforts to celebrate their hero were thwarted. What could a small town like Metropolis do?









   In 1993, they did a lot. On June 5th, citizens of Metropolis unveiled a new fifteen-foot bronze statue of Superman preceding the town's fifteenth annual Superman Celebration. Built by the same company that created the Emmy statue outside the Academy of Television Arts in Hollywood, the monument to the most famous flying hero ever stands proudly in full color in front of the courthouse on Superman Square. Tens of thousands have since visited the statue, and it has become a focal point of the small town's revival in both an economic and cultural sense. (Several community service groups raised over $100,000 for the project by selling personalized bricks that beautify the base and walkway around the statue.)





Superman with some of his arch enemies



   Metropolis, Illinois, is located just across the Ohio River from Padukah, Kentucky. From Interstate 24, follow Route 45 West for about five miles. Once you cross Massac Creek, the highway twists left then right before turning into Fifth Street. The Superman statue, located at the center of town, is at the intersection of Fifth and Market Streets. You can leave your car in any of the designated parking spots, and easily walk to all of the sites.


THE NOEL NEILL STATUE



Noel Neill with her "Lois Lane" statue





    In 2005, The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, Metropolis Illinois, the Home of Superman, announced the formation of "The Noel Neill Statue Committee".
   The committee's sole purpose is to spearhead and oversee the construction of a life-size bronze statue of Noel Neill as "Lois Lane" to be placed in Metropolis, Illinois.
The idea is to acknowledge Noel's contributions to the Superman Celebration as the "First Lady of Metropolis" and her portrayal of Lois Lane in the Serials and the TV series of the 1950s, "The Adventures of Superman" with an honorable and permanent gesture of love from the citizens of Metropolis and from her countless fans around the world.





The original Superman gang



   The concept was presented to Noel at her 85th Birthday Party held in North Hollywood, California and, with Noel's blessing, a competition for the design of a Noel Neill as Lois Lane statue was thrown open to Sculptors everywhere!
   Pictures of the 2 foot size scale model of the winning sculpture were unveiled at the 2008 Superman Celebration in June 2008.
     The revenue from all bricks and commemorative plaques will help pay for the sculpting and the placement of the statue which will be in close proximity to the existing Superman statue.









   The groundbreaking ceremony for the six foot, bronze Noel Neill Statue took place on Saturday, June 13, 2009 during the 2009 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois.
   The unveiling ceremony took place at 10am on Friday, June 11, 2010 at the corner of Eighth and Market streets. Neill traveled from California for the special honor, and met the artist who sculpted her likeness, Gary Ernest Smith. Smith, and Kevin Maag, from Metal Art Foundry, made the journey from Utah for the ceremony. Mayor Billy McDaniel and other local officials also took part in the unveiling ceremony