Time for some more vampire folklore! Today’s post is on les Dames Blanches which is a combination of a few folkloric ideas. The name itself means “White Ladies” and it is usually used to describe a type of creature that looked half-ghost and half-fairy, but with very vampire-like traits. The name also suggests that there were usually more than one, that perhaps they traveled in groups.
These vampiric creatures spent their time at crossroads or cemeteries late at night when the moon was full. They appeared to be incredibly beautiful women with skin as pale as ivory. Even on the warmest of summer nights their breath and touch were ice cold. Each night these lovely women would dance beneath the moon, inviting passing travelers to join them. None of these people ever refused for it was said that these women had hypnotic powers that no one could overcome and deny. Once the travelers joined the dance they were doomed. The women would hold him in their freezing embrace and drain them of blood, once finished les Dames Blanches would throw the corpse to the side of the road.
These ladies were said to come from the ancient Goddess Druantia, Our Lady of the Oak. In Celtic mythology she is the queen of the druids and the druids got their powers from her. This goddess could be loving, spreading her well being through the healing herbs in her woodlands or she could be dark and wicked for she also presided over witchcraft and evil sorcery. In France les Dames Blanches were supernaturally linked to the dark and evil side. French folklorists were mixed on these “dancers of the crossroads” sometimes portraying them as ugly dancing dwarves instead of gorgeous women, either way in the stories they were always evil. The stories they spread of these graceful and pale women dancing under the moon without music, draining dry the blood of travelers caused quite a few people to be fearful of crossroads. But then, who wouldn’t be wary after hearing such tales?