Gather ‘round, for I have a tale of indescribable horror. What began as a night of laughter quickly transformed into a night of soul crushing screams. This is the tale of the wicked fae of British folklore – the Boabhan Sith.
The Scots Gaelic term boabhan sith (pronounced “boh-van shee”) translates to “wicked woman fairy.” These fae appear first as crows or ravens, then as breathtakingly beautiful women in white or green with plaid sashes and hooves instead of feet. The word boabhan is sometimes used as is to describe a bad fairy or an irritating woman. It is derived from the Irish Badbh, the terrifying war goddess who took the form of a crow to eat the flesh and drink the blood of fallen warriors. But enough word play, let’s get to the story, shall we…
In one old tale, four naive friends went on a hunting trip and due to unmentioned events, were forced to stay the night in an abandoned cottage in the woods. They lit a fire and entertained themselves by singing and dancing through the night. One of them wished out loud that it would be more fun if they had some women to dance with. And no sooner than he had spoken the words did they receive a knock at the door. Awaiting the four men were four beautiful ladies. Three of the men danced and danced with their lovely companions , while the fourth, an excellent singer, sang the music.
Most of the night went very well – there was laughter and joy as the men and women danced the night away… but then the feeling changed and the dancing became frenzied and wild. As the dancers spun around the room, blood began to splatter the walls. The terrified singer rushed out of the cottage and hid among the tethered horses. Soon the shrieks and screams of agony faded away and the four fairies came out of the cottage and looked for the young singer. For whatever reason they were unable to go near the horses, maybe because of the iron shoes on the horses hooves, and at dawn when the cock crowed the boabhan sith were forced to flee.
The young man crept back into the cottage to see what had become of his three friends and discovered them dead and broken on the floor, completely drained of blood.