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The Giant’s Grave

Once upon a time in Derry, Ireland lived a dwarf named Abhartach. Now this was no ordinary dwarf, this dwarf was a magician and a vile tyrant. After committing many horrible cruelties he was at last vanquished by a neighboring chieftain, said to be Fionn Mac Cumhail.

The wicked dwarf’s body was then buried in a standing posture, but then, the very next day he reappeared in his old haunts and was even more cruel and powerful than before. The chief killed him again and buried him once again, but just like the last time the evil dwarf returned from the grave and spread fear throughout the land.

The bewildered chief then consulted a druid, and according to the man’s directions he slew the dwarf a third time, but this time he buried him with his head downwards which subdued his magical power. The dwarf was never seen again.

The laght (grave) placed over the dwarf is still there even now and if you were to visit it, the locals may tell you the tale in even more detail. The grave itself is now known as Slaghtaverty Dolmen, and is locally referred to as “The Giant’s Grave.” You have found the sight when you see a large rock and two smaller rocks under a hawthorn.

The reason I brought up this Irish story is that some believe that it had part in inspiring the Irish author we all know well, Bram Stoker. Most believe that the novel, Dracula, was inspired mostly by Vlad the Impaler. But Bob Curran, a lecturer in Celtic History and Folklore at the University of Ulster suggested that Bram Stoker may have derived inspiration from the legend of Abhartach.

Whether or not the old folktale was inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula it’s still a fantastic story.

– Moonlight

Abhartachbram stokerdraculaFionn Mac CumhailIrelandIrish folktaleIrish vampireSlaghtaverty DolmenThe Giant’s Gravevampire lore

Moonlight • January 19, 2010


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