The tale of Scottish banshees: Baobhan Sith

The Baobhan Sith would stalk wooded areas, waiting for unsuspecting travellers Picture: TSPL
The Baobhan Sith would stalk wooded areas, waiting for unsuspecting travellers Picture: TSPL
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THE LEGENDARY Baobhan Sith, pronounced baa’van see, are also known as the White Women of the Scottish Highlands. These mystical creatures took the form of a beautiful woman, lurking the Highlands, waiting to seduce young travellers and drink their blood.

Thought to be fairies, the Baobhan Sith were generally withdrawn from society, unlike their sucubi counterparts. They didn’t care about power, wealth or youth. They only cared about feeding - luring young hunters in by inviting them to dance with them until they grew too exhausted to overpower the Baobahn Sith. They would then feed upon their helpless victims, draining them dry of blood.

The Baobhan Sith were said to shapeshift into wolves to stalk their prey Picture: Wiki Commons

The Baobhan Sith were said to shapeshift into wolves to stalk their prey Picture: Wiki Commons

Unlike vampires, the Baobhan Sith would use their long, sharp fingernails to slit their victims necks in order to drink their blood.

Settled in the mountains and forests, the Baobhan Sith would often lure in Highland hunters, drawn to the men by the smell of blood from their kills.

Legend has it the these women had hooves instead of feet, which they keep hidden under their long dresses. And unlike their vampire cousins who were fond of shape shifting into bats, the Baobhan Sith favoured a wolf form.

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There were never any known male Baobhan Sith, but if a woman is killed by these creatures, she will turn into one.

The Baobhan Sith had only two known weaknesses - they had a fear of horses and they are vulnerable to iron, the only known substance which can kill them.

The most popular tale of the Baobhan Sith tells the story of a young group of hunters, who stopped for the night in a small hunting lodge.

The men built a fire, and began eating and drinking, expressing general merriment after a good day’s hunt.

As they begin to voice how nice it would be to have the company of women, there is a knock at the door.

Four beautiful women stand in the doorway, having become lost in the wilderness and ask if they may join the men in their shelter for the night.

The men, silently congratulating themselves on their good fortunes, invite the women in.

After a while the women express a wish to dance, and the men waste no time in asking them, the four men coupled off perfectly.

Soon, the dancing becomes more vagarious, and before the men know what has happened, the Baobhan Sith have slit the throats of all but one man, who was nearest the door.

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He bolted as soon as he realised what was happening, and ran over to the horses in a frenzy. It was here he realised the Baobhan Sith were not venturing near the horses.

The man stood, weary eyed, among the animals all night. Just before dawn, the women headed back towards the wild.

The lone man cautiously headed back towards the hunting lodge, hearing no sound from within. 
When he looked inside, he saw his three comrades dead on the floor, their skin almost translucent, as they lay in a pool of their own blood.