The Sluagh – Zombie Faerie Hordes!
Note: Originally posted as part of our “100 Days of Halloween”, 2014. Updated slightly. Enjoy!
Spirits of the dead have always fascinated us, spawning so many different stories and legends throughout the ages. Vampires, zombies, ghosts…many of our most famous ghoulies are people who died and came back as…something else.
Have you ever heard…Zombie faeries?
(Just let your mind run wild for a moment …
Yep, just let it run … wild …
Zombie … Faeries …
Okay, reel it back in now!)
While much of pop culture—thankfully not all—depicts faeries as nice and cute little pixies, we need to get honest with you here: these creatures are rather terrifying! Earlier in our #100DaysofHalloween countdown, we shared about the dullahan (a faerie), Ireland’s spine-wielding headless horseman of death. Other beasties in this dark realm of faerie-kind would include the powrie or redcap, who must kill in order to dip his cap in its victim’s blood, and thus stay alive. (If you’ve attended any of our @TheMonsterGuys panels at conventions, you’ll probably recognize some popular redcaps … thus ruining your childhood. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. It’s our secret!) And don’t forget the cusidhe (pronounced Koo-Shee), a green, thorny, faerie-hound with flaming red eyes, that kidnaps children and replaces them with disgusting changelings.
Today’s fae is no less horrifying. The sluagh (pronounced Sloo-ow) was not simply a single faerie horror, but a horde of undead spirits flying through the nighttime air, smelling strongly of rotting flesh. Yum!
Even worse, sluagh were believed to be the spirits of the worst people. Sadistic, selfish, and downright nasty. They took pleasure in diving down from the sky, only to swoop up the unfortunate soul passing by and throw him or her back down again (mean little bugger!). The sluagh could also take possession of a person, causing that individual to commence attacking innocent bystanders and wild animals.
Of course, with every monster legend there is a way to kill it, or at least ward it off. When dealing with the sluagh, here’s the trick…stay inside, and close the windows. But you only have to close the windows facing west, since that is the direction these spirits come from. All others are okay to leave wide open. Unless werewolves live in your area. Or the manananggal. Or Jason Voorhees. But you’ll totally be safe from the sluagh. HA!
Leave windows open at your own risk!!
Happy Halloween 2014!
P.S. – In our young adult dark-fantasy novel, “Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: Witch Moon (Book 2)” we give a heavy nod to the sluagh. The team of monster hunters happen upon a field of sluagh just before they are captured and manipulated by Carman, the witch of destruction, eventually turning the sluagh into the teeming mass of mecha-undead that is the Necrogolem. Ultra nasty, ultra cool! 🙂
Pictured to the left is our artist rendition of the Necrogolem featured in our card game based on the series of books.
For further listening: C. Michael McGannon’s original story titled “A Murder of Souls” (The Sluagh) – A Monster Guys Podcast Presentation, on our Faerie Tales Podcast.
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nightmares…er, we mean, FUN…fun, too! 😉