Abhartach


Vampire Wednesday Baby!

I can hear you….
“Mari, when will you ever run out of vampires?”
I hope I could confidently say “NEVER!” but I know the day will come. I pray it far far away still.
“So what do you have in store for us today?”
I have another little treasure from Ireland! I hope you all love it.

Abhartach
Pronounced Ah-BART-tig. This is the oldest known recorded vampire story in Western Europe comes from ancient Celtic lore. It happened in a rural parish called Glenullin in a town called Slaughtaverty, Ireland. This merciless tyrant and a powerful sorcerer. Traditionally he’s portrayed as being short maybe a dwarf and having some sort of physical deformity.

Abhartach was a jealous man, he believed his wife was having an affair, but thought she’d never confess. One night he climbed out his window and crawled along the ledge towards his wife’s bedroom, hoping to be able to find her in the act of adultery. Before he made it to his wife’s window, he slipped and fell. He died instantly. His body was found in the morning.

The people of the town buried him like a king, standing upright in his grave. The day after his funeral Abhartach come back to Slaughtaverty, he demanded that the people of the town slit their wrists and bleed into his bowl daily so he could sustain his life. The population did it, they were scared of him when he was living, they weren’t about to cross him now that he was dead.

Soon they decided they weren’t going to keep doing what the dead tyrant wanted. They hired an assassin to kill him. The townsfolk believed the assassin was successful, but soon Abhartach returned, demanding his bowl of blood. Various assassins were hired, all had the same results, and a druid came forward and promised he would kill Abhartach.

The druid explained that the magic used to return Abhartach along with the type of creature he became a murbhheo (ancient Gaelic word for vampire) their evil ruler couldn’t ever be permanently destroyed, only trapped. The druid used a sword made of yew wood; he ran it through Abhartach while he was in a weakened state. He was buried upside down in a graved covered with ask branches, thorn and a large boulder.

Abhartach

The town of Slaughtaverty, the name means Abhartach’s Grave. To this day Abhartach will attack anyone who get too close to his gravesite, he isn’t able to escape it. Next to the boulder that helps to imprison him there’s a large thorn tree that grows out of the burial site, it pins him to the earth.

Photo Credit;
http://www.ocathain.com/abhartach.html

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3 thoughts on “Abhartach

  1. Great post – I have never heard this story before, so thanks for sharing it. Brightest Blessings

  2. […] you of those Irish who desire your blood. The Earl of Desmond Dullahan Carricaphouka Castle Abhartach Annis […]

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