Fir Gorta and Fear Gortagh

Irish Vampire Fir Gorta
A bit of a history lesson first: In 1845-1851, The Irish Potato Famine took place. In the hardest places turned to eating “Relish Cakes” a small cake made with oatmeal, turnip greens, and fresh blood that was drained from the necks of animals.

After the blight, it was believed that some people had developed a taste for relish cakes and didn’t stop eating them. Only after the Potato Famine ended did the Fir Gorta (hungry man) come into existence. He is portrays as a skeletal man holding a staff in one hand and a begging cup in the other.

Legend has it that the Fir Gorta would go to the back door of houses that still ate relish cakes. In a weak feeble voice, it would ask for food or money. If the occupants didn’t give him anything, they would all become sick.

Hungry Man

Hungry Man

Fear Gortagh
Also known as Fear Gor-ta, Fair-Gortha, Fairy Grass Fear, Gortach, Fod Gortac, Foidin Mearuil (Stray Sod) and Grave Grass. This one has so many names I confused myself…
In Ireland there are patches of earth –spots where someone died from starvation- that have vampiric tendencies it’s known as fear gortagh or hungry grass.

It looks like the grass all around it so there isn’t anything to give it away for hungry grass until its too late. When you walk on it you’ll get extremely hungry. Running away won’t stop Fear Gortagh from continuing to eat you live energy. The only way to save yourself is to eat and drink something quickly or you’ll die of hunger pains.

Photo Credit:
Fear Gorta:


2 thoughts on “Fir Gorta and Fear Gortagh

  1. Joseph Pinto says:

    Man, where do you get this stuff? lol It’s awesome crazy!! 🙂 So informative. I love reading your posts on this, Mari!

    • mari wells says:

      I have my sources… they would be very displeased if I told you. 😀 I have so much info that I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. I’m going to start taking requests.

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