Dracula, banshees and Jack O'Lantern: Top ten Irish Halloween scary spirits (PHOTOS)

The scariest of Halloween monsters and ghouls have the Irish to thank for their terrifying origins.

The scariest of Halloween monsters and ghouls have the Irish to thank for their terrifying origins. We look at some of the best and most terrifying creations that the Irish unleashed upon the unsuspecting world on the Night of the Living Dead. 

1. Dracula

"Dracula" the novel was written by Bram Stoker from Dublin, a life-time lover of the darker elements of Irish folklore and mythology that inspired his most famous blood-sucking creation. A spirit you can get your teeth into.

Stoker is believed to have dreamt up Dracula from Irish folklore.

2. Leprechaun

Not the cuddly one, or the pesky ones running off with their pots of gold, the one from the 1993 movie "Leprechaun" who almost knocked off Jennifer Aniston in one of her first roles. Pity he didn’t succeed ... 

3. Banshee

A sheet with eyeholes will do for anybody wishing to copy this iconic Irish Halloween terror on October 31. She is heard only when a loved one is dying. The word comes from the Irish "Bean Sí," literally meaning female fairy.

4. Devil

The Devil is often referred to as Darby O’Gill but not the sanitized Walt Disney movie, a mythological figure where he is a much more wicked character than Walt's tame version.

In Ireland he usually appears as an attractive man at a dance, but if any lady smitten with him looks down she will see his cloven hoof.

5. Headless Horseman

A difficult Halloween costume to produce but keep your head up ... Dullahan is his name and he is said to inhabit an Irish wood near Westmeath. 

READ MORE: Ten interesting Irish facts about Halloween you may not know

6. Werewolves of Tipperary

Ancient texts refer to the half-man, half-wolf who inhabited this area. Old Gaelic chieftains used to visit and pray for their support before a battle.

Image: Getty images.

7. The Undead Priest

This is an old priest from the Dublin Mountains who locals swear appeared to them after his death in the 1920s. Many independent verifications were received so best be wary of any priest on Halloween night just to be safe.  

Better be safe than sorry!

8. The Mayo Vampire

Said to have existed during the Famine and more than likely based on people who fled their homes during the hunger and lived in the woods near Westport, but locals swore he came for their children at night.

Image: Getty images.

9. Jack O’Lantern

Jack O’Lantern is where the modern pumpkin came from. Jack O'Lantern is said to be a ghostly spirit who trapped Satan in a cross-shaped tree hollow. When Jack died, he was barred from Heaven and Hell, suspended in a black abyss with only an ember in a carved-out turnip, the Devil's flashlight to help him navigate.

Image: Toby Ord/Wikicommons

10. The Meredith Monster

In the Parish Church of Ardtrea, near Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, there is a marble monument and inscription in memory of Thomas Meredith, D.D., who had been a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and for six years rector of the parish. He died, according to the words of the inscription, on May 2, 1819 as a result of "a sudden and awful visitation." A local legend explains this "visitation," stating that a ghost haunted the rectory and it could often be seen afterwards cackling over the death of Meredith.

Image: Getty images.

READ MORE: Top ten Irish traditions for Halloween (PHOTOS)

*Originally published October 2010.