What are the top ten scariest Irish monsters and spirits? 

1. Dracula

Bram Stoker's terrifying creation.

Bram Stoker's terrifying creation.

The book was written by Bram Stoker from Dublin. A spirit you can get your teeth into.

2. Leprechaun

Not all leprechauns are friendly.

Not all leprechauns are friendly.

Not the cuddly one, the one from the 1993 movie "Leprechaun" who almost knocked off Jennifer Aniston in one of her first roles. 

3. Banshee

The terrifying banshee.

The terrifying banshee.

A sheet with eyeholes will do. She is heard only when a loved one is dying. Literally, means female fairy.

4. Devil

Never strike a deal with the devil.

Never strike a deal with the devil.

As in Darby O’Gill, but not the sanitized Walt Disney movie, the mythology where he is a much more wicked character. In Ireland, he usually appears as an attractive man at a dance but if a lady smitten by him looks down she will see his cloven hoof.

Read more: Frightening Irish demons and monsters from Celtic myth

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.

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.

7. The Undead Priest

An old priest from the Dublin mountains, who locals swear appeared to them after his death in the 1920s. Many independent verifications were received

8. The Mayo Vampire

Said to have existed during the famine, 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.

9. Jack O’Lantern

Jack O’Lantern is where the modern pumpkin came from. 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. The original Irish Jack O'Lanterns were turnips

10. The Meredith Monster

Run quick if you see this female spirit.

Run quick if you see this female spirit.

In the Parish Church of Ardtrea, near Cookstown, 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," by stating that a ghost haunted the rectory and it could often be seen afterward cackling over the death of Meredith.

* Originally published Oct 2010.

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