Samhain 2020 Creature Feature: Dullahan

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Welcome to a slightly late post on the next creature we are going to feature to celebrate the upcoming release of The Fae Effect, as part of the Some Like it Haunted Collection. Watch out! This one is really creepy, as Keenan finds out quickly.

The Dullahan, the Gan Geann, the headless horseman. Stuff for absolute nightmares. Usually, they are depicted as male but there are female versions as well. They are considered as omens of death and where they stop riding, someone there will die.

They hold their own head which looks like mouldy cheese and rides upon a dark horse with flaming eyes that sometimes has a wagon hitched to it. The wagon is full of funeral objects, from candles in skills to light the way. The wagon wheels are made of human thigh bones and the cover is made from human skin. The Dullahan also carries a whip made of a human spine.

There are no roads that the Dullahan cannot travel on, no place it cannot go. But it is afraid of gold, any amount of gold. Even a pin can be used to ward off the creature.  (I wish Kennan knew that. Instead, she tried to use pepper spray.) It is a symbol of death and beyond simply signalling the end of life, it is said to take the souls of death, known as the silent coach and can be found also driving a stagecoach with six black horses, carrying the dead.

Some say that Dullahan is a version of a dark Celtic god named Crom Cruach who demanded human sacrifice but ironically was a fertility god. But who knows where some of these mythic creatures come from.

The Dullahan can be found across pop culture as the headless horseman. The Japanese in particular, seem to have a fascination with the character, although warped, from video games to anime, most notably in one called Durarara (available on Netflix). In the Fae Effect, the Dullahan is one of the creatures Keenan encounters that basically freaks the shit out of her.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned next week as we’ll be featuring another fae creature. And if you are feeling up for a Halloween tale based on traditional Irish folklore with a dose of creepiness, and some hot MFM action, check out The Fae Effect, releasing Oct 27.

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