Baobhan Sith, also known as Baobhan Sidhe, Bavanshee, Baavan Shee or The White Woman of the Scottish Highlands, is a fairy Vampire who appears to men taking a the form of a beautiful woman in order to seduce them and drink their blood.
* Scottish version of female Vampires and Succubi (as they lure men through sexual attraction), Baobhan Sith are very dangerous and evil and they act preying on human being, mostly hunters but unwary travellers passing by the Highlands as well.
According to legend, Baobhan Sith are mostly attracted to hunters (as their clothes might smell of blood) and to young men out after dark.
The words baobhan sith (pronounced baa’-van shee) stand for fairy woman in Scottish Gaelic.
Baobhan Sith are even more withdrawn from society than are their common counterparts. They don’t care about power, they just want to feed and prey upon their victims, youth staying out until after dark. The fairies approach their victims by inviting them to dance with them, until they are exhausted because while dancing the sidhe, feed upon them, sucking their blood until death.
They usually settle in forests or mountains, always in natural environment. Anyway Baobhan Sith will have a secured coffin somewhere underground so they can return to rest there during the day.
A lesser popular version tells they have hooves instead of feet, though they keep it hidden under their clothes. They may be of Human or Half-Elven stock, but they always appear as beautiful women and enchantresses, sometimes attacking in small groups with others of their kin. Baobhan Sith are supposed to be able to shift, but not into bats: their animal of choice is the wolf. |Shapeshifting will lessen their power as they won’t be able to use their glamour in animal form.
* They can speak any language their victim knows due to a form of telepathy, but they will sound as if they have a strange accent.
* Baobhan Sith don’t use fangs as most vampires do to draw blood, but their long and sharp finger nails. They look very ordinary until the vampire attacks, then turn into talons to win their victim.
* The so-called dancing vampires are capable of glamour and they use it to charm their victims through spells so they drain blood without the victim noticing. No male victim of theirs will turn into Baobhan Sith, as they are only women, but if they attack and kill a woman she will return as one of their kin. Most of them where previously enchanters or witches who keep on using their skills in death.
Baobhan Sith are fairy creatures so they might be harmed and killed by iron. But their awesome beauty is hard to resist even for those who understand how dangerous they are. Also, if horse-riding hunters are surrounded by baobhan sith they can usually ward them off by staying on the horse, if they manage to resist the creatures’ beauty.
The most common tale tells of four young friends who after hunting decided to spend their night in an abandoned cottage. As darkness fell they set a fire in the hearth and they started singing and dancing. As one of them expressed his wish to have female companions with them, four women knocked at their door and started dancing with the youths. As the baobhan sith started to attack their prey, one of the young men who was singing ran to the door, taking shelter between the horses. The creature that was running after him waited for him to get out of the safe circle formed by the animals but the man stayed within until dawn broke, and the woman disappeared shortly before the sun rose. The man returned to the cottage to find his friends dead and drained of blood. He was saved only because faery creatures are traditionally afraid of iron for it can harm and kill them, and the horses were shod with iron shoes.
Photos by Alena Belyakova