5 Of Ireland’s Biggest Folklore Legends To Know

The shimmering emerald shores of Ireland have seeped in wondrous folklore since people began telling stories and it’s easy to see why – everything about Ireland seems to be imbued with mystical energy, from the vibrant greenery to the deep crystal waters. It has become synonymous with faeries, who feature in most of the country’s legends and are still believed into this day.


Faerie women always give birth to disfigured children, which can be problematic for a species that favours the visually pleasing. At night, the faerie mothers creep into our world to find a beautiful human baby, disguise their own offspring with magic and switch babies, taking the human child back to their world. Though the Changeling looks just like the human child, it lacks the emotional range – causing and feeding off any misfortune or grief within the household.


The Pooka is a shape-shifting pixie that is usually wicked but can sometimes be benevolent – they have been said to warn, protect, help or save people. They are usually trouble makers in tales. They often transform into a black animal and enjoy terrifying and harming unsuspecting travelers they meet on isolated roads.

5 Of Ireland's Biggest Folklore Legends To Know


In Ireland, Faeries are very much alive and celebrated. Irish faeries can take whatever form they wish, though they usually appear to be human. There are many different races and species in faerie mythology, and they can be benevolent or malevolent. These beautiful beings go hand in hand with Ireland and are featured globally in art, media and even St Patricks Day gifts like the ones at https://www.shamrockgift.com/st-patricks-day


Perhaps the best known Irish faerie is the Leprechaun, but he doesn’t look how you would expect – often appearing as a tall, old man dressed in green. He loves gold, so much so that he collects it and stores it in a magical spot at the end of the rainbow. Legend says that if you manage to catch a Leprechaun, he must grant you three wishes.


The Banshee is an evil spirit that takes the form of a ragged old woman, a beautiful young woman or a washer-woman wringing out bloody clothes. When she has been sighted, she lets out a blood-curdling scream that curses the family of whoever hears it with misfortune, grief and death.

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