Dearg-Due: The Legend of The Irish Vampire and The Birth of a Deadly Blood Sucker


There are many tales of Irish demons sucking the lifeblood from the living. Ugly bat like creatures lurking in the dead of the night. Pale faced with long yellow nails and gaping purple mouths. Sour breath and bloodied hollow eye sockets. Stories that date back to pre celtic times. Perhaps these tales of demons were simply told to entertain during long winter nights. Perhaps parents told stories to scare their children so they wouldn't wonder too far from their camp. Or perhaps these tales were far more than just stories. Do blood sucking demons exist? Is there really such a thing as vampires? We may never know unless of course, we are one or meet one...


Dearg-Due: An Irish Vampire
Dearg-Due: An Irish Vampire | Source

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Ireland's Famous Demons
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A Story of Young Lovers

An old Irish legend tells the story of a beautiful Irish maiden who was deeply in love with a common peasant boy. Their love was pure and true. The maiden, we will call her Órga and the peasant boy, we will call him Grian had promised to love each other till their death. They talked of when they'd marry and the children they would bare. Órga's father had very different ideas. He had promised the hand of his beautiful daughter to a rich Clan Chieftain. Her father was promised wealth and lands for himself and his other children in exchange for his daughter's hand in marriage.

It is said that Órga's beauty shone like a ray of sunshine; her eyes sparkled like midnight stars and her lips were redder than the reddest rose. Throughout the lands people talked of her exquisite beauty. Men were besotted with her every move and women would try to steal a strand of her golden hair.

To Órga's and Grian's dismay the marriage was planned and the day was set. Poor Órga's pleas feel on deaf ears. The wedding day arrived. Órga dressed in an array of gold and red, met and married her future husband. Everyone partied till nightfall. Órga looked on, cursing her father and promising vengeance.

Órga's husband was a horrible, mean and conceited man. He treated her like an object. Her days of playing in the meadows and fishing in the rivers were over. He locked her away so only he could feast on her magnificent beauty. The evil man relished in keeping her all to himself. Órga despaired at being locked away in the dark. Hidden from everything she loved. She couldn't eat, she couldn't drink. Distraught, she wondered of her faith!


Stories say, she poisoned herself no longer able to live the life her father had put upon her. Other stories say she died of a broken heart.

Órga's burial was a simple affair. Her husband took another wife, while her body was still warm in her earthy bed. Her father and siblings were so busy with their new wealthy lives to cast her a passing thought.

One person however, morned her and cried a river of tears over her grave. The young lover, she had hopped to love for a lifetime, Grian. He visited her grave and spoke to her of his desire to see her again and prayed for her to come to him.

Legend says she rose from her grave the following year on the very date she died. Riddled with vengeance, she visited her fathers house. Finding him sleeping, she leaned over him and placing her lips gently over his, she sucked every breath of life from him. Órga then visited her husband. He was engaged in exotic sexual exploits with young women and never noticed his deceased wife enter the room. Órga went into a frenzied attack. Descending on her husband with such angry force, she not only drew is breath but also his blood. The surge of blood through her dead body made her feel alive again. She needed more...


Órga used her beauty to prey on lustful young men. Luring them away to a quiet place with the promise of her beautiful body, only to sink her teeth into their soft throats and drink their delicious blood. Her hunger for blood was all she knew. So eager was she to quench her thirst that she forgot all about her young love Grian. She never saw him again, and if she had he would only have satisfied her thirst for blood. Órga was consumed with thoughts of the warm red liquid that gave her dead body living strength. With only one night a year to enjoy her lust, Órga feasted like a wild beast. Returning to her grave a bloody corpse.

Ans so, the legend of The Dearg-Due was born.

A Little More to The Story

Dearg-Due (red blood sucker) was the name given to Órga's wondering remains. Her passion for blood, stripping her of her birth name. In her death as in the last of her living days it seems she was destined to be alone. The story goes, that the remains of Órga are buried at Strongbow's Tree in Co. Waterford in the southeast of Ireland. It is said: the locals pile stones on her grave every year on the eve of her death, thus preventing her from rising and sucking the life blood from their fleshy bones, but sometimes...sometimes they forget...

© 2010 Gabriel Wilson

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Comments 27 comments

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Gabriel Wilson 2 months ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

You might not think so if you met her. Hope your words don't offend her... sleep tight.

TAJA 2 months ago


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Gabriel Wilson 20 months ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

The name, dearg is an Irish (gaelic) word meaning red, in this respect she was so named for drinking red (blood). I should expect though have no personal experience that once she starts to drink, she won't stop. There is only one Dearg-Due, she's an original. I would advise care and due-diligence (excuse the pun:) Bottoms up.

Ryan McKay 20 months ago

dose a dearg-due take some or all of someone blood

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 20 months ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

You might regret saying that though once you have met her, or maybe not :) you might get on like a house on fire.

Ryan McKay 20 months ago

I would like to meet a dearg-due

Ryan McKay 20 months ago

I would like to meet a dearg-due

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 2 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

The bones of the story I learned through research, it seems she is well known in that part of Ireland especially around this time of year. There are a number of Irish legends, some of which are quiet scary! Happy Halloween :)

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Alex Adelman 2 years ago from Oakland Hills, CA

There are posters of Dearg-Due in popular mall stores, however they don't have any description of who she is. Thanks for the info.

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 2 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

Glad you enjoyed reading it, and thank you for the feedback too :)

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 2 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

For a small place Ireland has a lot of stories, I'm sure you'd have a ball exploring :)

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 2 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

I love a good ghost story and being really scared is all part of it, the thing with legends though is you never know how much of the story is just a story or in fact how much is actually true. Happy Halloween :)

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AngeShearer 2 years ago from Whangarei, Northland

Oh my there's a story....absolutely loved it....engrossed as my mind illustrated the story to me....such emotion and suffering and revenge....thankyou sooo much for putting an extra special into my day x

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Crisantonio 2 years ago

Nice story. So good to stumble upon this creepy legend in time for Halloween.

yvette lozano 2 years ago

i love stories like this makes me want to travel ireland and learn more.

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 2 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

The young lover was who she wanted to marry, that's why she was heart broken when her father gave her hand to another man. That's the whole reason why she was angry, bitter and revengful. The man she loved was lost to her, so he's vital to the story otherwise the story would simply be about a young woman marrying a man she didn't love. Being in the story after her death: he would have been just another man she would have killed, because in her death she became a vampire and killed... she wouldn't be capable of falling in love, she's a dead blood sucker not a fawning young woman looking for love...

Amanda 2 years ago

I dont know why the toung lover was even mentioned if he really wasn't vital to the story. Would have been way way better if he was in the story after her death instead of just forgotten.

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 3 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

Around two thousand years ago, of course the story is a legend so perhaps even longer. Ireland had many demons and druids. The people believed in all kinds of after life; the majority having nothing to do with heaven. Kinda spooky really.

Crystal 3 years ago

Nice story. When did this legend originate?

ali samad 4 years ago

thank you for tell her story history:)

Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 5 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

Hey Keaton Fox. Yes; it's amazing how entwined we all are one way or another through stories and history.

Tanx for popping in:)

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Keaten Fox 5 years ago

Wow! What an interesting story! How similar folklore is across the world... :)

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Gabriel Wilson 5 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

Tanx for reading:)

annamarie 5 years ago

that as awesome a very good story tell i never forget the story thanx u

Alex 5 years ago


Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson 6 years ago from Madeira, Portugal Author

Ha! Ha! I guess it's a perfect death.

I don't remember the Horslips, but I'll sure look them up. Tanx for the info:)

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luabu 6 years ago

Well done!

a lot of work done here and a nice story/sceal

a lot of lads are still getting the blood sucked out of themselves by good looking women.It's a lovely way to go

Horslips an irish rock band have a song dearg doom


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