Each Uisge: The Scottish Water Horse
Today, many people think of elves as the wise, beautiful creatures of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and fairies as cute and mischievous, but basically harmless. In the past, however, many fae were regarded with terror.
One of the most terrifying of all was the bloodythirsty Scottish water horse, the each uisge.
The each uisge lives in lochs and seas. He is related to the each uisce and aughisky of Ireland, the cabyll-ushtey and glashtin of the Isle of Man, the ceffyl dwfr of Wales, and the kelpie, with which he is often confused. (Kelpies prefer running water, such as rivers and streams.)
The each uisge is a shapeshifter. He appears most commonly in the form of a shaggy black horse with a greenish sheen to its coat, sometimes large, sometimes little more than a pony. The each uisge waits near the shores of lakes and seas for unsuspecting travellers to approach. He appears mild-tempered and gentle at first, but beware to the weary traveller who climbs on his back!
The coat of the each uisge is adhesive and as soon as a human climbs on his back, he or she is stuck there, as the each uisge bolts for the water's edge and carries his victim to the depths. When the victim has drowned, the each uisge devours him or her almost completely, leaving only the clothes and the liver, which floats to the surface to warn the people nearby that the each uisge has claimed another victim.
Each uisge can also appear in the form of a handsome, dark-haired young man, who seduces young women and leads them close to the water before seizing them and dragging them under. In human form, the each uisge can be recognized by the water weeds tangled in his hair, but by the time a young woman recognizes the beast, it may already be too late to save herself.
The each uisge can also appear in the form of a large bird, known as a boobrie. It rarely appears in its true form, which has the torso of a human, the teeth of a lion, and the head and legs of a horse. Not exactly inconspicuous, as you can imagine.
Don't Get Too Close to the Water!
Dealing With an Each Uisge Problem
Taming an Each Uisge
Like their relatives the kelpies, each uisge sometimes appear in horse form elaborately bridled and saddled, often with gold. However, according to some legends, if you can get a normal bridle and saddle on the beast, he will be tame for as long as they remain on. Each uisge can also be treated as ordinary saddle and pack horses inland. However, at the merest whiff of the scent of water, master beware!
Killing an Each Uisge
Although their preference is for human flesh, each uisge will also consume sheep and cattle, and can be lured out of the water with the smell of roasting meat and killed with iron weapons.
An Each Uisge Halloween Costume
For a basic human-form each uisge costume, apply pale makeup with a greenish tint to your skin and drape your hair with "water weeds" such as lengths of green yarn tied with small leaves to resemble duckweed or other aquatic plants. Wear old-fashioned clothing (you can often find peasant shirts and similar styles very cheaply at thrift stores) and have some fun smearing your mouth and clothes with blood. Consider munching on a fake limb or two.
Learn More About the Each Uisge
- Mysterious Britain: The Each Uisge
The Each Uisge, is a name for the Highland supernatural water horse, supposedly the most dangerous of the Scottish water dwelling creatures.
- Aquatic Enigmas: Each Uisge
The Each-Uisge is known for devouring it's victims with a predatorial-ecstasy which borders on the satanic.
- Phoenixian Book of Creatures: Each Uisge
Each Uisge Definition, Picture, and More: A supernatural water horse found near bodies of water in Scotland.
- Diary of a Scottish Water Horse: Folklore
Legends about the each uisge
This hub was written for the HubMob challenge, week four: It's All About Halloween: Dressing Up, Making Treats and Being Scary.