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...
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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