Abhartach - The Irish Vampire 🦇


We’ve lots of folklore in our country, elaborate tales of strange creatures, banshees, and fairies. But did you know we had our own Vampire? No, neither did I 😲


In the 5th century, there was an evil chieftain known as the Abhartach (Irish for a dwarf) he was reportedly small or dwarf-like and was known to practice the dark arts. He wasn't popular due to his cruel ways.


He had suspected that his wife was having an affair and decided to try and catch her in the act. He climbed out the bedroom window of his castle to try and spy on his wife, however, he slipped and fell to his death.

The next day his body was found, his people were relieved that he had died and had him buried standing upright. A tradition that befitted the Chieftains.

To the clan's horror, the Abhartach had returned to the village the very next morning. He demanded that the villagers provide him fresh blood from their cut wrists for him to drink. They did so out of fear.


The villagers begged the nearest villages chieftain Cathán to come and kill the Abhartach, to which he agreed. The Abhartach died for the second time and again, was buried upright.

At this point, the villagers most likely thought that was the last they'd see of the evil dwarf 🍻 It was not to be, the Abhartach returned the next morning with a bowl again asking for fresh blood from the people.


Cathán once again killed the creature then buried him. Yes, you've guessed it, he was back again the very next morning asking his people for their blood. Cathán had run out of ideas so turned to a local Saint for help🙏


The Saint advised that as the Abhartach was already dead he could not be killed again. The only way to kill him was to stab his heart with a sword made from Yew tree, bury him upside down and cover the grave with ash branches and thorns, then place a heavy stone slab on top of the grave. Cathán followed the instruction and buried the evil dwarf once and for all⚔


People say that Bram Stoker took inspiration from this story for Dracula 🧛


I’m in the process of researching folklore and tales of old from all over Ireland, north and south. If you know of any interesting ones that you’d like featured, please get in touch!




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