The legends of Scotland are more than stories to the characters of Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones. Strange creatures roam the moors and craggy mountains of the Scottish Highlands and Zoraida discovers more than a few could be her blood relations.
Scotland’s version of a female vampire, the Baobhan Sith (pronounced Baa’-van shee), makes Transylvanian vampires look like sweet fluffy rabbits. The Baobhan sith appears to her victims as a beautiful woman wearing a gown of green or white. Scotsmen, being the opportunistic and practical types they are, don’t find it the least bit odd that a beautiful woman should show up in the most secluded spots. Nor does the Scot who finds such a woman question the lady’s sudden fascination with none other than him.
Nope. He’ll drop whatever awful thing he’s eating and follow her like a goose follows corn.
This is a bad idea.
Germanic and Celtic legends are teeming with white ladies, green ladies, grey ladies, and ladies of every imaginable hue. All are supernatural and most of them guard a bridge or narrow way. They don’t resort to anything much more vicious than tossing unaccommodating (and possibly unattractive) men on the brambles. The Baobhan Sith, possibly influenced by Scottish weather, is a bit crankier.
She prefers tasty morsels of Scottish descent, kilted, muscular, and none too bright. The Baobhan Sith invites him to dance and gets him boiling over for something a bit more. Our Scot takes it for granted that any woman would and should be more than willing to drop her knickers despite the rain, fog, ice, and nasty Highland winds. Just as he, er, relaxes, she jabs him with her long nails, sucks the blood (some say other bodily fluids as well, which is probably A-Ok with the Scotsman—up to a point), and then she tears him into little plaid bits.
One story of an encounter with a Baobhan Sith ended poorly for three of four Scottish hunters. Spending the night in a cave far from help, the lads were just finishing their fifth round of good Scotch and wishing for women—a time-honored Scottish tradition. At that moment, through the mouth of the cave came four lovely though somewhat pallid ladies. Not wasting a second on thought, three lads grabbed three of the lassies and danced to the tune sung by their compatriot. The singer had just decided it was time he got a bit more involved in the festivities, when the Baobhan Sith’s dancing became frenzied. They stabbed his friends with their long nails and left them writhing on the cavern floor. Then they turned their batshit crazy red eyes on him.
The Baobhan Sith grabbed at his feet, arms, and any convenient appendage. Our hero managed to dodge and duck his way out of the cave to the horses despite the amount of Scotch he’d enjoyed. All he could do was wedge himself between two horses to keep the Baobhan Sith’s claws at a distance. The Baobhan Sith circled him all night, promising him whatever he wanted in the way of female companionship. But the lad remembered quite well the sight of all the blood on the cavern floor and, possibly for the first time in his life, kept his wits.
Whether the Baobhan Sith were frightened of the horses or of the iron shoes the horses wore—since iron is bad juju for fairies—the lad was not sure. In the morning, as the sun rose above the mist, the Baobhan Sith returned to their graves and he made his escape.
In Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, Zoraida learns that such a creature once dwelt in the mysterious caverns beneath fabulous Castle Logan. She may still be there, but you’ll have to wait for Zoraida Grey and the Black Tower to find out.