Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

Things That Go Bump in the Night–Alp-Luachra

Who doesn’t love a good monster?


For this year’s blog challenge, Sorchia’s Universe plays host to long-legged beasties and evil fairies from all over the world.   

If the sight of it gives you the creepy-crawlies, the heebie-jeebies, or the all-overs you’ll most likely find it here. And if you don’t, let me hear from you! Tell me a story about the nasty critter most likely to send you screaming to your mommy.


A is for Alp Luachra


Thank the Irish for this wee beastie. According to Irish lore, the Alp-Luachra (also called a Joint-Eater) is an invisible fairy who lives beside a stream. Doesn’t sound so bad until you hear the next part. If an unsuspecting mortal wanders along said stream and happens to fall asleep, the alp-luachra creeps inside the unlucky victim’s mouth, makes its way to his stomach, and spends the next several weeks feeding off the contents.

Retrieved from
Retrieved from

While inside its host, the alp-luachra will reproduce and send out invitations to others of its kind. The victim may experience the resultant bubbling, bouncing, and pain associated with having an entire cocktail party going on in his stomach.

The Alp Luachra by Paul Bolger, 2009 (retrieved from
The Alp Luachra by Paul Bolger, 2009 (retrieved from

Though some stories say the alp-Luachra is invisible, other stories describe it as a slug-like morsel of flesh and teeth, a tiny green lizard or newt, or a beautiful but greedy little fairy. An alp-luachra can be male or female. They don’t behave in a malevolent manner, but they are incredibly single-minded and bent on their own needs. The victim will waste away and finally die unless he can expel the alp-luachra.

Retrieved from
Retrieved from

To get rid of the critter, your best bet is to eat a bunch of spicy, salty meat. Go back to the stream and submerge yourself until the water is level with your mouth.  All the alp-luachra in your belly, driven wild by thirst, will crawl out of the mouth in search of water. At this point, you snap your mouth shut and keep it that way until you are far, far away.

To me, the alp-luachra sounds like some kind of elemental—possibly a water sprite since it is associated with streams. To them, we are simply the source of a good meal and they can’t be bothered to worry one way or the other about the welfare of their temporary hosts.  After all,  another one will be along any minute.


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Thanks for reading this far. Have a frighteningly great day!


April 2 post—B for Bauchan, a Scottish goblin

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