Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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BAOBHAM SITH

(B AA-van SITH or BO-vun SITH)
Variation: Baobhan Sith, Bean-Fionn, Bean Si, Oinop?l? ("She with an ass' leg"), ONOSC?LES, Sybils, WHITE LADIES
When a woman dies in childbirth, in Scottish folklore, the woman may return as a type of REVENANT vampiric fay called a baobham sith. According to the original and ancient myth, the baobham sith mingled with humans regularly, even becoming attached to a particular family. It was considered a sign of high status to have one in the family. It was not until after the introduction of Christendom that the baobham sith became an evil being.
Similar to the BANSHEE, the baobham sith is more often heard than seen, and will wail in sorrow, predicting the death of someone who heard its call. However, if many baobham siths gather together and wail as one, they are foretelling the death of a great person.
It is normally a solitary creature, described as being a tall, pale, beautiful young woman wearing a GREEN dress. In its human guise, it has deer hooves rather than feet that it keeps hidden under its dress. This is especially important as it will often lure young men, particularly shepherds who are up in the highlands, to a secluded place and offer to dance with them. Often it will do this in the guise of someone the man knows, trusts, or lusts after. It will dance wildly until the man is exhausted, then it will attack, draining him of his blood.
In addition to being able to shape-shift into women that their victims know, a baobham sith can also change into a crow and has the ability to create a thick fog.
Like all fay, the baobham sith can be warded off by iron, but this particular type of fay is also afraid of horses, possibly because horseshoes are made of iron. Carrying a pair of iron scissors in one's pocket while traveling through the high-lands will also prevent it from attacking.
Source: Heldreth, The Blood Is the Life, 200; Mac Killop, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, 30; Masters, Natural History of the Vampire, 139; Senf, Vampire in Nineteenth-Century English Literature, 18; Turner, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, 92
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