Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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EARL OF DESMOND

(ERLof DEZ-min)
Variations: Gearoid Larla Fitzgerald
In Limerick County, Ireland, there once stood a castle overlooking Lough Gur (or Loch Gair in Irish). It was the home of a count who professed to be a scholar and a user of magic. He always conducted his magical ceremonies behind closed doors and never permitted anyone entry while he was at work practicing his art. His wife begged him to let her watch, and eventually, he allowed it with the conditional provision that she did not make a sound, no matter what she may see. Only after securing her vow to obey did he begin to conduct a ritual. The earl began to assume various shapes and forms, and eventually he assumed a form so horrific and ghastly that his wife let loose with a scream. As she did so, the entire castle began to quake and sink into the nearby lake. No one escaped the dis aster. However, the Earl now a vampiric REVENANT occasionally leaves his watery home to travel about the surrounding countryside and capture whatever young adults he can find to bring back to his castle. He uses them, draining away their life-energy through sexual intercourse (see ENERGY VAMPIRE and INCUBUS). The Earl is forced to live this existence until such a time comes that he may return and "restore all to as it was."
Source: Ellis, Dictionary of Irish Mythology, 135; McCormack, Earldom of Desmond, 20, 32, 39, 40, 46, 54; Spence, Encyclop?dia of Occultism, 299; Summers, Geography of Witchcraft, 92
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