Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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GWRACH YRHIBYN

(GOO-rack UHHREE-bun)
Variations: Cunnere Noe, Gwrarch Er Hreebin, Hag of Warning, Witch Rhibyn
A vampiric fay from Wales, Gwrach YRhibynis described as having two different forms. The first guise is that of a hunchbacked being beneath a GREEN cloak. Under the hood only darkness can be seen. The other description says that under the hood of the GREEN cloak is a being so hideous and ugly that it causes madness to anyone who looks at it. Aconstant string of drool, either saliva or blood, hangs from the corners of its mouth. It has one tusklike tooth, a hooked nose with one nostril, webbed (or clawed) feet and hands, ridiculously long thin breasts, a long, barbed tongue, long, thin, gray HAIR, and skin with a greenish or bluish tint to it. It also has a pair of large, leathery bat wings that hang at its side.
Gwrach YRhibyn attacks sleeping people, especially the bedridden, children, and the old. It drains blood from them, but not so much that the victim dies. Rather, it returns to the person several times, only taking a little more than they can fully recover from, until the person eventually becomes too weak and dies.
Living in secluded forest glades or along waterways, Gwrach YRhibyn can tell when someone of pure Welsh descent is about to die. It will turn invisible, find the person, and travel alongside them, waiting until they reach a crossroads. There, Gwrach YRhibyn cries out a warning to the person: "My husband!" if a man, "My wife!" if a woman, or "My child!" if a child. Usually, upon being so suddenly surprised, the person who Gwrach YRhibyn was trying to warn of imminent death drops over dead or goes insane with the shock of the experience.
Source: Jacobs, Celtic Fairy Tales, 259­64; Motley, Tales of the Cymry, 88; Rhys, Celtic Folklore, 453; Trevelyan, Folklore, 65­68
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