Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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LEANHAUM-SHEE

(LEE-awn-S HE)
Variations: Leanan-Sidhe, Leanhaun-Shee,
Leanhaun-Sidhe, Lhiannan Shee
On the Isle of Man, located in the middle ofthe northern Irish Sea, there is a type of vampiric fay that appears to its victims as a beautiful young woman but to everyone else is invisible; it is called a leanhaum-shee. It will try to seduce a man, and if it is successful, its magic will cause him to fall in love with it. If he does, the leanhaum-shee will take him as a lover; if he does not, it will strangle him to death and then drain his corpse of blood. Little by little it will drain off its lover's life-energy during intercourse (see ENERGY VAMPIRE). The leanhaum-shee also collects his blood and stores it in a red cauldron, which adds to its magical properties. (The cauldron is the source of its power, that it is what gives the leanhaum-shee its ability to shape-shift into a white deer and keeps it looking young and beautiful.) The vampire also feeds small amounts of the blood to its lover so that he will be inspired to write love poems. Eventually, the man will become nothing more than a used-up husk and die.
Source: Jones, On the Nightmare; Moorey, Fairy Bible, 1 62­65; O'Connor, Book of Ireland, 50­52; Wilde, Ancient Legends, 169, 257­59
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