Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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WHITE LADIES

Variations: Die Weisse Frau (Germany), Grey Ladies, Ladies in White, Les Dames Blanches (French), Night Ladies, WHITE LADIES OF THE FAU
Throughout the British Isles, England, and France there are a type of vampiric spirits known as the White Ladies. Considered to be a death omen, they are the ghosts of noblewomen who were murdered or otherwise died a tragic death. The White Ladies are described as wearing expensive period clothing and are carrying a ring of keys or chalices that are filled with poison.
When they appear it is always on the nights of the full moon, late into the evening. Although they have been sighted at bridges, cemeteries, and crossroads, most often they are found wandering the halls and grounds of the castles or manor houses where they once lived when alive. They will call out with their hypnotic voices, inviting those who can see them to dance, even though no music can be heard playing. Their touch is icy cold and will drain those they touch of their life-energy (see ENERGY VAMPIRE). Anyone who is unfortunate enough to accept their offer to dance the White Ladies will drain of blood; the bodies of their victims are found lying next to the road.
Some scholars consider the White Ladies to be vampiric fay rather than vampiric spirits since they are susceptible to attacks from weapons made of iron. However, they can also be warded off by brandishing a CRUCIFIX, calling upon God for aid, or having been recently blessed by a priest.
Source: Burne, Shropshire Folk Lore, 76 ­77; Curran, Vampires, 72, 184; Holland, Haunted Wales, 10, 69; Prince, Remains of Folklore in Shropshire, 15
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