Wednesday, 8 September 2021

The Dullahan


D is for Dullahan
We all know the legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, immortalized by Disney, and fare for consumption every Halloween for as long as I can remember.

But where did it come from? From the worthy pen of Washington Irving. Here’s a link to his prose:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving ( 

It’s far older than that eponymous tiny town in New York. It’s old indeed; Irish folklore old, in fact. The Dullahan is fey, and a particularly nasty one at that. Neither specifically male or female, this sinister spirit carries its grinning skull under its arm, cracking a whip fashioned from a human spine, riding unto its hapless victim, that can no more bar its approach than you can hold back the tide, All gates snap open, all locks yield to its approach, and in the end, like the grim reaper, it takes what is its due, the soul of he whose time has been writ. 

The Dullahan
Daniel McDonagh, December 29, 2006 

The entrance to C’Adder is guarded by a creature
Who rides a black unicorn, carrying his head in his hand,
His eyes watch all strangers, pilgrims of God
Who have been chased from their dwellings, robbed of their land.
The Dullahan rides his black unicorn all day and night
As Neir watches through terrified eyes,
His laughter she hears, trying to cover her ears,
Knowing, when he stops riding, a mortal will die.

The Dullahan
PenAllen, 2011

When The Dullahan Passes By
When the Dullahan passes by
black eyes glare with demonic spite.
He decides when you’ve got to die.
Unlikely you’ll live through the night.

Black eyes glare with demonic spite
while cracking a spine tingling whip.
Unlikely you’ll live through the night.
This ghoul won’t be given the slip.

While cracking a spine tingling whip
the coffin cart rattles and groans.
This ghoul won’t be given the slip.
Hear how the banshee shrieks and moans.

The coffin cart rattles and groans.
He decides when you’ve got to die.
Hear how the banshee shrieks and moans
when the Dullahan passes by.

The Dullahan (The Dark Man)
John F. McCullagh, November 1, 2014

The Dullahan Rides
He rides his black steed through the countryside
and whenever he stops a mortal man dies.
He's the Angel of Death and worthy of dread;
dressed all in black and lacking a head.
In his left hand is a spine that he'll use as a whip.

In his right hand a scythe that will cut to the quick.
If you chance to observe him you may be struck blind
and still think yourself lucky that he left you behind.
If he pulls on the reins and he finds you outdoors
Your heart will stop dead and will beat nevermore.

There are buckets of blood where the Dullahan rides.
On all Hallows Eve you had best be inside.

The Dullahan
Dustin Kasinecz, 2017

The end arrived upon a steed of twilight...
The road wailed through the weird,
as fear would rise from orchard to weald,
galloping nightmares in fecundity;
galloping nightmares in ferocity.

The door died on the hinge,
as locks would rust from Hell to home,
shivering in the cold decline;
shivering in the cold denial of time.

The end arrived upon a steed of twilight,
as death would reign from terror to trite,
encroaching lash of that human spine;
encroaching damnation of searching eyes.

The soul was gone,
perished with a call,
from the Dullahan.

All Poems are wholly owned by the Poets.

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists

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