Seriously fishy characters 9: Nuckelavee


This week, the Demon of the Week blog got its 10,000th visitor. I want to thank everyone for coming out to visit me!

To celebrate, on Wednesday, scientists will prove vampires don’t exist. Come back then to check it out.

Until then, you’ll have to settle for a truly monstrous demon, the Nuckelavee.

The Nuckelavee

There are few demons more terrifying than the Scottish Nuckelavee. It’s probably the most grotesque thing in this blog so far (but we are far from finished, yay!), having a monstrous three-foot wide head that’s too heavy for its neck, and so rolls from side to side on its wide shoulders.

No one has gotten a good look at the Nuckelavee in daylight, so it is unknown whether it rides a horse when it’s out of the water, or if its bottom half is equine itself. Its mouth protrudes from its face, like a pig’s, and its breath comes out like the steam of a kettle. One fiery red eye looks out from the center of its forehead.

To make the Nuckelavee shoot up to eleven on the Richter scale of gruesome, it does not have any skin. So when you see it, you can see its black blood flowing through yellow veins, the muscles moving with each step of its body.

The Nuckelavee likes nothing better than to do whatever evil it can find. Killing, kidnapping children, blighting crops with its fiery breath, anything.

It lives in the sea, but can’t stand fresh water. So if you run into the Nuckelavee, boot it for the nearest lake, or pray for rain, which they just hate.


  • George Brisbane Douglas, Scottish fairy and folk tales, Forgotten Books
  • Katharine Mary Briggs, The fairies in English tradition and literature, Taylor & Francis, 1989

A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits
A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits

by Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack


Vampires we know and love #1: Baobhan sith

It’s the Demon of the Week blog one week anniversary! Thanks to everyone who visited last week, all 219 of you, and especially to those folks who signed up for the newsletter, the RSS feed, or who left a comment!

New this week, check out the resources page, where you can see the books I get this stuff out of.

I hope you enjoy this week’s demon, the Baobhan Sith. There’s lots more to come. I counted the posts I’ve written and discovered that I’ve got 102 demons, and only scratched the surface. So, consider signing up for the RSS feed or the newsletter so you never miss a demon.

– Teresa
Think vampires are all the same? Think again! Vampires come in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. So, this special DotW feature, Vampires we know and love, spotlights different kinds of bloodsucking fiends from around the world.

Baobhan Sith

Scottish vampire fairies. Okay, that is so cool, let me say it again: Scottish. Vampire. Faeries.

So, once upon a time, there was a group of four hunters in the Scottish highlands who made camp for the night. As soon as dark fell, they build up their fire, and one of them starts to play some music. Someone wishes they had partners to dance with and–oh boy–out of nowhere come these ├╝ber hot young women dressed all in green and they dance up a storm.

Well, the guy playing music notices something odd about his friends dancing; they’re bleeding. Terrified, he goes and hides between the hooves of the horses, knowing their iron shoes will protect him.

In the morning, he finds all his friends have been killed and drained of blood.

The baobhan sith don’t have fangs, by the way, just sharp fingernails.

In addition to iron, they can’t take sunlight.

Next week on DotW

Demonspotting–all things hellish–brings you Asmodeus. And watch for a mid-week update on Wednesday.