Dullahan

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This article is about the Irish mythological figure. For the Thoroughbred racehorse, see Dullahan (horse).

The Irish dullahan (also Gan Ceann, meaning "without a head" in Irish) is a type of unseelie fairy.

Mythology[edit]

The dullahan is a headless rider, usually on a black horse who carries his or her own head under one arm. The head's eyes are small, black, and constantly dart about like flies, while the mouth is constantly in a hideous grin that touches both sides of the head. The flesh of the head is said to have the color and consistency of moldy cheese. The dullahan uses the spine of a human corpse for a whip, and their wagon is adorned with funereal objects (e.g. candles in skulls to light the way, the spokes of the wheels are made from thigh bones, the wagon's covering made from a worm-chewed pall) or dried human skin. When the dullahan stops riding, that is where a person is due to die. The dullahan calls out their name, at which point they immediately perish.

There is no way to bar the road against a dullahan – all locks and gates open to them when they approach. They do not appreciate being watched while on their errands, throwing a basin of blood on those who dare to do so (often a mark that they are among the next to die), or even lashing out the watchers' eyes with their whips. They are frightened of gold, and even a single gold pin can drive a dullahan away.

Popular culture[edit]

  • 19 September 2010 the second episode of Lost Girl titled "Where There's a Will, There's a Fae," a Dullahan mercenary is present.

Anime, light novels and manga[edit]

  • April 2004 in the Durarara!! light novel, manga and anime, a Dullahan named Celty Sturluson is featured as a main character.
  • February 2013 in the The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Hataraku Maou-sama!) light novel, manga and anime, Devil King Sadao's mundane bicycle is referred to as 'The Dullahan'.
  • From January 2014 in the Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou manga, a young Dullahan named 'Lala' makes unsuccessful threats against the main protagonist of the series, but ends up moving into his house.

Books[edit]

  • 1981 Cathedral by Nelson DeMille, in chapter 54, refers to the Dullahan in the following passages: "You're from the north, and you've heard the caoine-the funeral cry of the peasants. It's meant to imitate the wail of a chorus of banshees." "...We'll I've heard the actual banshees' wail, Father, whistling through the louvers all night..." "...And I've seen the coach-a-bower. Immense it was and black-polished, riding over these rooftops, a red coffin mounted atop it, and a headless Dullahan madly whipping a team of headless horses...and the coach drew past this window, Father, and the coachman threw in my face a basin of cold blood."
  • 2 September 2010 in the book Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil by Derek Landy, A Dullahan appears to take Stephanie to Dr. Nye so she can have him seal her true name.

Films[edit]

Music[edit]

Games[edit]

  • In the 1992 game Shining Force (Sega Genesis), he is an enemy known as "Durahan". Players may be fooled at first by a large face but that is only a decoration on his armour for upon closer inspection, you will see that he has no head.
  • In the 1997 real time strategy PC game Seven Kingdoms, One of the monster races is known as the Dullahan. The Dullahan are heavily armored headless creatures.
  • First introduced in the February 1999 game Monster Rancher 2, one of the recurring creature types in the Monster Rancher franchise is the Durahan, named using a Romanization of the Japanese pronunciation of the word "dullahan." Although typically appearing as a spectral suit of armour, the flavour text of the creature references the dullahan myths.
  • In the December 1999 game Strider 2, for the original PlayStation, a Dullahan appears as a Stage Boss.
  • In the 2000 "Valkyrie Profile" game, the ghost of the decapitated King Barbarossa is fought as boss, taking the form of a gigantic Dullahan. A variation of this boss is found as a normal enemy later on the game with a different name.
  • In the 2001 Golden Sun franchise, Dullahan appears as a powerful boss monster and ally that can be called by the Necromage class.
  • In the 2002 Ragnarok Online MMORPG, there is a Dullahan named creature who removes its helmet when attacking to reveal it has no head.
  • In the 2006 Blue Dragon video game, the Dullahan is a robotic headless centaur who is the mini-boss on the Road to Jibral.
  • In the 2006 Seal Online MMORPG, the Dullahan is a monster headless and that's considered as weak monster
  • In the 2007 Dokapon Kingdom video game, the Dullahan appears as a random enemy.
  • In the 2007 MMORPG Elsword, the first boss in the Feita area is a headless giant called the Durahan Knight, the spelling changed slightly due to language differences.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game Dullahan has a card named in his honour, in the form of Ghostrick Dullahan

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]