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Esteban Figueroa Goitia

Informática Médica

24/02/2010
Esteban Figueroa Goitia

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Supernatural Beings

Esteban Figueroa Goitia

Informática Médica

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 2
Supernatural Beings ......................................................................................................................... 3
The Banshee .................................................................................................................................. 3
The Grim Reaper .......................................................................................................................... 6
Hellhounds .................................................................................................................................... 8
Demons ........................................................................................................................................ 11
Will-O’-The-Wisp ....................................................................................................................... 14
Image Index ..................................................................................................................................... 17
Key Word Index ............................................................................................................................. 17
References ........................................................................................................................................ 18

In the present work, a brief explanation of the following
supernatural creatures will be given: The Banshee, Demons,
The Grim Reaper, Hellhounds and Will-O’-The-Wisps.

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Image 1

The Banshee is a female spirit in Irish Mythology, usually
seen as an omen of death and a Messenger from the
Otherworld.
The story of the Banshee began as a fairy woman keening at
the death of important persons. In later stories the
appearance of the Banshee could foretell death. Banshees
were said to appear for particular Irish families, though which
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families made it onto this list varied depending on who was
telling the story.
The Banshee can appear in a variety of guises. Most often
she appears as an ugly hag, but can also appear as a
stunningly beautiful woman of any age that suits her. In some
tales, the figure who first appears to be a Banshee is later
revealed to be the Irish battle goddess, the Morrigan. The hag
may also appear as a washer-woman and is seen washing
the blood stained armor of those who are about to die.
The Banshee can also appear in a variety of other forms, such
as that of a hooded crow, stoat, hare and weasel - animals
associated in Ireland with witchcraft.
In later versions the Banshee might appear before the death
and warn the family by wailing. When several Banshees
appeared at once, it indicated the death of someone great or
holy. The tales sometimes recounted that the woman, though
called a fairy, was a ghost, often of a specific murdered
woman, or a woman who died in childbirth.
When seen, she is wearing the clothes of a country woman,
usually white, but sometimes grey, brown or red. The former
hues represent the colors of mourning while red is associated
with magic, fairies and the supernatural. In some accounts
she is seen combing her hair as she laments. She is heard
more often than seen, wailing as she approaches the abode in
the late evening or early morning, sometimes perching on the
windowsill two to three hours or even days before a death.

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Image 2

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Image 3

Death as a sentient entity is a concept that has existed in
many societies since the beginning of history. In English,
death is often given the name the "Grim Reaper" and from the
15th century onwards came to be shown as a skeletal figure
carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a
hood. It is also given the name of the Angel of Death
stemming from the Bible.
In some cases, the Grim Reaper is able to actually cause the
victim's death, leading to tales that he can be bribed, tricked,
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or outwitted in order to retain one's life. Other beliefs hold that
the Spectre of Death is only a psychopomp1, serving to sever
the last ties between the soul and the body, and to guide the
deceased to the next world without having any control over
the fact of the victim's death.

Image 4
1

Guide of Souls

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Image 5

A Hellhound is a supernatural dog, found in mythology,
folklore and fiction. A wide variety of ominous or hellish
supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world,
similar to the omnipresent dragon. Features that have been
attributed to Hellhounds include black fur, glowing red or
sometimes glowing yellow eyes, super strength or speed,
ghostly or phantom characteristics, foul odor, and sometimes
even the ability to talk. In cultures that associate the afterlife
with fire, Hellhounds may have fire-based abilities and
appearance.
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They are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of
the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or
undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the
supernatural, such as hunting down lost souls or guarding a
supernatural treasure. In European legends, seeing a
Hellhound or hearing it howl may be either an omen or a
cause of imminent death.
Some supernatural dogs, such as the Welsh Cŵn Annwn2,
were actually believed to be benign. However, seeing them
was still considered an omen of death.
The most famous Hellhound is probably Cerberus, the hound
of Hades from Greek mythology. Hellhounds are also famous
for appearing in Celtic mythology as a part of the Wild Hunt.
These hounds are given several different names in local
folklore, but they display typical Hellhound characteristics. The
myth is common across Great Britain, and many names are
given to the apparitions: Moddey Dhoo of the Isle of Man,
Gwyllgi of Wales, and so on. The earliest mention of these
myths are in both Walter Map's De Nugis Curianium (1190)
and the Welsh myth cycle of the Four Branches of the
Mabinogi (ca. 10th-13th century)
It is said that once you have come into contact with a
Hellhound you are "not to speak of it for one year and one
day." Else you shall come to death. It is also said that if you
see a Hellhound 3 times you will come to immediate death.

They were associated with a form of the Wild Hunt. Hunting grounds for the Cŵn Annwn are
said to include the mountain of Cadair Idris, where it is believed "the howling of these huge dogs
foretold death to anyone who heard them".[
2

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Image 6

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Image 7

Evil spirits from the underworld that are considered
supernatural beings between mortals and gods with the power
to intervene in people's lives causing misfortune and havoc.
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They are believed to be able to seduce, afflict, or possess
humans as well.
In religion and mythology, occultism and folklore, a Demon or
daemon, is a supernatural being that is generally described as
a malevolent spirit. However, the original meaning of the word
daemon does not carry any negative connotations, which
were later projected onto it as Christianity spread.
In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the derived
Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian
Demonology, a Demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which
may cause Demonic possession, to be addressed with an act
of exorcism. Western occultism and Renaissance magic,
which grew out of an amalgamation of pagan Greco-Roman,
Jewish and Christian tradition, a Demon is considered a
spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled
The contemporary Roman Catholic Church unequivocally
teaches that angels and Demons are real personal beings, not
just symbolic devices. The Catholic Church has a cadre of
officially sanctioned exorcists which perform many exorcisms
each year. The exorcists of the Catholic Church teach that
Demons attack humans continually but that afflicted persons
can be effectively healed and protected either by the formal
rite of exorcism, authorized to be performed only by bishops
and those they designate, or by prayers of deliverance which
any Christian can offer for themselves or others.
In contemporary Christianity, Demons are generally
considered to be angels who fell from grace by rebelling
against God. However, this is not consistent with historical
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Christianity or Judaism which teaches that Demons, or evil
spirits, are a result of the sexual relationships between fallen
angels and human women. When these hybrids (Nephilim)
died they left behind disembodied spirits that "roam the earth
in search of rest" (Luke 11:24).

Image 8

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Image 9

A will-o'-the-wisp or ignis fatuus is a ghostly light sometimes
seen at night or twilight over bogs, swamps, and marshes. It
resembles a flickering lamp and is sometimes said to recede if
approached. Much folklore surrounds the phenomenon.
The name will-o'-the-wisp refers to an old folktale, retold in
different forms across Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales,
Appalachia, and Newfoundland.

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One version, from Shropshire, recounted by K. M. Briggs in
her book A Dictionary of Fairies, refers to Will the Smith. Will
is a wicked blacksmith who is given a second chance by Saint
Peter at the gates to Heaven, but leads such a bad life that he
ends up being doomed to wander the Earth. The Devil
provides him with a single burning coal with which to warm
himself, which he then used to lure foolish travelers into the
marshes.
An Irish version of the tale has a ne'er-do-well named Drunk
Jack or Stingy Jack who makes a deal with the Devil, offering
up his soul in exchange for payment of his pub tab. When the
Devil comes to collect his due, Jack tricks him by making him
climb a tree and then carving a cross underneath, preventing
him from climbing down. In exchange for removing the cross,
the Devil forgives Jack's debt. However, because no one as
bad as Jack would ever be allowed into Heaven, Jack is
forced upon his death to travel to Hell and ask for a place
there. The Devil denies him entrance in revenge, but, as a
boon, grants Jack an ember from the fires of Hell to light his
way through the twilight world to which lost souls are forever
condemned. Jack places it in a carved turnip to serve as a
lantern. Another version of the tale, "Willy the Whisp", is
related in Irish Folktales by Henry Glassie. The first modern
novel in the Irish language, Séadna by Peadar Ua Laoghaire,
is a version of the tale.
In Welsh folklore, it is said that the light is 'fairy fire' held in the
hand of a pwca, a small goblin-like fairy that mischievously
leads lone travelers off the beaten path at night. As the
traveler follows the pwca through the marsh or bog, the fire is
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extinguished, leaving the man lost. The pwca is said to be one
of the Tylwyth Teg, or fairy family. In Wales the light predicts a
funeral that will take place soon in the locality.
In Guernsey, the light is known as the faeu boulanger (rolling
fire), and is believed to be a lost soul. On being confronted
with the spectre, tradition prescribes two remedies. The first is
to turn one's cap or coat inside out. This has the effect of
stopping the faeu boulanger in its tracks. The other solution is
to stick a knife into the ground, blade up. The faeu, in an
attempt to kill itself, will attack the blade.

Image 10

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Image 1 ............................................................................................................................................... 3
Image 2 ............................................................................................................................................... 5
Image 3 ............................................................................................................................................... 6
Image 4 ............................................................................................................................................... 7
Image 5 ............................................................................................................................................... 8
Image 6 ............................................................................................................................................. 10
Image 7 ............................................................................................................................................. 11
Image 8 ............................................................................................................................................. 13
Image 9 ............................................................................................................................................. 14
Image 10 ........................................................................................................................................... 16

afterlife, 8, 9
Banshee, 2, 3, 4
Demon, 12
fairy, 3, 4, 15

Hellhound, 8, 9
omen, 3, 9
spirit, 3, 12
will-o'-the-wisp, 14

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C. Austin. The Banshee, Celtic Death Messenger. The Celtic Connnection [online newspaper]. Consulted
February 23 2010. http://merganser.math.gvsu.edu/myth/banshee.html
Halloween Howl [Internet]. Rose Smith, owner. Consulted February 23 2010. Glossary of Supernatural
Creatures. http://www.halloweenhowl.com/supernatural-creatures.shtml#top
Wikipedia. Banshee [internet data bank].Consulted February 23 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee.

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