You want to run, but your body betrays you. The rider has no head. Staring helplessly, your heart stops as the last thing you see is the flash of his whip.
The Dullahan is considered to be an Unseelie fairy. He rides with his head (full of razor like teeth and complete with creepy grin) under his arm and a whip made of a spinal column. His is sent to collect souls of the dead (and/or to kidnap them and bring them into the realm of the fey.)
This dark creature will only stop to kill. He does not like to be witnessed and will blind a person (whiplash . . . heh heh heh) or splash them with blood as punishment. Some believe those marked will be the next to die. And if he calls out a name --BAM! History. Gone. Dead. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
No locked door or bar across the road can stop a Dullahan. He only has one weakness. Gold. Gold frightens him. Toss a bit of gold at him and run like the devil is after you . . . because he is.
At one time, it was believed that he was under the command of the queen of the fairies. She would send him to wither a limb or blind a person who betrayed the secrets of the fey court (aka those lucky few that escaped back to the human realm).
His severed head is described as to be like moldy cheese and sometimes glows like phosphorous. Hie eyes are supposed to dart like flies.
Also called Gan Ceann, Durahan, Dark Man. He is associated with the Celtic god Crom Dubh. This god wanted human sacrifice each year. When his worship dwindled it is believed he became the Dullahan to continue receiving souls.
The Dullahan is also said to be the driver of the Cóiste Bodhar. A great example is the Disney movie Darby O'Gill and the Little People.
gh"I never liked him," your friend says as she works a ripe corn cob from the stalk. "He wanted to marry me, but I did not want him. His hands were cold and clammy. They made my skin crawl."
Your gaze does not move from your own plant. "You should not speak ill of the dead. It will bring trouble."
Something flashes into your view.
Her scoffing noise turns into a frightened squeal. You look to her. Your scream echoes through the field.
A disembodied hand grips your friend withering face.
Dry Hands or Fingers is a legend from the Seneca, Cayuga, and Iroquois. Oniate (oh-nee-ah-ten) is a mummified hand that will come to punish a person who behaves badly, which includes speaking ill of the dead, is a busy body that can't stay out of people's business, or tries to sow discord within the tribe.
It is an appartion that can fly. It's withered finger can blind, give illness, or kill a person.
Maybe Oniate is Thing's zombified cousin?