Faeries and Folklore Podcast

The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Sluagh #podcast #faeries #folklore

Episode 118: Dark Fae: Sluagh

The folklore of the sluagh in a nutshell, translated to Afrikaans, and how I reimagined it for my writing.

Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

Copyright 2024 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.

Learn more about the sluagh in folklore here.

Get the transcript here.

Learn more about the author and her writing here.

Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com


You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.

I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With over a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.

This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.

Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.

This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.

You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion. Go to buymeacoffee.com/ronel to support me.

We’re continuing our exploration of Dark Fae.

Today’s Faery: Sluagh

Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel

A shadow isn’t merely a shadow. Especially not at night. The Sluagh have been spoken about in whispers for thousands of years. At first they were seen as a specific type of fae, but when Christianity came to the Celtic world, they became the unforgiven dead, the ones too bad to even enter hell. They could be seen as a flock of birds flying in a crescent. They were especially active on Samhain. They only flew about at night. They apparently didn’t approach from the east and preferred the west. Which is why west-facing windows were always closed when someone in the house was ill, so they couldn’t enter and steal the soul.

The sluagh, or the host, would hover around houses with dying people in it so they could capture the soul and make it part of them. Screaming would fill the house once the deed was done.

They were supposedly able to shapeshift between winged, corpse-like creatures and birds or even just darkness. They huddled in dark, forgotten places during day-time, coming out at night to terrorise humans.

Because they weren’t allowed in Faerie or the Otherworld, they needed another source of power. They found it in humans. Either they devoured the souls of the nearly-dead, or they abducted people from the earth, feeding on them during their mad dash through the sky.

In some traditions, they are part of the Wild Hunt and of the Unseelie Court. But for the most part, they are an entity all their own. They are mostly confined to Irish and Scottish traditions.

There are two ways to accidentally call to the sluagh: one is to utter their name. The other is to have a hopeless longing in your heart, a sadness so bad that you could die of a broken heart. The sluagh will have you for dinner if you don’t figure out how to see the bright side.

Whether part of the Unseelie Court or a group of their own, it is impossible to escape them once they’ve picked up your scent and started the hunt.

And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Sluagh

The Sluagh consist of fae who had behaved so badly, that they don’t deserve any peace. They lose their bodies and become part of the Host. They don’t have much choice but to do what the Dark King orders. They devour souls. They are seen as a dark cloud moving across the night sky. They can sense the thoughts and feelings of mortals and fae. As servants of Baba Yaga, they can gather information and they can cause specific nightmares. When they move through the sky, it sounds like screeching from a large crowd. They can shape-shift into corpse-like creatures with wings, talons and an assortment of weapons upon their person.

As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: Onsienlike Menigte

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.

Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!

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You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

2 thoughts on “The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Sluagh #podcast #faeries #folklore”

  1. Incredible! I’d never heard of the sluagh before now, but they sound like fascinating creatures, albeit terrifying. I find it so interesting that one of the ways of accidentally calling them is to feel “a hopeless longing in your heart, a sadness so bad that you could die of a broken heart” and that a way of warding them off would be to reverse the sadness by looking at the bright side. That’s definitely encouragement to be more optimistic!

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