THE DEATH COACH

In Irish Folklore the Death Coach is known as Cóiste Bodhar (Koe-shta-bower), meaning death or silent coach and if you see or even hear it then either you or a close relative will die in the very near future. The belief is that once the coach has come to the land of the living it cannot return empty. Once death has come to collect there is nothing on earth you can do to prevent it. The headless horseman that drives the coach is known as the Dullahan. The Dullahan is also known in Irish as Gan Ceann, meaning without head and it is usually seen either driving the coach that is pulled by six black horses or riding alongside on a black stallion. The eyes of the Dullahan are massive and are always darting around and the mouth is constantly grinning and showing a nasty row of sharp teeth. The flesh of the head has been described as smelling, looking, and having the feel of rotten cheese. They often carry their head with them.

The Dullahan carries a whip and this is said to be the spinal column of a human corpse, the coach is also decorated with the remains of corpses, skulls take the place of candle holders, the cover of the coach is usually made from the shroud off a coffin. When the coach reaches the abode of the person picked by death the Dullahan calls out their name and they immediately die. There is no point trying to block the road against the horseman for as he approaches all locks and gates open and if you look upon him he will throw blood at you and this is said to mark you for death. They have even been said to snatch your eyes out with the whip. One way of protecting yourself is through the use of gold. Carry a gold pin or coin for they are said to be frightened of the yellow metal.

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