Not only was the Cù-Sìth terrifying, it was also believed to be a harbinger of death. Unlike the Cat-Sith, who could only snatch the souls of those who were already dead, the Cù-Sìth could also go after the souls of the living.
By Liana Paraschaki
The Cù-Sìth, the magical companion of the cat-Sith, is a mythical beast found in Scottish, Irish, and Welsh mythology alike. The mythical hound is as big as a large calf, and has a shaggy, dark green coat. The green colour of its coat is probably indicative of its fairy origins, with green being the typical colour associated with the fair folk. Its eyes were large and glowing, and its paws were said to be as large as a man’s hands.
Not only was the Cù-Sìth terrifying, it was also believed to be a harbinger of death. Unlike the Cat-Sith, who could only snatch the souls of those who were already dead, the Cù-Sìth could also go after the souls of the living. The Cù-Sìth typically roamed the moors of the Scottish Highlands, and made its home among rocky crevices. It was a uniquely skilled hunter: the Cù-Sìth could usually hunt silently, but every so often would let out three blood-curdling howls. The howls were terrifying, and could be heard for miles! Some even claim that the Cù-Sìth’s howls could be heard among those far out at sea. When the howls were heard, men, women, and children alike, rushed to safety. It was believed that those who had not found themselves in safety by the third howl would die of sheer terror.
Nursing women were thought to be particularly vulnerable to the attacks of the Cù-Sìth. It was believed that the hounds would go after them and try to abduct them, in order to force them to nurse the children of the fairies. When the hound’s howls were heard, nursing women would, thus, be immediately locked inside, tucked away from the hound and its reign of terror.