A Haunting Muse Monday


I’ve decided to put off the intended project of putting together a draft on the blog using the techniques talked about because I a couple of fellow young adult writers ask me to wait because they want to be part of the project.

Sooo for the remainder of October, it will be about ‘all things scary’ – hehehe.

This week I’m taking a look at the headless horseman myth…

There is a German headless horseman, an American headless horseman, and an Irish headless horseman. I think hands down the Irish folks have the scariest headless horseman legend.

Here is a brief synopsis of the Irish headless horseman myth…



The Irish dullahan or dulachán (“dark man”) is a headless fairy, usually riding a black horse and carrying his head under one arm (or holding it high to see at great distance). He wields a whip made from a human corpse’s spine. When the dullahan stops riding, a death occurs. The dullahan calls out a name, at which point the named person immediately perishes.

Now I have to tell you my muse LOVE this…


Listed are the first five questions that dropped into my mind. Following them is a brief character sketch for ‘my’ headless horseman – ummm headless horsewoman J

When does she roam?


Full moon/moonless


Why does she roam?

Is she controlled by someone/something?

What are her limitations?

What does she look like?

Could this headless horsewoman be developed enough to make a central character?

I decided that my headless horsewoman on first glance wouldn’t be dimensional enough to be a central character. I mean after all she doesn’t have a head 0_o My headless horsewomen – at least three of them – are controlled by a black witch. She gains their heads at death as payment for her magic.

#1 Bargained for a rich husband

#2 Bargained for endless beauty

#3 Bargained to be rid of her husband

The witch uses them as a way to control the surrounding hamlets with the goal of taking over the kingdom. They can only be used at night and NEVER on a full moon, the brightness makes them invisible. The witch sees through the headless horsewoman’s eyes what the women see and this is how she guides them.

The only way to kill the headless horsewomen are to gain their heads and pierce their eyes with silver spikes. Their forms remain true to what they looked like during their lives. The horses they ride are magical beast the witch has created.


So that is my very brief synopsis of the headless horsewomen. I’d love to hear how you would twist the headless horseman myth.






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