Burach Bhadi

(Image: Own work)

A Scottish monster, the burach bhadi or wizard’s shackle is a giant leech with nine eyes on top of its head. Living in shallow, still pools and lochs, it waited for a person or animal to step into the water and attached to their legs, soon pulling them under. The burach bhadi was particularly vicious to horses, pulling both a steed and rider under at once unless precautions were taken. Much like a normal leech, the burach bhadi could be seen as a large, black shape gliding under the water, and thus avoided (Rose 62). One alternate interpretation of the creature might be the origin of the name wizard’s shackle. It could prey on those with magic, draining them of both their blood and their power.

Since the burach bhadi is a water creature, it can show the danger that mankind sees in water. Also, because it is a leech, its story relies on the fear that people have for blood-sucking creatures and exaggerates this fear by making the creature larger than life.

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