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alp-luachra


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An Irish instance of an international type of fairy known as the joint-eater. The alp-luachra may be male or female; it inhabits the body of a human, much as a tapeworm in everyday life, and consumes most of the food the poor victim tries to eat. It may also sit beside the victim. Douglas Hyde recounts a story in Beside the Fire (London, 1890) of a man infested with thirteen alp-luachra. He was advised to eat a great quantity of salt beef while drinking nothing. He was then made to lie down with his open mouth above a stream until the fairies jumped out to quench their thirst.

Subjects: Religion.


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