With the folk horror film “Unwelcome” recently hitting our screens, we thought it might be worth looking at the National Leprechaun Museum in Ireland. Whilst we didn’t trek over to the Emerald Isle itself, although that’s on our to-do list, we did have a look at their website to see what all the fuss is about. We also wanted to see if we could find that elusive pot of gold.
What’s the National Leprechaun Museum about?
Not a museum in the traditional sense, as it has no artifacts, but what it does do is draw its visitors into a mythological world, full of folklore and legend. This is split between tales of leprechauns, Tuatha Dé Dannan, and deities, amongst other things.
There are two times that visitors can attend which are split into day and night. The night visits are for adults over the age of 18 years only, as tales from the darker side of Ireland are told. The museum, itself, is stunningly decorated and atmospheric, adding to the mystery that tales of yore, which are told by guides, bring to its visitors.
It turns out the familiar green suits that are synonymous with Leprechauns followed soon after the 1959 American film Darby O’Gill and the Little People. We also found out that their green attire became a permanent fixture in our imagining of this creature after the Lucky Charms cereal and mascot were launched in 1964.
There’s a room with oversized fixtures and fittings to give visitors an idea of what it’s like to be a leprechaun. Clever use of lighting provides the effect of what it’s like to spend time underground like this mischievous little Irish folk. With an indoor nighttime forest, guests get to hear an Irish tale before the tour finishes.
What is it about Leprechauns that have us fascinated?
Leprechauns are thought to be mischievous little fairies that have a hidden pot of gold that can be found at the end of a rainbow, which can be seen anywhere around the world. However, leprechaun gold is special in the sense that it’s said to disappear at the touch of human hands. Many games have focused on this aspect of Irish folklore, adding their own unique twist too.
One such game is Rainbow Riches slots, where players can play against a leprechaun character to win gold coins. There have also been several films made, including the Vengeance of the Leprechaun, where a group of thieves encounters a leprechaun that proves hard to catch.
They’ve even been included in books, such as The Luck of the Irish by Ginger Voight in which the main character finds love. There’s also Dark Rise by Kim Richardson which is the third installment of a series that’s set against a backdrop of mythological creatures.
So no, we still haven’t found that pot of gold, although that won’t stop us from looking or watching “Unwelcome”. Being mysterious and mischievous, leprechauns have always entertained over the centuries, yet no one has claimed they have proof of actually seeing one. However, this hasn’t stopped our fascination with them from continuing or the legend of the leprechaun from growing.