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Haunted Horses
 By Winniefield Park   •   11th Oct 2017   •   839 views   •   0 comments
What could be more appealing than a cute pony or an elegant horse? Perhaps you admire the size and strength of the Clydesdale, or the cow sense of the American Quarter Horse makes your heart go pitter-pat. Or, you see the beauty of a warmblood executing the perfect twenty-meter circle. We admire and revere horses. But, sometimes our equine friends have a sinister side. Hereís a look at some haunted horses you definitely donít want in your stable.

Pookas
This Halloween, be on the lookout for pookas. Pookas are shapeshifters, in Celtic mythology that most often appear as a black horse. This horse may do good, or it may do harm. Travellers are wise to watch out because a pooka is a trickster who will lead them to no good. If you try to ride a pooka, you will be taken for a wild chase.



Mares of Diomedes
The Greek King Diomedes had four mares. These mares were formidable; untamed, and fierce. Diomedes, who was king of the Bistonians, fed his horses raw human flesh. The hero Heracles was challenged by his king to accomplish heroic tasks, and one of them was to capture Diomedesí mares. He tried to herd the vicious horses into the sea, but the Bistonians attacked him. During the attack, Heraclesís young companion was killed and eaten by the horses. But, Heracles killed the evil king and fed him to his mares. This had a calming effect on the otherwise wild horses. He was able to herd them back to his own king as evidence of completing the task. They were pastured on the slopes of Mount Olympus where they came to a bad end by being eaten by wild beasts themselves.

Black Horses
In many tales, black horses represent the devil, death, and destruction. The Irish version of the headless horseman tells of a headless rider on a black horse, who if he stops, will end the life of an unsuspecting person.

Another such tale from Francophone Quebec is about a black horse that helps build a church but turns out be a devil. In most renditions of the story, the horse offers to build the holy building, but with instructions never to remove its bridle. The horse works tirelessly and seems unfazed by the increasingly heavy loads it is burdened with. When a worker accidentally removes the bridle, however the horse bolts and runs into a large rock. The rock splits open and devil rides the horse through the flames and thunder it has created returning to his fiery home.



The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
The four horsemen of the apocalypse appear in the biblical book of Revelations. The horses they ride are described as white, black, red and pale. The horses and their riders are thought to represent four portents of an apocalypse that will end the world. Not all of the horses are evil though. Some interpretations of the story suggest the white horse is the word of Christ spread throughout the world.

Others feel that all the horses represent evil and destruction. The red horse is thought to represent war. The black horse is said to represent famine and the pale horse represents death. There are many interpretations of this story, but none of them are lighthearted and happy. The concepts are often used in movies, music and in many classical and modern artworks.

The Horse Demon Kesin
This tale comes from Hindu mythology. Also known as Keshi, Kesin is a demon in horse form. Like many tales, a brother kills a brother, or father a son or something like that. In this case, there is a mistaken identity, and the wrong person is killed. In retaliation, the demon Kesin is summoned and is ordered to kill Krishna and his brother. The demon takes the form of a large and powerful horse who scatters clouds and stars as it gallops to its destination. Krishna ultimately defeats the horse demon by choking it.

The Man-Eater of Lucknow
In the book "The Private Life of an Eastern King" by William Knighton the gruesome story of the man-eater of Lucknow is recounted. In that place, the writer encounters a large bay stallion that has kept the townspeople in terror. The horse is described as more vicious than a tiger and was responsible for attacking and killing several people in the town. The horse was captured by a king who wanted to pit the savage horse against other wild animals for his entertainment.

When pitted against a ravenous tiger, the horse broke the catís jaw. Then three wild buffalo were turned in with the horse, and the stallion again defeated their attack. In admiration for these feats, the king who owned the stallion let the stallion live, but visitors later said that the horse was caged, tied securely and blindfolded. Itís possible that the horse was again matched against a tiger and died in the same gruesome way as the townspeople he attacked.
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