Little green-clothed men of the Emerald Isle are famous for their corn-husk pipes and pots of gold. Many humans who go on hunting and trapping expeditions understand they hide their gold at the ends of rainbows, so finding one near a rainbow is likely a sure bet.
But where do leprechauns live? They don’t actually live at the end of rainbows, they only hide and guard their pots of gold there. Leprechauns often live in dismal and lonely places.
Any secluded spot where humans rarely tread is an ideal location for a leprechaun’s domestic bliss. They prefer isolation, are very private and solitary creatures.
Generally speaking, leprechauns frequent any wild, overgrown place where humans will not roam. They can adopt a variety of places to call home:
- clover fields
- county lanes
- fairy forts and rings
- grassy hills
- hollowed fallen logs
- hollowed oak or hawthorn tree trunks
- mushroom patches
- rocky areas
- shamrock fields or patches
- tree roots
Leprechaun homes are secret and sacred spaces. Some entrances lead to fairylands where time and space operate in a much different manner than humans understand.
These ethereal doorways come in the form of burrows for rabbits, mice, moles and other earth-dwelling animals. Some of these sacred entrances allow leprechauns to traverse the expanse of Ireland via an intricate a network of deep underground caves and tunnels.
Leprechauns often neighbor with other fairies in the thousands of fairy forts sprawled within the Irish landscape. But these are modern living conditions that leprechauns evolved and adapted into due to changes in circumstance.
Original Underwater Home
Many tales, stories, legends and myths passed down through the ages say these little green-clad men were once water sprites. They lived in a magical palace deep underwater among a great and ancient society.
Something happened to their original home, forcing them onto dry land. Leprechauns lived on the Emerald Isle long before any human. There are scholars who speculate that leprechauns might be the descendants from the lost civilization of Atlantis. But this is only conjecture and has no basis in truth.
How Leprechauns Came To Live Underground
When the Vikings and the Danish invaded Ireland, leprechauns became troglodytes, living far away from humans and fellow leprechauns. It’s also around this time when these weefolk became heavy drinkers, having a fondness for beer, ale, lager, whiskey, bourbon and scotch.
The events that unfolded are unclear, we can only theorize. But it definitely revolves around some sort of betrayal and subsequent gift of eternal guardianship over the gold both the Vikings and Danish left behind.
The betrayal is something of a mystery, we don’t know if it was the fault of the leprechauns or humans. But, seeing as how leprechauns prefer solitude, even from other leprechauns, it’s not far fetched to think the blame doles to both parties.
The First Known Sighting
The leprechaun’s original watery association is visible in the first sighting from the 8th century. The story, “Adventure of Fergus Son of Leti” is about three leprechauns who drag the king of Ulster to the sea after falling asleep.
The king awakens during the journey and he captures the leprechauns. Desiring release from the king’s clutches, the leprechauns grant him three wishes.
Although they don’t live in mushrooms, leprechauns often frequent them as meeting places with others from the fairy realm. They will often sleep under mushrooms after a night of heavy drink. They are also seen performing their cobbler craftsmanship during the day atop a toadstool. Learn what leprechauns eat.
To guard their pots of gold, leprechauns have to move them around often, especially when a rainbow shows up. So, they’re very nomadic, travel frequently and often on-the-go.
Most of their spare time is either making shoes for a variety of races in the fairy realm or guzzling down a pint of some spirits. Fairies need lots of shoes, you know, all that dancing wears down the soles on the regular.
Nativity in Ireland | Migration to America
Many claim that the only place leprechauns live is in the countrysides of Ireland. But, there have been sightings across the world, particularly in America.
It seems that many of them traveled with their brethren during the Irish Potato Famine in 1845 to the shores of New York, disembarking on Ellis Island. Leprechauns love potato soup, so they jumped at the opportunity to migrate and stay well stocked.
Some of them made a home in Boston, MA, others settled in Chicago, IL and some traveled as far as Portland, OR, where there’s a leprechaun park. Many people say they’ve spotted leprechauns in their yards, basements and garages in places like St. Louis, MO, Milwaukee, WI, Notre Dame, IN, New Orleans, LA and even Mobile, AL. The avid potato aficionados headed for Idaho, they say.
Leprechauns Come From Ireland
A majority of leprechaun populations live across the lush and verdant wilds of Ireland in almost every county. The most famous places are Thurles in County Tipperary, Dublin in County Cork, in County Antrim among the vast forests and at Carlingford in County Louth. But they also live in other places around Ireland like Leinster, Ulster, Meath, Munster and Connaught.
The Fairy Ring of Thurles
In a meadow called Glen of Cloongallon, there’s a large, green circle near the town of Thurles. Within this meadow is a 600-year old oak. Leprechauns save this tree from destruction by the Tudors of England. Today, there’s a fairy-watch webcam where you can try to spot them in real time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dublin is a major city center in Ireland, so leprechauns don’t frequent the area as much as they used to. But it’s interesting to note that there’s a National Leprechaun Museum and a Leprechaun Park dedicated to Ireland’s rich heritage of leprechauns and other weefolk.
The Forests of Antrim
The thick and fabled forests of County Antrim is a prime habitat for many leprechauns in Ireland. The dense brush gives many cozy nooks and hidden spots for which to set up housekeeping. They live among the large grassy knolls, in hollowed trees or in the countless fairy forts found around the area.
Carlingford | County Louth
In 1989, a man by the name of P.J. O’Hare heard a scream coming from a wishing well near the mountain in Carlingford. O’hare went to investigate and found a leprechaun suit, complete with hat, jacket and four gold coins in the pocket. PJ’s Pub in Carlingford displays this suit for all to see.
The controversy that developed from this discovery led another man, Kevin Woods, known in Ireland as the “Leprechaun Whisperer,” to organize a leprechaun hunt every year on the second Sunday in May. He does this in an attempt to find out the truth about the leprechaun’s existence.
236 Leprechauns Living Under EU Protection
In 2002, Woods unearthed an unusual set of gold coins near a stone wall on Ghan Road in Carlingford. These coins gave the famed “Leprechaun Whisperer” powers to speak with “Carraig.” Carraig is an elder of the 236 leprechauns living at the Slate Rock under Foy Mountain in the Cooley Mountains of County Louth.
These surviving 236 leprechauns are a protected species by the European Union since 2009, under the European Habitats Directive. These leprechauns left 2,000 little black pots around Carlingford for the yearly hunt. They do this as an act of appreciation to the townspeople for gaining their protected status.
Identifying Leprechaun Dwellings
If you’re curious about whether you have a leprechaun living nearby or not, there are a few things you can pay attention to and observe. A field of four-leafed clovers or a patch of shamrocks growing wild is a sure sign that leprechauns are roving the vicinity
If you spot strange entrance-like openings at the bottom of old trees, it might just be a doorway to a leprechaun’s house. You’ll be able to tell by the evidence of handcrafted, diminutive furniture or a tiny workshop inside.
Pay Attention To Sounds | Music
Hearing music from a distance without any discernible or rational explanation might be leprechauns playing music. This will most likely happen around sunset, with the sound of a whistle, fiddle or an Irish harp.
If you’re determined to find the source of the music, cup your ears and determine its general direction. Follow the sound until it becomes louder, you may be able to see where a leprechaun dwells.
A steady yet light tapping sound during the day means there’s a likelihood some leprechauns are making shoes. Follow the same ear-cupping method for music to locate the workshop.
When you do come upon a leprechaun’s dwelling, don’t be rude. Exercise the same courtesy you would expect of a house guest.
Also, think twice if you plan to use this information to catch a leprechaun for gold or wishes. Remember, they are private, temperamental tricksters and you can’t always trust them. They will pull pranks.