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Gort (Are You Afraid of the Dark?)

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Take his soul and grind it whole, and eat it with a fish. The boy be mine for all time. This is what I wish.
~ Gort

Gort is a villain appearing in the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun. He was portrayed by John Dunn-Hill.


Gort is a banshee, an evil pixie that has to eat a human soul every seven years to survive. In order to do this, he must make a human drink a magic potion and recite a specific verse - "Turn me now into spirit bright and leave behind the human blight." The person who drank the potion and then took the oath would have their soul stolen by Gort, and then turn into a toad, which Gort would imprison in a glass bowl and keep as a pet.

At some point in the past, Gort had tangled with a leprechaun named Sean O'Shaney, who cut off his tail. The two were old enemies with an extreme hatred of one another.

Gort moved from Ireland to America, where he took the name Erin and lived as a human stage actor. In his human form, he was very friendly, jolly and well-liked by everyone, especially Jake, a young boy who dreamed of being an actor and admired "Erin" for his genius. Gort selected Jake to be the lead in a play he wrote called The Will O' the Wisp, a story about a young boy menaced by an evil goblin. The boy is rescued by a leprechaun named Seamus Doyle, who is portrayed in the story by Gort in his Erin persona - effectively meaning the banshee was playing three roles.

But underneath his friendly and likable exterior as Erin, Gort plotted a dire fate for poor Jake. Using Jake's hat and a photograph of the boy, he erected a shrine in his dressing room where he began to cast a spell to take the boy's soul and eat it. In the play, Jake's character was to be given a wineskin by Seamus and be enticed to drink from it, and then say the oath in order to be transformed into a leprechaun and escape from the goblin.

What Jake didn't know was that the "wine" was actually the potion to turn him into a toad so Gort could take his soul and turn him into a toad. Each time he took the oath he changed slightly, and on opening night, he'd take the oath for the final time and change completely. Gort's plan was apparently for the audience to think Jake's transformation into a toad was part of the play.

A fearful Jake sought assistance from Sean O'Shaney, who owned a greenhouse nearby. Sean was able to deduce Erin's true identity and began secretly helping Jake overcome him. After being revealed as Gort, he transformed into his true self and menaced Jake onstage, but the audience, as Gort had hoped, just thought it was part of the story. Sean arrived and offered Gort a trade - his severed tail in return for Jake's soul. Gort was compelled to agree, and when Sean threw the banshee's tail at him, he promptly exploded.


  • Gort is repeatedly referred to as a banshee in the story despite being male. This is apparently artistic license, as in Irish folklore, banshees are usually female and supposedly meant to warned humans of thier love ones death than take thier souls as Banshee supposed to do.
    • Also, despite being called a banshee, Gort has more in common with the Bucca or Puca/Pooka/Pwca of Cornish, Irish and Welsh mythologies, and the Trolls of Norse mythology.

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