The Banshee

The Banshee was a fairy-woman who traditionally was a portend of death for certain families of Celtic descent.  She appeared as a either a small shriveled old woman or else as a beautiful maiden with long flaxen hair which she constantly combed while keening loudly in an otherworldly voice.  She is always seen alone and in a melancholy mood when found near the doomed person's home.  Some people believed that the banshee was a ghost of a person who had suffered violence from some member of the family.  She repeats her keen from a particular place while announcing the approach of death to his descendants.

Others believe that she is a friendly spirit offering forewarning and guidance to the family.  However it is not certain whether she is a friend or an enemy to the chosen family to whom her warning is conveyed.  Her cry often comes from a spring, river or lake with which her name is connected.

The word Banshee comes from the Gaelic - Bean Sidhe - Fairy Woman/ Woman of the Mounds.

Stories, Myths and Legends about The Banshee

O'Carroll's Banshee and Terryglass Castle

The Banshee and Reverend Bunworth

The Banshee and the Mac Carthy's

Banshees and Warnings by Lady Gregory

 

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