Monday, April 2, 2012

B: Banshee

Most of know banshees as faery women in Irish folk lore who wail, foretelling a death. The details, however, vary a lot depending on the particular story.

In the older legends a banshee heralds a death rather than foretells it so that family members far away can be warned before they are sent the official news. In some legends banshees are old hags and others beautiful young women or they can change between the two as they will. Sometimes a banshee is a ghost and sometimes a faery. Sometimes they wail in groups when someone important dies. In Scottish folk lore they are washer women who can be found washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. They usually wear long robes and hoods in blacks, grays, or reds.


  1. Great post! Very interesting. I'm now your newest follower so that I can see the rest of your posts. Also I saw your about me below, and I love fantasy, myth and medieval history so we have some similar interests :)

    My theme for the A-Z challenge is the Lord of the Rings if you want to check it out.

  2. I was particularly interested in this myth when I went to Ireland a few years ago.

  3. I wonder when this legend began? (I don't have time to Google it today.) The first thing that came to my mind was that it likely began during the potato famine.

  4. I didn't know...I too wonder where this legend began?!
    Nice to meet you

  5. Sure and begorra, those are mighty evil forces to be allowing into your Blog. ;) The Banshee's scream is a potent message in and of itself.

    I loved your post about the Ancients and the Others. ;)

  6. Banshees sound a little scary. :) I've always heard that term "screaming like a banshee."

  7. I studied the Banshee when I was studying abroad in Ireland. They're one of my favorites!! Awesome post and happy A-Z blogging.

  8. Hi, Taryn! I'm hopping over from the A to Z Challenge...nice to meet you! I am currently working on a YA fantasy novel based loosely in a medieval Celtic era and your post today gave me another lovely character to work with...thank you!

    Good luck with the challenge and I'm a new follower!

    Donna Martin

  9. Great A-Z post! This gives me tons of story ideas to play with. :)

  10. Banshee probably creep me out more than any other ghost. I'll blame this on the movie Darby O'Gill from when I was a kid but it's more likely the fear of such inevitability.

    A to Z Challenge