A Banshee


A Banshee

par Guide Irlande

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The Banshee is a being from the legends of Irish mythology. More generally, one finds writings of it in Ireland, Scotland, as well as in Wales and Brittany. Terrifying, this feminine creature is said to herald a coming death with her shrill screams.

Portrait of a Banshee

A Being who heralds death…

The Banshee (Bean Si or Bean Sidhe in Irish Gaelic) is first and foremost described as a pale woman, dressed in a long ghostly white gown.

His hair would then be combed in battle, and his screams (called keenings) would be so heart-rending that they would pierce every human soul.

Also, the Banshee is by definition a being in pain, who manifests his suffering with true inhuman cries. These screams would be so intense that they would turn the hair of the one who hears them white.

In the writings, her cries are portrayed as a clever mixture of howling by children, howling by wolves, and the cries of women in the midst of childbirth. Add to this the cry of the wild goose, and you get a good idea of the unbearable cacophony of a Banshee’s howl!

Legend has it that this howl would announce the impending death of a loved one, or someone important, to the one who hears it. Many people think of him as a figure close to the great reaper, but the Banshee only announces death: she never provokes it.

Legend also has it that the great Irish families had their own Banshee. The banshee would only announce the coming deaths of family members, and in no case those of strangers to the family circle.

Cultural distortions have over time placed the legend of the Banshee among the myths of fairies, witches and leprechauns. There are different interpretations of the legend depending on the country you are in. Some people describe her as a very beautiful woman, while others depict her as an elderly, very thin and painfully ugly old lady.

How about you, sir? Can you believe it?


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