The banshee tradition occurs through Ireland and nearby islands. The Gaelic term used most frequently to describe the banshee are the Bean- Sì, a female dweller of a sidhe, or fairy mound. This implies an otherworld or fairy being, the banshee is a solitary creature without male counterpart. The banshee is the Celtic death messenger. Speculation also links the banshee with the mystical race Tuatha De Dannan, from whonce the fairy folk are descended. A female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die.
Surprisingly, there are some people in Ireland who still believe in the existence of such creatures. The women of the fairy may be an ancestral spirit appointed to forewarm members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: The O’ Neills, the O’Brien, the O’ Connors, the O’ Gradys and the Kavangags. Intermarriage has since extended this select this.
In Galway I heard news from a woman who actually had seen a banshee. I went to visit her and she welcomed me as the Irish do. We had a couple of drinks before getting into business. She explained with all kind of details here encounter with the unknown:
“To my horror, the footsteps ascended the stairs, and the bedroom door was violently dashed against a washing stand. A cold perspiration broke all over me; it was more than that. I felt I had come into contact with the Banshee. Suddenly I realised that I was asleep. It was just a dream but then, I woke up to see her outside by the window. She knocked three times. I heard her wailing and I knew my grandpa who was ill at the time, was going to die. That night he passed away. I will never forget the look of that woman. She was a little old woman with long flowing silvery grey hair. She sits and combs her hair out while she cries and wails”.
Since that day, I took an interest in everything related to the Irish angel of death. My interest has to do with my studies of the European folklore, because through folklore we can learn more about the thoughts and ideas of our ancestors.
In my study I spoke with different scholars to know their opinions on the subject. I was quite shocked to hear their explanations to the phenomena. Regarding her manifestation clearly demonstrate the strength that hails her presence. She is frequently viewed as descends from a displaced individual. For instance, you will find common myth in which suggest that the soul of woman that unfortunately lost her spouse and children might metamorphose into a banshee as a result of grieving them for all eternity. Due to his, she is unlikely approved back to community; in this situation, she transforms her very own demise. Yet another source for the banshee is that they are souls of children who were not baptised. However, some scholars points out that the banshee is some sort of a being from another dimension.
Whatever they are, the banshees are as Irish as the leprechauns or the Guinness.
Stories of the banshees are to be told in the dark, in an old house, or around a campfire. If you find, of course, a good storyteller.
Sergio Calle Llorens