logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Irish Culture Site

BellaOnline's Irish Culture Editor

g

Banshee in Ireland

Guest Author - Mary Ellen Sweeney

Many people are fascinated with tales from "the other side," and hope to hear news from a loved one who has passed on. The Banshee of Irish legend is a wailing woman who brings news of an impending death. The cry of the Banshee is known all over Ireland, and indeed once heard, is never again disbelieved, especially when someone local is known to be dying. Many people claim to have seen the other side or communicated with loved ones from beyond, but have they heard the Banshee cry? I have, and I believe.

Banshee comes from the Irish words "bean," woman, (ban) and "sidhe," fairy, (shee.) Supposedly from the mythical race of the Tuatha De'Dannan, or fairy folk, who, though elusive, are felt to be present in Ireland to this very day. (And who among us who has spent time in Ireland hasn't felt the frisson of connection with the Tuatha de' Dannan at one time or another?)

Banshees wear many disguises, and indeed are seldom seen but more often heard wailing in the middle of the night. It's a high, keening sound that is well-duplicated by the keening at the country wakes...and by the wind in a high gale on the northwest coast, where the lights are few and far between and people more likely to pass from this life from home than the hospital. Banshees, when they are spied, take on many forms: one version is that of a beautiful young woman combing her long, flowing hair while she wails for the soon-to-be-departed. Other visionaries have seen the Banshee as older, white-haired women in rags or shrouds or as washing women. It is said that the Banshee will tell for whom she keens if she is asked directly.
Sometimes it is just one person in the house who hears the cry of the Banshee, but at other times she is heard by all, even the neighbors. In all respects the Banshee is seen as a bearer of bad fortune or death, but in actuality she is foretelling the inevitable and paying her respects, softening the blow so to speak. Many have seen her as she goes wailing and clapping her hands. The keen (caoine), the funeral cry of the peasants, is said to be an imitation of her cry.
In shadows and unseen the Banshee attends the funeral of those families with whom she is connected---and indeed, she is well-known to certain Irish families, and has travelled with them when they emigrated---her voice blending in with the cries of the other mourners.
If you hear the cry of the Banshee, count your blessings, because the person for whom she cries is said never to hear her...but who is it she welcomes into the afterlife?



Add Banshee+in+Ireland to Twitter Add Banshee+in+Ireland to Facebook Add Banshee+in+Ireland to MySpace Add Banshee+in+Ireland to Del.icio.us Digg Banshee+in+Ireland Add Banshee+in+Ireland to Yahoo My Web Add Banshee+in+Ireland to Google Bookmarks Add Banshee+in+Ireland to Stumbleupon Add Banshee+in+Ireland to Reddit




Irish Superstitions and Traditions
The Banshee in Irish Culture
Werewolves in Ireland
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Irish Culture Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Mary Ellen Sweeney. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Mary Ellen Sweeney. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Bee Smith for details.

g


g features
Naturist Tourists in Ireland

Northern Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney

Ireland's Megaliths

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor