Category Archives: Banshee

Banshee in Arkansas

I had a Banshee encounter 6 years ago.

Grammy Pat and Papa Joe were the Godparents of my grandchildren. They were friends that were as close as blood. We had moved into Grammy Pat and Papa Joe’s house because we had lost our house to a flood and they were moving to Oklahoma.

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I like to sit on the porch early in the morning, especially in the fall and drink my coffee with my dog, Tala. This particular morning it was almost Dawn and the light was soft and pink.

We began to hear someone walking through the woods. Then it sounded like a woman wailing and moaning like she was in terrible pain. The sound was coming closer through the woods.

Tala started whining and pacing. Then she headed over to the door, frantically scratching at it to get in. I walked over and let her in.

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I stayed because I thought it was a vixen moving through the woods and I might get to see it. When I finally saw it, it white and humanish.

I freaked out because the word Banshee went through my mind. I ran in the house. My husband and son thought I had lost my mind. My husband said the noise was just a vixen.

I knew better.

I had seen it. Grammy Pat was killed in a head on car accident three days later.

And yes, both of our families have Irish and Scottish blood.

I swear that this a true story.

Carolyn

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Vision of Banshee

My Mam was diagnosed with cancer which devastated us. cottage

My daughter, 9 years old, myself and my mother. We had lost so many to that dreaded disease that we had thought it had finished with our family.

My daughter and I stayed with Mam in a lovely bungalow beside the sea. We became her carers, with help from official NHS carers and as luck would have it, this being a small town, we knew the carer.

She became part of our little family as we helped Mam battle against the disease which wanted to take her away from us.

I’ve always believed in the good folk from an early age and told my daughter about them too.

So, one night we were all asleep when something woke my sixth sense, (don’t know what else to call it) and although my body stayed in bed I was aware of walking through to the living room.

I could hear my Mam talking but no one replying as I went through the door.

banshee8 (2)Standing in the middle of the room was a tall being all dressed in white with long grey hair.

She wasn’t quite solid and as she noticed I was there she turned and her face lengthened and her mouth and jaw opened far too wide for my liking.

I became frightened and started to say the Lord’s Prayer to the four corners of the room, as you do and I found myself back in my body and wide awake. I ran through to the living room.

It was empty, my Mam was sleeping.

Upon thinking about it, I apologise to the lady as I realised she was our banasidhe and was preparing Mam for the journey she was going to take to the Summerlands.

As I think back now, I feel blessed that I saw her and also feel safe that she is around us.

 Adele.

Granny hears the Banshee

Vee shares some memories of her Granny and her extraordinary life: being born and raised in a cottage built within a Fairy Fort!

It is clear the Good People looked kindly upon Vee’s Granny, as she had knowledge of the mysteries. She knew, if you treated them with thoughtful kindness, they would not harm you. And more, she knew the call of the Banshee….

* The Sidhe/The Good People.

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My Granny Hollywood was born in Killean, South Armagh, Ireland. old granny

The cottage she was born and raised in was built in a Fairy Fort. The path around the house on one side was actually an internal path in the Fort, with a wall to each side. It was only one person wide, and the wall which made the gable end of the cottage, had markings scratched on it, with swirl patterns and V shapes, reminiscent of the markings at Newgrange.

The dog slept in ‘ the box’, which was a sort of small ‘cave’ made of stone slabs along the wall, topped with a massive slab. A fox would come and share the box with him sometimes.

fox asleep

Granny married a Hollywood, and so was gifted the cure of the whooping cough. When people were frightened of the Si*, she wouldn’t say anything, but she always told us after never to be afraid, that the Si knew us and wouldn’t ever harm us. We just had to leave white Foxglove flowers for them.

foxglove

Although a devout catholic, Granny followed the old ways too.

There was a bend in the road a bit down from the Fort. One of Granny’s sisters was afraid to pass this place alone, and always had to be escorted past…to school, to work, any time she had to go that way. If she was alone, she would walk the fields rather than pass it!

She married and lived over the road a bit. One night when my Dad was wee, he was sleeping up in the cottage and he kept waking up complaining he could hear a cat yowling.

Everyone passed it off as a dream, but Granny got anxious, and wanted them to go looking for her sister who hadn’t arrived for her usual Ceili.

They went looking for her, and they found her dead, just at the bend of the road.

Granny said it wasn’t a cat, it was the Bean Si (Banshee) that Dad had heard, trying to warn them. She said Dad was special to the Si.

bend road

On Mam’s side, most of my female ancestress’ had the gift of perception. Some could see, some could hear, but they nearly all could foretell danger. But as they lived in the town, Granny discouraged them speaking of it, as they would be shunned.

Even yet, some people will be hostile. ☘️

Vee – Ireland

The Banshee Visits

A truly compelling account of a visit from Banshee to an Irish family in the United States. I find the reaction of Eileen’s Grandfather to be particularly poignant. The old folk know. No bells and whistles, they just know. – Kitty.

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Imagine being all of five and living a world away from Ireland when you have an encounter with the Banshee.

Imagine being told by your Grandfather that it was pointless to tell anyone, since in the United States no one respected the old ways or recognized them anymore.

I remember it clearly.

My Aunt was suffering from breast cancer, a young thirty-nine, with my Mom, who was a nurse, caring for her. My Grandfather, their father, was living with us at the time. For some reason he and I were at our house when Mom and Dad were at my Aunt’s. I suspect it’s because nobody expected my aunt to die so suddenly.

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The other kids were out in the street playing ball in the hot summer sun, but Grandpa and I were together in the shadowy house. I don’t know what I was doing. Drawing, I think, on the chipped and scarred coffee table that had been roundly abused by the seven kids in the house.

It was really quiet. I do remember that, and my Grandpa was sitting in my dad’s comfortable chair doing a crossword puzzle in the daily paper. We’d been listening to the shrill voices of siblings and neighborhood kids all morning, but it seemed that they’d moved farther down the street, because I remember a hushed kind of silence.

Suddenly I heard a sound I still can’t describe; a keening, yes, but the most beautiful, hair-lifting cry I think I’ll ever hear.

Outside, up, as if it hovered high over the front porch. fold newspaper

I looked up.

My Grandpa froze where he sat.

Slowly he set down his newspaper and rose, pausing, as if by dragging his feet he could prevent the inevitable.

Then he walked to the front window and pulled the curtains aside.

The keening came again, like a high wind or one of the old ladies who showed up at the family funerals, except indescribably more beautiful and haunting.

I sat where I was, suddenly unsure what to do. My Grandpa knew. He looked out, looked up, as if something hovered in the bright white sky.

“She’s gone,” he said, and there were tears in his voice.

Quietly he let the curtains fall back into place, and for a while just stood there, his head down.

curtain window

“What was that, Grandpa?” I asked.

He shook his head, never looking for me.

“It was the Banshee.”

He walked back to his chair and sat down.

He picked the paper up that he’d carefully folded to exhibit the crossword puzzle, but he didn’t look at it. He just held it.

I looked out toward where the voice had come from. I knew what banshees were. I’d just seen ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’ not long before, and the Banshee in the movie was a terrifying swirl of flowing black robes and hair. Her voice, though, had been terrifying.

This hadn’t terrified me. Even so, I didn’t have to courage to get up and walk to the window to look out. I just went back to coloring.

Just then my Mom called. My Aunt had just died. My Mother didn’t seem surprised that my Grandpa already knew.

I never asked my Mother about what I heard. I didn’t tell anybody until only about ten years ago when I finally discovered the Irish part of our family who had been able to stay in Ireland.

“Of course,” my cousin said when I told her. “The Banshee follows our clan.”

I’ve never heard her again.

 Eileen – United States.

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The Night Visitor

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Bridget McManus was my Mother and it must be said, was as sensible as the day is long. She told me this Tale not long before she passed in 1962.

In around 1920, my parents, Donal and Bridget McManus, were both in their early twenties and not long married.

Donal had an uncle, his Mother’s brother, there in Chicago who promised him work and a place to stay until they got theirselves settled and, I suppose, it seemed a grand offer.

Donal and Bridget bid a warm farewell to both their families and emigrated from Kilkenny, Ireland to Chicago, America in search of prosperity and adventure. And so it was, adventure they found, only not in the shape they had dreamed of.

This Tale finds them only weeks after arriving in Chicago. Donal and Bridget were asleep in the attic room of Uncle’s house, enjoying the deep sleep reserved for those with a clear conscience.

Bridget woke first. She heard 3 knocks at the Attic window. An impossibility sure, and yet she swore it were true. So, Bridget heard 3 knocks and sat up to see her there. Sat at the end of their bed, smiling silently was Donal’s own Mother, Orla.

There was nothing unnatural to her appearance, she looked altogether familiar: her Sunday shawl wrapped around her shoulders, her hair curled and her hands resting softly in her lap.

Bridget shook Donal to wake and they both sat up and looked upon the vision of Orla: sitting with the grace of her renown, and smiling, just smiling.

Donal spoke and this is what he said: “Mother dear, why have you come? What have you to tell me dearest?” But his Orla did not answer. She tilted her head a little and smiled warmly then disappeared from before their eyes. Donal and Bridget both swear they felt a weight lift from the bed as she disappeared.

There was no more sleep to be had that night and no drop of whiskey or pot of tea could settle their helpless agitation. Donal and Bridget dressed and waited, pacing the floor or gazing out the attic window.

When dawn arrived, Donal told his uncle of the apparition. As Donal spoke, the breath in Uncle’s chest tightened and he fell pale. “Tis the Good People” he said, “they have followed our kin across the western sea. Didn’t the very same thing happen to my cousin, there in Boston… I am afraid dear Donal, dire news is upon the wind”.

Donal hurried to the Church Rectory for to ask a kindness. Very few people had a telephone of their own in the day so, as was the way of things, he turned to the Church for help. Donal used the church telephone to call the telephone in the Church at Kilkenny, and heard the news he had dreaded.

Donal’s Mother had passed on only hours before. It was sudden and, they said, painless. She had been strong as an ox until the minute she died.

Donal was terribly shaken. He returned to Uncle’s house wearing the face  of a Motherless son. “She came for to say goodbye” is all he said.

Emigration may have promised Donal and Bridget a heavy purse but aren’t some things more important anyway?

That very day, they left Chicago for New York and the first voyage home

Joe McManus

The Night Grandad saw Banshee

So as a younger man my Grandad saw a Banshee. It was his ‘ghost story’ he told me but I didn’t realise that he actually believed it, or that it was true.

He was the most skeptical person I ever knew. His name in the bible is after the non-believer. He was a such a skeptic, it was almost shocking as he was a good Catholic. But to the day he died he swears he saw her.

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He was walking a country road late one evening, he was from Dublin but outside the city back then everywhere was countryside, the suburbs weren’t really established then.

That’s when he saw her, a beautiful dark haired woman crying and combing out her long hair just sitting on an old boundary wall for a field. He was terrified because Banshees are death omens.

From what I can remember he was so scared he ran back the way he came.

I know back when I was a child I asked him who died but he said he prayed for her and no one died.

Niamh – Ireland