Category Archives: Faerie attached to Families

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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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.

*

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

The cottage she was born and raised in was built 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

Faerie Phantom?

This is a fascinating experience. I suspect that given Simon feels this was some ‘Faerie intervention’, it probably was, but… it is difficult to explain. We would need to consider the incidence of Faerie attaching themselves to particular families and also ‘appearing’ great distances from home.
It is particularly interesting that Mary was raised in a family not only aware of the Good People, but clearly allowed the Good People into their daily lives. It’s a curious one, please let me know what you think, or if you have heard of a similar occurrence.
*
I was recently reminded of an interesting experience I had in my youth which I feel may be a time I encountered these Good People.  I feel that I may have encountered some sort of changeling… yet I would love to hear your view on this encounter.

 

It was many years ago, in the early 2000s.  I was fairly young and living in my home country of Australia, in the capital city of Canberra.  I had been dating a young Irish girl whom came to Australia for a holiday.  Her name was Mary and we hit it off and quickly moved in together before we planned on getting married (yes, it was a very quick romance… I think the whole issue of getting a visa played a big part in this).

Her family were very angry that she had decided to marry someone they never met, and after weeks of phone calls and letters they persuaded her to come home to Ireland for a short while before she would return for the marriage.  It was their intention to talk her out of it when she was home.

plane moon

Mary and I drove to Sydney International airport with a few of my friends who wanted to see her off too.  Mary and I said our sad goodbyes, promising to see each other again in a couple of months when she would return.  I watched her walk to the departure gate and leave.  I sadly returned to Canberra (several hours drive away) with my friends, where we decided to go out in an attempt to cheer me up and get my mind off missing Mary.

 

We decided to go to the movies, where we would watch a movie (funnily enough) called “Something about Mary” and we were the only people in the cinema.  After the movie, we chatted for a while as the credits rolled before my friends and I stood to leave.

cinema chairs
The cinema lights had been turned on, and we could see very well.  As we entered the aisle to leave , near the door to the cinema, stood Mary.  She stood there staring at us, wearing the same clothes we just saw her wearing when she boarded the plane, with no real expression on her face.  My friends and I stopped in the aisle when we saw her… we all looked at each other and one of them asked if that was Mary.
I told them it couldn’t be… they were with me when I dropped her off at the airport… she should be well into her flight back to Ireland.  We stood and watched her for a moment before she turned slowly and proceeded to walk to the closed door.
At this point we started to follow, she opened the door and walked through, allowing it to close behind her.  We quickly reached the door and opened it, to see her standing in the main cinema corridor (from which other cinema’s branched).
The corridor was only partially lit, yet we could see her very clearly.  She was part way up the corridor, her body sideways to us and she watched us as we left the cinema.  My friends again told me that it was Mary, yet I said that it can’t be Mary… I said that they knew as well as I did that she was on a plane, and this person was acting very strange.
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We stood in silence, watching her before she moved again.  She slowly turned and walked down the corridor away from us, heading towards the large cinema at the end of the hall.  I could see as she walked, her head turned slightly every now and then to see us as she walked.  I knew she wanted me to follow her, and my friends asked if I was going to follow her.  I wanted to,,, yet I replied that I wouldn’t follow.
I knew it wasn’t my Mary… I didn’t know what it was, yet I suspected that it was not a good idea to follow this figure.
A day or two later. Mary called from Ireland to let me know she arrived home safely.  When I told her about the figure I had witnessed, she had no knowledge of this visitation we encountered… not that I thought she would.
One more interesting point… when I did meet her family they were very connected to the Faerie world.  Not a day would go by without them mentioning something about the Good People… something, at the time, I thought was very unusual.
When I think back, knowing what I do now, could it be possible that the Good People were trying to prevent Mary and I from being together?  If so, it changed little as Mary and I married later that year, although our marriage didn’t work out in the end. So who knows?
I often wonder what would have happened had I followed that “pseudo” Mary.  Would my life be more interesting?  Would I have gone to some place amazing?  Or was it some phantom creature who meant to cause me harm?
I guess I will never know.
Simon – Sydney.
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The Fairy Whistle

I have never heard a tale quite like this one. Could it be the Leanan Sidhe at work?

*

We were only teenagers then. Had been on the drink after a game like. My three cousins and me, walking home at a stumble.

The oldest, I won’t tell his name, was barely walking at all. Me and my other cousins took turns half carrying him across the fields and anyway we all fell into this ditch. It was shallow enough, and we all just lay there, under a tall tree, looking up at the stars for I can’t say how long.

starry sky

The night was silent, and so were we, which I suppose was the first sign of something unusual. Then we hear this music. It was simple, a whistle I think it was. Quiet, but close. I said to my cousin who was less inebriated than the other two “Do you hear that?”. He says “I do”. There was no one around for miles. My cousins’ house the only one nearby.

We listened for a time. All four of us. It was the most beautiful tune, played over and again. Almost had me in a daze. Then I shot up and realized we were laying our backs against the side of a fairy ring. I knew it well in daylight and wouldn’t go near it then. So, I upped and got them moving again.

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Well we got home no trouble and next day recalled the whistle we heard. We all four of us remembered it the same but swore not to mention it to our Mam’s for fear they’d tear strips off us for being foolish enough to sit on a fairy fort. But that tune, it was lighter and sweeter than anything I’d heard before or since.

Now you’ll be expecting me to tell you some terrible bad luck befell the four of us soon after. Well it didn’t. We were fine. In fact, I suppose you could say we were better than fine. For a time.

Each of us grew and spread our wings. My cousins each excelled in their field of interest. It’s not for me to tell their names but one was a successful multimedia artist in the city, another was a regarded musician who had traveled the world and the last was a history teacher who published several books on Fairy Folklore.

I say was because all 3 are passed now. Suddenly and every one before their 30th birthday. They each lived a short, bright life and I too have enjoyed a surprising measure of success in my own field.

In the end, we only saw each other at funerals. We’d look at each other with these eyes you know. Now there’s only me left. Well anyway, the thing is, I turn 30 myself next year and find myself wondering about that fairy fort, and the whistle we heard that night. And I wonder what awaits me.

Michael – Ireland.

I received a follow-up email from Michael and he asked me to add a curious detail which he forgot to include in his own account. Michael says that since that night, when he and his cousins lay back on the wall of the fairy fort, none of the 4 men ever experienced a sleeping dream. Ever again. Make of that what you will. If you have a theory on this, or how it relates to his extraordinary tale, I would love to hear it.

I wish Michael all the very best and thank him again for sharing.

Cheers, Kitty.

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.

*

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.

colouring pencils]

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 Faerie Dog

I had an encounter with a Faerie when I was 8 or 9 years old. I don’t remember a lot of it myself, although I definitely remember it happening. big-foot-1312500 (2)

Luckily my Mum was there too and has told the story so many times since it happened, I couldn’t forget it if I tried!

I live in Dublin now raising my own children, but back in 1972 when we had our ‘encounter’, we were living outside of Bunclody in the County Wexford.

So, the day I encountered the Faerie dog had been like any other day. I was after getting off the school bus to find that, once again, Mum was late and not there in the car to drive me home. This had happened a thousand times before and I knew what to do: stand still and wait for her. This I did, and can remember running the nine times table through my mind over and over, for to keep myself occupied.

So, I was there alone, the bus long gone and the road was quiet but I wasn’t worried. It was a safe town after all.beetle-free (2)

Then I noticed this olive green car with 2 men in it drive past me, real slow like, looking at me all the while, then a few minutes later it drove past going the other way, turned and came back toward me.

All of a sudden, this black dog, or it could have been brown, appeared out of no place and stood beside me. It was big. Not so big as a wolfhound but heavier. I think it had a real barrel chest and a thick, short coat but can’t be certain, and to this day, I couldn’t tell you if it were male or female.

Anyway, this dog rested a paw on my foot, hard like, pushing my foot into the ground as it stared at the car approaching us. I remember the sound of it growling low and deep so that its whole body shuddered and the fur on its back shackled upright.

I was scared stiff. Truly I couldn’t move a muscle, not knowing whether to stay or run or whether to be more scared of the dog or the car.

The car with the 2 men stopped right in front of me and the fella in the passenger seat rolled his window down and said something like “hop in and come for a ride”.

Next thing I know, he opened the car door, stepped a foot out onto the road and the dog flew at him, grabbed his leg, shook it hard and pulled on it something fierce, I thought he was going to rip his whole leg off!

I remember the fella shrieking high, like a girl, and his pal hollering at him to get back in the car. But he just kept shrieking and wailing.

The dog was latched on that fella’s leg and wasn’t letting go and I tell you, the snarl coming from it was like nothing I’d heard before, or since. Just the thought of it gives me shivers, even today.

And that’s when I noticed my Mum pull up in her car behind. She hurled herself from out behind the wheel and round her car and the driver of the car hit the pedal.

The shrieking man was dragged along the road, half in the car, half out of it, with the dog still attached to his leg. There was blood everywhere, all over the road, all over the dog. It was awful. I remember the smell of the blood, sweet but foul, like a gutted fish left sat in the Sun.

My Mum stood in the middle of the road, flailing her arms and hurling abuse after the car. The dog let go the man and the car sped off. I was crying, Mum was screaming and the dog… well it was stood in the middle of the road too, but then it turned and looked hard at Mum.

No word of a lie, with only one glare, that dog silenced my Mum (and if you knew my Mum you’d think it a miracle!).

The dog, blood covering its head and chest and still dripping from its jaw, walked right up and stood about a metre in front of her. The two of them stood staring at each other for about half a minute. It wasn’t long but I remember it felt like forever.

Do you know, not for a second did I think it would attack her, I don’t know why, I just knew it wouldn’t. Anyway, then the dog walked away toward the cluster of trees I guess it came out of and it was gone.

Without a word, Mum scooped me up and put me in the car, a mustard Cortina it was (I loved that car), grabbed paper and pencils from her bag, and shoved them at me. Then she barked at me to write down everything that just happened, and fast. Well this I did, and she did the same. Every now and again she would say, “EVERYTHING, WRITE EVERY LITTLE THING”.

We both finished and sat in silence for I don’t know how long until eventually my Mum said, “you were just saved by a Faerie. And if we aren’t careful, we’ll forget the whole thing”.

Mum drove like a Banshee to my Auntie’s house which was only 5 minutes from the bus stop, and burst through her door yelling “Nora, I’ve just been scolded by a Faerie!”.

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Aunt Nora

We told Auntie Nora everything we could remember and then passed her our written notes. I remember my Auntie raising an eyebrow and saying “There’s a lot you have written that you didn’t tell me. You are forgetting and no doubt”.

Then she frowned and said to Mum “Please tell me you didn’t thank the Faerie”.

Of course I didn’t thank the Faerie Nora, what sort of fool do you take me for? You never thank a Faerie!”

I didn’t have a scratch on me, nothing to prove what had happened, and then I remembered my foot. The weight of the dog pushing on my foot. I rolled my sock off and there it was, a purple bruised pawprint. I saw it with my own eyes, and showed it to Mum and Auntie too. Not that Auntie needed convincing, she always believed in the Good Folk. Sure, she’d have plenty of stories for you herself.

That was the day I encountered a Faerie of Ireland. I can safely say that every week of every month of every year since that day in 1972, either Mum or Auntie have told this story to someone, to keep it alive like, so it’s never forgotten. Thank goodness my Mum knew enough of the Faerie to write the experience down before it was lost to us.

Oh! I almost forgot the best part. When the dog stood in front of Mum and stared at her, she said she heard its voice in her own mind. She wrote down only moments later what it had said to her.

Manys the time I have watched over your unguarded daughter. If she is left alone once more, I will claim her to live among Faerie.”

From Sharon – Dublin, Ireland

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