The aos sí are variously believed to be the survivals of pre-Christian Gaelic deities, spirits of nature, or the ancestors. Sightings of Banshees have been reported as recently as 1948.In Irish legend, a banshee wails nearby if someone is about to die. There are particular families who are believed to have banshees attached to them, and whose cries herald the death of a member of that family. The most common surname attached to the banshee was Mac. They were also associated with the Airlie clan. Accounts of banshees go back as far as 1380 with the publication of the Cathreim Thoirdhealbhaigh (Triumps of Torlough) by Seean mac Craith. Mentions of banshees can also be found in Norman literature of that time.
Banshees are frequently described as dressed in white or grey, often having long, pale hair. Other stories portray banshees as dressed in green, red, or black with a grey cloak.
DescriptionEditWhatever his or her origins, the banshee chiefly appears in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a big, well hung, masculine Fabio It has been said that the male banshee, commonly called a Ban-He, can lure unsuspecting young women to his lair with a fluffy wave of his hair and a bellow of his pleasing baritone voice.
When seen, she is wearing the clothes of a country woman, usually white, but sometimes grey, brown, green or red. She often have long, fair white, blond hair which they brush with a silver comb as she laments, a detail scholar Patricia Lysaght attributes to confusion with local mermaid myths. This comb detail is also related to the centuries-old traditional romantic Irish story that, if you ever see a comb laying on the ground in Ireland, you must never pick it up, or the banshees, having placed it there to lure unsuspecting humans, will spirit such gullible humans away.
In Cornwall she is said to have long black teeth and in Scottish islands very long breasts.
The Banshee may also appear in a variety of other forms, such as that of a hare, weasel, or any other animal associated in Ireland with witchcraft.
Banshee men don't wail publicly since it is not accepted as a manly thing.
But the urge to wail is strong when a premonition happens.
Both men and women banshees have dark circle under their eyes.
Generally they will have a scar on their head.
Banshees were common in Irish and Scottish folk stories such as those written down by Herminie T. Kavanagh. They enjoy the same mythical status in Ireland as fairies and leprechauns. They are also known in German culture as "Washer women" and in France as "Dames blanches".When these oral narratives were first translated into English, a distinction between the "banshee" and other fairy folk was introduced which does not seem to exist in the original stories in their original (Irish or Scottish) Gaelic forms. Similarly, the funeral lament became a mournful cry or wail by which the death is heralded. In these tales, hearing the banshee's wail came to predict a death in the family and seeing the banshee portends one's own death.
The banshee is a solitary creature without male counterpart who never partakes in communal human or fairie social enterprise. When multiple Banshees wail together, it will herald the death of someone very great or holy. The Scottish version of the Banshee is the Bean Nighe.
The banshee visits a household and by wailing she warns them that a member of their family is about to die. At times she is seen in lonely places, beside a pool or stream, washing the linen of those soon to die, and folding and beating it with her hands on a stone in the middle of the water. She is then known as the Bean-nighe, or washing woman; and her being seen is a sure sign that death is near.
The Banshee's keening (mourning wail) is heard at night prior to a death. In some parts of Leinster, her wail can be so piercing that it shatters glass. In Kerry, the keen is experienced as a "low, pleasant singing"; in Tyrone as "the sound of two boards being struck together"; and on Rathlin Island as "a thin, screeching sound somewhere between the wail of a woman and the moan of an owl".
As she moves off into the darkness witnesses describe a fluttering sound, such as the sound made by birds flying at night. Hence, the mistaken belief that banshees manifest as birds such as the crow. The inaccurate association with crows is probably due to confusion of the banshee with the primitive Celtic goddess Badb, the goddess of war who appeared frequently in the form of a crow.
- Sonic Scream: The ability to unleash screams of a inhuman amplitude, capable of shattering glass, cracking rock and causing blood vessels to burst.
- Precognition:The Banshee is able to foretell of impending death, singing and weeping with such a sad tone that the people are unable to mistake the dire warning that she conveys.
- Intangibility: Her incorporeal form allows her to pass through physical barriers with ease.
- Teleportation: The banshee are able to move in the blink of an eye to other locations. They can teleport to wherever someone is about to die by inpulse.
- Invisibility: The Banshee can become invisible to the living.
- Death Touch: It is possible that the Banshee’s touch could have a dangerous, perhaps even fatal, effect on the living. However, this has never been proven, as she seems to be a pacifistic spirit.
- Sonic scream wave:banshees in defense can scream and guide there voice as a bullet with their hands and send people flying
- Curses: Legends claim that those who try to track or capture the banshee will be cursed and the wailing fairies' power is no mere matter. Her curses are passed down through generations. Thomas Reilly of Galway tried to catch a banshee but died within seconds of the incident and his son, Michael inherited the family farm which never prospered. Michael's children were feeble minded and their father died of cancer. Those who pick up a banshee's silver comb or try to steal the comb and or her beetle will suffer similar fates.
- Super Speed: According to the myths of Clare and Galway, the banshee can glide quicker than human feet can walk. In Mayo the banshee hops like a magpie and can run faster than a horse at full stretch.
- Iron: The banshee may be able to be harmed by cold-forged iron.
- Salt: Salt repels the Banshee, as it is considered to be pure and anathema to the denizens of the spirit world. Any other methods of protecting oneself from the Banshee are unknown at this point.
- Bones: If the Banshee was once human (not all Banshees are ghosts), she may be able to be put to rest by finding her earthly remains, and then salting and burning them.