You may have heard of her before, or maybe you have even seen her wailing her terrifying cries. She is the Banshee, fairy of death and witchcraft, the star of many Irish legends.
According to famous Irish myths, the Banshee is a corrupt fairy who haunts the main five old Irish families: the O'Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the O’Gradys, and the Kavanaghs. She follows around members of these families before their deaths and screams blood-curdling cries in warning of their looming demise.
The Banshee takes many forms. Some have seen her appear as a young woman, a stately matron, and even a rattled old hag. Legend states that she can also appear in the form of Irish animals that are known in myth to be associated with witchcraft, such as the hooded crow, the stoat, the hare, and the weasel. The banshee uses these disguises to lure people into a false sense of security and then she either haunts or kills them.
Though some doubt the legend of the Banshee, many people throughout history have claimed to have seen or heard her. For example, King James I of Scotland once claimed that he saw a Banshee who told him that he would die the following day. He told his family this, and he promptly died at the exact time the banshee predicted—believe it or not.
To this day, Banshees remain one of the biggest myths in historic Irish folklore. They will likely continue to haunt stories, books, and movies for years to come!