Banshees

Bannik

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#62
There are many treefrogs and bullfrogs where I live but I have yet to hear one scream. Then again, I do hear some pretty horrid, freaky screams in the woods at night sometimes, so maybe I have heard one but just didn't know it was a frog screaming at the time.
 
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Anonymous

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#63
My brother has a pond in his garden, home to many frogs. Occasionally, one will get caught by a bird, and the scream attract the attention of my sister-in-law. Apparently, they sound very human, but very eldritch.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#64
Apparition has tidings of doom

Feb 3 2005

By Richard Holland, Daily Post


MARTIN Blane was an Irishman, one of many of his countrymen and women who worked in the Welsh fields as a haymaker.

He was elderly and becoming increasingly feeble and his one hope was that he would earn enough to be able to return to his native land before he died.

Because of his age, the farmer Blane worked for allowed him to stay in his barn for a few weeks while he gathered strength for his trip - but he grew weaker rather than stronger.

One night the farmer, whose room faced the barn, was startled by a wailing sound, "loud and unearthly". He hurried to his window and saw, crouching by the door of the barn, "a female form shrouded from head to foot in a cloak... sobbing piteously".

Over and over again this strange figure let out a blood-chilling, mournful wail and she frequently extended fleshless arms and clapped her hands with a hard, "bony" sound.. This went on for some time, the farmer rooted to the spot with fear, and then: "suddenly the dark form arose - it was very tall and awful - folded its cloak around it close - close as a bat its wings, crying still, but faintly".

It faded away in the darkness, the eerie wailing continuing for a little while longer. Then all was still. Snapping out of his trance, the farmer hurried outside. He found Martin Blane was dead and all his other servants "crouched in one heap at his door".

This story was written down by a traveller, Mrs Hall, in 1861. Unfortunately, she does not give a location for the weird adventure. However, she leaves no doubt as to the identity of the apparition - it was a banshee.. Banshees are female spirits which belong to old families in Ireland and which manifest to warn of the deaths of any of the family members.

Wales had its own version of the banshee, the Gwrach y Rhibyn, which broadly translates as Hag of the Mists. The Gwrach y Rhibyn also appeared as an old woman - a hideous one - and would wail and moan in grief in the same way as a banshee. A vivid eyewitness account of this apparition, seen in Llandaff, near Cardiff, in 1877, describes it as: "... a horrible old woman with long red hair and a face like chalk, and great teeth like tusks... she went through the air with a long, black gown trailing along the ground below her arms."

The Gwrach gave out an unearthly screech and flapped bat-like wings against the window of a neighbouring house - where a man was found dead the next morning.

Her visitation was intended as a warning - but I can't help but think that the ghastly sight and sound of her was more likely to send this poor man to his grave than otherwise!

-------------------------
* Have you experienced anything strange or supernatural in Wales? If so, please let me know. You can send your story to: Richard Holland, Wales of the Unexpected, 2 Alyn Bank Cottages, Llong, Mold, Flintshire CH7 4JR.
Source
 
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Anonymous

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#65
Ravenstone said:
There's a story of a woman in Wolverhampton who employed an Irish maid, named Morag, in the winter of 1976. Morag was small with black hair and dark eyes. On one of Morag's days off, her employer saw a small pyramid hovering in the air near the television. She describes it as about 3 inches in height with one side shimmering as though charged with electricity. The object caused her to panic. She was further terrified by a sudden hammering on the door. When she opened it, her daughter came rushing in in tears. She said she had said goodnight to her boyfriend, then tried to start her car to drive home but the engine was dead. As she was parked on a hill, her boyfriend was able to give her a push start, but as she was moving away she spotted a small white dog in her headlights. More identical dogs appeared, until she was surrounded by them and unable to move away.

Before the mother could relate her story, they heard a blood curdling scream from outside. They peered cautiously through the curtains and saw, in the light of the full moon, a swirling mist a few feet away which gradually assumed the form of a frail old lady. She was enveloped from head to toe in a long grey cape. her face was pinched and drawn, she had a beaked nose and looked incredibly sad. She drifted backwards a few feet then disappeared.

While the two women were wondering what would happen next, Morag came in and announced she would have to leave immediately for Ireland as her father was gravely ill. She explained the bean sidhe was following her around, and would do so until she returned home. Morag packed and left that night.

Those fitting Morag's description are apparently known as 'Black Irish' and are far more psychic than their fellow countrymen. Folklore says that they are descended from Spaniards who escaped from the Armada, but it is more likely they come from the Iberians, a people who occupied most of the West European Coast and British Isles long before the Celts.

Bean Sidhes do notcause death, they merely herald it. They tend to be seen before battles in Celtic mythology (rather like the Morrigan). As Hermes says, they are not always haggard old women. Sometimes they are young, but they always cry and look incredibly sad. It is said they are linked more with the Macs and O's families, that is families of noble Gaelic descent. They are not always seen, often heard, or sometimes could just be knocks. As my family are all small and dark, and originate from Ireland (and Scotland and Wales) I tend to worry when I hear screaming late at night :)
Woah, that's odd. And from what I know, the banshee is a woman dressed in all black with red eyes from crying so much who will stand outside of the house of someone who is about to die and cry/scream. If she is found, she must tell who is about to die. That's just what it says on kidwizard though. :p
 

nickedoff12

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#66
I was reading somewhere, that the Washerwoman of the Ford (banshee by trade) washes the (forever) bloody clothing of her killed-by-combat husband.

If a young man were to see the washerwoman and suck one of her nipples (yes, those nipples) he'd be granted one wish.
Wherever that come from, I do not know.
 

Ringo

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#67
Just talking to my mum and mentioned the knock. She said she was harrassed by the knock for weeks at a time. She described a soft knock at the front door of our house in the middle of the night and it would escalate to a loud banging when left unanswered. It would then move from one window to the next all around the lower level of the house. The banging would stop at one window and begin at the next almost immediately, leaving not enough time for a person to move around the house.

I didn't tell her what I had previously read here so her account backs up other posts. She never answered the knock being too terrified to investigate. She was a single mum and had her two young kids tucked up in bed whilst some strange banging was running around outside her house. Apparently I heard it once, on a window but I can't remember. :shock:

And the thing about Irish names losing the Mac and 'O parts, I thought they were forced to drop them by the English if they accepted the soup offered during the famine. :?:
 

gerardwilkie

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#68
Don't know if this is a banshee or what . I'm Scottish from an Irish family , and about 20 years ago I was reading a book in bed . Emanating from the corner of the room I heard a loud continuous humming noise , but couldn't find what was causing it . It was certainly coming from inside the room , and there were no pipes or electrical appliances in that part of the room. The humming suddenly stopped , and about 10 minutes later my grandmother phoned us to say that my grandad had just passed away (at the time there was that stange noise in my room) . I know it'll just be coincidence and an over active imagination , but it still unnerves me to this day .
 
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Anonymous

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#69
Bumble bee of death? :twisted: cripes!

seriously tho, i'v always wondered why the English have no tradition of the banshee, whose role instead seems to be played out by either apparitions (eg. the evil monk said to haunt Lord Byron's family) or spectral animals. i remember reading a while ago in a book (i forget which, probably one of Peter Underwood's) about ghosts that a prominent British family was haunted by a spectral white bird which would flap against a window in the family home whenever a death was imminent. for some reason this story really put the wind up me!

in another book, A Dictionary of Ghosts by Peter Haining the author states that the banshee does not actually cry or wail as generally thought but instead talks away mournfully in some obscure dialect of gaelic. has anyone else heard of this?
 

HelzAngel

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#70
Possibly with english myths being more diluted with a widre range of incomers over the centuries, most of the descriptionsof Banshees sound very much as you'd imagine an english witch maybe the 2 have just been combined, like the old pagan festivals being adopted by the church and gradually people forgeting their origins
 

gerardwilkie

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#71
I suppose it's just different cultural values . Ok , so us Irish have the banshee , a miserable old hag who turns up when there is a death in the family , but European culture in general has a similiar take on the same subject . A pan-European version would be the Grim Reaper for example.
 

MaxMolyneux

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#72
Isn't the screams of the bashee that you have to hear and whoever doesn't in the family dies? :?
 

psychicsue

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#73
Being Irish, Ive heard about the banshee since I was very little. We were always told that she was the sign of a death in the family and if she was seen or heard outside a house where someone was ill then the person would surely die. She would either be heard wailing or crying, or sometimes screaming, or she would be seen outside the house.
One story that sticks in my mind about the Banshee was told to me by an old boyfriend. He was from a place called Clonmel in the south West of Ireland and had seen the banshee while cycling home one night while his grandfather was very sick. He said at one point the banshee was so close to him wailing and crying that he thought she was actually sitting behind him on the bike. :shock: Needless to say he was absolutely terrified and was convinced that he had broken some speed record as he was pedalling so fast.
Unfortunately, his Grandfather did die that night, and he had only made it home to say goodbye when it happened.
In my own experience Ive never seen the banshee, but when my own grandfather was dying I could have sworn to have heard someone outside wailing. But then again it could have been a fox ;)
 

Kondoru

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#74
Bean side.....Probably originated from some old celtic notion of profesional mourners. Women who wore black and worked themselves up into screaming hysterics by the graveside.

(perhaps when a person was dying also?)

The notion of a fairy godmother comes from the wise woman who came to bless the child at birth, later on at baptism.

The Fairy Blackstick in `the rose and the ring` (dammit, I cannot remember the author, was it Thackeray??) is a good illustration of this
 

MaxMolyneux

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#75
psychicsue said:
Being Irish, Ive heard about the banshee since I was very little. We were always told that she was the sign of a death in the family and if she was seen or heard outside a house where someone was ill then the person would surely die. She would either be heard wailing or crying, or sometimes screaming, or she would be seen outside the house.
One story that sticks in my mind about the Banshee was told to me by an old boyfriend. He was from a place called Clonmel in the south West of Ireland and had seen the banshee while cycling home one night while his grandfather was very sick. He said at one point the banshee was so close to him wailing and crying that he thought she was actually sitting behind him on the bike. :shock: Needless to say he was absolutely terrified and was convinced that he had broken some speed record as he was pedalling so fast.
Unfortunately, his Grandfather did die that night, and he had only made it home to say goodbye when it happened.
In my own experience Ive never seen the banshee, but when my own grandfather was dying I could have sworn to have heard someone outside wailing. But then again it could have been a fox ;)

Yeah theres supposed tobe a death predicted buy why is it always the one who doesn't hear the wail? :?
 

TVgeek

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#76
Psychic Sylvia Browne mentions her take on Banshees in
her new book: Phenomenon : Everything You Need to Know About The Paranormal
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... s&n=507846

Her take on it: the wail is the sound of the soul changing
frequencies as it crosses over from our vibration level
to that of the other side. The one she heard was amplified
by the fog surrounding her in her walk through a small village.
It turns out an old woman died in one of the nearby houses, and
Sylvia heard the woman "crossing over".

Interesting... FWIW
TVgeek
 

MrRING

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#77
The Tar River Banshee
Patriot David Warner ran a grist mill on the Tar River. Then came the day when three British soldiers arrived at his mill. When the soldiers told the openly rebellious Warner that they were going to drown him in the river -- he bid them to go ahead, but warned that the banshee would get them for their transgressions. As the bound and weighted Warner sunk to the river bottom, a piercing scream filled the air. That night a woman's shape materialized out of the river's mist, eerily beautiful. She disappeared, but the banshee's scream was soon heard again. Shortly thereafter, the same three British soldiers who drowned Warmer received sentences to grind grain at the mill because their rough justice had been unauthorized. Fiendishly, the banshee would cry late in the night, tormenting them. Eventually, the banshee lured the three British soldiers to the river, where they drowned. Now, although the soldiers are long since gone, it's been said that if you listen carefully on nights when the moon is new, it's possible to hear the banshee as she comes out of the mist to scream.
- Lisa Galloway

Source: Guiley, R.E. 'The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits.' Roundhouse Publishing Ltd., 1992.
 

felixgarnet

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#78
Oscar Wilde claimed to have heard the cry of the bean sidhe at the death of his little sister, Isola. Apparently, an unearthly scream tore through the house, causing him to jerk awake filled with a ghastly feeling of dread and grief (he was aged about 11 years, at the time, the sister was eight). It is possible the sound was his mother, of course, but Wilde always claimed it was not human and that he could never sufficiently describe the impact it made upon him. I think I originally read this in Sheridan Morley's biography of Wilde but am not sure. Wilde's poem for Isola, "Requiescat" can be found at http://www.poetry-archive.com/requiescat.html
 

BIg_Slim

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#79
:O scary stuff, i have a story about what happened to me and my friends it happened in front of about 25 people and scared the sh*t out of me
but i wont post it as im not 100% it was a banshee and yes i am in ireland and no i cant prove it it was too long ago (80's)
 

gerardwilkie

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#80
Know how you feel - I've already posted my 'banshee' experience elsewhere in this thread . It too was back in the '80s , and although it didn't terrify me too much, it is something that has stuck with me.
 

PeteByrdie

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#82
Fantastically Wrong: The Surprising Truth Behind the Horrifying Banshee

In Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, the Grim Reaper visits a lovely little dinner party to inform the guests that unfortunately they’re dead. After refusing wine and poking a man in the eye, he leads them to heaven, where there is, of course, a nice musical number.

Conspicuously absent for a British production, though, is the banshee of Irish and Scottish mythology, an ugly, nasty hag clad either in white or gray. A kind of fairy, she’s said to soar around your house, screaming like a manic demon to not so subtly let you know you’re about to die, usually in a violent manner. But unlike the Grim Reaper, this lady doesn’t murder you herself. She’s more of a hands-off type of death omen.

A fixture in U.K. myth-telling for some 1,000 years, particularly among elite families with a penchant for making death particularly dramatic, the banshee can also take the form of a beautiful woman weeping instead of wailing, all upset about your looming death. Also known as the Washer of the Ford, she can sometimes be seen scrubbing her bloodied robe in a river and preening her long hair with a silver comb.

Have you seen this woman? Do you suspect she’s been buzzing your house? Here’s how to prove it.

Wait until night falls, then put a caged rat in your front yard (stick with me here). When you hear that banshee come screaming and rattling that cage, hit the lights. You’ll find one of the night’s most majestic creatures, the barn owl, probably looking a bit pissed off about its rudely inaccessible dinner.

This ghostly creature has gorgeously white underparts and a scream like you wouldn’t believe (have a listen below), and has for centuries served as the likely source of the banshee myth. Far from the legend, though, this is an exceedingly graceful critter whose wails echo across every continent save for Antarctica.

Hunting primarily at night, the barn owl gathers the scant light with its large eyes and uses its entire heart-shaped face to funnel the waves to ears right next to its peepers. Its ears are actually shaped and oriented differently, with one pointing down and the other pointing up, like sloth from The Goonies.

With each ear processing sounds quite differently, the owl’s brain analyzes the variations between the ears to pinpoint prey. It’s so effective that the owl can hunt with sound alone, homing in on rodents rummaging around in the grass below. Once it locks on, it dives and pounces with its unusually long legs—an adaptation to hunting in tall grasses.

As for that beautiful plumage, it might seem odd for a nocturnal hunter to be clad in white. It’s likely a measure, though, to break up its silhouette. This is known as countershading. If moonlight hits, say, a uniformly brown owl, it creates a gradient of a lighter top side and darker bottom side, manifesting as a silhouette for potential prey on the ground. With its bright white underbelly, the barn owl counteracts this shadowing effect, thus breaking up its profile. And the owl’s brownish top side helps it blend with the foliage below, masking it from its own predators above, such as eagles.

The feathers are also highly adapted for silent flight, with extremely fine fringes that reduce turbulence, and therefore noise. The owls are positively packed with these soft, velvety feathers that help absorb sounds, far more than most birds their size (the critters are positively scrawny without their feathers on—like, hilariously so). And the intense curvature of their wings boosts lift, so the owls can cut down on the number of wing beats required to stay aloft, yet another way to reduce noises that potentially scare off prey.

Such does the critter stalk the night in total silence, save for screaming its head off now and then. But at least it isn’t bloodying up our rivers with its dirty laundry.
I don't know! It doesn't explain how the barn owl knows someone is going to die. Perhaps the banshee outsources the flying around and screaming bit to the barn owl.
 

GNC

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#83
Maybe the owl is screeching anyway and the soon to be bereaved only notice the sound when they're in a heightened emotional state?
 

PeteByrdie

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#84
Maybe the sound of the owl is scaring people to death!;)
 

rynner2

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#85
gncxx said:
Maybe the owl is screeching anyway and the soon to be bereaved only notice the sound when they're in a heightened emotional state?
There's a Screech Owl Sanctuary in Cornwall.
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction ... gland.html
They had a stand in Redruth yesterday (Murdoch Day) and were showing an owl to visitors, but not a peep did it make! (But perhaps that means my time is not yet up...)
 

Monstrosa

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#86
It's owned by the Screech family and is not a Sanctuary for Screech owls exclusively.
 
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