Myths of the Irish: the Legend of the Banshee


By: Carolyn Walker @tepsbest

Do you know about the Legend of the Banshee? Most people think Irish legends are all about gold, leprechauns and rainbows. However, Irish legends are actually full of dark mysterious and horrifying myths. In fact, did you know the headless horseman actually originated from an Irish myth? You do now.

Take look at one of the most terrifying of Irish myths, the Legend of the Banshee.

The Banshee

Without sugar coating it, a Banshee is a disembodied spirit that screams over top of someone who is about to die. She is known as the omen as death. In fact, her scream is a warning that there will be an imminent death in the family. Over time, the Irish families believed that each family had its own Banshee.

A Banshee can appear as:

  • A pale woman in a white dress with long red hair
  • A woman with a long silver dress and silver hair
  • A headless woman carrying a bowl of blood that is naked from the waist up
  • An old woman with frightening red eyes, a green dress and long white hair
  • An old woman with a veil covering her face, dressed all in black with long grey hair


It is well known that a Banshee is terrifying. During their lives, these women had reasons to hate their families and appear as distorted and frightening apparitions filled with hatred. Their screaming howls are enough to chill you to the bone. Rather than appearing to warn a family member, these Banshees are celebrating the future demise of someone they loathed. Karma’s a bitch?

Hidden Truths

No one is actually sure how Banshees know that a family member is going to die. One theory suggests that each family member has his own personal observer who follows them around and reports back to the Banshee. A guardian angel turned evil, if you will. However, over the course of time the Legend of the Banshee turned into a spooky bedtime story. But, I’m not convinced just yet.

Do you belief in the legend of the Banshee?

1 Response

  1. March 16, 2019

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