The Banshees

My informant is a 23 year old student who is heavily interested in mythology and myths of other cultures.

“So another tidbit of Irish folklore, uh, one of their big spirit-type things, is, you’ve probably heard of this before, the Banshee, right. Um and, so banshees aren’t malevolent spirits really. Um, they’re considered bad luck though because you hear their screams, like the banshee screams, because it’s a herald for death. So if death is on its way, then you start hearing the banshee scream and that’s why they’re… kind of have that ill-omen attached to them. But they themselves, the banshees, they’re not malevolent. They’re usually, like um, incestual… kind of things. So like, um, there are stories where they help out. There’s also stories where they do like, uh, they do harm. But they’re not like you know, quid pro quo malevolent. It’s just, it depends on the banshee I guess. So yeah, they’re heralds of death ‘cause that’s when they do the famous banshee scream. Banshees are one of the big things in Irish mythology that’s carried over to modern um, video games and pop culture and everything. If you haven’t heard of a banshee before outside of  like an Irish movie, it’d be kind of surprising because it’s so iconic. Like um, they’re a big thing in World of Warcraft, for instance, and other, um, other fantasy games like Dungeons and Dragons has banshees also and so on and so forth.”

In his own words, the informant explains why this mythology is important to him: “My knowledge of Irish folklore is important because although I’m not mainly ethnically Irish, I am partly. Ireland also has one of the most unique european mythologies due to their relative isolation.”

He learned this myth through research of his own volition.


My informant uses this mythology to connect himself to the culture he partly grew up in. His grandmother is completely Irish and tried to impart certain traditions and my informant and his relatives. He uses this folklore to further connect back to his ethnicity and he is heavily intrigued by mythologies of all kinds.


For more information on this myth, click here.