Banshee folklore

We have all seen films based on Banshees, the scary terrifying woman with red eyes, screaming with
such a high pitch that then causes death to the person, in my personal belief the banshee is never
foretold with the truth behind the story, yes, the scary banshee that we are told of may be true due
to something called the banshee curse, keep reading and I'll explain.
In this short article I will explain the events of the legends between the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh
banshee.
Dating back hundreds of years ago, legends were told of a crying woman, she was often referred to a
fairy woman or the woman of the hills commonly described in three forms an early woman, a young
maiden or a matron even though of her appearance she would only cry for five families in Ireland the
O'Neill's, O'Brien's, O'Connor's, O'Grady's and the Kavanaghs.
A high pitch shrieking would emerge from the fairy woman to announce the death of a loved one, in
some ways I would say the banshee is a messenger and serves as a warning of death to come, there
are many testimonies and stories of people's experiences of seeing a banshee and hearing her cry to
then be told one of their family members have past away.
Only the families of the inflicted will hear the warning cry of a way of given time to prepare.
Some say the banshee can take form of a crow, weasel, or hare, either way she will appear to
foresight and predict death.
The banshee is also associated with the noble families of Ireland including the McCarthy's, McGraths,
O'Rileys, O'Sullivan, O‘Reardons and the O'Flaherty's although theses families may be brought down
through misfortune the banshee will not leave them until all of the bloodline has gone, even if they
move to a foreign land the banshee will give notice of the death to those that remain home.
As for the curse this banshee is called the spirit of dread, members of the noble family will not speak
her name, legend says this banshee seeks revenge, her appearance is of a young girl , legend speaks
of a young girl who was misled and then murdered by one of the noble families bloodline, with the
girls last breath, she vowed and cursed her murderer and there bloodline to come, when this
banshee is heard it is not for sorrow but for revenge, driving the one who can hear her insane
sometimes resulting in suicide., this makes me think can ones words hold so much power that they
linger after death.
Another account of the banshee is in Scotland they call the banshee the caoineag meaning weeper
or bean nighe translating to washerwoman.
She is often seen washing the blood out of the clothes of the person that is destined to die.
It is said they are the spirits of woman who died during childbirth and are doomed to conduct their
tasks of there day to day lives even after death for all eternity.
It is told the caoineag foretells the death of those in battle or that she would appear to numerous
clans when death from illness was to occur.
The Welsh banshee is known as the cyhyraeth (gwrach y rhibyn) once again this banshee will Skrill to
the person that is about to meet their end, she is often seen at crossroads or streams, when mist is in

the air, stories are told her wail will be called three times each time getting weaker this is a symbol of
the life force fading.
It is also said the cyhyraeth will appear before a shipwreck will happen to mourn the loss of those
that will die, she is often seen as an old hag or a young woman, some say the cyhyraeth will appear
to help transition to the afterlife.
So, after much consideration could these three banshees be one of the same, there are so many
similarities between the legends could this be because once upon a time Ireland, Scotland and Wales
were once a union and shared Celtic background and folklore, could it be possible that when the
country's spilt this legend was taken with them.

Throughout the years the spellings of the names have changed significantly I will list a few variations
of each name.
Variations of the spelling O'Neill, O'Neil, O'Niel.
Variations of the spelling O'Briens, O'Brion, O'Bryan, O'Bryen.
Variations of the spelling O'Conner, O'Connar.
Variations of the spelling O'Grady, O'Graidy, O'Brady.
Variations of the spelling Kavanagh, Cavanagh, Cavanaw.
Variations of the spelling O'Sullivan, O'Sulivan, O'Suilleabhain.
Variations of the spelling O'Reardon, O'Rearden, O'Riordan.
Variations of the spelling McCarthy, MacCarty, MacArthy.
Variations of the spelling McGrath, MacGrath, MacGrauth.
Variations of the spelling O'Flaherty, Flaherty, Faherty.
Variations of the spelling O'Riley, O'Reilly, O'Rielly, O'Reilley.