The Banshee

From Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions, 1894

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Of the mysterious Banshee much has been said and sung. She is often attached to certain families, or even septs, and gives notice of coming calamities. She is the Ben-sidhe of Irish; and Cyveraeth, or Tyloethod, of Welsh, whom it is fatal to meet, or to listen to her shrieks. As an old woman, she is the White or House fairy. In this sense she is said to "draw nigh at the time of death, and bear the soul to its fairy home." The White Lady of Avenel was a Banshee.

There is a curious old Irish legend about a lady whose father shut her up in a tower on Tory Isle, with twelve matrons in charge, who were to keep her from the sight of a man. All went well till McKineely consulted the Banshee of the mountain. Telling him to dress in women's garments, "she ferried him to the island, asking shelter for a noble lady chased by an enemy. Landing the young man, she threw the dozen guardians into a Druidic sleep, and left the couple together awhile, afterwards rowing the man ashore. Serious results ensued.

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