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The Banshee

This female fairy or spirit is often considered to be a harbinger of death or a messenger from the Otherworld. Her loud, sharp wailing is meant as a lament for the foretold death of a member of certain families in Ireland, those with most ancient Celtic lineages. Her cries are also called keening which comes from the Gaelic Caoineadh, meaning “lament,” and they are most often heard at night or near the woods.  Although seen rarely, a banshee sometimes appears as a withered hag and sometimes as a woman of special beauty. There is no harm in seeing her unless she is spotted in the act of keening which is a certain sign of a mortal’s impending death. Banshees are said to have followed the true Irish wherever they have settled on Earth.

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