The Origin Of The Banshee

1199 Words5 Pages
Connor Harkins
Jonathan Tyler
English 102-10
1 February 2017
The Banshee The banshee is a phantom that is said to wail whenever a person is about to die. It would visit a friend or a family member of a Irish person who was dying. People are afraid of them because it shows us our mortality. We are afraid of death because we do not know what is on the other side, so naturally we would be afraid of the harbinger of death. The origin of the banshee is intertwined with death as it is in its spectre form. There are many legends that the banshee came from. It ranges from women who took alcohol to mourn the death a member of a powerful family to ancient goddesses that the Christian church turned into a demon. No matter what the origin
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The banshee is said to be a woman that were paid with alcohol to mourn the death of a person. The family would pay the woman, who was normally and alcoholic, in drinks to cry at the grave a their deceased loved one to make it seem like they were very respected. The Christian church did not like this, so came about the story of the banshee. One theory of the banshee is that they are being punished for their insincere mourning and alcoholism. They haunt a family and not a place unlike many ghosts. The banshee probably haunts the family out of loyalty to them from their life of mourning for the family. The origin of the banshee goes farther than that, it has a more supernatural myth to it.
In Irish myth, the banshee is considered a fairy and so the church says that is it a demon wailing that it is losing souls to heaven. It is said that the banshee comes from the ancient god race known as the Tuatha De Danann. According to Carolyn White in A History of Irish Fairies, “The Tuatha De Danann, the divine folk descended from the mother goddess Dana or Danu, were gods from Greece (some say, of the Golden race) who came to Ireland enshrouded by a magical mist which hid the sun and their appearance for three days and nights…” (White 18). This supports the idea of the church that the banshee is a demon, because it is the descendant of a Pagan goddess. Women are that to be bringers of life because they give birth to children. So the tale of the banshee being the

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