She’s the famous harbringer of death.
The Banshee is much dreaded in Irish lore for turning up just before someone dies, but one Cork man claims to have heard her horrifying howl… and lived to tell the tale.
A video shared by the Cork Folklore Project features the voice of Willy Good, explaining a terrifying incident that occurred many years ago… on the night his neighbour passed away.
It all started with a disturbing noise.
The noise, he says, he initially put down to cats outside his house. Within seconds of careful listening, he knew that wasn’t the case.
“The noise would move, go out to the front of the house, then around to the back again.” he recalls.
“This was going on a for a full quarter of an hour.”
Eventually it stopped. Willy went to bed and fell asleep.
The next morning he learned that both of his neighbours, a father and daughter who lived just a quarter of a mile up the road, had passed away during the night.
Willy puts the noise he heard down to a visit from a ‘double banshee’ – when several banshees appear at once, warning of the death of someone great or holy.
In some parts of Ireland, the banshee’s horrible moan is described as the wail or ‘keening’ of the bean chaointe (keening woman). Some stories record the sound as being so so piercing that it could shatter glass.
Willy remembers that, according to local legends, the Banshee was only believed to follow some people.
“In certain families, there would be a knocking at the door to let them know if there was going to be a death.”
Listen to Willy Good’s telling of the night he heard the cry of the banshee in the audio below…
— Cork Folklore (@corkfolklore) October 18, 2018