Are banshees evil? Cruel? Predatory? Murderous? If you answered yes, you've been mislead by movies and television. Unfortunately, this distorted view of banshees has become prevalent in American society. That is why SOBS (the Society of Banshee Supporters) was formed: to help people understand that banshees are not harmful. On the contrary, they are compassionate, caring souls who perform an important service for the families they are attached to.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines banshees this way: "a female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die." This definition is accurate. Notice that it says the banshee's appearance or wailing warns the family. Somehow, people have come to believe that the banshees cause the person's death. This is completely false. The banshee doesn't harm the person. She comes to prepare the family and perhaps the person himself or herself to get ready for the inevitable. Think about it this way. A doctor may have to tell someone, "I'm sorry, but you have an incurable cancer." The doctor has warned the person that he or she is going to die, but the doctor does not bring about the person's death. The cancer does. So cast away the thought that banshees seek people out to murder them. There is a belief that banshees kill people with their screams. Again, no. The banshee's wail is not a lethal weapon; it is a cry of mourning and a song of grief. Can you hear the compassion of these beings? They want to prepare the family for a death and then they grieve for the person who has died. Why have people in the entertainment industry portrayed them as evil beings who seek out victims, feed on their sadness, then murder them with a piercing scream? In a word: money. A thriller or a horror movie needs a villain and the misunderstood banshee has been shanghaied for this purpose.
In an effort to set the record straight and restore honor to the name of Banshee, Keira Nightsinger, who has served as a banshee for over 20 ages has agreed to be interviewed by SOBS and she is willing to share some of her diary with us. So please come back for the next blog post as An Gra Nightsinger shares with SOBS her innermost thoughts and feelings, including how she feels about the corruption of the name of Banshee.
If you had an opportunity to interview a banshee, what would you most want to ask her?