Banshee folklore ...

Fri, 18 Mar 1994 11:54:25 -0500 (CDT)

Hello, I'm new to this list...doesn't seem to be too busy. Who's out there?
I'm obsessed by Siouxsie, and hope the discussion picks up a bit... anyways,
hope the length of this message doesn't bother anyone, I thought it was pretty
relevant... :)

>I'm searching for legends and folklore regarding the Banshees,
>could you help me?


Here's the entry for "Banshee", found on page 2 of Ray Stevenson's _S&tB Photo
Book_ (a pretty nifty source for lots of pre-_Once Upon A Time_ photos and

BANSHEES were spectres more frightening than they were dangerous. The people
of Scotland thought that they were the souls of women who had died in
childbirth. Since this kind of death was premature, they believed that if the
clothes of the woman were not washed, she would have to wash them by herself
until the natural time of her death. In Wales, Banshee is written
'bean-sidhe', and means 'the woman from the fairy mound'. There, she is seen
at a ford or by the side of a stream, washing the bloodstained clothes of a
person about to die.
Banshees in different parts of Britain were given names such as the
'little washer of sorrow', 'caoineachag', or 'washer at the ford'. Banshees
were more often heard than seen; but if one was caught while wailing her
ear-piercing lament, she could be forced to tell the future and to reveal whose
death her moaning foresaw. Catching a Banshee was more difficult than it
sounds, and it was often too unpleasant for anyone to hold her, so ugly were
her features. She had a large single nostril, a single protruding front tooth,
shriveled face and arms, long sagging breasts and webbed feet. Her eyes were
red from constant weeping, and she was covered all over with hair, or 'thatched
with elf-locks'.
Often a Banshee raised a howl outside a sick man's door, her mournful
crying occasionally rising to a bitter and doom-boding scream. She flapped her
arms against the glass, repeating the man's name. At times these creatures
passed through a village at night, groaning and rattling the window shutters.
They appeared invariably before the onslaught of an epidemic, rising out of
swamps and creeks to tell the townspeople fo the nearness of death...


Hope that helps. I thought it was fairly interesting... Siouxsie's scream
during Eve White/Eve Black could be described as a "bitter and doom-boding",
in my opinion...

Any comments on Siouxsie's best screams? Most emotionally charged songs? Just

Aaron De Clerck Following the footsteps
Carleton College Of a rag doll dance
Northfield, MN 55057 We are entranced Spellbound...