Banshee or ‘Bean-sidhe’ is Irish for fairy woman. Her sharp, cries and wails are also called ‘keen’. The wail of a banshee pierces the night, it’s notes rising and falling like the waves of the sea, it always announces a mortal’s death. She is solitary woman fairy, mourning and forewarning those only of the best families in Ireland, those with most ancient Celtic lineages, whose names begin with ‘Mac/Mc’ or ‘O’. Each Banshee has her own mortal family and out of love she follows the old race across the ocean to distant lands. Her wails or keen can be heard in America and England, wherever the true Irish have settled.
When a member of the beloved race is dying, she paces the dark hills about his house. She sharply contrasts against the night’s blackness, her white figure emerges with silver-grey hair streaming to the ground and a grey-white cloak of a cobweb texture clinging to her tall thin body. Her face is pale, her eyes red with centuries of crying.
White Lady of Sorrow some people name her, and Lady of Death. Unseen, banshees attend the funerals of the beloved dead. Although, sometimes she can be heard wailing, her voice blending in with the mournful cries of others.