Talk:Banshee

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--Eggplant45 (talk) 02:06, 3 November 2017 (UTC)


Before death[edit]

The claim - and has no references. I'm removing it. Please provide a reference to restore it. Goldfritha 03:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC) My best freind is from a family that is visited by the Banshee(not to mention other paranormal phonomenon, such as poltergeist activity) just before a death, his Dad, and others claim to have seen it. On that note, are there any recorded accounts of Banshee sightings in Ireland and/or Scotland?

'The Banshee', by Patricia Lysaght, is a fairly recent & in depth study, worth getting hold of for those interested.

True or not, I have seen this referenced elsewhere, though I cannot provide a source at the moment. Bobkeyes 03:16, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

My mother's uncle heard the Banshee, and fortold someone was going to die. He died later that night. The banshee, fortells death, it doesnt mourn afterwards...--Gothaur (talk) 11:23, 24 December 2007 (UTC)--82.141.197.34 (talk) 11:21, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


In my family, the O'Shea's of Limerick, the Banshee was heard by ONLY those who did not die. Her wail was just outside the window, my grandmother said. The wail would put your "hair on end". Those who could NOT hear the Banshee were dead by morning. The Banshee always came at night. One night, my grandmother, who was deathly ill, heard the Banshee, so her family was confused why it had come to their house as they huddled together afraid of the sound. The next morning, my grandmother's baby brother was dead in his crib. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.250.78.1 (talk) 18:17, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I concur with the statement above. An elderly relative of mine was in a house where all heard a high pitch wail. The only exception was a house guest who was amused by their superstitions. The next morning the family discovered the guest had passed away in the night. Tonykewinsagain (talk) 15:28, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I found one in the fridge once, but I found ant-powder worked wonders. Sarah777 (talk) 22:57, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Ye fool, who mocks the banshee! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.83.121.172 (talk) 15:57, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

sídhe and caoineadh[edit]

is just the modern spelling of sídhe; they aren't two different words. Also, I've adapted the IPA transcription of caoineadh to conform with the system used at Irish phonology and to reflect both the southern pronunciation in [-ə] and the northern pronunciation in [-u:]. —Angr 08:18, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

I don't know if this is correct, but MacBain's Gaelic Dictionary seems to say that while "sìth" does mean both "fairy" and "peace" in Scots Gaelic, the two meanings aren't really connected. It also lists "sídh" as the Irish equivilent for "fairy", but "síth" (or síoth) for "peace"[1]. As a child, I was taught that "Daoine Sídhe" meant "People of the Mounds". Daibhid C 20:30, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Natalie Carlson Reference in Trivia Section[edit]

The Trivia section contained this item:

  • Natalie Carlson was being quite the banshee in Avalon.

I removed the word "being," but, upon reflection, I commented out the entire bullet item. I can't tell if this is a legitimate reference, vandalism, or an effort at being cute. Whoever put it in should cite a link or a reference to clarify it, and UNcomment it back in. As it stands, it's too ambiguous to provide anything but misinformation. rowley 18:33, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing it out, rowley. I removed it altogether now. Looked like a prank. ---Sluzzelin talk 10:51, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Keep the popular culture references section[edit]

I object to the proposed deletion of the references in popular culture section. It is appropriate, and also appears in many other wikipedia entries, I don't understand why it is singled out of deletion. Bobkeyes 03:14, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I think some of facts can be kept, if they are sourced and integrated largely as prose. Otherwise, they have to go, per WP:V - Kathryn NicDhàna 20:00, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
The trivia section should go. All it collects is random bits of rubbish. If the information is important it should go in the text. Not as a random bunch of dot points. Gillyweed 23:05, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I am probably repeating what has been said a thousand times elsewhere on Wikipedia. Feel free to point that out and direct me or BobKeyes to a better version of this thought. Do you think a random list of things that share the name "Banshee" that have little to no relevance to the actual subject of the page are important? On the one hand, yes, as the information may be worthwhile as an afterthought to individuals who are interested in the influence of the literal Banshee on today's pop culture. On the other hand, no for two reasons: one, it's not very encyclopedia-like to just rattle off a list of random (often unimportant) things with the same names. Two: this is what disambiguation pages should be for. An offshoot of the second thought is the fact that if you're interested in why the creators of the Marvel comic book character Banshee took his name from a mythic creature, your first stop should be HIS article, not this one. In other words: I agree that it's lazy and generally poorly done (especially so here, considering Banshee has its own meaning in the English vernacular) but I think that there is a dearth of information available on Wikipedia as to WHY it shouldn't be done. The "please remove trivia sections" guideline page does not put it in terms people can understand at a glance. Just my two cents, delete at your leisure. Krylonultraflat 19:19, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Halo[edit]

Banshee is a very recognizable term to the video gaming community for its use in the Halo series of games. The fact that Halo vehicles didn't warrant a separate article doesn't have any bearing on whether we can give them mention in existing articles. See WP:NOTE, notability does not limit article contents. The rules we use to determine the necessity for a separate article are entirely different from those we use to decide on article content. I kept the changes made during the removal but re-inserted the specific mention of the Halo use. Equazcion /C 00:37, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

It's trivia. This is a folklore article. The general concept is mentioned. I do not want to once again open the door to unsourced cruft here. Write about it in the article of the video game. - Kathryn NicDhàna 04:52, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay. You're the owner. We'll do what you want. Equazcion /C 05:16, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
By the way, in reference to your edit summary: The whole section is unsourced, yet you only removed one line due to that. Food for thought. Equazcion /C 05:24, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd be perfectly fine with losing the whole section. BTW, I remind you of WP:CIVIL. - Kathryn NicDhàna 05:28, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I meant no incivility. It was a heads-up to let you know how this looks to an outsider. In your own interest you might want to consider what I said. I don't believe the pop culture section should go -- I'm just showing you that the reason you cited was bogus. The only reason I'm letting this go is because I'm the only one fighting multiple people, and on Wikipedia, that's a losing battle. Equazcion /C 05:34, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

While the summaries of other uses need sourcing (and they can be sourced from the relevant books), it would be undue weight to list trivia that shares nothing in common with this article but the name and screaming or wailing. The things you're trying to re-add are already listed at Banshee (disambiguation). May I suggest that page, and the pages of the video games and such, are a better place for the trivia. - Kathryn NicDhàna 20:28, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely agree with Kathryn. This info is for dab pages, and anyways detracts from the quality that is in the article. And btw, standing up for quality in wikipedia carries no implication of "ownership". Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:33, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

bean ṡìṫ[edit]

Someone linked "bean ṡìṫ" to Bean niġe. Are they the same thing? Equazcion /C 23:41, 8 Feb 2008 (UTC)

That someone was me, as you know well equazcion. I dunno for sure to be honest; bean ṡìṫ appears to my screen as a bunch of boxes prefaced by 'bean', however tt does seem likely. You might knock of your agressive approach bty, this isn't a school yard. Ceoil (talk) 23:49, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I can see the characters in question and they're different, so I'm going to revert this. Thanks. Equazcion /C 00:17, 9 Feb 2008 (UTC)

OK, all of the bizarre changes to the Gaelic and Old Irish, introduced by User:The Man in Question are wrong. Reverting them all. If something useful got lost in the meantime, please re-add it. There's a lot here to clean up. BTW, if someone who does not speak Gaelic wants to change the etymology or terminology here, do not do so unless and until you get consensus on the talk page from those who do speak Gaelic (or who at the minimum have at least a significant degree of Gaelic and good dictionaries and grammars at hand). *grumble* - Kathryn NicDhàna 01:26, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Bean just means woman. Bean sidhe = fairy woman. Bean nighe = washer woman. No other connection despite what it says here. filceolaire (talk) 19:55, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Image[edit]

Whenever I was hiding behing the kitchen chair because my grandmother warned me the Banshee was outside in the yard looking for me I pictured a screaming raven haired old woman in a black cloak, not a red haired naked young woman. I cant find a better image online, does anybody have alternative for the article. Ceoil (talk) 10:44, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


In a similar vein, I don't want to cast aspersions, but this doesn't look to me like a 19th century image. It owes a dept to the pre-raphaelites, perhaps, but the style looks contemporary, like something from a graphic novel.Prodes111 (talk) 00:34, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Appearance[edit]

I'm aware that what I'm about to say can't be added to the article unsourced, however: I have ties with a family who the banshee seems to "hereditary" in. One of them has claimed to seen it, which is strange in itself, because the person in question is in no way religious. He described it as having no eyes, or at least black spaces where there should be, and it had the appearance of an short, old woman, screaming. A family member died shortly after. I believe others in the family may have witnessed it before, but that is the only story I've been told from a primary source. 86.46.246.49 (talk) 01:23, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Has nothing to do with "religious". My grandmother claims to have seen the Banshee a number of times, but imo she just heard a screaching noise coming from the darkness, could have been anything, most likely a grumpy cat. And yeah family members died shortly afterwards. But people die. All the time. Ceoil sláinte 01:37, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
You don't say!!! Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Hey! I though I was being inciteful there. Way to go to spoil my moment, you....FCeoil (talk) 11:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Harry Potter reference[edit]

Harry Potter referenced directly as modern fiction? Really? This must be a joke. A really bad one. I removed it. Reference to a fiction wiki, not to HP. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.132.128.62 (talk) 16:46, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Darby O'Gill[edit]

I heard the story of the Banshee as a child, and was terrified when I saw one in the movie "Darby O'Gill and the little people". The story I heard was that the Banshee was an old woman who died of excessive mourning and returned to mourn the soon to be dead. On a pitch dark Irish night I heard one. It sounded like a woman screaming, but at the same time it did not sound quite human. It really sent a chill up my spine on that quite dark night. Anyway, nobody died (that I know of), but having researched the sound I am convinced it was a fox.

--128.222.37.58 (talk) 19:06, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Image[edit]

Oddly, this article didnt yet have an image, where there are 2 good images at the commons, and 1 image, just placed, which is of course gorgeous, but unfortunately i dont think its appropriate here. doesnt show her in her role as a banshee (appearing to someone and wailing at a pending death), and is a modern interpretation, which may as well be any image of a sufficiently scary beautiful woman. The image i removed is essentially a beautiful woman done up in a bansheelike manner. I have no doubt of the good intent of the editor (and of the image poster), but i removed it and replaced it with a 19th image.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 03:23, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

As a bringer of death not messenger[edit]

I have no sources for the origin of this mythos, but a lot of fantasy literature uses the banshee as a screeching female spirit. The wail of the banshee itself is supposed to be so terrible that it can cause death. This doesn't seem to fit anywhere with the irish or "fair folk" mythos, so where does it come from. Usually the banshee is found in dark places or haunting old castles at night, a vengeful spirit of some kind that kills indiscriminately. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.218.136.173 (talk) 19:25, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

The Irish Term[edit]

I understand that "bean sí" means "she woman" (literally) but this article suggests it means "woman of the barrows". I think this needs some clarification or citation. TonyP (talk) 10:36, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Easily clarified: your understanding is incorrect. It doesn't mean "she woman". --Nicknack009 (talk) 11:08, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Certainly in a literal translation it does. I would be interested in any link that demonstrates how it related to "barrows". Is this just a cultural interpretation of that particular Irish phrase, as opposed to a literal translation? TonyP (talk) 11:15, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
It really doesn't. It's just a homophone. See Aos Sí for more. --Nicknack009 (talk) 20:51, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
You are confusing homophones: sí is a pronoun but also the genitive form of the word "barrow", whose older form in Old Irish as sid with final dental is still a spelling form in the Scottish Gaelic version of the term, sithe. It is a relative of the English word "sit" and "nest", PIE *sed. Ogress smash! 23:52, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. Their are some Irish speakers here who didn't know that. Would a footnote be appropriate to explain that on the main page? 159.134.104.55 (talk) 09:34, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
The text explains the meaning of the term is "woman of the barrow", I'm not sure how much more clear we need to be on a page for English speakers. Ogress smash! 10:39, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Descendants of invaders[edit]

Ó or Mc/Mac prefix is a Celtic naming fashion, it doesn't specifically indicate "their name is native to Ireland, not descended from invaders". Mac or Mc can also be families descended from Scots, and thus "ïnvaders". In any case all Irish are descended from invaders, as all Irish arrived on the island from somewhere else.Royalcourtier (talk) 02:00, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Recent edits about the singularity of the word.[edit]

User:Ceoil has made some recent changes but there's one in particular that I disagree with, although am willing to be proved wrong. I reverted the change of name of the article from Banshee to The Banshee as I do not think that there is only one banshee which the name change implies. He also changed mentions in the article to banshees to banshee so I have put a note in the edit summary inviting discussion here.
I can easily find many references to the plural banshees in a brief online search, including many in books. (And ignoring the Banshee aircraft and the singing group). Is there any reliable reference to there being only one banshee. It's news to me if there is, and I think there is a lot of references to the contrary. (As much as is possible with mythical creatures).
Does anyone have any comments or suggestions. --Dmol (talk) 10:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Sound like a good idea Dmol. The page move was certainly rash; and a relative just told me that they have heard of groups of Banshees following particular families. I'm guessing local varieties, and am open to being corrected in my earlier edits. Very interested to hear, though, having heard the Banshee twice, aged around 5 and 7, in all seriousness. Ceoil (talk) 12:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Barrow[edit]

is a tumulus (native English term: barrow). It's derived from the IE root that lead to the English word "seat" and refers to barrow-mounds. This is easy Old Irish. It does not mean "woman of the Aos sí" - that means "people of the ". Her role as a terrible spirit of the dead also obviously links her to the barrows. Let's use the plain and actual meaning of the term, please, and stop inventing hippie Romantic reimaginings. Ogress 22:44, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

I checked out the tumulus article and it covers earthen mounds in all cultures, wheres the banshee - woman of the sídhe - is Goidelic-specific. Sídhe is correctly the genitive here for "of the mounds"; in more recent, English-language writings the word has been incorrectly used just for the beings who live there (the people of the mounds: the Aos sí). Therefore the sídhe article is a better link for cultural accuracy. I'm not sure what you think is hippie here; it's linguistics and cultural accuracy vs Victorian-era mistakes/anglicizations. - CorbieV 23:31, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
Adding some sourcing here. If we're going with OI, the singular in OI is síd, and the genitive singular is sídh, sídhe, or síodha: síd, síth. That DIL entry doesn't have the ban-construction as one word. It is indicated both there and under ben as two words, and with what looks to me to be the genitive plural (mounds being plural): ben So for "woman of the mounds," in OI we're looking at ban síde, at least according to the DIL. - CorbieV 04:11, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Okay, but "tumulus" is the translation of síd. This is not helpful to readers. Ogress 04:31, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Not exactly. Did you click on the link: síd? It goes directly to the section of the article that is about the mounds. The tumulus article is too multi-culti, and the DIL source does not include the word "tumulus." If anything, I would say the síd section in the aos sidhe article is what needs improvement. Maybe it's different where you live, but the word "tumulus" is really not that common in my experience. - CorbieV 15:07, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Ogress, you wrote, "Stating she's a member of the aos sí is not appropriate."[2] Aos sí means "people of the mounds." Ban sí means "woman of the mounds." Last I checked, "woman" was a subset of "people." Cheers, - CorbieV 15:39, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Sadly that is OR because the aos sí are a distinct group of mythological figures and the banshee is not automatically a member of it. It's a distinct figure with a related name, which absolutely does not make it a subset of aos sí. Redirecting it to the aos sí because "woman is a subset of people" is OR and is not appropriate here; these groups are not the same. Again with the Romanticism when making easy identifications: not historically accurate. Ogress 18:43, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Why are you claiming "romanticism"? This is skipping all that and all the fantasy stuff. You just deleted a direct quote from the source, and again added a word that is not in the source. Are you even reading the sources here? I still don't believe you are clicking on the link. The link is to the section about the mounds. Is your device not working? - CorbieV 18:48, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

There is an entire section at Tumulus#Ireland for heaven's sake, USE ENGLISH, "woman of the síd" is not helpful. Ogress 18:54, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Put it in the introduction, not as a translation. It's not a translation. Put síd in the intro, not as a translation. Ogress 18:56, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
And the section in tumulus is not contextualized enough. You are misrepresenting the sources with your edits. You aren't sourcing anything that you are adding. I will attempt a compromise edit but I don't know why you are so opposed to Irish in an article about an Irish spirit. And I did put in a translation and you deleted it: [3]. - CorbieV 19:01, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
And the current version is now awkwardly-worded and redundant. - CorbieV 19:06, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Assume the reader knows nothing. As you can see, I added a sample sentence indicating how to introduce the topic of the síd. Explaining ban síde as a "woman of the síd is not helpful to someone coming here with no information. You have to provide an actual translation; complicate matters by discussing the meaning of síd (as important mythological sites) afterwards. Don't do it in the name translation. It is confusing and not helpful for an article attempting to explain to a newbie what a term means. We also don't typically source in the intro so of course I didn't drop a cite there (although I left yours, just moved its location slightly). Also, the Irish was all messed up; I wanted to edit quickly before you reverted again so I slapped in Irish and fixed the Old Irish IPA, which was wrong. Ogress 19:08, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
I understand the desire to use the term "fairy mound" but it's infuriating to see that Romantic reinterpretation by English speakers. Yes, it made its way into a dictionary, but we could choose "mound" over "fairy mound". The notion of the "fairy" is a twee Romantic English description of these figures who were (and sometimes still are) horrifically terrifying figures to Irish speakers. It's problematic, it attracts New Agers and it continues the Romantic agenda. Would you consider "mound" instead, which is in the dictionary you cited? It makes me twitch to see these archaeological sites, which had varying uses but of which the most important and feared were actual prehistoric burial sites, described as "fairy mounds", and I think legitimately so. Also, my sentence about the word síd was meant as a placeholder and I have no problem if it is expanded or whatever. It just doesn't belong in the translation. Ogress 19:17, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I take your point about using English as much as possible in the lede. Can we both step back and have some tea? I am fine on using simply "mound." I share the same dislike of the twee English word, "fairy" as do the folk themselves in the sources. I just don't like "tumulus", and I would really rather we link to Irish sources whenever possible. We are definitely on the same page with wanting to keep New Age and Victorian stuff out of this. - CorbieV 19:21, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

While we never used to source the intros, I've been finding in recent years that it is often necessary, precisely because people often come and only read the intro and try to change it to something inaccurate. Sourcing is often the only way to stop that. - CorbieV 19:23, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

I see your point; it's why I don't strip intros of cites. Definitely tea; I'm glad to see we are both trying to make this page neutral and not rewrite the entire page so as to agree with the latest "fairy book" by some New Ager, which is like... 90% of Irish mythological page edits. Mound is imprecise; not sure why you hate tumulus so much. Check google books, it's all over everything. Ogress 19:34, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Síde - is the genitive plural, "of the mounds." While e and a are often interchangeable in OI, sída is not in the source. I'm pretty sure the nom. pl. is also síde, and Wiktionary agrees as well: nominative plural, síde. - CorbieV 20:17, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Also, thank you for indicating in the lede that this is OI. I don't hate "tumulus," I just think there are some preferable word choices. As you know, "Old Irish" has a considerable amount of inconsistency between sources when it comes to e/a/u usage, so it's not always 100% right or wrong if there's a vowel variation; which is why I default to the DIL when it comes to sourcing. - CorbieV 20:25, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
@CorbieVreccan: Síd is neuter; in Classical-era texts it can alternatively take the masculine -u ending, but that's late weirdness. Wiktionary is wrong, I checked Stiften's Sengoidelc just to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. I'm not reverting you but I did actually check. The modern plural is definitely -e though, síthe, complete with null -th- for spelling purposes. I don't know about Scottish Gaelic, for all I know it's sìthannan. Ogress 01:12, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
If assuming the reader knows nothing how about 'burial mounds' rather than just 'mounds' or at least putting in a bit of explanation of why there should be an association with mounds in the lead. It would make it a bit clearer why there is this association with death. Dmcq (talk) 12:59, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
... this is why I translated síd as "tumulus", it is the term for a burial mound used in athropology and archaeology. Oy. Ogress 07:38, 12 May 2016 (UTC)