Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Brief Blurb on the Baneful Banshee

Irish mythology offers a rich source for supernatural beings including pixies, leprechauns, fairies and, of course, banshees. The term banshee is derived from the Gaelic 'bean-sidhe' and is loosely translated as 'woman of the fairy mounds'. Banshees are thought to be otherworldly messengers who bring omens of death. They were initially believed to be tied with the five main families of Ireland, although this limitation extended with the progression of time. Typically described as young female figures, banshees are also thought to be capable of assuming any alternative animal form which is associated with witchcraft. Crucially, it is not the observation of a banshee which presents the danger but the banshee's baneful cry as they call home the souls of those for whom death waits.

Given his Irish roots, it is hardly surprising to find a tale of the banshee in the writings of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. So if you're feeling brave, 'The White Cat of Drumgunniol' proves faithful to the legend of the banshee and is a brilliant read!

Should inspiration strike and a bold idea beckons, a blood-curdling banshee account could prove most suitable for our current callout for Tales of Mystery, Suspense and Terror!

Websites links for further reading:
This blog post was written in the spirit of the April 2014 A-Z Challenge whereby a post is written every day during the month of April (with the exception of Sunday). The theme of each post is meant to correspond with a letter of the alphabet in sequential order. Tomorrow's post will be on C. For details and to visit the A-Z Challenge website, click here.

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful! I didn't know Le Fanu had a banshee story; I am always a little hesitant to get into one of his stories, because, while some are wonderful (Carmilla and Green Tea are two in this category, in my view), some... hm. This may be heretical, but I didn't like Uncle Silas; even though I was excited about the Swedenborg theme, it seemed to bog things down. Anyway, I am beyond excited to find that Chuffed Buff Books is participating in the A to Z Challenge, and I will be following your posts with considerable interest! I'd seen your submission call for Tales of Mystery, Suspense & Terror on Duotrope, and May 31st is marked with a skull on my submissions calendar.
    Melanie Atherton Allen