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The Banshees in Irish Celtic mythology traditional warns of approaching death by wailing. The name is derived from the Irish 'Bean Sídhe', which means “woman of the fairies” or "woman of the hills" Traditionally they are led by Áine, who is said to protect both the dead traveling to the underworld and the fetus in the womb.

In parts of Ulster it was said if the banshee was heard laughing a Protestant was about to die and if she was wailing a Catholic was facing death.

Belief in the Banshee survived in many country areas well into the twentieth century , the wails of the banshees and the wails of the mourners were supposed to echo one another. The tradition of keening for the dead still exists in many parts of the country.

The cry of the Irish hare a shrill mournful sound, sometimes heard at night in country areas, could easily be attributed to the Banshee.

See also Irish ghost stories.