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