Ever heard a panther scream? Sounds like a woman screaming. Maybe that’s where the story of banshees comes from. Maybe it’s the wind howling through the cracks in the frame that make that howling noise. The wolf panting at the door. Let me in or I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down. Down or is it in? Down is better than in because at least the roof can protect you. Nothing can protect you once you hear the banshee scream. The sound foretells a death in the house.
The grim reaper,
howling in the night,
panting at the door,
with his scythe
This post was written as a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise based on the one-word prompt “pant”. Stream-of-consciousness writing means no editing except typos, no rewriting, no prep, and no deep thoughts. You just let the writing flow naturally out of you.
What is a Banshee?
Banshees are well-known supernatural figures in Irish mythology and folklore. The name “Banshee” comes from the Irish term “bean sí,” which translates to “woman of the fairy mound.” In Irish folklore, the Banshee is typically depicted as a female spirit who wails or keens, signaling that someone is about to die.
As Irish immigrants moved to America, they brought with them their folklore and traditions, including the legend of the Banshee. In Appalachia, the Banshee was often seen as a harbinger of death. It was believed that if someone heard the Banshee’s scream, it meant that someone in the community was about to die.
In some Appalachian communities, the Banshee was associated with witches and witchcraft. It was believed that witches could summon the Banshee to do their bidding, using her powers to bring death and destruction to those they hated.
Despite their association with death and tragedy, Banshees were also seen as protectors of families and communities. In many Appalachian communities, it was believed that the Banshee would only appear to those who were about to die if they were part of a family or community that the Banshee was sworn to protect.
The legend of the Banshee has been a part of Irish and Appalachian folklore for centuries. In Ireland, the Banshee was seen as a messenger from the otherworld, while in Appalachia, she was a harbinger of death and tragedy.