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The Banshee

As we gear up for Women in Horror Month, we’re going to dive into the lore of the wailing harbingers of death: the female spirits known as banshees (16 min) (1.31.20).

Ominous Origins

Welcome to the Ominous Origins Podcast, a Horror Shots production. If you were previously a fan of the Horror Shots Podcast, this is the same great show with the same compelling content focused on myth, mysterious creatures, unexplained events, spooky stories — and even some of the strangest and most disturbing true crime stories. As always, our goal is to entertain, but also to enlighten with short, well-researched episodes on a variety of fascinating topics.

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This week is the last day before we hit February, and with February comes the illustrious Women In Horror Month! In honor of that kicking off tomorrow, I have a myth for you in the realm of that: the Banshee. One of the most well known and famous of spirits, this wailing harbinger of death laments her song as a warning to those who are about to meet an untimely demise, or those close to you. If you hear a shrieking cry in the middle of the night, I have some bad news for you…

Nevertheless, the Banshee has origins in the Celtic regions of the world, namely Ireland and Scotland, with a touch of Wales as well. But we’re focusing mainly on the former two. Though the exact origin of the Banshee is unknown, her wails have been heard — and documented — as far back as the 1380s, and her story has evolved greatly since then, too.

She was once a fairy spirit who would lament at funerals, and days prior, weeping for the lost souls. However, as time went on, she evolved into more of a ghost story than anything, which is a shame. She was never meant to be malevolent, but rather an empathic creature. Her form has changed as much as her story as well, ranging from a beautiful young siren, to a wretched old hag haunting the nights.

All in all, this has been a very interesting look into some Irish and Scottish lore. For more information, you’ll just have to listen to the cast!

Note: If you want to catch up on previous episodes, you can find them all at

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