|“||Malevolent banshees. They use their piercing scream to drive their prey crazy. Forces the vics to crack open their own eggs, and then the Banshees feed on the yolk. Oh, and the only people who can hear the Banshee's scream are the vics. Oh, and they, uh, travel through mist and they only prey on the vulnerable. They hunt the same place until it's picked clean. And they only hunt at night.||”|
Banshees are creatures from Gaelic/Irish folklore associated with impending death. There exists two specific types; a benevolent one that wails in the night as a warning when someone is about to die, and a malevolent one that uses their supernatural screaming to drive humans insane and bash their own heads in. Once the human is dead, the malevolent banshees then feed on their frontal lobe.
Malevolent banshees look like a female with dark flowing hair, sunken eyes in robes. Their body is covered with dark mist. They also emit a glow from their mouths. Like ghosts, they emit strong electromagnetism, which causes lights to flicker when they approach; accordingly, EMF meters are highly responsive in rooms where a banshee was recently present.
Malevolent banshees are able to produce high-pitched screams that can drive anyone who hears their scream to commit suicide. The only ones capable of hearing their screams are the victims and once the victim is dead, the banshee will feed on their frontal lobe. Banshees only prey on the vulnerable, both physically and emotionally, only hunt at night and hunt a location until it is picked clean before moving on.
Benevolent banshees are tied to fairy lore and cry out to warn of impending death.
In County Cork, Ireland 1986, a banshee broke into the Leahy house in order to feed on Padraic Leahy, who was suffering a nervous break down from losing his job. Padraic's wife Maura was able to banish the creature, but at the cost of her own life. The couple's daughter, Eileen Leahy, survived, but lost her hearing.
In 2016, the same banshee that attacked the Leahys went to the Oak Park Retirement Living to feed on Harold, a resident there. The banshee then moved onto Arthur, the manager. Eileen, who was out trying to kill this banshee to avenge her parents, received assistance from Sam and Dean. The brothers initially wanted to use resident Mildred Baker as bait, only for the banshee to go after Dean. Fortunately, they were able to trap the banshee and save Dean. Eileen delivered the killing blow.
Power and Abilities
- Sonic Scream - They are able to produce supernaturally-powerful screams that can hurt people who hear it. Humans affected by it are forced to bash their head in, effectively forcing them to commit suicide. Short-term exposure at close range can render a baby deaf.
- Intangibility - Like spirits, they can render themselves intangible.
- Camouflage - Able camouflage to their surroundings. They are able to travel through the mist.
- Tongue - They have a long tongue specially designed to consume the brain of their victims.
- Invulnerability - Banshees cannot be killed by conventional methods. Only a golden blade can kill them.
- Electromagnetic Interference - Their presence caused lights to flicker.
- Telekinesis - With a single gesture, a banshee was able to fling Eileen Leahy across a room into a bookshelf and Sam Winchester through a wooden door.
- Flight - Banshee move around by floating through the air.
- Invisibility - Roxy Carmichael is usually invisible unless she is attempting to draw attention to herself.
- Telekinesis - Roxy is able to fling objects with her mind.
- Terrakinesis - While cackling, Roxy is able to shake Manfred Afiri's house.
- Gold - A weapon of pure gold can kill a banshee. Even simply being slashed with a golden weapon hurts it.
- Banshee banishing spell - They can be banished by a basic spell (but not necessarily killed).
- Celtic Blood Trapping Spell - A blood sigil that when activated, can trap a banshee.
- Salt - As seen with Roxy Carmichael, like all ghosts they can be dissipated with salt. However they are more vulnerable to salt than most ghosts and take longer to recover from a shotgun blast of it.
- Salting and Burning of Remains - Like all other ghosts, they can be put to rest by salting and burning their remains.
- Ghost Banshees (tie-in novels)
- Malevolent Banshees
- Eileen's Banshee (deceased)
- Unknown Type
- Unknown Orlando Banshee (presumably deceased)
Real Life Lore
The banshee (from bean sí, meaning "fairy woman" or "woman of the fairy mounds") is a supernatural being found in the folklore of Ireland. Traditionally considered a type of fairy, she is a feminine entity whose cry signals the coming of death.
In Ireland and parts of Scotland, women were customarily appointed to wail at funerals. Evidence indicates that this practice (known as keening) goes back as far as the 16th century. According to legend, if the deceased was part of a noble family, the duty of keening would be carried out not by an ordinary human woman, but by a fairy woman, or bean sí. Over time, the word "banshee" came to describe a specific type of fairy woman—a creature with the power to foretell death with a piercing scream. Some stories indicate that families of Milesian descent each have their own banshee, who follows them wherever they go and warns them whenever someone among them is about to die.
In western popular culture, the banshee is often portrayed as a malevolent spirit or demon who actively causes death with the sound of her voice. She is also commonly depicted as a restless ghost rather than fairy. However, it should be noted that the line between fairies and ghosts is sometimes blurry in Celtic mythology. In Western culture, the word Banshee has been watered down to also mean a loud and annoying woman.
- Season 3
- The Kids Are Alright (mentioned only)
- Season 11
- Season 12
- The British Invasion (mentioned only)
- Supernatural: Nevermore (non-canon)
- Supernatural: Bone Key (non-canon, mentioned only)
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- Supernatural: The Men of Letters Bestiary: Winchester Family Edition (non-canon, mentioned only)