Happy New Year!
Enjoy your evening everyone.
Please be safe.
In Scotland, the "bean-nighe" or washing woman is seen by travelers around pools or fjords washing the shrouds of those who are about to die, singing a dirge or crying. The bean-nighe will tell for whom she is keening and also the fate of those travelers who would dare to ask her. The bean-nigh is thought to be the ghost of a woman who died in childbirth. The feminine gender of this grieving spirit is a theme found again in the exclusively Irish form of the "bean-si", or banshee. ~~ The Banshee, Celtic Death Messenger by C.Austin
'The Banshee,' says D. R. McAnally [in his book Irish Wonders (1888)], 'is really a disembodied soul, that of one who in life was strongly attached to the family, or who had good reason to hate all its members. Thus, in different instances, the Banshee's song may be inspired by different motives. When the Banshee loves those she calls, the song is a low, soft chant giving notice, indeed, of the close proximity of the angel of death, but with a tenderness of tone that reassures the one destined to die and comforts the survivors; rather a welcome than a warning, and having in its tones a thrill of exultation, as though the messenger spirit were bringing glad tidings to him summoned to join the waiting throng of his ancest[o]rs.' To a doomed member of the family of the O'Reardons the Banshee generally appears in the form of a beautiful woman, 'and sings a song so sweetly solemn as to reconcile him to his approaching fate.' But if, during his lifetime, the Banshee was an enemy of the family, the cry is the scream of a fiend, howling with demoniac delight over the coming death agony of another of his foes.'