The Banshee

Co. Kildare Folktales Collected by Ms Greene of Milbrook

J.K.A.S. Vol. VI.

The Banshee

Concerning the account of Tom Daly, gardener, who often heard the banshee. The first time he ever heard her was out with his uncle John one evening. The minute his uncle heard her he whipped Tom up under his arm, and ran away with him.

There is a story of a boy who took her comb from her, and she followed him about to get it back. One night she was crying under his window, and he reached out his hand to give it to her ; but she wouldn't take it. She told him to get the tongs and give her the comb with them. They say if he had given it to her out of his hand he would lose the use of his hand ever after.

The banshees do follow some families about. The reason is because in old times people used to pay for the keeners to keen at funerals; and when they are dead, they have to go on keening until the seventh generation is out of whoever they were paid to keen for.

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