[[quoteright:302:[[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/59-shadowmoor-midnight-banshee-daarken.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:302:Many have heard the beginning of its low, sustained shriek but few the end.]]

->''"The banshee wails her horrible song! The bone-charring sounds rip your heart apart! [[FinalDeath You die]]..."''
-->-- ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery'', on being killed by the wail of the Banshee

Here we have the ghostly women who originate from Myth/CelticMythology. They are usually noted for their voices, which are either [[OneWomanWail hauntingly hypnotic wails]], or blood-curdling screams. Traditionally, hearing a banshee wail is a PortentOfDoom, though this is often SadlyMythtaken for the wail itself being a [[MakeMeWannaShout sonic attack]] or BrownNote that ''causes'' death.

They are also prominent in Irish legends, where many of the more well-known banshee stories come from, as being a type of fairy typically connected to a single family. Their screams were due to mourning for members of the family who were about to die, which often served to inform others of their loved one's death. There have been stories of banshees haunting families even as late as the 19th Century. And, as often in the original folklore, the fairy woman might be explicitly described as a ghost; TheFairFolk were a little unclear about the edges.

In modern fiction, along with the above-mentioned sonic attack, they are usually depicted as purely a type of undead or ghost, without a hint of TheFairFolk. A clue to their origin can be found in their name; ''bean sídhe'' can be translated as "fairy woman".


[[folder: Card Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has several banshee cards. They are typically black creatures with abilities that weaken other creatures or injure players without discrimination.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Creator/MarvelComics' Banshee was a male mutant with yelling and [[NotQuiteFlight bizarre flight powers]]. His daughter, incidentally, was originally called Siryn. Having accepted her father's death, Siryn has [[LegacyCharacter taken on his name]] -- including a LampshadeHanging that she was never quite sure why he named himself after a female spirit in the first place. ''ComicBook/XMen'' writer Roy Thomas actually meant for Banshee to be a woman, but Creator/StanLee decided that a male character would be better. When Siryn was created, Thomas' reaction was "that was what Banshee was supposed to look like all along!" So, with Siryn's taking on the name, the Banshee he'd created has finally arrived... and it only took thirty years. But hey, {{Legacy Character}}s can take a while.
* ''ComicBook/CortoMaltese'' once meets an Irish girl named Banshee, and asks her why she was given such an inauspicious name. She dodges the question, but she isn't, as far as the story goes, a supernatural creature.
* Franchise/TheDCU has Jeanette, of the Comicbook/SecretSix, and Franchise/{{Superman}} foe Silver Banshee. The banshee of the DCU are typically mystical in origin, receiving immortality, superstrength, and a hideous scream that can kill those who hear it.
** Of course, Silver Banshee has to know your TrueName. Her power doesn't work on Superman because she doesn't know his birth name is neither Superman nor Clark Kent, but Kal-El.
** Depends on how you define "doesn't work". It won't kill him, but it will cause some of the most extreme pain you can imagine. An absurdly loud sound, at close ranges, being heard by someone whose ears are sensitive enough to pick up a whisper from across the city? ''Not fun.'' However, if she ''does'' know your true name, her scream is less "standard sonic attack" and more ''instantaneous death.''
* In the New 52, Silver Banshee gets reimagined, this time a girl who inherited [[CursedWithAwesome a family curse]], and became a friend of Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}. She retains the hideous scream, which now [[MakeMeWannaShout lays waste to anything around]], but also gets the power to speak any language, even alien or animal, after hearing only a few words. Her father, who she inherited the curse from, became one of the undead, feeding on others' souls.
* In one ''ComicBook/DylanDog'' story he meets a girl named Banshee, who brings death and bad luck to all those who are close to her. Of course, our hero tries to seduce her ''and'' break the nefarious curse by surviving himself.
* Banshees are a type of creature in ''ComicBook/DeathVigil''. One of their screams is enough to blow Sam halfway across a graveyard and paralyze him until Bernie intervenes.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Disney's ''Disney/DarbyOGillAndTheLittlePeople'' had a banshee that appeared and wailed to warn that someone was about to die. It also summoned the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Coach Cóiste-bodhar]] (Death Coach) to take away the soul to the afterlife. It's generally considered a standard-bearer of childhood terror.
* Creator/TimBurton's and Creator/DannyElfman's ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' opening song ''This is Halloween'':
-->Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back
-->And scream like a banshee
-->Make you jump out of your skin

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', a Boggart turns into one when it's Seamus' turn; she's described as 'a woman with floor-length black hair and a skeletal, green-tinged face'. Seamus uses the Riddikulus spell to make her lose her voice.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' gives us two different varieties of Banshee, the only sentient species on the Disc that evolved natural flight. There's the civilized type, which typically wails when someone is about to die (the one we meet has a speech impediment, so he just slips a note under their door). Then there's the feral variety, which are the reason for the legend--they ''also'' wail when someone's about to die, but in this case it's generally because they're cutting out the middleman and hunting you down themselves. The two we've seen (one of each) are both male. The civilized one hung out with the local undead support group; it's never really established if he was undead himself or just spending time with the other outcasts, but the term is rather broad in that universe in any case (including werewolves and bogeymen for example).
* In ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'', banshees are people who can predict somebody's death and, more often that not, they're also the ones to deliver it. Oddly, wailing not included.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's ''[=SERRAted=] Edge'' novels have a male Banshee as an enemy of the elves, with a painful false etymology (mixing Gaelic with Old English) that banshees are the ''bane'' of the Sidhe.
* In Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy book, ''The Halfling's Gem'', Drizzt do'Urden and Wulfgar have to fight a classic D&D-style banshee. [[spoiler:Both sides survive, because the local village actually relies on the fact that a banshee lairs nearby for tourism, and Drizzt and Wulfgar promised not to destroy her.]] This is a plot point because her lair holds the enchanted mask that lets Drizzt pass as a plain old elf to avoid the obvious problems of being recognized as a dark elf on the surface and that eventually [[spoiler:falls into the hands of Artemis Entreri]].
* Likewise, banshees in ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' are straight out of the D&D mold, since Dragonlance was written to popularize a D&D setting. The most noteworthy banshees in that setting are the three former elven clerics who sabotaged Lord Soth's quest to stop the Cataclysm, since they were part of [[CantArgueWithElves the elf supremacist conspiracy]] that led to it, in the belief that they could ''force'' the Gods of Good to empower them to wipe out all evil races. Because of that, they are {{curse}}d to constantly tell the story of how their own blind arrogance led to the destruction of the old world and their own damnation.
* ''Literature/SoulScreamers'' has Kaylee, who carries on the banshee wail whenever someone is near-death.
* Erica Hayes's ''Shadowfae'' series of urban fantasy novels features banshees with [[EnthrallingSiren siren-like abilities]]. These banshees seem to be a type of [[TheFairFolk fae]] with a [[MagicMusic magical affinity]] for sound rather than death, although they can kill with a [[MusicalAssassin song]] or [[MakeMeWannaShout scream]] if they want to. They can also cast a variety of spells through song, [[CompellingVoice manipulate humans]], and secrete venom from beneath their tongues that they can use as an [[KissOfDeath additional weapon]] besides their voices. Their magical affinity for sound gives them [[SuperSenses preternatural hearing]] but also gives them the ability to [[RequiredSecondaryPowers filter sounds so they don't get overwhelmed by auditory stimuli]], as well as enhancements to their inner ear that give them extraordinary balance and agility. They all look like attractive human women, but with unusually colored [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair hair]] and [[TechnicolorEyes eyes]], and usually their eyes and hair are of different but unnaturally bright neon or metallic colors. They are known for being violent, lustful, and usually [[AxCrazy just a little psychotic]], and in one book, a banshee is employed as an enforcer and bodyguard for a supernatural version of the mob. They are born with innately magical voices, but their magic can be taken from them by some other kinds of supernatural beings who [[PowersAsPrograms use the banshee's voice magic for themselves]].
* In ''Literature/TooManyCurses'', Bethany the banshee haunts Margle's castle, immaterial and imperceptible except when foretelling disaster. As she's a sociable sort, eager for any excuse to chat with the castle's other residents, she shamelessly stretches the definition of "disaster" to include such grave tragedies as over-salted soup or a bruised shin.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' banshees are spirits attracted to heartbroken humans; they use their high-pitched screams to kill them. If they use their screams on a witch [[spoiler: the witch [[TheVirus turns into a new banshee]]]].
* In ''Series/LostGirl'', banshees are a type of Fae who get involuntary premonitions of death. They don't consciously know who, how, or when, only that it's someone around them, that it has to be a member of one of the ten Noble Families (five human, five Fae) and that it will be soon. They do keep the details subconsciously, however, and it can be forced out of them using iron, to which they're highly allergic. In the relevant episode they used a liver shake.
* In the Disney show ''Series/SoWeird'' Fi fears that a banshee has come for her Irish grandfather.
* In ''Series/TeenWolf'', [[spoiler: Lydia]] is eventually revealed to be one. This comes with the ability to sense death and a piercing scream. In this universe, banshees scream to drown out noises that might distract them from listening on a psychic wavelength only they can hear. They can also use their scream to purposefully hurt other supernaturals, as fellow banshee Meredith demonstrates later on.
* In ''Series/TheQuest'' a banshee haunts the bog that the players have to cross in one episode and must be placated with an offering.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Henry Cowell's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaIByDlFINk "The Banshee"]] utilizes a technique of plucking and scraping against the strings of a piano in order to mimic a banshee's wail. The piece is also reminiscent of a [[PsychoStrings certain other horror music trope]].


[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* Often mistaken for {{goth}}, Wrestling/{{MsChif}}'s a MetalHead banshee. A {{guttural growl|er}}ing, ScreamingWarrior with [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair green hair]].


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Banshees show up in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', although older editions refer them as "Groaning Spirits". They're pretty nasty because they're essentially ghostly undead of usually elvish origin whose wail (at least at full power; in at least some editions it has limited uses per day) forces anyone in range to save or die on the spot. The ''Wail of the Banshee'' ''spell'' allows a high-level wizard (or sorcerer in 3rd edition) who knows it to mimic this, although each casting is only good for one such attack.
* Creator/GamesWorkshop games:
** In TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}, the Eldar Aspect Warriors of the Howling Banshee shrines take on the image of the banshees of Eldar myth who were said to be the heralds of death an ill-fortune. The Howling Banshees go to war wearing masks that contain psychosonic amplifiers that magnify their battle cries into piercing screams that can destroy the minds of their foes.
** In TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}, the Vampire Counts army, banshees are ethereal undead whose screams can stop the hearts of weak willed enemies. Depending on the edition of the game, banshees either act on their own or lead units of wraiths.
** In TabletopGame/WarhammerAgeOfSigmar, Tomb Banshees are a part of the Nighthaunt hosts, swarms of ethereal undead that plague the mortal realms. The Tomb Banshees themselves are the souls of women who have been slighted and betrayed who have returned to the Mortal Realms to take revenge on the living. Their piercing scream is enough to freeze the life of any they encounter.
* The original Celtic breed show up in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}} Companion'', under their original name, ''bean sidhe'' ("sidhe" is pronounced "shee"). Since Creator/WhiteWolf DidTheResearch, they're fixated on death but aren't particularly big on screaming.
* Banshees are a [[{{Splat}} Shade]] of ghost/projector in ''TabletopGame/{{Orpheus}}''. In keeping with the name, their major talents are the ability to see the future and a wail that can either control emotions or shatter your eardrums.
* One of the possible hauntings in ''TabletopGame/BetrayalAtHouseOnTheHill'' is a banshee of the ghostly type.
* The banshee's of ''TabletopGame/{{Edgewalkers}}'' are a substran
* Banshees in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' are elven vampires (well, [[OurVampiresAreDifferent elven victims of the HMHVV virus]]). They aren't really much for screaming, but they do feed by using their EmotionEater powers to induce fear and drive people to exhaustion.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Banshees are an enemy in ''VideoGame/FableII'' that tend to be accompanied by {{Undead Child}}ren.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' banshees are Undead units who attack with their high-pitched screeches. They function as spellcasters, making enemies miss, rendering units invulnerable to magic, or possessing enemies. They were once High Elves whose bodies and souls were defiled by the Scourge, forcing them to exist as bitter, spiteful ghosts.
** The most notable Banshee is Sylvanas Windrunner. Originally forced into a ghostly state as a final cruelty by Arthas, she was the first Banshee and became the "Banshee Queen". As a reward for her service to Arthas, she eventually received her original(now undead) body to possess.
** They also show up in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', unsurprisingly. Part of them keep their long-range wail attacks while others melee the player, most still use curses that reduce stats or make the target miss. At least one (a boss) can temporarily possess players.
* One of the enemies in the English version of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' is called the Banshee (in Japan, it was an [[StringyHairedGhostGirl onryo]]). One quest requires you to record its scream on a phonograph.
* The "Frozen Lady" of ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles: Dire Grove'' is also identified as a banshee. She doesn't have a scream attack, but when you can freeze a good chunk of England solid while still mystically bound, do you need one?
* Misdreavus and its evolution Mismagius from ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' are a relatively lighthearted take on banshee, as they use their cries to scare others for fun as often as they use them to battle. Perish Song, which causes both combatants to faint if they listen to it for three rounds, appears to be their SignatureMove, though other Pokemon can use it. They're portrayed as ghosts/witches rather than fairies, and can be male.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series has a few {{Mooks}} called banshees, generally either [[TheFairFolk sprite or pixie-like creatures]] or [[NightOfTheLivingMooks undead of various stripes]]. The ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' incarnation (which is a zombie) is distinguished by having as its signature move the strongest of the game's many [[MakeMeWannaShout sonic attacks]].
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', Cabal bosses with sonic attacks are called "Bane Sidhe," and their description makes the intended folk etymology explicit.
* VideoGame/NancyDrew investigates banshee sightings in ''The Haunting Of Castle Malloy''. [[spoiler: Turns out it's a weird old hermit woman who'd been spotted flying around [[ItMakesSenseInContext with a jetpack]].]]
* A banshee makes a brief appearance in ''VideoGame/{{Shadowgate}}'' in the form of a JumpScare.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'''s Sindel fits the criteria thanks to her Banshee Scream attack and ghostly appearance. She even returned from beyond the grave in [[VideoGame/MortalKombat3 her debut]].
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the [[EldritchAbomination Reapers]] turn humanoid species into cyborg-zombies. When it's done to the AlwaysFemale race of [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue Skinned Space Babes]] with PsychicPowers, the result is called a Banshee for good reasons. In addition to a psionic scream that targets any nearby creatures, they can also cross large distances in a fraction of a second and make turns around corners, making it very hard to stay away from them.
--> '''Joker''': Mutating people to turn them into living weapons is one thing, but the ''yelling?'' Why make them ''yell?!'' That's totally uncalled for!
* ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'' has ghosts which screamed. You got used to AAAAAH! AAAAH! AAAAH! as you had to fight these things. Their screaming didn't do any damage but holy hell, it was loud.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'', where the Banshee is a ground-attack [[FutureCopter chopper]] (with Screamer missiles) with cloaking capabilities. The pilot has a few lines on its namesake.
--> Holler back.
--> Screamin' fury.
--> In space, everyone can hear me scream... 'cuz I'm the banshee, get it?
* Averted with the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Covenant]] Banshee flyer from ''Franchise/Halo'', which is actually rather quiet.
* The Doom Howler from ''[[VideoGame/NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'' is louder to the [[IncrediblyLamePun tune]] of up to three different screaming-related attacks. The most basic one merely demoralizes the enemy, but the worst can kill huge numbers of people if left uninterrupted.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'', the banshee are ghostly revenants who also serve as [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00485.html heralds and messengers the Unseleighe court]], and also [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00461.html mark the course of a Wild Hunt.]]


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' had an {{Oireland}} episode with a banshee in it.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' features a villainous banshee who is one of [[TheFairFolk Oberon's Children]]. She has a small cameo in a second season episode when she refuses to answer Oberon's summons; as punishment she's dragged back by the Weird Sisters and gagged indefinitely.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales''%%
* One of the ''WesternAnimation/CasperTheFriendlyGhost'' cartoons featured his teacher Ms. Banshee, who had a particularly powerful scream.
* A banshee was one of the main characters in the cartoon ''WesternAnimation/RoswellConspiracies''.
* The ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters'' fought Banshee sisters; one was the stereotype, the other could use her voice to hypnotize people. It was a trap: The Siren was the carrot, the Banshee the stick. In the episode the banshee & siren could stay young if they stole the youth of humans. So they would use the siren to lure young people in and the banshee would then steal the youth.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAbracadabraDoo,'' Scooby and the gang face a number of threats, including a banshee that was imported to America because the castle it had been associated with in Ireland had been brought, brick by brick, to the U.S. Shockingly, in the ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' tradition, it turned out to be a fake.
* In ''WesternAnimation/XMen'', the above mentioned Banshee makes an appearance, and he flies by screaming. So, naturally, at one point he has to give Comicbook/{{Wolverine}} a ride. [[HilarityEnsues Logan is not happy about this.]]
* Misery from ''WesternAnimation/RubyGloom'' is [[{{Fanon}} often suspected of being a banshee]], along with her [[OneGenderRace all-female family]], though it's not official.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'':
** In the episode "Banshee Bake a Cherry Pie?", the group had to stop an Irish rock star who actually was a banshee and was scheming to use her powers to destroy the entire United States through a broadcast concert.
** Kenner's toyline had a monstrous [[NonIndicativeName "Banshee Bomber"]] in its ghostly ranks. It's a large, red, dragon-like creature that drips "Ecto-Plazm" [''sic''] from its mouth.
* ''WesternAnimation/FilmationsGhostbusters'' had a banshee, but its screams ''created storms'', and only a leprechaun's magic could stop it. It's inaccurate, but then again, the show seems to treat banshees as a ''type'' of ghost with different variations.
* Appears in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}''.