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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Banshee in the closet!

I dreamt of being in a new house, and there was a banshee inside a locked cupboard. If you stayed in the house you would become aware of it's endless wailing. The longer you stayed there, the more maddening it got.

Banshees normally appear as a warning of the imminent and sudden death of someone in the house. In the dream I knew this, and no-one else knew what it was, we all just ignored it, but I was worried because I felt it might make one of us go insane and kill one of the others, thereby making it's warning a self-fulfilling prophecy.

However, the others were less worried. They could all hear the wailing, but I could hear it louder, except one of us. He claimed he couldn't hear it at all, and denied it completely, unconvincingly. Irrationally. So I was scared he was staying up at night with his hands over his ears going insane.

Anyway I hate it when dreams go unfinished! I napped a bit earlier after snuggling a friend, on her uber-comfy massive bean bag, and dreamt briefly of the banshee but the dream had (no pun intended) no substance.

The banshee which has been haunting my imagination for a while (a few monthes) is one that wailes "make this torment end!" and "why have you brought me back?" in a intensely high pitch and melancholy voice. And if provoked, will chant "U. N. D. E. A. D. Tell me what it means to me". She sounds like she wants to die.

You get 50 goth points if you can name the creature that facilitates this type of banshee's hauntings! Clue: It's not a celtic or gaelic name.

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That's spooky.

Because I had a Ban Sidhe dream last night too..of sorts. Except this one wasn't your traditional wailing female ghost, but the ghost of a psychopath...He didn't turn into a Ban Sidhe until right at the end; he'd been running through the whole dream as the not-quite-seen menacing presence, then got himself killed - well, OK, maybe I had a little hand in that...! - and was laid to rest in this ornate white marble tomb inside the house where he'd caused quite a bit of carnage. I had the feeling he was the family psycho or something...anyway, for some reason part of the tomb setup involved a carved marble seat near the head of the tomb - but you couldn't go into the room or this horrible intense wailing would erupt into the air from the vicinity of the tomb - and it was implicitly understood by everyone that no-one should sit in the seat or something terrible would happen.

So of course I sat in it...but Michael woke me up before I could find out just what terrible thing I had unleashed!

Damn, I hate it when you wake up as it gets intense! Did it feel like a Ban Sidhe? I use the term "Ban Sidhe" and "Banshee" in slightly different ways.

In Western culture, a "Banshee" is almost a kind of demon, something evil.

Originally, however, it was no such thing and was merely a disturbing prophet, but with no actual internal intent to kill.

So I use Ben Sidhe to describe a ghostly wailing, tormented prophet warning a family of impending death, but "Banshee" as a term for a wailing ghost whose screams can drive people crazy.

As it seems that the chair would have been terrible to sit upon because you'd have been under the influence of the thing, it seems the 'thing' has a will of it's own and was probably a Western Banshee, not a traditional Ben Sidhe! I'm not sure why Banshees became so demonized, but as with other such things it was probably Christian paranoia, it's a shame so much rich Western demonology is a result of such xenophobic fear, but I do find the Banshee more yummy than the Ben Sidhe nonetheless!

(I use "Western" to mean "contemporary western" and not, literally, "Western" as that would actually imply "traditional" in a celtic sense!)

Let me know if you agree with my attempted distinction between Banshee and Ben Sidhe, I don't know many who would even know to use the words "Ban Sidhe" as you did so don't discuss these things much!

Oh, I've long been fascinated by much of Celtic mythos; I really must get another copy of the Mabinogien at some point as I lent it to a friend and it was never returned....Of course the term "Sidhe" comes originally from the Irish, and now only means "Spirit" (Ban Sidhe in current Irish gaelic means "Wailing Spirit"), but originally the Sidhe were believed to be a separate race - the Fae, or "Fair folk", and this is how I tend to think of them. These were possibly the original inhabitants of Ireland ("Erin") at the time of the Celtic settlement of the land; as memories of the first people faded, they were first revered as spirits, then Gods and Goddesses - and then, when Christianity arrived in Ireland, as demons. hence you have the original Ban Sidhe - a dark maiden from the Unseelie Court who gave warning of misfortunes, though in a most disquieting way and usually was tied to one particular family - and the later Bandhee, a hideous demon or night-hag whose very cry is said to be fatal to those who hear it.

Is that what you had in mind? Sorry if I seem to have descended into a lecture...!

Oddly enough, in my dream I had the feeling that I myself was not in any danger from sitting in the chair - but that the creature would have been released, which would have been terrible for the whole family. It seemed to be a cross between a Ban Sidhe and the legends of screaming skulls....

Yes that's what I was talking about, although your comments are more learned than mine!

You'd be surprised at the things I've picked up over the years...!

For instance - here I've posted a comment concerning Santería and Voudoun.

I'm wondering if I ought to start posting some of what I know online somewhere...

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