Banshee

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It is the duty of the banshee or ‘woman of the fairies’ to foretell the death of an individual. Banshees are attached to particular families and their cry is only heard when a family member is about to die. Banshees are reported either to be young women of mournful aspect or else to take the form of hags. With eyes red from weeping she continually combs her hair with a gold or silver comb. The cries of the banshee are echoed by professional mourners or keeners who were engaged to maintain high piercing cries and moans at a funeral wake. The very first being to set up a keening cry was the goddess Brighid, one of the Tuatha de Danaan. She wailed for the death of her only son.