(/ˈbænʃiː/ ban-shee, Modern Irish bean sí, from Old Irish: ban síde, pronounced [bʲan ˈʃiːðʲe], “woman of the fairy mound” or “fairy woman”) is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening.
The banshee is often described in Gaelic lore as wearing red or green, usually with long, disheveled hair (usually described as red or orange, and yellow in medieval times described to shimmer like wild fire).
In some parts of Leinster, she is referred to as the bean chaointe (keening woman) whose wail can be so piercing that it shatters glass.
In Scottish folklore, a similar creature is known as the bean nighe or ban nigheachain (little washerwoman) or nigheag na h-àth (little washer at the ford) and is seen washing the bloodstained clothes or armour of those who are about to die. In Welsh folklore, a similar creature is known as the hag of the mist.