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Teen Wolf Mythology: What is a Banshee?

In the Teen Wolf episode, “The Girl Who Knew Too Much”, we finally learn what supernatural creature Lydia is. She’s a Banshee! The Wailing Woman. For those of you who aren’t as geeky as I am when it comes to mythical creatures, you may be asking yourself, “what the hell is a Banshee anyway?” Here’s some basic mythology and history on banshees and how it fits into Teen Wolf.

banshee mythology
Ancient Origins

A banshee, traditionally called “Bean Sidhe”, is from Irish mythology and is seen as an omen of death. A banshee is a fairy and always a woman, who uses her scream/wail to signal when a violent death is about to occur. Banshees are not believed to cause death, just warn of it. Myth is, the banshee can be seen by the person who is about to die and can appear in multiple forms, such as a beautiful lady, an old hag and sometimes even as animals associated with Irish witchcraft.

Banshees are based off of an old Irish tradition where women would sing a lament to signify someone’s death (referred to as keening). They were traditionally a signal to the family or friends of the soon-deceased and some believe she was a friend of the family she followed. Banshees used to follow specific, well-known families in Irish folklore.

teen wolf banshee mythology
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Banshees are known to wail around natural forms such as trees, rivers and rocks. People have reported seeing banshees combing their hair and have confused them with mermaids. Often times they are seen with a comb in their hair.

Now that Lydia knows what she is, she’s sure to hone in on her abilities to learn how to use them for good. Welcome to the Beacon Hills Supernatural Creature Club, Lydia!

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Pure Fandom was created by fangirls and best friends, Liz (Pochop) Prugh and Lindi Smith. Their site - along with several other expert fan contributors! - brings you updates and breakdowns on shows like 'The Walking Dead,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Originals', and more. Liz & Lindi have written for Entertainment Weekly, AOL, HelloGiggles, and frequently host Comic-Con panels around the country. They are dedicated to putting a comedic and fun twist on all things fandom.

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