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The banshee in Irish mythology is derived from the Gaelic bean-sidhe (Mod. Ir. "bean sí"), meaning "spirit woman". They are remenants of the Tuatha de Danaan .

Traditionally some Irish families had a banshee associated with them, and the banshee might make an appearance before a death in the family. The banshee is particularly well known for a mournful cry or wail by which this death is heralded. She is invariably dressed in white, with long fair hair which she brushes with a silver comb.

Compare: La Llorona, Bloody Mary Worth

For information on the X-Men comic book character, see Banshee (comics).