I love spooky stories and I especially love the spooky stories that have been told for hundreds of years. It’s like a provocative way to pass superstitions and family stories for generations to enjoy around a fire or scare their kids as they are tucked in for the night. Folklore and legend make for wonderful lessons and childhood memories.
A good example would be when I was probably seven or eight my Great Aunt Margret was tucking me in bed for the night around Christmas time. She was straight off the boat from Ireland just a few years before I was born and I always remember her shrill tone and pure Irish wit as she chastised us for watching TV or late for dinner. It wasn’t until much later after her death did I learn she would smile when she was really angry. My entire childhood I believed she was only kidding when she yelled, confused by her facial expressions.
I’ll never forget the story that she told me while tucking me in, warning that I needed to be asleep before the Banshee arrived and that every night she could pop in to see if all children were asleep. If they weren’t she would let out a horrible scream and steal their soul. If that story wasn’t terrifying enough, she imitated a Banshee-like scream at the top of her lungs, raising her hands in grabbing motions and that terrible, terrible look on her face as she finished to a growl still sticks with me today.
That’s an excuse to piss the bed if ever there was one. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Great Aunt Margret didn’t have any kids.
To this day the legend of the Banshee is one of my favorites like the Headless Horseman or Dracula. The thought of a horrible female ghost coming in a house at night to collect souls really had me quaking under the sheets as a kid but now that I am an adult, it’s a fun story. That’s why this amazing flash animation of The Banshee by Ed Bain at the site, Darkartsmedia.com, is so great and unbelievably well done.
This short animation has such an eerie feel to it. You listen to the ghostly winds and the lack of music adds to the dreary and melancholy effect as a woman tells her story of the Banshee coming to reap the soul of her grandmother.
The story has a bit of everything that makes the hairs stand on the back of the neck from the graves to the skeletons creeping behind the Banshee. The narrator tells of farm hands who report seeing a young girl walking alone in the woods and when they call she disappears. That is pretty creepy, I will admit.
It ends with the Banshee screaming out at night from the roof of the house of the narrator as she took her Grandmother’s soul. The moon turns blood-red and skeletons creep up the yard towards the house.
She did, however, fail to include the part when she shit her pants. I guess that would detract from the story but I wouldn’t lay blame for something I would absolutely do.
This is a cool little piece of the internet that I like to visit when the days get a little shorter and the air is crisp. Please take a gander and turn the speakers up high. Ed suggests visiting between the hours of 3am and 4am.
It requires Adobe Flash so unfortunately iPads and iPhones aren’t able to play this but everything else should be A-OKAY. Truly a love of mine.