Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
This is not a fictional story. This is an account of what happened to me when I was young.
It was a normal day in County Kerry in Ireland, well, what the rest of you would consider to be normal. The likes of you reading this will probably have a job of some vague description or be in some form of education. Not me, I’m a free spirit. I do not, or did not when it happened, attend school. I left early because; well, because school just wasn’t for me. Let’s leave it at that. I was more of a ‘hands-on’ kind of person. I’m not saying I’m stupid because I’m not, it’s just I had a different sort of intelligence than that which was demanded by the education system. Myself descending from an agricultural background, and I’ll tell you this – strange things happen out in the country. Strange, eerie things. Growing up in Ireland I of course heard my fair share of folk tales told to me by my dearest mother. God rest her soul. Tales warning me not to disobey my parents or else the “Tall man” will get me, but that’s not what this is about. I grew up listening intently to these folk tales, because that’s what they were to me back then – tales and fables…just stories. I’m not sure if you readers are aware of one of Ireland’s most famous folk tales (forgive me if I am wrong), a creature known only as the ‘Banshee’.
I’m seventeen now, but when it happened I was around the age of twelve. It was a normal day for me and my little sister, who shall remain nameless out of respect. We were playing out in the fields one late afternoon. The winds of Ireland swept across the barley created waves across the land which rippled in various shades of gold and yellow. The sun was starting to retreat back into the horizon, illuminating the world in rich shades of purple and orange. As usual me and my sister were playing hide and seek in the fields, and me being the older brother I tended to opt for the seeker, just so I could see her smile when she laughed as I found her. On the verge of the field were the woods. Even when the sun cast celestial vibrancy upon the woods, it still remained dark and foreboding. Anyway, we were playing hide and seek when I noticed something just on the rise of the field before it dipped down again. It was like…like this black bag, that’s the only way I can describe it. Just kind of floating there at the bulge. It dismissed it, assuming it was just farming waste, like something had fallen off a tractor.
As I continued searching for my little sister (she was an excellent hider, and some days I wouldn’t even find her at all. Causing my mother to panic rather frequently) through the barley this black bag thing managed to keep itself fixed in my peripheral vision. Again I dismissed this, thinking it was that cause of the wind fluttering the ‘bag’ around. I noticed some movement in the barley about 20 metres from me, so I crouched down and silently waded through hoping to find my sister, and hoping that the sound of the wind would mask me. As I hoped for the sound of the wind I heard something quite different. Like, a sort of wailing, a very faint and distant wailing far in the distance. I stopped and listened intently and made a ‘cup’ over my ears. The sound of the wailing merged with the whistling of the wind coming through the woods, almost like the sound of a kettle boiling. I crouched there listening for X amount of time, thirty…maybe forty seconds. My sister jumped up from hiding and ran to different location, which made me jump out of my skin.
That bag blew nearer to me and was now in my sight, just floating there. I began to be creeped out. It seemed like it was following me. I shouted to my sister that the game was over and that we were heading back inside. My gaze was fixed upon this black bag which seemed so ominous. My sister appeared at my side, she looked up at me and I down to her. She knew that look, I wasn’t joking around. I told her to go back to the house which was just over the wall and a hundred yards down the road. She obeyed, as she knew that tone I gave her. I made sure she got over the wall safely, and then I turned to where the bag was…or at least where it used to be. It seemed to move across the field in a zigzag pattern…towards me. I froze with shock as I didn’t know what to do, and all I could do was watch this bag come closer and closer. The wailing became louder and louder, like the sound of shellshock.
After what seemed like an eternity the bag was in range of being able to distinguish what it was. It wasn’t a bag. It was…some sort of black robe (Much like the Witch King form Lord of the Rings). Tattered and torn, the bottom of it stained. I stood there, mouth open. In terror, I watched this thing come towards me, this bundle of rags float across the field. The wailing became louder and my heart began to pound, trying to escape my chest. Sweat flooded off of me. All I could do was watch this thing come closer and closer and closer…
The bundle of rags stopped several metres in front of me and the wailing stopped. All I could hear now was my heartbeat in my ears, like some ancient primal drums of war thumping away. The bundle of rags rose from the ground and emitted a blood-curdling shriek. A piercing scream which deafened me briefly. I held my ears and felt the blood trickle out of them. A hooded entity filled the robes. It stood tall and thin, long white hair flowing out of the hood. It then turned to me, and looked right into my soul. I felt this sharp pain in my chest. I clutched my chest in agony and writhed on the ground. It let out the same deafening scream and I noticed through fighting back tears that it was a woman. Pale and hollow she looked. It pointed at me with her long, skeletal fingers and then it pointed in the direction of my house. It then looked directly back into my eyes, and as quickly as it attacked me it disappeared into a bundle of rags on the ground.
I lay there in the earth, panting, sweating and looking at the bloodstains on my hands. I lay there, in pain and in fear. It was then I realised what I had just seen. The Omen on bad news and death. The Banshee. It wasn’t coming for me, it came as a warning! I had to get back to the house. I stumbled up from the earth and eventually ended up in the house. I found my sister standing in the kitchen, silent, in shock. She didn’t hear me crash through the door. I startled her when I touched her on the shoulder. She looked at me in horror, tears streaking her face. Speechless. She looked at me then looked to the floor, where my mother lay. Dead.
Authorities report she died of a heart attack.
But I knew what really happened.