Monster Hunting: B is for Banshee
Updated: Sep 25
September 10th, 2017
Ghosts come in a variety of flavors. Most are idle spirits that do little more than jump scare people. They are pale copies of themselves that repeat actions over and over again.
Some are dangerous. Poltergeists or life-sucking wraiths that have lost touch with their humanity and are just plain angry with the world. They lash out at anyone and everyone that comes across their path.
Rarer still are those with full cognition of where and what they are. Those are usually tethered by some secondary method.
Then there are spirits who morph from their original form and take on a new, vicious specter of their unlife.
It’s this third category that Hailie’s problematic phantasm falls into. What she was describing definitely falls into the category of Banshee.
I know a thing or two about ghosts since it was a ghost that brought me into the fold of the supernatural. While ghosts can be extremely dangerous, and Banshees in particular are, they’re almost universally handled the same way: disperse them with iron or salt, find whatever’s tethering them to the place and destroy it with fire and blessed salt.
Easy as pie.
September 11th, 2017
Okay. Ruled out Hailie’s immediate family. Sometimes a ghost is a loved one that just follows the people it knew. This is not the case with her. Not that I honestly expected it to be.
Banshees usually haunt a locale rather than a person. I had to rule it out though as nothing is ever completely consistent with this vocation.
Hailie confirmed that the spirit infesting her home didn’t resemble anyone she knew and her family’s got, her words, a “clean bill of health.” I’m not sure if that means she followed my recommendation last time I talked with her and recommended cremation for anyone who passes, but I am willing to take her word.
Now the sad news: she mentioned that she bought the place with her partner. She had an encounter with the banshee before Hailie reached out to me to help.
There’s not really an easy way to record this, but Hailie’s partner is passed. The stories of a banshee being the harbinger of death are mostly true. Unfortunately, it is also usually the causer of those deaths.
A banshee feeds off a person’s sorrows and woes. Once a banshee makes itself known, a person tends to stop caring and becomes withdrawn.
It’s not permanent, but does require knowing what you’re dealing with before the person succumbs and joins the dead thing clinging to them.
Now for the worse news.
The banshee screamed at Hailie a day before she texted me. She’s living on borrowed time at current. The sole bright side is that means I’m safe to dig through the house without having to worry about the banshee. It only attaches to one person at a time.
Of course, I don’t do this to keep myself safe. I do it to protect and save other people. Which means it’s time to put my pen down and dig into the town history.
September 12th, 2017
Gotta love these old, east coast towns. There’s so much rich history to dig through. In this profession (I use the term loosely), it helps to have a love of old things.
After stopping by the library, I was able to find an old town charter that gave some history to the place. Banshees tend to be old, so I figured it would be a good place to start.
I was able to find that Hailie’s area in the charter. Her home was built on some old land, but it wasn’t like an native burial ground or something of the like. That’s a plus since it means I’m slightly less likely to piss off a local deity.
Of course, the downside is that I still need to do more digging and Hailie isn’t exactly looking good. I know she’s putting on a brave face, but the despair is creeping through her façade. She says she wants to help, but there really isn’t a lot she can do.
It’s hard to see her so desperate to help me help her, yet depressingly unable to do so.
September 13th, 2017
Caught Hailie staring off into the woods this morning. I’m glad I caught up to her before she went off by herself. Her cheeks have sunk in and deep, purple bags have formed under her eyes. She is a phantom of herself. She’s fighting, but losing and it’s almost painful to witness.
I know I said this before, but I feel it warrants repeating: I keep doing this to save people and watching Hailie waste away means I’m failing. I know people die on a daily basis but…
Not on my watch. Banshees are dangerous, but relatively simple to deal with. Find the corpse or tether, salt it, burn it.
The hard part is finding it.
Okay. History. The town history didn’t have what I needed. Which means it’s time to hit the books about the house itself.
September 14th, 2017
Hailie wouldn’t get out of bed this morning. Went out and picked up three canisters of salt. I lined her bed with it. It’ll be a bit of clean up, but she’ll thank me later. I just wish I’d done it sooner.
I’m not sure that it’ll actually help, but it’s certainly worth a shot.
On to today’s duties. Digging up a body is no easy feat. Looking into the history of the house revealed that the second owner, a Greta Vanwinkle, was murdered in it. Story went that it was a jilted lover who slashed her throat. He went mad shortly after and walked off into the forest never to be seen again. Story says that he got away with murder. I suspect that’s not the case.
It sounds like the banshee manifested rather shortly after the brutal murder. Also said that Greta’s plot is in the town cemetery. Likely the hardest bit will be avoiding the locals. Most people don’t really approve of someone digging up a grave.
September 16th, 2017
Okay. I lied. The hardest bit was the digging. Greta’s grave was tucked in a dark corner of the graveyard. The headstone was worn down to almost being illegible and the grave itself was, thankfully, shallow. Digging up a grave is never as easy, or clean, as the movies and tv make it out to be and took nearly all night, plus another hour to properly salt and burn the bones.
But Hailie is recovering, so I got the right one. She’s still sad, who wouldn’t be after losing their partner, but this is still a win in my books.