"Where the mummy had been was a woman with floor length black hair and a skeletal, green-tinged face — a banshee. She opened her mouth wide and an unearthly sound filled the room, a long, wailing shriek that made the hair on Harry's head stand on end —"
—Banshee impersonation[src]

The Banshee (Gaelic spelling beannsidhe) is a Dark creature native to Ireland and Scotland. Banshees have the appearance of women and their cries are fatal to anyone that hears them. The Laughing Potion is effective against them.


The Bandon Banshee was supposedly defeated by Gilderoy Lockhart, which he described in his book Break with a Banshee; though he admitted to stealing credit for his books. The only thing known about the actual witch who defeated the Bandon Banshee was that she had a hairy chin.

Seamus Finnigan was afraid of Banshees, as his Boggart demonstrated. Seamus also mentioned it when Harry Potter opened the golden egg and heard a screeching sound.

The singer Celestina Warbeck is known to perform with a backing group of banshees, demonstrating not all Banshees are malevolent. Another possible banshee was the Bogle-banshee, mentioned by a student on the "Second Year Essential Knowledge Test" that Gilderoy Lockhart gave his second year Defence Against the Dark Arts class in 1992.[2]

Biology and description

Banshees have the appearance of a woman with floor length black hair, a skeletal face, and green skin. A banshee's scream is fatal to the ears, in a manner similar to fully grown Mandrakes.

Behind the scenes

  • Mrs Mason "screamed like a banshee" when the owl post letter warning Harry Potter about his supposed Underage magic transgression (actually committed by Dobby) was dropped on her head.[3]
  • Due to their similarities, it is possible that Banshees are related to Dementors, and may like them be considered amortal.


Notes and references

  1. Zygmunt Budge described the banshee as a spirit in Wonderbook: Book of Potions
  2. Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, p. 74 (see this image)
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 2 (Dobby's Warning)