At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery & Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells & Harry Potter: Magic Awakened.
The banshee was a dark creature native to Ireland. Banshees were malevolent spirits that had the appearance of women and their cries were fatal to anyone that heard them. The Laughing Potion was an effective defence against them.
Biology and description
The Bandon Banshee was supposedly defeated by Gilderoy Lockhart, which he described in his book Break with a Banshee; though he later 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.
During the 1989–1990 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Bill Weasley taught his sixth-year friends about banshees and instructed them on how to defend themselves from the creatures in one of his Defence Against the Dark Arts tutoring sessions. Bill even brought an actual banshee into the classroom to study, with him and his classmates wearing protective earmuffs to prevent them hearing its deadly scream. Jacob's sibling banished the banshee with the Laughing Potion.
On 31 July 1992, 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 at 4 Privet Drive, as she suffered from ornithophobia (the fear of birds).
The singer Celestina Warbeck was known to perform with a backing group of banshees, demonstrating not all banshees were 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.
Banshees appeared throughout the wizarding world during the Calamity in the 2010s, in which they acted as Confoundable guards to certain Foundables, such as a portrait of Salazar Slytherin, which belonged at Hogwarts Castle. Volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force had to cast the Exploding Charm in order to repel them, allowing the Foundable to return to their rightful place.
Behind the scenes
- The banshee is a female spirit in Irish folklore and mythology, who appears to herald the death of a family member, usually by wailing, shrieking or keening. They are generally believed to be fairies or ghosts.
- Due to their similarities, it is possible that banshees are related to Dementors, and may like them be considered amortal.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Appears as a Boggart form)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Daily Prophet Newsletters (Mentioned only)
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions (First appearance)
- Pottermore (Seen on book cover) (Appears as a Boggart form)
- Wizarding World (Appears as a Boggart form)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7 (The Boggart in the Wardrobe)
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 24 (Return to the Forest) - Defence Against the Dark Arts Lesson "Banshees"
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 2 (Dobby's Warning)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Celestina Warbeck" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, p. 74 (see this image)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite