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"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 by a Boggart[src]

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.[2]

Biology and description

Banshees had the appearance of a woman with floor length black hair, a skeletal face, and green skin. A banshee's scream was fatal to the ears, in a manner similar to fully grown Mandrakes.[1]


The Bandon Banshee was supposedly defeated by Gilderoy Lockhart, which he described in his book Break with a Banshee;[4] though he later admitted to stealing credit for his books.[5] The only thing known about the actual witch who defeated the Bandon Banshee was that she had a hairy chin.[5]

Bill Weasley showing sixth-years a banshee in Defence Against the Dark Arts

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.[3]

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).[6]

Seamus Finnigan was afraid of banshees, as his Boggart demonstrated.[1] Seamus also mentioned it when Harry Potter opened the golden egg and heard a screeching sound.[7]

The singer Celestina Warbeck was known to perform with a backing group of banshees, demonstrating not all banshees were malevolent.[8] 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.[9]

During the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship, a banshee drove the Uagadou potions champion mad.[2]

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.[10]

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.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 9 images related to Banshee.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7 (The Boggart in the Wardrobe)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wonderbook: Book of Potions
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 24 (Return to the Forest) - Defence Against the Dark Arts Lesson "Banshees"
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 2 (Dobby's Warning)
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
  8. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Celestina Warbeck" at Wizarding World
  9. Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, p. 74 (see this image)
  10. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Storage room · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Duelling Club · Dumbledore's Army
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 19th century professor · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · Unidentified professor · Brindlemore
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence – Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Defence Against the Dark Arts
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo · Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) · Cave inimicum · Concealment Charms · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nasuem) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · Deprimo Spell (Deprimo) · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell (Homenium Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronus) · Protective enchantments · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Rectratum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimble Wimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Chameleon Ghoul · Charmed skeleton · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Dugbog · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Manticore · Nocturnal beasts · Poltergeist · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie