Derrys/Londonderry Crying Banshee
Derry was believed to have a Banshee, considered as the “wildest and grandest of all Irish superstitions” The banshee meaning fairy women” was considered to be a small wizened old women, dressed in white and combing her long hair. Other believe that she is a young woman or a bird with a human face, she was believe to bee seen in the Gaelic, mumbling the doleful cries. She was seen to be the coming of death, if not to those who heard her but to a close relative or neighbor. People believed that appearance of crows, howling of dogs or screeching of a cat outside a sick persons house would mean the arrival of the banshee.
Taken from the Derry Journal
A story relates to an incident dating back to the late 1940s. It occurred in Fulton Place, once a side street running off old Howard Street and backing onto one of the graveyards of St Columba’s Church (The Long Tower).
One winter, an elderly resident of the street became suddenly ill and was confined to his bed. A few days later some black crows landed in the street in front of the house and began to pick up scraps of bread that had been thrown out for scavenging birds. Some visitors to the house immediately rushed out and chased the crows away. Later that night the old man’s condition deteriorated and a priest was summoned to administer the last rites.
Sometime after, one of the younger visitors heard a knock on the back door. She asked if anyone else had heard it but was told no. She heard the knock again, this time followed by a low moaning sound. An old woman sitting opposite noticed her startled expression and instinctively told her to go to the door exclaiming, “He’ll have no rest until the knock is answered!”
The young girl went to the door and opened it. All at once she screamed and collapsed in a faint. The people inside came rushing out and found her lying on the ground in an obviously distressed state. They brought her back inside, calmed and comforted her, then asked what had happened. The girl explained: “When I opened the door and looked across the yard I could see an old hag-like woman with long white hair and a long white dress. She appeared to be crying and moaning and wringing her hands. She began to come towards the door. I screamed and she just seemed to vanish.”
The old man passed away later that night. As far as all the people present on that occasion were concerned, the house had been visited by a banshee.
Earl of Derwentwater
When the Earl of Derwentwater was executed for his part in the 1715 Jacobean uprising, his wife fled her home on Lords Island (on Derwentwater) and, it is said, threw all her jewels into the lake rather than have them confiscated. The ‘rake’ or gully on Walla Crag she climbed during her escape is now known as ‘Lady’s Rake’. Legend has it that the whitewashed Bishop’s Rock marks the place where the Bishop of Derry fell to his death in 1783 after a drunken wager in the pub below that he could get to the summit of Barf on his horse.
The legend of the Derry Fairy
The Legend of Stumpy’s Brae
The Legend of the Bishop of Derry
Derry firm Celtic Legends
Pucca the Magic Dragon
A book called “From Glen to Glen” by Mary Harward is about exciting myths and legends o the Roe Valley, with the hope of improving the fantasy history to young children.