The Banshee’s Halloween

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day here at the local again and I thought it best to take a break from the usual Leprechaun franchise related posts this year. Instead, let’s read a selection from Irish-American author Herminie Templeton Kavanagh’s novel Darby O’Gill and the Good People called “The Banshee’s Halloween.”

Although the Irish (and horror) connection is obvious, some might question the use of a story about Halloween on St. Patrick’s Day. However, the story itself explains why it’s a-okay:

“Halloween night, to all unhappy ghosts, is about the same as St. Patrick’s Day is to you or to me— ’tis a great holiday in every churchyard. An’ no one knew this betther or felt it keener than did Darby O’Gill, that same Halloween night, as he stood on his own doorstep with the paper of black tay for Eileen McCarthy safely stowed away in the crown of his top-hat.”

As you have probably guessed, the classic Disney film Darby O’Gill and the Little People was based on Herminie Templeton Kavanagh’s Darby O’Gill tales. However, the film’s banshee differs greatly from the one in this particular tale. In fact, I have heard that the film drew most of its material from the second book, The Ashes of Old Wishes and Other Darby O’Gill Tales.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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