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Contents:
  1. The Washerwoman: Bean Nighe
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  3. The Bean Nighe | ScotClans | Scottish Clans
  4. Bean Nighe Shawl
  5. Why is the Bean Nighe seen as an omen of death?

The Bean-Nighe are generally encountered either sitting beside, or sometimes paddling in, remote streams and the shallows of rivers. Here they attend to their laundry, yet they are not conventional mortal women tending bucolic washing chores. A single glance at their hideous visage and the grim cloth they wring betwixt their fingers is more than enough to determine their anomalous character.

The Washerwoman: Bean Nighe

The clothing that the Bean-Nighe is seen to wash is either the blood-drenched clothing of the observer, or the burial shroud that will consequently wrap their lifeless body. These creatures are said to be the souls of women who died whilst giving birth, doomed to remain on this earth either until Judgement Day or, as it is more frequently thought, until the day that they would otherwise have died. As a grim consequence of their fate, they are also aware of all the other people that will soon be visited by death and are sometimes reported as crooning a mournful dirge to themselves that recounts the names of all the ill fated.

This Welsh portent of death may suddenly leap out of a water channel, but otherwise she will invisibly stalk her victims until they pass a crossroads or stream.


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  • The Bean Nighe;

Here she will become all too visible and audible, for in both instances her cries, like those of the Banshees and Cyraeths, are harrowing. Fy ngwr!

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My Husband! Fy mlentyn bach!

My little child! She is pinched and scrawny, yet her superficial mass likely betrays her true strength and vigour. The most frightfully inhuman of all her features, however, are her long thin arms, for not only do they end in dreadful talon-like hands, but black scaly wings also hang from these extremities. These bat-like appendages are thought capable of flight.

The Bean Nighe | ScotClans | Scottish Clans

Her negligible clothing is black and ragged. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. My name is Rainie Taylor and I'm a dark fiction writer.

"Beware the Bean-Nighe" Storytime Myth Series Episode#2

In every corner of my mind, boogeymen and ghosties lurk, waiting Follow Me:. The Banshee will wail to warn mortals of their impending doom. Also known to wail before a catastrophe, there are stories of people avoiding death after hearing her screams.

Bean Nighe Shawl

One example is members of the MacDonald clan who heard the wail of a Caoineag right before the Massacre of Glencoe. They hid for the rest of the night and avoided the massacre. The clothes are saturated in blood. Whoever those clothes belong to will die sometime soon.

Why is the Bean Nighe seen as an omen of death?

Still, an encounter with her would be truly unsettling. If a man can sneak up on her and take one of her breasts in his mouth, he can claim to be her foster child and make a wish. Some sources claim that a man can stop her from washing the clothes and postpone the death for a short time. They could be anything you want to know, kind of like an oracle.