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The O’Neill clan’s Irish visitor
The following story is a very famous Irish Ghost story taken
from the collective works of a Dr Seymour and his famous Ghost book back
in the 1900’s. All stories including this one are based on fact
as given to the author via his personal research from all over ireland.
His book to this day has been republished numerous times and
his stories reprinted in many Irish Ghost book collections and are now
in the public domain hence why it is printed here for your enjoyment.
The Banshee is not confined within the geographical limits of
Ireland, but that she can follow the fortunes of a family abroad, and
there foretell their death, is clearly shewn by the following story. A
party of visitors were gathered together on the deck of a private yacht
on one of the Italian lakes, and during a lull in the conversation one of
them, a Colonel, said to the owner, "Count, who's that queer-looking
woman you have on board?"
The Count replied that there was nobody except
the ladies present, and the stewardess, but the speaker protested that he
was correct, and suddenly, with a scream of horror, he placed his hands
before his eyes, and exclaimed, "Oh, my God, what a face!" For some
time he was overcome with terror, and at length reluctantly looked up,
"Thank Heavens, it's gone!"
"What was it?" asked the Count.
"Nothing human," replied the Colonel--"nothing belonging to this world.
It was a woman of no earthly type, with a queer-shaped, gleaming face, a
mass of red hair, and eyes that would have been beautiful but for their
expression, which was hellish. She had on a green hood, after the fashion
of an Irish peasant."
An American lady present suggested that the description tallied with that
of the Banshee, upon which the Count said:
"I am an O'Neill--at least I am descended from one. My family name is, as
you know, Neilsini, which, little more than a century ago, was O'Neill.
My great-grandfather served in the Irish Brigade, and on its dissolution
at the time of the French Revolution had the good fortune to escape the
general massacre of officers, and in company with an O'Brien and a
Maguire fled across the frontier and settled in Italy.
On his death his son, who had been born in Italy, and was far more Italian than Irish,
changed his name to Neilsini, by which name the family has been known
ever since. But for all that we are Irish."
"The Banshee was yours, then!" ejaculated the Colonel. "What exactly does
"It means," the Count replied solemnly, "the death of some one very
nearly associated with me. Pray Heaven it is not my wife or daughter."
On that score, however, his anxiety was speedily removed, for within two
hours he was seized with a violent attack of angina pectoris, and died
Happy Halloween 2013 on behalf of the Association of O’Neill clans