I’m a country gal raised in the southern USA. Where I grew up the Banshee was a bit different then the Irish or Gaelic legends. It was quite interesting for me to discover that Banshee isn’t listed anywhere by the meaning or spelling that I was raised with.

It’s obvious that the word banchee arrived in our usage by way of the Gaelic version banshee that our ancestors had been around, but in true country style, they adopted it as a part of their lingo and adjusted the pronunciation and meaning to fit with their beliefs of the time. I don’t think that’s a bad thing nor an unusual thing for a culture to do.

—Here’s the meanings we used :—

Banchee: pronounced ban.chee (ch as in cheese)
a harbinger of sorrow of a sad situation that is to come. The Banchee may be a stray dog, cat, bird or some other type of  known or unknown animal that comes and stays around until the sadness has passed. The animal may be tame or wild or hold an unworldly quality about it.  It may exhibit positive or negative traits.
It’s not necessarily a death or disaster that comes with the arrival of a banchee, sometimes it’s an illness or hard times  that hit a family or community. But always after the sadness passes, the animal will disappear as mysteriously as it arrives.

Banshee’s cry:
a harbinger of doom or destruction. It was thought that it came from a spirit or phantom. The cry reportedly sounds like the blood curdling screams of a wild woman. The scream emits from somewhere near the area, but no animal or human can ever be seen as having been the source of it. It almost surely means death or impending disaster.


*Just an added note here
In my opinion the legend of Mothman would fit into this category of banchees.