I personally love folktales and folklore. I thought a thread to share some that we've either came across or had handed down to us, would be fun!
My ancestors are Scottish and Irish, so I have plenty of stories about the fae, the banshee, etc. That said, please keep in mind these are views and opinions shared by my family and not to be taken as anything more. This is but the folktales and beliefs held by my family and ancestors in regards to the beings discussed below.
Now, from what my relatives have told me, she doesn't actually scream, at least she never did where my family was concerned. The Banshee's cry is actually her calling out to you in some way. You can either hear the voice of someone you know calling you, or you will hear a woman calling your name. If you hear her calling, someone you know is fated to pass away. It can be the person's voice she called in that will pass on, or another friend or relative.
You may also see the banshee. She will appear as a beautiful woman dressed in a white, flowing gown. Again, if you see her someone you know will soon pass away.
Many of my relatives, my father included, claim to have either seen her or heard her. Each time, a family member or close family friend would pass away shortly after.
Once, my father said he once saw her come out of a bedroom on the second floor and go down the stairs. At first he thought it was his mother, but when he called to her, she was in bed. He looked at the clock and noted that it was around 11:00pm. That night, one of his friends passed away and a woman that lived up the street (a family friend) passed away at around the same time he saw the woman.
The Black Dog:
According to the stories I was told, the black dog is a large black dog that is about the size of a cow. It has red eyes and gives off an ominous aura, so to speak.
The dog was said to appear to those fated to die. The person was destined for a not so pleasant afterlife. The dog would appear to them while they were out walking or it would be seen though their windows just sitting and watching them.
A few days later, the person would pass away. Upon the persons death, the dog would either be seen or its howl would be head, sometimes a combination of the two. After the person passed away, the dog would come to claim their soul and take it to the underworld.
It may go by another name, this I am unsure of, but my family simply referred to it as the black dog. I have heard stories about it from other areas of Europe as well, so I don't think this particular story/entity was seen by just the Scottish and the Irish.
The Wee Folk:
The Fae, Wee Folk, and whatever else you'd like to call them were often seen as guardians by my family. While some of them could be mischievous and down right nasty, many of them were viewed as household spirits and guardians. Small treats and gifts were often left for them as a show of appreciation and goodwill. One of the most common ones left to them was sweet breads with honey.My family also saw them as nature spirits that would help with or hinder the growth and fertility of crops, depending on how they felt or if you'd slighted them in some way.
On a related note, from what I was told, and from what I have found from personal experience, the Wee Folk really only let you see them if they want you to see them. A lucky few would spy them as small, glowing golden orbs.