Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Katie was born in Galway, Ireland and lived ther until she was 5 years old. After that she moved to American Fork, Utah. She has one sibling. Her Irish side of the family is very superstitious, which she says is a cultural thing. Her family is mainly from Kilrush originally. She grew up hearing stories and the superstitions and traditions that she doesn’t necessarily believe but picked up on them just by nature of habit. I met/knew Katie from my public speaking class recitation. Katie is a bubbly personality and she gets really passionate about what she cares about. Katie works as an RA and loves socializing with her residents.
I first heard that Katie was superstitious in our public speaking class. The first speech had to be about someone in the class, and the individual who presented on Katie told everyone about her Irish upbringing and the superstitions thereafter. The initial time that this was told wasn’t natural at all because it was someone telling another person’s story. So to collect this piece I decided to go straight to the source and ask Katie about it. However, I wasn’t able to generate a conversation that would have this story told in its natural environment which would likely be just friends sitting around talking about beliefs. I had to interview Katie on the very last day of class with a potluck going on behind us. So the context was not natural at all. But all is well and good, I had asked her to interview the week prior so she had a short quick condensed version ready to go so that I wasn’t taking up her whole class period. So it was a bit rushed. This was also the first piece of folk lore she gave me from that interview. The second of which is filed under the name, “Broken Turf Birth”.
So um from um Irish people are really superstitious we have a lot of superstition. So One when my .. nana was a young girl she was walking home one night and she said she heard the banshee shriek. So it was like this really loud high pitched scream. And she said she didn’t sound like it came from an animal and it most definitely couldn’t have come from a human and then the next morning one of her neighbors sh.. were dead. And so that’s like the superstition with the banshee if you hear it then either you or someone you know are going to die.
Katie is really nice and bubbly, but while she was telling me about her superstitions, she looked me in the eye and talked about them with all seriousness. Almost as if to say, yeah, try me, this is what I believe and I know its weird but its mine and you can’t take it away from me. She wasn’t very animated and presented it quite matter-of-fact like. There was no doubt that she believed them, or at the very least believed the people who had recounted the stories to her. She rushed quite a bit on this piece in a very business like fashion.
Semester and year
G7: Unexplainable Phenomena
Robinson, Cy, "Banshee: An Irish Superstition" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 299.