The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley

The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley is a collection of stories, superstitions and folklore (traditional and contemporary) told by children from three primary schools in Limerick city, Ireland. The stories were recorded and produced by Irish artists Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert in 2004 and 2005.

The Banshee… has been described as “a celebration of the storyteller”, and – children being the best storytellers – it’s a lot of fun to watch or listen to. It was first screened in the infamous handball alley itself; you can see photos, along with more information about the project, at Fortune’s Folklore Collections website and at

The video below is an excerpt from the film. I can’t pick a favourite moment, but I do love the debate about whether stepping on a crack will break your mother’s back, and the description of how the headless horseman (who apparently lived in Moyross) might have become headless: “he probably lost his head off a branch or something”.


5 Responses to The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley

  1. Chris says:

    Hey, they said “soccer pitches.” Is that the common word, not “football”?

  2. wisewebwoman says:

    There is nothing better than listening to children describe the worlds of the unexplained.

  3. Stan says:

    Chris: Yes, soccer normally refers to Association football in Ireland; football is taken to mean Gaelic football.

    WWW: It is a treat. I hope I get a chance to see the full film one day.

  4. Absolutely wonderful stuff Stan. I would love to see the full film too.

  5. Stan says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, Jams. I thought you might!

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