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For the Warcraft III unit, see Banshee (Warcraft III). For the specific mob, see Banshee (Hyjal Summit). For other uses, see Banshee (disambiguation).
Haunting spirit TCG.jpg
Classification Undead (Incorporeal)
Faction/Affiliation Forsaken (Horde), Scourge, Independent
Character classes WoW Icon update.png Priest, Mage
Icon-RPG.png Sorcerer, Warlock, Necromancer
Homeworld Azeroth
Area(s) Northern Kalimdor, Lordaeron, Quel'Thalas, Northrend, Broken Isles
Language(s) Darnassian, Gutterspeak, Thalassian, Common, Orcish
A banshee in World of Warcraft.

Banshees are incorporeal undead elf and human women, known for their unholy screams and the unsettling ability to possess the bodies of their enemies. Highborne and night elf banshees have existed since the time of the War of the Ancients,[1] but many were also created when the Scourge invaded Quel'Thalas and slaughtered the majority of the kingdom's high elf inhabitants during the Third War. After being freed from the grasp of the Lich King, many banshees joined the ranks of the Forsaken, once led by the "Banshee Queen" Sylvanas Windrunner.

The male counterpart of the banshee is the spectre.[2]


Banshees were once beautiful female night elves who were brutally murdered by demons during the fall of Kalimdor. Their restless spirits were left to wander the world for many ages in silent, tortured lamentation. Over the years they became jealous of the living and seeded a deep hatred for all life. Yet when the Lich King, Ner'zhul, became aware of them, he gathered them together and promised them vengeance upon the living. Ner'zhul gave them terrible voices so that the living would finally hear their timeless anguish. Thus, the banshees pledged themselves to the undead cause and began serving as valuable warriors in the Scourge.[1]

A large amount of high elf banshees were raised by the Scourge during Arthas Menethil's conquest of Quel'Thalas during the Third War. The most notable of these victims of the undead was the Ranger-General of Silvermoon, Sylvanas Windrunner, who was killed and raised by Arthas himself, though she later managed to reclaim her physical body. When the Lich King's grasp of the Scourge began to weaken some time after the war's end, Sylvanas and several of her undead servants broke free from the Scourge and eventually managed to establish the Forsaken.


Sylvanas Windrunner in her banshee form during the Battle for Azeroth cinematic.

The spectral banshees can fly and are fond of hammering their enemies with tortured blasts of sonic force. Their unnerving, unholy screams can be heard from miles away.[1]


  • By channeling the powers of their unholy screams, banshees can cause their enemies to temporarily lose their honed combat skills. As a result of this terrible curse, the victims of this spell find themselves unable to hit their targets.[3]
  • By melding the powers of necromancy and the warped music of their screams, banshees can form protective shells around any creatures. The uncanny shell makes those creatures impervious to all magics for a short period of time.[3]
  • Banshees have an unsettling ability to force their way into the bodies of living creatures, thus replacing the creatures' spirits with their own. While this ability causes the banshees' bodies to dissipate, it does give them permanent control over their new forms.[3] As shown by Lady Nightswood's possession of the Bone Witch, Vardmadra and then the Bone Witch again, banshees are able to shift back and forth from different bodies at will.


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In Warcraft III

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

Main article: Banshee (Warcraft III)

Creep units Ghost and Wraith are also banshees.[4]

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

When the Burning Legion and the kaldorei clashed in the War of the Ancients, 10,000 years ago, many night elf women fell. Their brutal murders returned them as banshees, and for millennia they wandered the world in lamentation, losing ever more of their dwindling sanity. Eventually, the Lich King, Ner'zhul, learned of their existence and recruited them into the Scourge. Banshees fought in the Third War alongside other undead, and when Arthas attacked Quel'Thalas, he found that he could make banshees of high elves as well.[5] After the Third War, the Lich King lost control of some of the banshees, including their queen Sylvanas Windrunner. Not long after Arthas raised her as a banshee, she broke from his control, taking fellow banshees with her. She regained her physical body and established the Forsaken. This act gives many banshees hope, and a strong cadre of free banshees can now be seen serving with the Forsaken. Most banshees still remain enslaved to the Lich King's will though, and can be found throughout the Plaguelands. Many wild, unaffiliated banshees exist.[5]

Although uncommon, according to Manual of Monsters, it appears that it is possible for human women, and even men from other races, to become banshees upon their undeath.[6]

"Banshee" is an acquired template in the Warcraft RPG.

As a companion pet


  • Prior to the model revamp in World of Warcraft: Legion banshees had elven shaped ears, after the model revamp all banshees appear as having human shaped ears as the revamped banshee model is lacking elven ears. So the current model shows those undoubtedly elves in life incorrectly, while before the model revamp those that were human were shown incorrectly.


The banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from another world. They are believed to herald the imminent death of a person with loud shrieks and wails.


World of Warcraft
Trading Card Game

Patch changes

See also


es:Alma en pena fr:Banshee pl:Banshee