A Titanic Banshee: 1912

(c) Burton Art Gallery and Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Wail of the Banshee, Clifford Boucher James, (c) Burton Art Gallery and Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation


Mother Saw Apparition of Son Who Sailed on Lost Vessel

Dublin, June 22. The Banshee has reappeared in Banagher. A priest in Tullamore vouches for the authenticity of the following story:

A young man named Tynagh decided on emigrating to America in opposition to the wishes of his mother, whose only son he was, and the morning on which he left home for Queenstown she refused to shake hands with him. The parting scene between the mother and son was a very sad one, and tears rained down the cheeks of the former, whose grief was agonizing. They parted, the mother still declining to take her boy’s proffered hand, and saying she would not do so until his return, when she promised him a hearty handshake. He sailed on the ill-fated Titanic and the moment the big ship went down Mrs. Tynagh heard a noise outside her house which startled her, and caused her to look towards the door. Just then she saw the figure of her son approaching her in the same attire he wore the morning he left. She wondered very much at his sudden return, and thinking he had changed his mind, with outstretched arms and gladness in her heart, she rushed forth to embrace him, exclaiming, “Have you come back again, Tom?” when suddenly the figure vanished. Young Tynagh was amongst those who perished in the terrible disaster, and the sympathy of the district for miles around is extended to his widowed mother.

Augusta [GA] Chronicle 23 June 1912: p. 3

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  Mrs Daffodil fears that the American press was paltering with the truth in the headline, as they are wont to do. To be Relentlessly Informative, unless the “noise” his mother heard was a scream, the ghostly young man was what is known as a “crisis apparition,” rather than a Banshee, as Mrs Daffodil is informed by that para-knowledgeable person over at Haunted Ohio, who has written about the many portents of the Titanic disaster. Still, a poignant tale, to be sure. There is just one slight problem with it: there was no Tom Tynagh on the Titanic’s passenger list. However there was a Patrick Shaughnessy, age 24, from Tynagh, who sailed from Queenstown. Mrs Daffodil cannot explain the discrepancy, although there is always the possibility that the story was made up as a cautionary tale to young men to be kind to their mothers and not run off to America.

Mrs Daffodil has written previously of the ghost of Captain Smith of the Titanic, seen by a former shipmate, in a street in Baltimore.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.


2 thoughts on “A Titanic Banshee: 1912

  1. Sally Campbell

    Wonderful Titanica legend! I’ve been a fan of Titanic reporting since reading “A Night to Remember” in Jr. High School in the 1970s. And your post on Captain Smith’s cigars prompted me bookmark this website
    I do generally prefer the facts to the fiction however, and think it would make a great topic for a motion picture. “A Night to Remember” is a wonderful, moving, chilling motion picture, but a color version which included the post-1950’s findings would be a splendid and sad extravagance.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s