For as long as I can remember, my mother always put salt in all of the doorways and window sills of our house. We used to think it’s silly of her, but back in her home country of Ireland, some superstitions were taken as gospel. The salt is what she used to keep out and ward off bad energy, and occasionally bad spirits, and even people by her account. Every night before bed, (after the Lord’s Prayer of course) she would sing us an Irish hymn, and then send us off to sleep with a quick kiss goodnight.
One evening, after our nightly ritual, mother close the door and we started falling asleep. I awoke later on to tapping sounds coming from our big bay window seat. I slowly opened my eyes, not too much, but just enough to see clearly. The moon was shining in through the window, and I could see my younger brother, fast asleep. I followed the tapping sound along the window and then I saw her. Or perhaps I should say it.
She, It or whatever it was, was staring at my brother with a hungry look in its eye. The tapping was from her fingernails. Ghastly long black talons, scraping the window as she pawed and licked the glass. I gasped in horror, and as if she could hear me, her head snapped towards me, beady eyes settling on my face. The smile that spread over that disgusting mouth haunts me still to this day. Rows of sharp, greenish teeth were glistening in the Moonlight.
I began to scream, and as I did, she flung the window open with such force it shattered. I thought for sure my brother and I were dead but before she could cross the threshold my mother burst into the room, having been awakened by the windows shattering. Her eyes fell on the windowsill, and locked with the creature’s. She began to pray shouting certain words in Gaelic, and the thing tried to rush her. And that moment, the Monster jump backwards in pain clutching her hand and writhing in agony. Big purple and yellow boils had begun sprouting from her hand, and then I realized what had happened. She had placed her hand inside the window on top of the windowsill covered salt, and everywhere the salt had touched had erupted in those boils.
We all could see the fear in her eyes as my mother step forward, her red hair blowing wildly in the breeze, and continued her prayers. The woman then let out a horrible screech, so loud I thought my head would split in two. Then at once she was gone in a flash of green light. My mother grabbed my brother and I, and ran to her room. We slept in there the rest of the night. My mother refused to speak of what happened, or who that woman might have been.
The closest guess I can make after years of research as I got older would be a Banshee; more common are these creatures and their stories in Ireland, but it seems to fit. As time passed in our house and we grew up our routine altered a bit but we always made sure to check our windows and doors every night, salt them and of course say the Lord’s prayer before bed. Now I am grown with two children of my own and a wife. They may think it odd, that I always have the same bedtime routine with them as my mother had with us. And every month, our local grocer has a bulk sale of salt. We’ve been his number one customers for 10 years running.