"Banshee Scream" by Gin Gannon

1. Traditionally, banshees—unlike the protagonist of “Banshee Scream”—are powerless female creatures, unable to do more than weep and wail. Can you think of other passive females in mythology and folklore? Suppose you re-imagined one of them as taking back her power while retaining elements of her traditional character? Which one would you choose? How would you empower her?

2. The banshee in this story is only called out when a killer is likely to evade justice. Do you believe this killer would have gone free if not for the banshee’s intervention? How often do you think doctors get away with murder? Do you think any group is unfairly protected from accountability toward the law? If so, what groups or categories of people?

3. The killer in “Banshee Scream” is in a special position of power in relation to the victim. To what extent do you think women face a greater disparity in power than men in doctor-patient relationships? In what other power-based situations do you think women may be mistreated more often than men or suffer more significant consequences?

4. The banshee isn't allowed to carry out the punishment until the killer confesses. Why do you think that rule exists? How does it serve the killer to admit his guilt out loud? Why or how is it important to the banshee to hear that admission on behalf of his victim?

5. Women are often labeled "crazy," as the banshee is by the killer, when they say or do things that men don't like. Has that ever happened to you or anyone you know?