Editor’s Note: This comes from Kerrykeel, Co. Donegal (Ireland).
I personally believe that seals (cowans they are called in this area) are closely associated with belief in the banshee, at least in this area. They make a very weird wailing before and and during frostly spells. There used to be lots of them in Mulroy Bay but for some unknown reason there are now not nearly so many in the inlet. Some fifteen or sixteen years ago a Presbyterian clergyman from Belfast came to the area as a minister of Fanad Presbyterian church. A few nights after he and his wife had settled in I had occasion to call at the manse. On this particular night the cowans were roaring and, as the clergyman was out on duty at the time, I found his wife terrified. She asked me was that the banshee that was crying. I had some difficulty in reassuring her. Foxes, too, make an eerie noise when they are mating. It is a wailing noise very much like a human crying. I well remember one night more than ten years ago when I stood by the roadside for perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes studying a fox’s wailing. As I approached home a few minutes later I met a lady who was in her seventies and she was very frightened indeed. Althought I explained to her that it was merely a fox crying I still think she just did not believe me. (quoted in Lysaght 1998 85-86)