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A Banshee is a natural hunter and will attack anything. It has been known to single out its prey before making a killing blow.

The Journal[src]

The Banshee is one of twenty types of ghosts in Phasmophobia. Banshees are unique for targeting only one player at a time.

Behaviour

If a Banshee hunts with its target inside the building, the Banshee will mostly follow standard hunt rules, but it will ignore all players other than its target, unlike other ghosts which can switch targets freely during and between hunts. It will not attempt to chase other players and will not kill them, even if they come into contact with the non-target players. The Banshee will still react to Smudge Sticks lit by other players, but this will not allow for completion of the "Repel a ghost while it is chasing someone" optional objective, unless the Banshee is also chasing the target.

If a Banshee begins a hunt while its target is outside the building, the Banshee will act according to standard hunt rules with respect to all players, and will kill any player it catches. It has also been reported that the Banshee will switch to another target for that hunt. It is unknown if this is a bug.[note 1]

The Banshee selects a new target when their previous one dies or leaves the game, choosing the first non-dead player in the list.[verify]

A Banshee has an ability that allows it to start a hunt regardless of average sanity. When used, the Banshee will walk to a random location within the investigation area. It will then wait for 20 seconds, and if it has line-of-sight with its target within this time, it will start a hunt, else it will return to its Ghost Room. As such, a Banshee may wander far from its ghost room when attempting to hunt its target. Banshees will initiate hunts like most other ghosts if the average sanity is less than 50%, but can also use its ability under this condition.

Although the Banshee's ability theoretically allows it to hunt at any time, in practice, the successful use of this ability is very rare. Additionally, this ability is currently bugged and the hunt will usually abruptly stop before the Banshee can begin to chase its target.[note 1]

A crucifix has an effective range of 5 meters instead of 3 meters against a Banshee; a hunt will fail to start if the Banshee is within this radius and the crucifix has not been completely used up. The crucifix has no other special effect on the Banshee, and will not be effective against it in an ongoing hunt.

Evidence

Journal quote

Strength: A Banshee will only target one person at a time.

Weakness: Banshees fear the Crucifix and will be less aggressive near one.

Strategies

An early hunt is a good indicator of a Banshee, but only when the average sanity is more than 80%. At various sanity levels between 50% to 80%, Yokai, Demons, Raiju, Mares and Onryo are more likely culprits.

Banshees may particularly difficult to escape for the target if it successfully uses its ability. However, the rest of the team is safe during Banshee hunts. A possible strategy is to have the target remain inside to keep the Banshee 'busy' while the other players fulfill tasks, or have them wait outside, forcing the Banshee to operate as normal.

If you're confident the ghost is a Banshee and know who the chosen target is, have the target remain outside until average sanity is below 50%. This will negate the Banshee's early hunting ability. The opposite strategy becomes effective when sanity drops below 50%. As long as the target player is inside — preferably well-hidden — all other players are safe. Keep in mind, however, that even if one is not the target, constantly being near and looking at the ghost will still drain sanity, leading to more frequent hunts.

Given that the Banshee will ignore players other than its target during hunts, this allows for other players to wander about during a hunt with impunity, allowing for photos to be taken of the Banshee easily, or for other tasks to be performed, such as completing Smudge Sticks-related objectives.

It is wise to bring in crucifixes once the Ghost Room has been found. Early uses may indicate a Banshee, particularly with the increased radius.

It is more difficult to determine if the ghost is a Banshee via its abilities if one is playing solo, as its ability is only distinguishable in group encounters.

Trivia

  • The Banshee is a female spirit in Irish folklore who heralds the death of a family member, usually by wailing or shrieking. A Banshee translates to "woman of the fairy mound" or "fairy woman" in its roots from Ireland. In Phasmophobia, Banshees can be either female or male, as they pull from the same name pool when a mission starts.
  • Prior to 0.3.0, the evidence was EMF Level 5, Fingerprints, and Freezing Temperatures. That combination of evidence now indicates a Jinn.

History

Early Access Alpha
March 7, 2020 Footsteps of the Banshee can now be heard by all players instead of just its target.
March 13, 2020 Banshees now require Fingerprints as evidence instead of Bug.
March 25, 2020 Removed some sounds that could only be heard by the Banshee's target.
July 3, 2020 Banshees now cannot hunt within 5 meters of a Crucifix.
July 15, 2020 Removed the chance of the Banshee's ability not working on players with high sanity.
August 26, 2020 Banshees will no longer hunt if their target is outside the building.
August 26, 2020
(Part 2)
Banshees are now affected by the Crucifix in a 6 meter range.
September 25, 2020 Banshees will now hunt like most other ghosts if its target is outside.
September 29, 2020 The Crucifix range for a Banshee has been reverted to 5 meters.
Early Access (Steam)
0.3.0 The evidence for a Banshee has been changed to Fingerprints, Ghost Orb, and D.O.T.S. Projector.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 As of 0.4.1.2
Ghosts
BansheeDemonGoryoHantuJinnMareMylingObakeOniOnryoPhantomPoltergeistRaijuRevenantShadeSpiritThe TwinsWraithYokaiYurei
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