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Turnip Lanterns

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Long before carving pumpkins became a staple of Halloween there was a tradition of carving turnips to create lanterns on the 31st of October. These lanterns were left overnight on gateposts, doorways and in windows in many parts of Britain. Read More »

Twenty Years With The Good People

I had a gran'uncle, he was a shoemaker; he was only about 3 or 4 months married. I'm up to fourscore now. Well, God rest all their souls, for they are all gone, I hope to a better world! Read More »

Tylwyth Teg

Tylwyth Teg is a general name for the fairies in Wales, it means the 'fair folk'. Like the Bendith y Mamau the flattering name was thought to appease them. Read More »

Tylwyth Teg of Cwm Llan

In this valley below the south eastern side of Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon), it is said that the Tylwyth Teg (Fairy Folk) live. It is said that one day, a shepherd heard a wailing sound, and he moved a rock where the sound was coming from. When he did this he rescued a Tylwyth Teg who has trapped there. Later, he encountered two old men who thanked him, and gave him a staff. Read More »

Tylwyth Teg of Llyn Cwellyn

In 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' (1901) John Rhys mentioned a story concerning fairies that had been passed to him by two brothers who had in turn heard it from Mari Domos Siôn, who died around 1850. 'A shepherd had once lost his way in the mist on the mountain on the land of Caeau Gwynion, towards Cwellyn Lake, and got into a ring where the Tylwyth Teg* were dancing: it was only af Read More »

Ty-Mawr Ghost, Bryneglwys

In 'Welsh Folk-lore' (1887), Elias Owen recounts a conversation concerning a ghost he had with Mr. Read More »

Tyrone's Bed

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911) explains that 'On the north side of Marland, by the Roch, is a wooded clough known as Tyrone's Bed, a story invented by Roby and William Nuttall (d. 1840) gaining currency that the Earl of Tyrone, outlawed by Elizabeth, took refuge there.' Below is the story of Hugh O'Neill (Hugh The Great O'Neill) (Born c. Read More »

Uffington White Horse and Dragon Hill

Uffington White Horse

The White Horse of Uffington is one of the most impressive sites close to the ancient Ridgeway path, which traverses the steep chalk downs brooding over the Vale of the White Horse. Other sites include Dragon Hill, The Manger and Uffington Castle, which have been the subject of legend and folklore for over a thousand years. Read More »

Unbaptized Children

Stillborn babies and infants that had not been baptized could not always be buried on consecrated ground and a wealth of folklore developed around this delicate subject, some of it with a distinct North and South divide. Read More »

Undead Lover

Many years ago a Chinese nobleman was woken each night by the sound of someone walking by his house. One night, he peered out of the door and saw a beautiful and well dressed lady carrying a peony lantern. Read More »

Vampire Folklore

Dracula

Vampire folklore within the British Isles is surprisingly scarce, this is mainly due to the fact that the contemporary image of a vampire (a charismatic bloodsucker with a black cape, a mesmerising stare, and a penchant for nubile young women; plus an aversion to holy water, garlic and crosses.) is relatively recent, being the result of Hollywood portrayals of vampires, and the gothic Hammer House Read More »

Vegetable Lamb of Tartary

When I was told this story just outside Ordos City, the guides certainly didn't believe the tale. They seemed to take a kind of smug satisfaction that the western explorers who took this legend back to Europe came to such a ridiculous conclusion. I think it could possibly been a medieval Chinese/Mongol equivalent to the Scottish "Wild Haggis" story often told to mislead tourists! Read More »

Waddington Hall

Waddington Hall near Clitheroe is one of the locations that sheltered King Henry VI following his defeat at the Battle of Hexham in 1464 and it was shortly after leaving here that his was captured and taken to the Tower of London. The following story entitled ‘The Grey Man of the Wood or The Secret Mine’ appeared in John Roby’s ‘Traditions of Lancashire’ (1872) Read More »

Warton Crag

Warton Crag is a large limestone hill with a few pieces of interesting folklore as described in Lancashire Folk-lore by Harland and Wilkinson 1867: “On the lower declivity of Warton Crag, in the parish of Warton (which abuts on Morecambe Bay and the Westmorland border), commanding a beautiful and extended prospect of the bay, a seat called 'The Bride's Chair’ was resorted to on the day Read More »

Water Horse Of Ballure Glen

The following story of a Water Horse appeared in The Folk-lore Of The Isle Of Man by Arthur William Moore (1891). Read More »

Weeton Cairn Boggart

In the 1876 book entitled ‘History of the Fylde of Lancashire’ by John Porter, reference is made to an extensive barrow or cairn near Weeton Lane Heads which was accidentally opened. This burial chamber had the reputation of being haunted by a boggart or hairy ghost. Read More »

Werewolves of Loch Langavat

According to folklore, a family of werewolves used to live on an island on Loch Langavat. The story suggests that the now dead werewolves would return should their graves be found and disturbed.

WEREWOLVES, WITCHES & WANDERING SPIRITS : Traditional Belief & Folklore in Early Modern Europe

Wrewolves, Witches, Wandering Spirits

WEREWOLVES, WITCHES & WANDERING SPIRITS : Traditional Belief & Folklore in Early Modern Europe [Kathryn A Edwards (ed)] Bringing together scholars from Europe, America, and Australia, this volume explores the more fantastic elements of popular religious belief: ghosts, werewolves, spiritualism, animism, and of course, witchcraft. Read More »

Whalley Abbey

In 1296, Cistercian monks moved from Stanlow Abbey and founded Whalley Abbey, with the first stone being laid by Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, Baron of Pontefract, 10th Baron of Halton, Lord of Denbigh and 7th Lord of Bowland (Born 1251 – Died February 1311). Following the dissolution of the monasteries, Whalley Abbey was closed in 1537 and now stands in ruins. Read More »

When Witches Communed With Fairies

Magic Cirle

Our modern conventions tend to view the realms of fairies and witches separately. Witches have been viewed as evil, while fairies are seen as benevolent, cute, and kind. As scholars reevaluate witch trials and the confessions of those accused, we are coming to new conclusions on accused witches. Read More »

Whistling Dobhar-chú of Lough Glenade

Dobhar-chu

In Conbnaíl (Conwell) Cemetery, Drummans, there is a tombstone depicting a carved Dobhar-chú .The grave is that of Grace Connolly (Grainne Ni Conalai), who apparently was killed by a Dobhar-chú from Lough Glenade on 24th September 1722. Read More »

Whitby

Whitby is associated with a wealth of traditions and legends. The abbey, now a guant ruin, was built in 651AD and destroyed in a Danish raid in 870AD, it was reconstructed by the Benedictines in the 11th Century. At one time crowds used to gather at the West side of Whitby churchyard, where there was clear view of the North side of the abbey and the highest window. Read More »

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey 2

Whitby Abbey is one of the most atmospheric locations in England. The desolate ruins stand stark above steep cliffs overlooking the old whaling village of Whitby in North Yorkshire, a testament to the town's former religious significance. Read More »

Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?

Wych Elm

On 18th April 1943 four Stourbridge teenagers, Fred Payne, Tommy Willetts, Robert Hart and Bob Farmer discovered the remains of a woman inside a hollow Wych Elm (also known as Scots (Scotch) Elm or Ulmus glabra) in Hagley Wood. It has been suggested that ritualistic magic or even wartime espionage may have been behind this murder mystery that after sixty years is still a focus of interest. Read More »

Wild Edric's Wife

In ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland recounts the following tale told by the medieval writer Walter Map (Born 1140- Died c. 1208–1210). ‘Wild Edric*, of whose historic reality as one of the English rebels against William the Conqueror there is ample proof. Read More »



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