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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 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 »
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 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 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 »
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 »
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 [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 »
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
According to Folklore [A Quarterly Review Of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892), ‘Mr. Maude also tells me that a lane in Burgh is called White-foot Lane because a ghost with white feet walks up it’
A ghostly white hare is said to run from the direction of Talland to The Jolly Sailor Inn in Looe. Thought to be an ill omen if seen, the white hare is thought to be the ghost of a girl who committed suicide.
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 »
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 »
This particularly sinister folktale of the wild hunt is from Devon, and is based in the Dartmoor area, a place full of tales of the supernatural, especially the wild hunt.
One wild stormy night a farmer was returning home from Widecombe, somewhat worse the wear from the strong local beverages brewed on-site. Read More »
The Will o' the Wisp is the most common name given to the mysterious lights that were said to lead travellers from the well-trodden paths into treacherous marshes. The tradition exists with slight variation throughout Britain, the lights often bearing a regional name. Read More »
Willy Wilcock's Hole is a cave said to be haunted by a fisherman of the same name who was transported to the fairy kingdom. He is still searching his way home after all this time. On wild nights his cries can be heard mingling in the wind.
There are many stories attached to this ancient royal park woodland, which was once a royal hunting ground and before that virgin forest. The stories all seem to suggest that the Park is haunted by an ancient supernatural being who represents lordship over animals and the masculine side of nature. Read More »
Local folklore suggests that if you walk around the Iron Age hillfort seven times at midnight, the Devil will appear on a large black horse and grant one wish.
Only brave people should attempt this as the Devil will always try to trick people into losing their souls to him.
This strange and twisted woodland is thought to be one of the few remnants of ancient woodland dating from prehistoric times. The woodland broods with the feeling of enchantment and visiting the wood is like a walk in the otherworld. Read More »
The following is taken from an article by W Gregor in Folklore [A Quarterly Review Of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892). ‘In Roumania each spring is supposed to be presided over by a Spirit called Wodna zena or zona. When a Roumanian woman draws water she spills a few drops to do homage to this Spirit’.—The Land beyond the Forest, vol. ii, p. Read More »