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In The Science of Fairy Tales (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following account of a Swabian* story where a human midwife is called to aid an Earthman’s wife (a name given to this type of fairy) give birth. Read More »
The following New Year traditions from East Yorkshire were published in 'County Folk-Lore Volume VI - Examples of Printed Folk-Lore Concerning The East Riding of Yorkshire (1911)’ which was edited by Eliza Glutch.
All peacock feathers must be thrown out before New Year's Day, or else you will have ill luck.
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The remains of this once grand house has a reputation of being haunted and associated with a vampire legend. The property is private and you cannot gain access but the story of Eastbury House and its past owners is certainly interesting. Read More »
This is one of the most southerly broch survivals, which are more typically associated with Northern Scotland. Broch’s were multi floored defensive structures with room for cattle in the lower enclosure and accommodation on the upper floors accessed by passageways in the thick walls. Read More »
A poor Nahuatl Indian boy was born in the countryside near the city of San Luis Potosi in Guanjuato state sometime around the year 1790. The unfortunate child was born with hideous deformities which gave him a peculiar walk and ensured he was picked on by others in the community. Read More »
In Danish folk belief every Elder Tree is inhabited and protected by a female spirit known as the Hyldemoer, and is revered as a sacred tree. This tradition may have some parallels in Britain, as I heard a similar folk belief when I was growing up in England. I was told that the tree was guarded by a female spirit and it was unlucky to bring the wood into the house. Read More »
Known as one of the wonders of the Peak, Eldon Hole was once thought to be a bottomless refuge for the Devil. Folklore suggests that a man called Charles Cotton was lowered down the hole in the past on a rope a mile long and still didn't reach the bottom.
Another man was lowered down and found to be unconscious when he was raised, he died soon afterwards. Read More »
This story was first collected by the medieval chronicler Geraldus Cambrensis, and tells of how a young boy lived for a time in the fairy kingdon, until the day he tried to steal one of their belongings. This version is from Joseph Jacob's More Celtic Fairy Tales, 1892. Read More »
A Welsh spirit similar to the English Will o' the Wisp, it appears as a light and misleads travellers from their path.
Along with black dogs, tales of fairy lights are common throughout Britain, with a different name given to a similar phenomena. In general they are seen as malevolent, guiding lone travellers into treacherous bogs. Read More »
According to 'British Goblins' (1881) by Wirt Sykes; 'The Ellyllon are the pigmy elves who haunt the groves and valleys, and correspond pretty closely with the English elves. Read More »
Corrie Water is a stream running seven miles from Eskdalemuir to the Water of Milk near Lockerbie. The stream runs through Corrie, an ancient parish annexed to Hutton in 1609. It is here, according to a story by George Douglas in his Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales (1901) that fairies lived. Read More »
Elva Hill is known as a fairy hill and the name may be derived from an old Viking name meaning place of the elves. A stone circle on its slope suggests ancient ritual use of the area, only 15 stones of the original 30 remain. The circle is on private land belonging to Elva Farm, but there is a nearby footpath. The site is thought to date from Neolithic times. Read More »
Elvet Bridge is a Grade I listed mediaeval bridge acrossing the River Wear in Durham. In ‘Notes on the Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders’, William Henderson (1879) refers to a piece of folklore associated with the bridge. ‘It was on one of the unlucky days (between St. Read More »
Abbey Lubbers - Abbey lubbers were spirits who haunted the abbeys of 15th century England. They were said to be the cause of drunkenness and debauchery amongst monks. They especially haunted the abbey wine cellars.
The Apple Tree Man -The spirit of the oldest tree in Somerset orchards, he was responsible for the orchards fertility. Read More »
The Eo Rossa or Eó Ruis (Yew of Ross) was one of the five sacred trees of Ireland (the Bile* Trees or the Bileda) and said to grow by the River Barrow at Leighlinbridge. It grew from three natured berries from a branch born by the Irish God, Trefuilngid Tre-ochair (Triple Bearer of the Triple Key, Master of All Wisdom and consort of Macha, the triple goddess). Read More »
Now in ruins, the Grade II listed, Tudor style Extwistle Hall was built by the Parker family in the 16th century. Once land owned by Kirkstall Abbey, Exwistle passed to William Ramsden following the Dissolution of the Monasteries and then to Robert Parker. The Hall remained their seat until the tragic event of 1718. Read More »
On 14th July 1990, eighty-eight bird watchers got off a ferry organised by the Orkney Heritage Society and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds at the uninhabited Eynhallow Island. Only eighty-six returned for the journey back, which sparked a huge search and rescue operation involving the police and coastguard. Read More »
The following story concerning Ezekiel Grosse was published in Robert Hunt’s 1864 ‘Popular Romances of the West of England’ and again in ‘English Fairy and Other Folk Tales’ by Edwin Sidney Hartland . Read More »
The Fachan (Fechan or Fachin or Peg Leg Jack) is a found in Scots-Irish Folklore. A Fachan's appearance is so terrible it was known to cause heart attacks. It has one eye, one leg, one withered arm coming out of it's chest and a mane of black feathers. Read More »
Children were often warned in the past about the dangers of fairies and John Rhys in his 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' (1901) vouched for an account from a lady who grew up in Cwm Brwynog thirty to forty years earlier. Read More »
In November 2005 a housing developer was prevented from moving a rock as the local population of St Fillans claimed it would kill the fairies living under it. The following article entitled ' Fairies stop developers’ bulldozers in their tracks' was published in The Times on 21 November 2005. Read More »
In the village of Borgue there lived a young boy who the locals suspected had a relationship with the faeries. Read More »
The story of the Fairy boy of Leith is relatively unknown today, and doesn't appear to have been recently recounted since its last appearance in the 1970s Reader's Digest compendium, Folklore, Myths a Read More »
In ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland mentions the following story from Beddgelert where a stolen fairy lady ‘would only consent to be the servant of her ravisher if he could find out her name. Read More »
According to John Rhys in his 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx'  'The following is a later tale, which Mr. Thomas Davies heard from his mother, who died in 1832:--'When she was a girl, living at Yr Hafod, Llanberis, there was a girl of her age being brought up at Cwmglas in the same parish. Read More »