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IRISH FOLKLORE COMMISSION 1935-1970 : History, Ideology, Methodology [Micheal Briody] Between 1935 and 1970 the Irish Folklore Commission (Coimisiún Béaloideasa Éireann), under-funded and at great personal cost to its staff, assembled one of the world's largest folklore collections. Read More »
Isabel (Isobel) Gowdie was a young housewife from Auldearn in Nairnshire who is remembered not just for being tried as a witch, but for her detailed confession. Her trial was in 1662 and what makes her confession so interesting, apart from the detail, is that is that it was supposedly taken without the use of torture. Read More »
According to Peter Costello in The Magic Zoo, there were several sightings of a mermaid around the Isle of Man during 1961. One of the witnesses was said to be the Lady Mayor of Peel. In August 1961 the Manx Tourist Board apparently offered a prize to whoever could capture the mermaid alive.
In July 1833 a team of six fishermen entangled a mermaid in their fishing lines off the Isle of Yell. Read More »
"In the year 1249 Reginald began to reign on the 6th May, and on the 30th May of the same month was slain by the Knight Ivar and his accomplices."--Chronicon Manniæ. There was a young and gallant knight, named Ivar, who was enamoured of a very beautiful maiden, named Matilda. He loved her ardently, and she reciprocated his affection. Read More »
This folktale was kindly brought to our attention by Alma Oakley of Weston in Hertfordshire.
Weston churchyard is reputed to be the final resting place of the Weston Giant: Jack o' Legs. Two stones mark his grave. One is positioned at his head and another at his feet, a distance of eight feet apart. Read More »
The following story from' Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry' by William Butler Yeats (1888) takes place in Fannet, which is now known as Fanad, a peninsular by Lough Swilly. Although the tale includes a trip across the length of Ireland, according to the story the hero states he is nearly home when approaching Tamney, so I have used this village for my map reference below. Read More »
Over the last 250 years there have been several sightings of a creature that has become known as the Jersey Devil (or Leeds Devil). Described as being bipedal with hooves and wings, the Jersey Devil would apparently dry up the milk within cows by breathing upon them. Read More »
The following article by Megan Baird entitled 'In 1854, vampire panic struck Connecticut town' was published in the Register Citizen on 2 November 2008.
GRISWOLD, Conn. (AP) — In May of 1854, the Ray family of Jewett City was frantic. Read More »
Wirt Sykes in his British Goblins (1881) gives the following account of a devil summoning ceremony performed by a schoolmaster and renowned conjurer named John Jenkin in Pembrokeshire. Read More »
According to Mr. J. Calder Ross in 'Scottish Notes and Queries' (1893) "John MacInnes found the labour of his farm sadly burdensome. In the midst of his sighing an unknown being appeared to him and promised a horse to him under certain conditions. These conditions John undertook to fulfil. Read More »
Here's an interesting piece of Cambridgeshire folklore I found in a book called "Folktales of the Fen Country". Joseph Hempsall was a true born "Fen Slodger". He lived in a small cottage on the Soham side of Wicken Fen during the late 17th century. Every evening Hempsall would cross the fen, known locally as "Big Bog" to drink with his friends at tavern in Wicken. Read More »
The Kelpie is the supernatural shape-shifting water horse that haunts the rivers and streams of Scotland. It is probably one of the best known of Scottish water spirits and is often mistakenly thought to haunt lochs, which are the reserve of the Each Uisge. Read More »
The inhabitants of Strood in Kent were once nicknamed Kentish Longtails. Though this could relate to the belief in medieval mainland Europe that the English had tails, there is a folk tale relating a curse placed on the people of Strood by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Read More »
The Grade II listed Kersal Cell which dates from 1563 is the second oldest building in Salford and was the home of the English poet John Byrom (also known as John Byrom of Kersal and John Byrom of Manchester) (Born 29 February 1692 – Died 26 September 1763). Read More »
The following is the tale of Kilhwch and Olwen or the Twrch Trwyth as told by Lady Charlotte Guest in her 1877 translation of The Mabinogion. Read More »
Kinder Downfall is the highest waterfall in the county, formed where the river Kinder meets the edge of the moorland plateaux. Far below the downfall, the dark waters of Mermaids Pool are reputedly haunted by a water spirit who manifests on the Eve of Easter, perhaps relating to a time of ancient worship in the area. Read More »
In this tale Herla was the King of the Britons in ancient times. The tale seems to date from the medieval period but may have had earlier origins.
One afternoon after a hard days riding, Herla, the wise King of the Britons took leave from his men, and rested for a while among the ancients trees, part of the great forest that had stood in his kingdom for millennia. Read More »
In many old established mining areas throughout the world, there was a
long tradition of mine spirits, in Cornwall these were known as the
Knockers. They frequented the tin mines that formed much of local
economy in 18th and 19th century Cornwall. Knockers was not the only
name given to mine spirits others being Knackers, Buccas, and Spriggans Read More »
Whilst in Thailand I watched a film called "Demonic Beauty". It was an interesting film so I decided to research the legend behind it, which relates to a traditional Thai ghost story. It concerns a spirit known as "Krasue" in Thailand, "Ap" or "Ahp" in Cambodia and Penanggalan in Malaysia. Read More »
Stories of La Llorona, the weeping woman are told all over the Hispanic world, with versions coming from Venezuela to Spain and from California to Puerto Rico, but the legend is perhaps most associated with Mexico. The tales differ slightly from place to place but the basic elements are always the same. Read More »
Beginning in the 1930s, many doctors at Mexico City's Hospital Juarez began reporting a mysterious improvement in the condition of some of their patients. When asked about these miraculous recoveries the patients all claimed to have been visited in the night by a nurse in an immaculately ironed but quite old fashioned uniform. Read More »
Llyn Tegid is Wales’s largest lake being nearly four miles long. It lies in a rift valley running north east to south west, extending down to the sea at Tywyn. The lake is 529 feet above sea level, has a maximum depth of 136 feet and covers an area of 1084 acres. Read More »
Around the time of the crusades (in some accounts) in the area around the river Wear, there is a tale told about a fearsome dragon, which terrorised the area and was dispatched with cunning by a brave warrior. Read More »