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Folktales


Loch Ness Water Horse

James Mackinlay in his Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs (1893) tells of another creature that was said to lurch in Loch Ness. 'A noted demon-steed once inhabited Loch Ness, and was a cause of terror to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Read More »

Lough Neagh

The freshwater Lough Neagh covers an area of 151 square miles and is Northern Ireland’s largest lake. There are a few legends associated with Lough Neagh and its formation. The following account entitled ‘This is the Death of Eochaidh son of Mairid’ is from the Book of the Dun Cow, Translated by Standish Hayes O'Grad (1892). Read More »

Lukki Minnie

The following account of the tale of Lukki Minnie appeared in Malachy Tallack's blog on the New Stateman website (30 April 2007). 'For centuries – perhaps even for millennia, no-one is entirely sure – Shetland has been home to a very special creature. Read More »

The Lyme Regis Black Dog

Black Dogs

This old story provides an explanation for the naming of the Black Dog Inn near Uplyme in Devon. The black dog seems to be a spirit guardian of treasure. Read More »

Mab's Cross

The remains of this 13th century (earliest known mention 1277) stone cross can be found on Standishgate and is thought to have been a medieval waymarker between Chorley and Wigan.  It was moved from its original position on the other side of the road in 1922 when the road was widened.  The cross’s name is derived from its legendary association with Lady Mabel Bradshaw.  T Read More »

Manawyddan The Son Of Llyr

WHEN the seven men of whom we spoke above had buried the head of Bendigeid Vran, in the White Mount an London, with its face towards France; Manawyddan gazed upon the town of London, and upon his companions, and heaved a great sigh; and much grief and heaviness came upon him. Read More »

Math The Son Of Mathonwy

The following is how the the tale of 'Math The Son Of Mathonwy' appeared in the 'The Mabinogion' by Lady Charlotte Guest, (1877). Read More »

Meg Shelton the Fylde Witch

Meg Shelton (Mag Shelton or Margery Hilton) the Fylde Witch (Fylde Hag) who died in 1705 is said to be buried beneath a large boulder in the grounds of St Anne's Church, Woodplumpton. She was buried in a vertical position, head first with the boulder placed on top to prevent her from digging herself out of the grave, which apparently she had done twice previously. Read More »

Midwife For A Nixie

A midwife in Westerhausen was sitting one evening at home when someone knocked on her window and shouted that she should come outside. She did so, and there stood a nix, who told her to follow him. They walked to the Beck [a deep pond near Westerhausen], and the nix took a rod and struck the water with it. The water separated, and with dry feet they walked to the bottom. Read More »

Molly Leigh

Molly Leigh

In St John’s graveyard, Burslem, can be found the last resting place of Molly Leigh, a local woman accused of being a witch but dying before she could be brought to trial. Her body is the only one positioned North to South, putting it at a right angle to every other grave in the cemetery. The story of Molly Leigh is a mixture of fact and folklore that has grown over the years. Read More »

Muchelney Abbey

The abbey is associated with a folk tale that has many variations around the country, most notably at Borley, on the site of an old monastery. Read More »

Mynydd y Fedw

In 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' (1901), John Rhys recounted the following folktale originally passed down Siân Dafydd of Helfa Fawr, and Mari Domos Siôn of Tyn Gadlas, Llanberis who would probably have been born around 1770. Read More »

Nansi Llwyd and the Dog of Darkness

The following folktale entitled ‘Nansi Llwyd and the Dog of Darkness’ appeared in ‘The Welsh Fairy Book’ (1908) by W. Jenkyn Thomas.  NANSI LLWYD was walking in the dusk of the evening towards Aberystruth, and she was in a very bad temper, for she was longing to get married, and according to all the omens she never would. Read More »

Oilliphéist

In ‘Irish Myths and Legends’ by Ronan Coghlan, we are told that Oilliphéist, is an Irish word meaning ‘dragon’ or ‘great worm’, and that ‘a creature of this sort, hearing that Saint Patrick was coming to drive out its kind, cuts its way through the land, thus forming the River Shannon.’ The Shannon is 224 miles long and the is Ireland's longe Read More »

Okiku’s Well

Himeji Castle

The haunting of Okiku’s Well at Himeji Castle is one of Japans most famous ghost stories and known as Nanshu Sara-Yashiki. However, over time the story has changed somewhat and even the location of the Well itself has been questioned. Read More »

Old Mother Nightshade of Gedney Dyke

Until the middle of the 20th century the villages of the Lincolnshire fens were isolated, insular places. Everyone tended to know everyone else and a stranger in town would be cause for much suspicion and gossip. It was during the early 18th century, that an old fenwoman who lived in the village of Gedney Dyke, became the subject of much gossip and rumour. Read More »

Origin of the Noble Name of Trolle

Benjamin Thorpe gives this folk tale in his 'Northern Mythology: Comprising the Principal Popular Traditions and Superstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands' (1851) 'On the wall of Voxtorp church in Småland there is a painting representing a knight named Herve Ulf, when one Christmas morning he received a drinking horn from a troll-wife with one hand, while with his Read More »

Peredur The Son Of Evrawc

Peredur The Son Of Evrawc is one the tales in the Mabinogion. This English translation by Lady Charlotte Guest was published in 1877. Read More »

The Phantom Of Croglin Grange

Croglin Vampire

The phantom of Croglin Grange is one of the best known vampire stories in Britain. It is as famous in the annals of vampire lore as Whitby and its Dracula associations. The actual story bears the marks of fiction and first appeared in a book called 'In My Solitary life' by Augustus Hare. What follows is an adapted and shortened version of his story. Read More »

Port Henderson Mermaid

There is a mermaid story associated with the small fishing village of Port Henderson which was recounted by John H Dixon in Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree (1886). According to Dixon ‘Roderick Mackenzie, the elderly and much respected boatbuilder at Port Henderson, when a young man, went one day to a rocky part of the shore there. Read More »

Pwyll, Lord of Dyfed

The story of Pwyll is found in the Mabinogion, a collection of old Welsh stories translated by Lady Charlotte Guest, and published in 1849. It describes how Pwyll the Lord of Dyfed meets the underworld king Arawn and how the two become close allies. Read More »

Radcliffe Tower

Radcliffe Tower

Radcliffe Tower is all that remains of a fifteenth century (1403) manor house and is a Grade I listed building. At twenty feet high, this ruined remnant of the manors demolition in the nineteenth century is linked to a tragic tale of a stepmother arranging the murder of her husband’s daughter and is reputed to be haunted by a phantom Black Dog. Read More »

Raven’s Castle

Raven’s Castle is a cluster of rocks on the moors about 6 miles north of Slaidburn and close to the Lancashire border with Yorkshire. John Roby in his ‘Traditions of Lancashire’ (1872) set the following folk tale amongst these rocks. Read More »

Redemption From Fairy Land

NEAR the town of Aberdeen, in Scotland, lived James Campbell, who had one daughter, named Mary, who, was married to John Nelson, a young man of that neighbourhood. Read More »

Rhyd-y-Cae Bridge, Pentrefoelas

There is a legend associated with Rhyd-y-Cae Bridge where a local man was enticed into a game of cards with Satan himself. The following account of the story appeared in Elias Owen's 'Welsh folk-lore' (1887). Read More »



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