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Folktales


The Mumby Boggart And The Crafty Farmer

A farmer bought a new field, which was inhabited by a squat, hairy boggart, a kind of troll. The boggart refused to allow the farmer to plant anything in the field, claiming it was his and the farmer had no right to it. The farmer, in turn, pointed out that he'd paid good money for the land and by right he ought to be able to use it. Read More »

The Old Man And The Fairies

The following story appeared in P. H. Emerson's 'Welsh Fairy-Tales and Other Stories' (1894).  Many years ago the Welsh mountains were full of fairies. People used to go by moonlight to see them dancing, for they knew where they would dance by seeing green rings in the grass. Read More »

The Parish of St Andrew, Leyland

The Parish of St Andrew in Leyland dates from 1220, though it is thought a church has been on this site since the 12th Century. The church has had several alterations over the centuries, but what I want to concentrate on is the initial construction of the first church and the siting legends associated with it. Read More »

The Poor Man Of Peatlaw

THE following is an account of a fairy frolic said to have happened late in the last century:--The victim of elfin sport was a poor man, who, being employed in pulling heather upon Peatlaw, a hill in Selkirkshire, had tired of his labour, and laid him down to sleep upon a fairy ring. Read More »

The Recovered Bride

The following tale taken from 'Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celt's, by Patrick Kennedy (1866). It also appears in 'Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore & Celebration' by Raven Grimassi (2001). Read More »

The Sands of Cocker

The following story entitled ‘The Sands of Cocker’ was published in ‘Goblin Tales of Lancashire’ by James Bowker (1878). Read More »

The Servant Girl And The Elves

Once upon a time there was a poor servant girl who was diligent and neat. Every day she swept out the house and shook the sweepings onto a large pile outside the door. One morning just as she was beginning her work she found a letter on the pile of sweepings. She could not read, so she stood her broom in the corner and took the letter to her employers. Read More »

The Shepherd of Myddvai

LynnY Fan Fach

This tale tells how a young shepherd won and lost a fairy bride from Lynn y Fan Fach (Van Vach), the fairy lake at the foot of Bannau Sir Gaer in the Brecon Beacons. This version was collected and told by Joseph Jacobs and appeared in his book Celtic Fairy Tales published in 1892 (David Nutt). Read More »

The Siege of Lathom

Siege of Lathom

Nothing now remains of the original Lathom House, the last Royalist stronghold in Lancashire, which was besieged by Parliamentarian forces for three months in 1644. Read More »

The Smuggler's Leap

"Near this hamlet (Acol) is a long-disused chalk pit...known by the name of 'The Smuggler's Leap.' The tradition of the parish runs that a riding officer from Sandwich, called Anthony Gill, lost his life here...while in pursuit of a smuggler. A fog coming on, both parties went over the precipice...The spot has, of course, been haunted ever since". [Lewis's History of Thanet, by the Rev. Read More »

The Stone Cross Of Ballafletcher

In a wild and barren field near Ballafletcher there was formerly a large Stone Cross, but in the many changes and revolutions which have happened in this Island has been broken down, and part of it lost; but there still remains the cross part. Read More »

The Submerged Island

There was supposed to be a submerged island near Port Soderick which appeared every seven years. Train relates the story of one of these appearances as follows:--Many a time and oft had Nora Cain heard her old grandsire relate the tradition of the enchanted island at Port Soderick, while sitting spinning by the turf fire on a winter's evening. Read More »

The Tale of Nant Gwrtheyrn

When Thomas Pennant was touring Wales, he noted that the three farms on the Nant were Tŷ Hen, Tŷ Canol and Tŷ Ychaf respectively. Read More »

The Treasure of Craig-y-Ddinas

The Rock of the Fortress, was a hillfort during the Iron Age period, it is supposed to have been one of the last place the fairies lived in Britain. The following legend conforms to a folklore motif found throughout the country, namely that of sleeping warriors under hollow hills. Read More »

The Treasure of Largo Law

The area around Largo Law is associated with many legends. The actual hill of Largo Law is volcanic in origin, and was said to have been created when the Devil dropped a huge boulder. Part of the outcrop on the top of Largo Law is known as the Devil's chair, and has seven steps leading up to it. Read More »

The Trolls Celebrate Christmas

Of the manner in which the trolls celebrate Christmas Eve there are traditions throughout the whole North. At that time it is not advisable for Christian men to be out. On the heaths witches and little trolls ride, one on a wolf, another on a broom or a shovel, to their assemblies, where they dance under their stones. Read More »

The Two Young Ploughmen

"You have been often at the Gatehouse," said Johnny Nicholson; "well, you'll mind a flat piece of land near Enrick farm; well, that was once a large loch; a long way down from there is still the ruin of a mill, which at that time was fed from this loch. Read More »

The Unbidden Guest

The following folktale entitled 'The Unbidden Guest' was published in 'Goblin Tales of Lancashire' by James Bowker (1878). 'On a little lane leading from the town of Clitheroe there once lived a noted 'cunning man,' to whom all sorts of applications were made, not only by the residents, but also by people from distant places, for the fame of the wizard had spread over the whole country side. Read More »

The Water Horse Bridle of Nether Lochaber

In Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs (1893), James Mackinlay quotes an anecdote by Rev Dr Stewart, 'A drover, whose home was in Nether Lochaber, was returning from a market at Pitlochry by way of the Moor of Rannoch. Night came on; but, as the moon was bright, he continued his journey without difficulty. On reaching Lochanna Cuile, he sat down to refresh himself with bread, cheese, and milk. Read More »

The Witch Of Laggan

A hero celebrated for his hatred of witchcraft, was warming himself in his hunting hut, in the forest of Gaick, in Badenoch. His faithful hounds, fatigued with the morning chase, lay stretched on the turf by his side,--his gun, that would not miss, reclined in the neuk of the bothy,--the skian dhu of the sharp edge hung by his side, and these alone constituted his company. Read More »

The Witches Of Delnabo

IN the time of my grandmother, the farm of Delnabo was proportionally divided between three tenants. Read More »

The Woman Among The Elves

Not long ago there lived in Frankenberg a midwife who could tell many amazing things about the elves, for once she had spent an entire eight days among them observing their deeds and ways. Read More »

The Øyestad (Öiestad) Horn

The following tale from Norway was published in Benjamin Thorpe's 'Northern Mythology: Comprising the Principal Popular Traditions and Superstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands' (1851) 'Near the river Nid in Nedenæs there is a mansion called Neersteen, in which there once dwelt a man named Siur, who was both powerful and rich; for besides Neersteen he owned six oth Read More »

Thom And Willie

THOM and Willie, two young fisher-mates of Lunna, in Shetland, were rivals for the hand of the fair Osla, daughter of Jarm. Now it so happened that, one October afternoon, they took their hand-lines and went out fishing together in their boat. Read More »

Thomas the Rhymer

Thomas the Rhymer, was a famous Scottish prophet who is also known as Thomas of Ercildoune, Lord Learmont and True Thomas. There can be no doubt that he was actually a real person living in the thirteenth century, as documents exist signed by him as Thomas Rymour de Ercieldoune. Read More »



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