Folklore of the Welsh Lakes: The Legend of the Bride from the Red Lake

A Welsh legend from the Red Lake tells the story of a doomed marriage between a mortal farmer and a beautiful Otherworld maiden who emerged from the lake.

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Death Omens: How Well Do You Know Them?

We might all lay claim to some superstitions to guard against bad luck, but an ingrained belief in death omens is another matter.

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Japanese Folklore of the Ocean: The Ama Divers, Sea Demons, and Ise Jingu

Mie is home to the ama divers, an ancient tradition of women who breath-dive for abalone, and Ise Jingu, the most sacred Shinto shrine in the whole of Japan.

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Animal Folklore: A Mole in the Hand

Today, moles are usually unappreciated residents of our gardens and fields, but they are embedded in folklore and for centuries were used in remedies.

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Past Anxieties: Defining the Folk Horror Narrative

‘Have you ever heard the term ‘folk horror’ before?’ I asked a colleague of mine: a classics professor. ‘In particular, when describing drama?’

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Harbingers of Heaven: Chinese Dragons of Earth and Sea

Chinese dragons are believed to be symbols of good luck and wisdom, bearers of immense power, and controllers of the sea and the weather.

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Mermaid Folktales: A 19th Century History

During the nineteenth century, mermaids regularly appeared in art, literature, and music, as well as in the news, with reported public sightings recorded.

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Breton Folklore: Death, the Devil and Other Good Stories

Brittany has a strong storytelling tradition, and the wealth of varied Breton folklore surviving today reflects a society which highly values its past.

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Luke Stephenson & Helen Champion: The Clown Egg Register

For over 70 years, the oldest established clowning organization has been painting the faces of clowns on eggs. Each is a record of a clown's unique identity

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The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales

Like many people, I thought the Grimm brothers had lived long ago & travelled around Germany collecting stories from old women hunched over spinning wheels.

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The Pishtaco: Fat-stealing Ghoul of the Andes

This legendary fat-stealer stalks indigenous communities in the rural Andean highlands. In the Peruvian Andes, they say he wanders the roads at night.

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Bringing Venetian Folklore to the Big Screen: The Plague Doctor

Though we’ve not lost any of our academic appreciation for the hearthside story or campsite tall tale, it cannot be denied that we as a species have moved into the art of…

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Folk-Ore: The Magical Power of Blacksmiths and Their Enduring Stories

The folklore of iron and smithing has been common since prehistory, and one of the oldest folktales tells of a blacksmith forging a deal with the devil.

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Traditional Recipes: An Adventure in Ottoman Folklore, Aegean Bread and a Cursed Loaf

A crime writer encounters an ancient Ottoman curse – on his bread.

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Sheep Folklore: The Life and Lore of the Shepherd

Sheep have been integral to British life for thousands of years, and a long tradition of lore has developed around shepherds and their flocks.

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Angels and Devils: The Legend of the Holy Mountain

The Skirrid Fawr Hill near Abergavenny in Wales is no ordinary hill, but a place of myth, legend, strong religious connection, and black deeds.

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Animal Legends: The Wild Wolves of Ancient Rome

Wolves played a vital part in Roman myths. A defining symbol of ancient Rome is the image of the twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf.

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English Folktales: Fox Robin’s Ghost and the Buried Treasure

Fox Robin was a crotchety farmer from Westleigh in Greater Manchester, whose antics in life and death are told in many stories.

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Evil Twins and Doppelgangers: What Meaning Does the Double Have in Folklore?

Many cultures have beliefs around shadows, reflections, and paintings. Taking control of doppelgangers in these forms means taking control of the soul.

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More Than a Woof: The Rarity of Black Dogs That Talk

Reports of Black Dogs that speak are incredibly rare in modern times and, in fact, very unusual in older accounts. But they do exist.

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Drowned Towns and Sunken Cities: The Legend of Lake Bala, Wales

Lake Bala is also known as Llyn Tegid, and in Welsh folklore is known for its legend of having a sunken town beneath its surface.

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Want to Join the #FolkloreThursday Team?

Since #FolkloreThursday started back in June 2015, we have just grown and grown! We began with the idea that we’d love to create a wondrous folklore community, and we’ve done just that:…

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Hopeless Maine: A New Lovecraftian Graphic Novel Series

Willow Winsham talks to Tom and Nimue Brown, the creators of the Hopeless, Maine graphic novel series ...

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Folk Tales and Fairy Tales: Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

One of the things I wanted to do was to confront popular misconceptions about fairy tales, such as ‘fairy tales are all about princes rescuing princesses.’

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Children’s Teeth and the Mice That Take Them

When I was a child I knew that every time I lost a tooth, the tooth mouse (or tandemuis) would come and swap my baby teeth for cold hard cash.

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The Tooth Fairy: Buying Teeth Since 1900

Who is the Tooth Fairy, and where did she come from?

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The Meadow Dandelion, a Chippewa Folktale

Storyteller Amanda Edmiston retells a First Nations folktale, from the Chippewa people, that originally appeared in a book she recalls reading as a child.

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The Clarke Charm Collection: Of Witch Bottles, Witch Cakes and Hag Stones

Clarke’s charm collection reveals a range of uses, including cures for sore throats, the protection of seafarers from drowning, and good luck charms.

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Fighting Magic With Magic in Italy: The Good Walkers

The Benandanti were a surprising third party in the fight of good versus evil in Medieval Italy; one that not even the Holy Inquisition could make sense of.

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Gifted by Second Sight

Second Sight is a perplexing subject, both respected and feared in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. For some who possess it, it can seem like a curse.

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Five Reasons Fig Trees Are Folklore Royalty

No plants feature so often in folklore, in so many places, as fig trees. There’s a biological basis to many of these stories.

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The Cretan Labyrinth – Myth, History, and Archaeology

The labyrinth has a long history. Depictions in rock art may date back as far as 10,500-4800 BCE. But the most famous labyrinth is that of ancient Crete.

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The Seal Children: Sealskins and Soulskins. Or, When We Were Migrants

The first story that I found in this land where I live was The Seal Children, and as we walk the path to Maes Y Mynydd where the story is set, my…

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Spring-heeled Jack: The Terror of Victorian England

In 1838, the year Queen Victoria came to the throne, London was bedevilled by a clawed, fire-breathing, shape-shifting demon popularly known as Spring-heeled Jack. A rather haphazard creation of local gossip, newspaper…

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Ghosts and Apparitions in Punch Cartoons

From figures of power to figures of fun, ghosts and apparitions changed dramatically in Punch cartoons over the course of two centuries.

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Spring in Southeast Asia: Diasporic Chinese New Year Folklore

Here are a couple of folklore and stories associated with Chinese New Year. I have grown up with these stories as they are part of tradition and culture.

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13 Indispensable Online Folklore Books – for Free!

Exploring the vast realm of folklore has never been easier with the tools available in the digital world of libraries, museum collections and social media.

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Unravelling the Sexual Mystique of Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty has an allure that is undeniable. Her story has retained a place in our traditions. Time has reshaped her dilemma and salvation.

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A Thousand Years Before Tolkien: The Original Evil Magic Ring

An evil magic ring, associated with dwarf and dragon – what a great idea Tolkien had for his books! But he actually borrowed it from ancient Viking legends…

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From Thor to Twitter: Flyting and the Norse Tradition of Insulting Your Enemies

One of the main tactics the Norse gods employed in their struggles, aside from outright trickery and brute force, was trading verbal insults.

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