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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Black Arts and Talismans: Huw Llwyd, the Real Welsh Wizard

Huw Llwyd, the Welsh wizard, has been immortalised in the folklore and fairy tales of Wales, his fantastic exploits told and re-told down the ages.

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Fairy Folklore: The Unchanging Appeal of Changelings

The notion of fairy changelings, whilst dating back centuries, in many ways feels like a modern concept. That a human might be stolen away by the little folk and replaced with a…

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Redwings and Bramblings: A Gap in the Lore of Our Winter Migrant Birds

Each autumn thousands of migrant redwings, fieldfares and bramblings visit the UK from their Scandinavian breeding grounds

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What is First-footing and Can It Improve Your Year?

First-footing as a New Year custom is most common in Scotland and the north of England, but it does have regional, and international, variations.

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Kissing under the Mistletoe? Not in Medieval Herefordshire

Mistletoe is the stuff of folklore. It is found in Norse, Greek and Roman mythology, a plant of power and magic.

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Merry Christmas & Seasons Greetings from #FolkloreThursday!

What a year it’s been! The end of 2016 is nigh, and it’s hard to believe all of the amazing things that have happened over the last twelve months. To name but…

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Folklore of Food: Traditional Christmas Food

Food and feasting is at the centre of our Christmas celebrations, and folklore and customs play an important part in what we eat.

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Christmas Superstitions: A Festive Survival Guide

Many will declare Christmas to be nothing but “a way for card companies to make money, harrumph!” Whilst Christmas has been heavily commercialised, in recent years especially, the traditions of this time…

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Íslensku Jólasveinarnir: the Yule Lads of Iceland

On the evening of 11th December, Icelandic children place shoes on the sills of their windows, before they go to bed.

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Open the Door and Let Us In: Mummers at Midwinter

The appearance of a Turkish knight, Beelzebub, and a horse’s skull mark out a centuries old winter tradition in rural communities across Britain.

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Midwinter Celebrations: Yule, Saturnalia, and Christmas Folklore

Christmas traditions have evolved through the centuries, many of them have ancient origins linked to the midwinter festivals of Yule and Saturnalia

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Krampus: The Christmas Devil of Alpine Folklore?

Beware! Lock up your children, clutch your mince pies, and huddle in against the snow. Haven’t you heard? Krampus is coming to town …

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A Witchy Interview with #FolkloreThursday’s Willow Winsham

@DeeDeeChainey interviews @WillowWinsham about her book, Accused: British Witches Throughout History

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Old Tails in New Bottles: Folklore’s Influence on Pulp Fiction Werewolves

Werewolves are considered to be a traditional monster in the twenty-first-century popular culture.

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