Category: Legends

Welsh Lake Legends and Folklore: Llyn Barfog, the Female Dwellers of Annwn and King Arthur and the Afanc

In Wales, legends and folklore of King Arthur and the Otherworld are never far away, and lakes are often the settings for such stories.

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Animal Folklore: Chasing Hares Through Stories, Myth, and Legend

Hares are widespread geographically, so hare stories are widespread culturally. But hares take on a surprising variety of roles in folklore, myth & legend.

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A Welsh Legend: The Men in the Cave by Horatio Clare

In this short story, Horatio Clare presents a retelling of the sleeping hero tale of Arthurian legend through the eyes of Gaheris, King Arthur's nephew.

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Welsh Lake Legends and Folklore: Llyn Cwm Llwch and the Door of the Tylwyth Teg

Welsh lake legends from the Brecon Beacons: A strange and dangerous old woman, an invisible island and an otherworldly guardian.

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Ferrous Friend or Foe? How Iron Became the Enemy of Fairy Folk

Iron bands around coffin of a witch were believed to prevent them from escaping their tombs. Yet iron has also been the saviour of many church bell ringers.

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Fairy Folklore: Come Away, O Human Child

To be led astray, Peter Pan style, by a fairy – ‘pixie led’ – is an old fear from isolated communities where weather and terrain seemed to judge and punish.

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Protection and Punishment: Beliefs About Angels in Tudor and Stuart England

In Tudor and Stuart England, angels were believed to deliver messages, protect the godly, carry souls to heaven, punish sinners, and carry out God’s will.

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The Medieval Robin Hood: Folk Carnivals and Ballads

Robin Hood is known by everyone as the English outlaw hero, dashing through the greenwood with his band of merry men to rob from the rich and give to the poor, before…

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Ezekial Bone: Harnessing the Spirit of Robin Hood

The world needs heroes. Ezekial Bone explains why the time has come to put Robin Hood on the pedestal he deserves.

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Who Was the Real Robin Hood? A New Theory from Michael Reuel

Michael Reuel talks about his theory that historical roots for the character of Robin Hood may be seen in medieval folklore ballads.

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Japanese Legends: The Three Most Evil Yokai of Japan

Japan has a love of official top three lists. You may have heard of the Three Views of Japan (Matsushima, Amanohashidate, and Itsukushima), the Three Great Gardens of Japan (Kenroku-en, Koraku-en, and…

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Welsh Lake Legends and Folklore: The Drowned Town of Kenfig

Many Welsh lakes have legends and myths connected to them, and Kenfig Pool is no exception having associations with a legendary drowned town under the lake.

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Zombies: Through Folklore, Film and Fiction

When one hears the word “zombie” various images come to mind: usually that of flesh-eating, brain-devouring monsters; that is just our modern perception.

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Here Be Pirates: The Tales of Edward Teach, Anne Bonney and Mary Read

Avast ye scurvy landlubber, listen up and hear me well, for I have got a tale or two of derring-do to tell ye all!

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Tinker Bell’s Lover: The Hidden Desires of Celtic Fairies

“The ocean is not so strong as the waves of thy longing,” the fairy whispered to the man she desired as a human lover. Was she casting a spell on him?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Bunyip: Australia’s Mysterious Man-eating Swamp Beast

Folklore is filled with tales of man-eating beasties and Australia is no exception, home to the dreaded Bunyip.

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Tales from the Medieval Crypt: Walking Corpses, Devils and Haunted Shoemakers in Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium

De Nugis Curialium is a strange book in which history, religious debate and court satire are interwoven with a tangle of mythology, folklore and eerie supernatural tales.

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Five Legendary Islands from Folklore

Hy-Brasil, Buyan, Saint Brendan’s Isle, the Island of Antillia, and the Isle of Avalon are five fabled islands that were once believed to have existed by many people through the ages.

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Following Kelpies’ Hoofprints Around Scotland

Kelpies are water-horses, who can shape-shift from underwater monsters to beautiful horses or humans on land

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Poltergeist, Witchcraft or Hoax: The Witch of Scrapfaggot Green

In the Essex village of Great Leighs, a witch named Anne Hughes was burned at the stake for the crime of bewitching her husband to death.

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King Herla and the Wild Hunt in Twelfth-Century England and Wales

The ghostly “Wild Hunt” rampaged across European folklore as a company of supernatural huntsmen that often counted fairies and the dead among their number.

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Death Takes Wing: Birds and the Folklore of Death

One could write an encyclopaedia on the appearances of birds in folklore and their association with death and mortality, travelling from Japan to Scandinavia, France and beyond.

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Italian Folklore: The Devil’s Column, at the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

The Devil’s Column (Colonna del Diavolo), in Milan is the focus of one of Milan’s oldest and most beloved legends ...

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The Dragons of Helston Museum

Through the museum and quite by accident Helston Museum has several dragons you will see as you walk through its galleries.

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The Dargle Lovers: An Interview with Storyteller Brendan Nolan

  Today Dee Dee Chainey interviews Brendan Nolan, a storyteller and writer from Dublin, Ireland. His many books cover both fact and fiction, and he regularly shares his stories through workshops, public tellings…

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Merlin the Wizard, Sexual Harasser

Sexual harassment in Arthurian Legend? Surely not!

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