Category: Regional Folklore

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Il Gatto Mammone: The Italian Legend of the Cat King (Or Cat Demon?)

The Gatto Mammone is an influent folktale that very few people remember.

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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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Slavic Mythology of Zmaj and Vila: Dragons, Nymphs and Legendary Monsters

Serbian storytelling tradition is among the oldest and richest in Europe.

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Welsh Folklore: Significance of the Maentwrog Standing Stone

The tales surrounding this, rather unassuming, standing-stone are taller than the stone itself.

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Folklore Festivals: Five Italian Folklore-Filled Weekends in October

Italian festivals offer glimpses of life in a previous time through food, re-enactments and sporting events. These events will satisfy history buffs and foodies alike. PALIO degli ASINI – Race of the…

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Japanese Folklore: Maruyama Ōkyo and the Ghost of Oyuki

In 1750, Edo-period Japan, Maruyama Ōkyo opened his eyes from a fitful sleep and beheld a dead woman.

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Purgatory in Spanish Folklore: The Night of the Ánimas

In rural Spain, the night still belongs to the ánimas, the spirits of the dead who didn’t go straight to Heaven or Hell.

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Slavic Traditions: The Garlands of Midsummer’s Eve

In Poland, Midsummer's Eve garlands would be set on water, their path on the surface foretelling the owner’s future, and protecting from spells and curses.

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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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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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Sgeulachdan: Tales from The Scottish Highlands and Hebridean Islands

People have been fond of telling and hearing stories in the Scottish Highlands and Hebridean islands since time immemorial, known in Gaelic as Sgeulachdan.

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Lancashire Fairies

In Bashall Eaves there’s a bridge which is said to have been built in a single night, in order to help a local man escape from witches. At Rowley Hall, by the…

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The Fool’s Church: Rahere and the Church of St Bartholomew

The story of the founding of Saint Bartholomew the Great is one that has all the hallmarks of good folklore - an unlikely hero, a vision, and a dangerous journey.

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Restless Ghosts and Black Dogs: Was Black Vaughan Really as Evil as Rumour Tells?

According to local legend, after Black Vaughan's headless body was buried, he proved to be a restless spirit who wreaked havoc amongst the townsfolk.

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Gruesome Folk Healing: The Curious Cures for Warts and Wens

These remedies, many of them fairly gruesome to our ears, were recorded only 100 years ago by Mrs Ella Mary Leather at the beginning of the 20th century, from the towns and…

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Lancashire Folklore

Many folkloric traditions and folktales in Lancashire have their origins in Nordic customs and beliefs.

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Shropshire Folklore: Whittington Castle

Shropshire is a county abound with folklore intermingled with history in its beautiful landscape rich in heritage from the hills and river valleys to deep wooded areas.

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Scottish Folklore

With soaring landscapes, bloody history and passionate politics, it’s little wonder that Scotland has such a vibrant folklore.

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