Tag: british folklore

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

A Witchy Interview with #FolkloreThursday’s Willow Winsham

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

Continue reading

Halloween Folklore and Superstitions

We all know that Halloween, as a festival, is not an invention of the trick-or-treating Americans but it is far older than many people realise.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Black Shuck: Proof of Existence Finally Found?

“Bones of 7ft Hound from Hell Black Shuck ‘Discovered.'” During an archaeological dig, the skeletal remains of a very large dog were found amongst the ruins.

Continue reading

Arcadia Britannica: A Modern British Folklore portrait by Henry Bourne

Arcadia Britannica is an ongoing photographic portrait project of the myriad of different British folklore traditions and customs

Continue reading

The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland

A couple of month’s ago I happened upon a copy of A Dictionary of British Folk-Lore by Alice Gomme, a classic work on childlore. A couple of month’s ago I was lucky…

Continue reading

Morris Folk: Making History

The Morris Folk project arose from a desire to document something as ephemeral as dance in new and innovative ways.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Upcoming Event: The Ballad of British Folklore

We've just received an exciting press release about an exhibition charting the history of the The Museum of British Folklore.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Herefordshire Folklore: The Legend of Black Vaughan and Ellen the Terrible

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.

Continue reading

Tree Folklore: Birch, the Lady of the Wood

The birch has a particularly graceful, flowing habit that always reminds me of a stream of water, extending right to the tips of its delicate black twigs in a shower of leafy…

Continue reading

Supernatural Safeguarding: Hidden Objects in the Post-Medieval Home

What do a child’s shoe, a cod-liver oil bottle, and a desiccated cat have in common? They’re all objects that have been discovered in unusual locations within buildings. In fact, a vast…

Continue reading

Herefordshire Folklore: 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…

Continue reading

The Calderstones: Invoking the Spirits of Place

South Liverpool, where I was born and live still, is a place full of green-spaces. Its abundance of woodlands, parks, cemeteries, playing fields and golf courses are linked by an intricate network…

Continue reading

Lancashire Folklore

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

Continue reading

Merlin the Wizard, Sexual Harasser

Sexual harassment in Arthurian Legend? Surely not!

Continue reading