Let us begin with a ghost story. In 1872, fourteen-year-old Agnes McDonough announced that she was communicating with the spirit of her deceased father. She was part of a community of Irish Americans who settled in Virginia City, Nevada, home to the fabulous Comstock Lode and the Big Bonanza (giving its name to a famous television show). Crediting her father’s ghost, the young girl revealed insights about the afterworld, all scrutinized by a local priest who hoped to control the sensational aspects of the incident.
I became fascinated by boggarts about a decade ago. If I turned to the fairy and folklore dictionaries, I learnt that a boggart was a type of house goblin or perhaps, at a stretch, a poltergeist.
I have always especially loved nature folklore. It provides such a beautiful glimpse into how people use signs from nature as a way to navigate daily life. It reveals how attuned people used to be to the natural world and the ebb and flow of the seasons. Spotting certain animals or birds came to be associated with good or bad fortune; plants and flowers were used as cures; and stories of fantastical creatures, such as fairies and elves, were told to account for unexplained events.
Merlin, the Mage, slept in the land on two portentous occasions: once leading up to the birth of Arthur; the second just before, and well beyond, the death of the Once and Future King… Each time there was a mighty mythical beast involved – the Afanc and the Red Dragon.
We have some BIG news for you! Firstly, a celebration! We’re so excited to announce the launch of the NEW all singing, all-dancing website over at www.FolkloreThursday.com!