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.
Folklore changes and evolves with the peoples and their societies. It’s not rigid, it’s not concrete. As time passes, new characters emerge and others get their stories and features improved. Some may also disappear. This character (or monster!) I talk about in this post is quite modern – and scares many people, just by being so. Let’s meet A Loira do Banheiro (The Fair-haired Lady from the Toilet).
In February 1862 a riot broke out in a Suffolk churchyard over a ghost story. Margaretta Greene, the story’s author, originated an enduring legend of the ghost of a nun, Maude Carew, who haunts the ruins of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds. But the story of Maude Carew, and the riot she inspired, raises intriguing questions about the origins of folklore and beliefs about the supernatural.
You turn around, and all of a sudden, you see that something is approaching, moving towards you. You notice a pair of glowing red eyes and discern the silhouette of a creature in the distance, the size of a large dog, or maybe it is a boar? You panic when you realize that the shape is rushing towards you at full speed. When it comes close it becomes clear that it is indeed a big pig, but one with burning eyes, white skin and a sharp back, formed like a sawblade. It runs straight at you and quickly comes between your legs, with the result that it will cleave you in two halves.
he Headless Horseman captures the imagination like nothing else at Halloween. Regional American history and urban legend influences the interpretation of this apparition more than supposed.