Last night I realized that two of the places I have worked have had, as part of the lore of the place, a fictional character who everyone willingly pretended was real (in a tongue-in-cheek way). These were both in semi-educational institutions, but it was the adults who propagated the myth of the character, for each others' entertainment. These characters both sent postcards from around the world, and gathered to them improbable stories about their adventures. I'm wondering, how common is this phenomenon, and can you describe any fictional characters that have been part of the lore and legend where you have lived or worked? [more inside]
posted by Miko
on May 23, 2013 -
FolkloreFilter: What entities (?) do I need to read up more about that are like the gebbeth in Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy? I want something that occupies (or can) the same physical space as a person but which freerides, parasitises, occupies, drains or otherwise has negative effects on a person.
posted by cromagnon
on Dec 19, 2012 -
The fruit of our looms has discovered ghost tales. You know - Bloody Mary
and her ilk. However she has not yet heard "If the log rolls over we will all be dead." [more inside]
posted by peagood
on Nov 8, 2012 -
What is the source of this half-remembered myth/folk-tale about an apple which grew when stamped on? [more inside]
posted by unSane
on Jul 3, 2012 -
Obscure Celtic folklore filter: I'm doing a small undergraduate folklore project (around 7 pages) with themes of the Otherworld and fairy lore, centering on the ballads of Tam Lin
and Thomas the Rhymer
and the tale of Oisín and Niamh so far. Looking for ideas for one or two other primary source, reliable (and translated) selections within Celtic folklore, which ideally are focused on the fairy myths and not just characters from Tuatha Dé Danann. [more inside]
posted by reenka
on May 25, 2012 -
Are there any mythological creatures or figures in Russian folklore that are particularly associated with storms, wind or bad weather? Are there any particular stories that expand on what Wikipedia has to say
posted by Artw
on Dec 21, 2011 -
Are there any other folkloric/religious/mythological beings/concepts other than the Muses who preside over or rule inspiration or creativity? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 20, 2011 -
Japanese Folklore Filter: If you believe that you are haunted by a Bake-Neko
, or perhaps that someone has become possessed by one, are there accepted practices for exorcising it, according to any traditional Folklore sources?
posted by vacapinta
on Sep 5, 2011 -
Looking for some background I swear
I read related the song "Sloop John B" to tales of ghost ships, zombies and other nautical/Caribbean folklore. [more inside]
posted by Brittanie
on Sep 4, 2011 -
Have there been any good, scholarly studies on the "Chuck Norris" style of one-liner joke/folklore? How old is this style of joke? [more inside]
posted by samthemander
on May 9, 2010 -
I'm planning a spring assembly for my school, and I welcome all sources of spring nonsense, jollity and folklore. [more inside]
posted by argybarg
on Apr 17, 2010 -
Please help me find find some "historic" ghost stories. Emphasis on folklore and authenticity. [more inside]
posted by AtomicBee
on Jan 21, 2010 -
Have heard a story told to me as a "true" story that someone supposedly has personal knowledge of, but I could swear I've heard this before, either as urban legend, or maybe from the plot of a movie or book. Does anyone recognize this story? [more inside]
posted by leticia
on Aug 16, 2009 -
Any anthropologists, classicists, or world literature historians out there? Looking for stories (from any culture, era, or part of the globe) featuring what we would consider to be moral violations (human sacrifice, incest, slavery etc.), but which the culture or author would have considered morally righteous. [more inside]
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson
on Aug 14, 2009 -
Is there a name for this
kind of leg? Specifically, in mammals or birds? I swear I once read an article discussing typical folkloric drawings of the Devil wherein he was described as having the ________ legs of a goat.
Google and Wikipedia have failed me, as have my well-educated friends. I'm starting to wonder if I never actually read the article, and perhaps it was some kind of vivid, reading dream.
posted by johnbaskerville
on Feb 4, 2009 -
I'm looking for werewolf literature. Any fiction with a halfway decent plot. Novels, short stories, folklore. Comics or graphic novels also okay. [more inside]
posted by Ritchie
on Oct 16, 2008 -
Need help finding a book. I think it was a short stories collection. One of the stories was about a king that left his new bride alone when he had to go somewhere on business. He gave her a keychain with keys to all the rooms and an egg he told her to carry around... [more inside]
posted by icarus
on Sep 28, 2008 -
American Studies scholars, please help me compare 2 programs in New England and American Studies and get some general advice. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Jun 23, 2008 -
Is the Wendigo purely a Northeast American (and Canadian) myth? If so is there a Northwest equivalent?
posted by Artw
on Apr 29, 2008 -
There's a bit in Terry Pratchett's Lords and Ladies
that's puzzled me ever since I read it. Spoiler, quote, and specific (possibly very silly, since it's not even mentioned in the annotations) question inside. [more inside]
posted by Many bubbles
on May 12, 2007 -
Novels, short stories, movies--all are welcome. I find shadow stories spooky and interesting. My fave was a kid book called "The Shades" which explains how the shadows of people live their own lives. Know of any others?
posted by largecorp
on Dec 15, 2006 -
Half-remembered fairy tale: a kid could only draw one eye on an animal, or else it would come to life. His secret is revealed when he's forced to draw both eyes on an animal, which then.. leaps off the page. What was this story? Where did it come from?
posted by cmyk
on Dec 10, 2006 -
Are there any cultures that don't
anthropomorphize animals and other things (living or otherwise) in their myths, legends, folktales, etc.? Is this a universal thing? And if it is universal, are there any layman accessible books or articles on why?
posted by PinkStainlessTail
on Sep 25, 2006 -
The terrain of the subconscious. The stories we tell ourselves. Book recommendations to better pick out and respond to the undercurrents of situations. Maybe books on archetypes, folklore, symbols, fantasy. Maybe just books with strong character development. [more inside]
posted by beatrice
on Aug 21, 2006 -
Is anyone familiar with the comedy routine of Little Red Riding Hood told backwards? A teacher I had in jr. high just died and that was one of his trademark stories. I always thought it was an original, but then I heard it years later and now can't remember who did it. It basically involved telling the story straight but mixing up the sentence structure. At least that's what I recall some 22 years later.
posted by DonnieSticks
on Jan 25, 2006 -
A few years ago my mother picked up this
traditional(?) instrument in Hungary. What's it called and how do you use it?
posted by klue
on Mar 20, 2005 -
This is an admittedly silly question, but I'm curious nonetheless. I'm battling insomnia and the new-generation Transformers cartoon comes on the television. The presumed villain is a schizophrenic character, whose head appears to have three faces side by side, and he switches faces, and the different personalities battle amongst each other.
I've also seen this in some really bad B Skiing movie from the 80's. No clue of the name. But I've seen it other places, too. My question is, does anyone have a clue where this concept originates? Is it some obscure R.D.Laing essay that I've overlooked? Some folklore I am not familiar with?
posted by oog
on Jul 23, 2004 -