Hey there folks! Welcome to the American Folklore site, which features retold folktales from all 50 states. We answer those pesky folklore questions that keep you up at night, such as: "Why is a black cat bad luck?" and "Who the heck is Paul Bunyan?" So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair, and stay awhile. -S.E. Schlosser





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Holiday Stories

Celebrate the holidays, American Folklore style! Saint Nicholas visits a poor family in Manhattan; a little match girl sits in the cold on New Years Eve; and the Jewish people receive the First Hanukkah Lights in this collection of holiday stories.

Saint Nicholas Day  |  Hanukkah  |  Christmas  |  Kwanzaa  |  New Years Day



Folklore Stories


More Spooky Campfire Tales by S.E. Schlosser

A Gift from Saint Nicholas


Claas Schlaschenschlinger was a wealthy cobbler living on New Street in New Amsterdam. He was a contented bachelor who could afford eight - eight mind you! - pairs of breeches and he had a little side business selling geese. He cut quite a figure in New Amsterdam society, and was happy being single, until he met the fair Anitje! She was as pretty as a picture, and Claas fell head over heels for her. He was not her only suitor, by any means. The local burgomaster was also courting the fair Anitje. But the burgomaster was a stingy, hard man, and in the end, Anitje gave her heart and hand to Claas.


Haunted Christmas

The soft thud of following footsteps echoed behind him as he hurried through the snowflakes toward home.  They kept pace with him, quickening when he quickened and slowing when he slowed. It was creepy. His flesh crawled at the sound and he sped up, cursing himself for walking home alone from the midnight Christmas Mass...


Der Belznickel

My sisters and my baby brother danced about the house, whispering to each other excitedly about the coming of der Belznickel on that snowy December 5th evening, the day before the Feast of Saint Nicholas. According to the stories, the good Saint Nicholas chains up the Devil on the eve of his Birthday – December 6th -- and makes him visit all of the children in the village to see if they have been behaving themselves and deserved the attention of Kirstkindel. Those who are good will receive gifts, but those who are naughty….


I'm All Right

We knew right from the start that Johnny was going to be a soldier. Even as a child, all his concentration was on the military. So we weren't surprised when he joined the Marines right out of high school. Johnny excelled in his chosen career. He was so happy to be serving his country. I could see it in his face every time he came home on leave.


Gollywhopper's Eggs

Well now, when old Johnson came to town, I knew there'd be trouble. That Yankee Peddler was a scoundrel if ever I saw one. But I was laid up with my rheumatism when he arrived, so I couldn't do anything about it. Mistress Sarah Smith came to see me two days after Peddler Johnson appeared with his wares. She was bubbling over with the news. She had, just that morning, bought two of the very rare Gollywhopper Eggs from Peddler Johnson, for the outrageous price of five dollars a-piece. I was flabbergasted. "What in tarnation is a Gollywhopper?" I demanded irritably.


The Heron and the Hummingbird

Heron and Hummingbird were very good friends, even though one was tall and gangly and awkward and one was small and sleek and fast. They both loved to eat fish. The Hummingbird preferred small fish like minnows and Heron liked the large ones. One day, Hummingbird said to his friend: "I am not sure there are enough fish in the world for both of our kind to eat. Why don't we have a race to see which of us should own the fish?"


How the Rainbow was Made

One day when the earth was new, Nanabozho looked out the window of his house beside the wide waterfall and realized that all of the flowers in his meadow were exactly the same off-white color. How boring! He decided to make a change, so he gathered up his paints and his paintbrushes and went out to the meadow. Nanabozho sat down in the tall grass and arranged his red and orange and yellow and green and blue and violet paint pots next to him. Then he began to paint the flowers in his meadow in many different colors.


Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett

Davy Crockett done married the prettiest, the sassiest, the toughest gal in the West, don't ya know! Her name was Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind and she was all that and then some! She was tougher than a grumpy she-bear and faster than a wildcat with his tail on fire and sweeter than honey, so that even hornets would let her use their nest for a Sunday-go-to-Meeting hat.


Thor's Wedding

"Hold still, Thor. I'm trying to fix your train." Loki folded a piece of white silk and applied the pins. "I look ridiculous," said Thor gloomily. The huge red-haired thunder god stared in the mirror at his muscular frame squeezed into the tight wedding gown. He frowned. Outside thunder growled in response.


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S.E. 

Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more | Visit S.E. Schlosser's Google Plus Profile.



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