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“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, author of the Spooky Series.

Haunted Holidays

Read Christmas Ghost stories and other spooky holiday tales from all over the United States, Canada and Latin America.

Ghosts of Red Creek
The Ghosts of Red Creek

A small party of gentlemen on the day before a crisp, cold Christmas, started from Gulfport in a lar…

Eavesdropper
Eavesdropper

There is an old tale which claims that at midnight, on Christmas Eve, the cattle will kneel in the b…

A Gift from St. Nicholas
A Gift from Saint Nicholas

Claas Schlaschenschlinger was a wealthy cobbler living on New Street in New Amsterdam. He was a cont…

Scary Ghost Stories

Pull up a chair or gather round the campfire and get ready to read creepy tales of ghostly hauntings, eerie happenings, and other strange occurrences across the United States. Set in America’s big cities, historic towns, rugged lakes, and sparsely populated backwoods, the stories will have readers looking over their shoulders again and again

The Ghosts of Red Creek

A small party of gentlemen on the day before a crisp, cold Christmas, started from Gulfport in a lar…

Llorona, Omen of Death

They say that the Llorona was once a poor young girl who loved a rich nobleman, and together they ha…

Two Ghosts

There lived a hunter in the north who had a wife and one child. His lodge stood far off in the fores…

Armadillo’s Song

There once lived an armadillo who loved music more than anything else in the world. After every rain…

Banshee of the Bad Lands

“Hell, with the fires out,” is what the Bad Lands of Dakota have been called. The fearless nomenclat…

Coyote and the Columbia

One day, Coyote was walking along. The sun was shining brightly, and Coyote felt very hot. "I would …

Myths & Legends

Heroes, villains, gods and devils lurk within these tales from times long past, and just yesterday… What happens when mere mortals encounter the divine?

Famous Folktales

Llorona, Omen of Death

Llorona, Omen of Death

They say that the Llorona was once a poor young girl who loved a rich nobleman, and together they ha…

Cow's Head

Cow’s Head

Oksana lived in a small house on the edge of town with her father, her stepmother and her stepsister…

Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary

Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary

“Mary, Mary…” the half-heard whisper woke her in the darkness before dawn.  Darkness.  How appropria…

Bloody Mary Whales

Old Man Whales was an evil man who loved money more than anything in the world, except his wife.

Resurrection Mary

There was a dance that night at the Oh Henry Ballroom, so he slicked back his hair, jumped into his …

The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen

Little Red Hen found a Wheat Seed that, if planted, would grow up and when ripe it could be made int…

Jean Sot Goes Fishing

Jean Sot was sitting gloomily on the dock of the marina casting a fishing line into the Bayou when his friend Boudreaux (Boo-dro) walked by. "Why are…

One Short

There is a tale once told of a Mississippi riverboat captain who called all of the passengers to the top deck in the middle of the night. When the ann…

First Things First

Well, the spring floods here in Vermont are mighty fierce, doncha know. One young farmer named Tom got trapped one year when the river started rising…

Why Lizards Can’t Sit

Back in the old days, Brer Lizard was an awful lot like Brer Frog, meaning he could sit upright like a dog. Things were like this for quite a spell. …

Tall Tales

A tall tale depicts the wild adventures of extravagantly exaggerated folk heroes. Often told around the campfire, these stories are meant to entertain their audiences, who appreciate the wildly outsized claims of the storyteller.

United States Folklore

 Snippity-snip, snap and store,
Of American Folklore there’s plenty more!

A Baker’s Dozen

Back in the old days, I had a successful bake-shop in Albany. I had a good business, a plump wife, and a big family. I was a happy man. But trouble …

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…

Adventure On the Rogue

We were up-river with a tour group looking at all the natural beauties here on the Rogue River when I spied a young sasquatch hiding in the shadow of …

Alicia

It was the sound of laughter and children’s voices that caught my attention. Curious, I materialized in my old bedroom and went out into the hallway …