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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.

Countdown to Halloween

Read Halloween ghost stories and supernatural tales, getting scarier each week until Halloween! Read a spooky story below or check out our Halloween stories page for more spooky fun!

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 House Accursed
The House Accursed

The house was called the Isle of Pines, after a buccaneers' rendezvous in the West Indies, and the o…

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

Alicia

It was the sound of laughter and children’s voices that caught my attention. Curious, I materialize…

Amber

Oh, you hear the stories about how dangerous Ouija boards are, but hey—it’s just a game. Mary waited…

Army of the Dead

A laundress, newly moved to Charleston following the Civil War, found herself awakened at the stroke…

The Heart of the Monster

There was during the time of the Watetash a monster living in the country of Kamiah in Central Idaho…

Banshee of the Bad Lands

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

Old-Woman-Who-Never-Dies

In the sun lives the Lord of Life. In the moon lives Old-Woman-Who-Never-Dies. She has six children,…

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

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…

The Bloody Mary Ritual

We were having a sleepover at my house that Saturday night. Me and my four best friends; Alex, Bian…

The Hitchhiker

Our friends Josh and Sandy were firm believers in ghosts and claimed to have seen the mysterious red…

Jack O’Lantern

After a long day of unlucky hunting, I found myself stuck in the middle of the marshlands for the ni…

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…

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!

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 red convertible and cruised down Archer Street, ho…

The House Accursed

The house was called the Isle of Pines, after a buccaneers' rendezvous in the West Indies, and the owner made no attempt to conceal the strange plunde…