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New Folklore Stories

Pull up a chair or gather round the campfire and get ready to read the latest folk tales, creepy ghost stories, and extremely tall tales from AmericanFolklore.net

Der Belznickel

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.

    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 large four-wheeled wagon for a thirty-mile drive into the wilderness of pine and a week’s sport after the deer. The tract of pine forest extended for miles with only a few habitations scattered through it. Red Creek drained this region into the Pascagoula River to the eastward.

      Armadillo’s Song

        There once lived an armadillo who loved music more than anything else in the world. After every rainfall, the armadillo would drag his shell over to the large pond filled with frogs and he would listen to the big green frogs singing back and forth, back and forth to each other in the most amazing voices.

        La Llorona

        La Llorona

          Once there was a widow who wished to marry a rich nobleman. However, the nobleman did not want to raise another man’s children and he dismissed her. The widow was determined to have the nobleman for her own, so the widow drowned her children to be free of them…

          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 had three children. The girl wished to marry the nobleman, but he refused her. He told her that he might have considered marrying her if she had not born the three out-of-wedlock children, which he considered a disgrace.

            Buried Treasure

            Buried Treasure

              There once was an evil priest who did not fear God or man. His duties for the church included counting the offerings and ringing the bells to summon people to Mass. But his heart was filled with greed, and he began to take advantage of the good people of his parish. The priest stole money out of the offerings to keep for himself, and when he had filled a chest full of gold, he killed a man and buried him with the chest so the murdered man’s ghost would guard it.

              Why the Possum Plays Dead

              Why the Possum Plays Dead

                Rabbit and Possum each wanted a wife, but no one would marry either of them. They talked over the matter and Rabbit said, “We can’t get wives here. Let’s go to the next village. I’ll say I’m messenger for the council and that everybody must marry at once, and then we’ll be sure to get wives.”

                The Eagle's Revenge

                The Eagle’s Revenge

                  Once a hunter in the mountains heard a noise at night like a rushing wind. He went outside his tepee, and found an eagle was sitting on the drying pole, feasting at the deer he had shot. So, he shot the eagle.

                  The Man Who Shot a Ghost

                  The Man Who Shot a Ghost

                    In the olden time, a man was traveling alone, and in a forest, he killed several rabbits. After sunset he was in the midst of the forest. He had to spend the night there, so he made a fire. He thought this: “Should I meet any danger by and by, I will shoot. I am a man who ought not to regard anything.”

                    Old Woman Who Never Dies

                    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, three sons and three daughters. These live in the sky. The eldest son is the Day; another is the Sun; another is Night.

                      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 into flour and then into bread. But what should she do with it?

                        The Salt Witch

                        The Salt Witch

                          A pillar of snowy salt once stood on the Nebraska plain, about forty miles above the point where the Saline flows into the Platte, and people used to call it the Salt Witch.

                          Origin of the Wind

                          Origin of the Wind

                            Napioa, the Old Man who made the earth, is determined to have the bags that hold the summer and winter, so he asks prairie chicken to take them from the lodge where they are kept by man and woman.

                            The Catskill Witch by S.E. Schlosser

                            The Catskill Witch

                              At the peak of this mountain lived the Catskill witch who managed the weather for the whole of the Hudson Valley.

                              The Cussing Quilt of Cades Cove

                              The Cussing Quilt

                                A man ignores a promise he made to his dying wife, with dire consequences.

                                The Thunderers

                                  Three men set out on a hunting expedition, but when one breaks his leg, the others abandon him in a pit rather than risk their lives carrying him home. The wounded hunter is rescued instead by a mysterious hermit who is not what he seems…

                                  the Phantom Dragoon

                                  The Phantom Soldier

                                    The height that rises a mile or so to the south of Newark, Delaware, is called Iron Hill, because it is rich in hematite ore, but about the time of General Howe’s advance to the Brandywine it might well have won its name because of the panoply of war—the sullen guns, the flashing swords, and glistening bayonets—that appeared among the British tents pitched on it. After the red coats had established camp here the American… Read More »The Phantom Soldier

                                    Storm ship of the Hudson

                                    Storm Ship of the Hudson

                                      It was noised about New Amsterdam, two hundred years ago, that a round and bulky ghost ship flying Dutch colors from her lofty quarter was careering up the harbor in the teeth of a north wind, through the swift waters of an ebbing tide, and making for the Hudson.

                                      Ghost Land

                                      The Ghost Land

                                        The young wife of a chief’s son died, and the young man was so sorrowful he could not sleep. Early one morning he put on his fine clothes and started off. He walked all day and all night. He went through the woods a long distance, and then to a valley. The trees were very thick, but he could hear voices far away. At last, he saw light through the trees and then came to… Read More »The Ghost Land

                                        The Banshee of the Badlands

                                        Banshee of the Bad Lands

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

                                          Kayuta and Waneta

                                          Kayuta and Waneta

                                            Waneta, daughter of a chief, had plighted her troth to Kayuta, a hunter of a neighboring tribe with which her people were at war. Their trysts were held at twilight on the farther shore of the lake from her village….

                                            The Heart of a Monster

                                            The Heart of the Monster

                                              There was during the time of the Watetash a monster living in the country of Kamiah in Central Idaho. This monster had the peculiar property of an irresistible breath, so that when it inhaled, the winds and grass and trees and even different animals would be sucked into its devouring maw.

                                              The House Accursed

                                              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 plunder and curious weapons that he had brought home with him.

                                                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, hoping he’d meet a pretty girl. He was a shy fellow who found it hard to talk to girls. Bolder men always danced away with the prettiest girls before he got up enough nerve to say hello. But tonight, would be different. Tonight, he would sweep one of… Read More »Resurrection Mary

                                                  Bloody Mary Whales

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

                                                    The Haunted Grove

                                                    The Haunted Grove

                                                      A certain man called Angus lived near the stage road that connected two large villages, which were about fourteen miles apart. His home was situated nearly midway between them, and about a mile from a grove of trees that was reputed to be haunted.

                                                      A Case of Blue Denim

                                                      Blue Denim

                                                        I asked my friend to come to my seaside cottage with me one weekend in early spring. I wanted to have it set in order for the summer, but I felt a trifle nervous at the idea of entering it alone.

                                                        A Blow in the Dark

                                                        Blow in the Dark

                                                          Farmer Manheim sat brooding in his farmhouse near Valley Forge, as his daughter, with a hectic flush on her cheek, looked out into the twilight at the falling snow. She was worn and ill with a fever brought on by exposure incurred that very day in a secret journey to the American camp, made to warn her lover of another attempt on the life of General George Washington, who must pass her father’s house on his return from a distant settlement.

                                                          Ghost of Misery Hill

                                                          The Ghost of Misery Hill

                                                            Tom Bowers, who mined on Misery Hill, near Pike City, California, never had a partner, and he never took kindly to the rough crowd about the place. One day he was missing. They traced his steps through the snow from his cabin to the brink of a great slope where he had been prospecting, but there they vanished, for a landslide had blotted them out.

                                                            Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary

                                                            Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary

                                                              “Mary, Mary…” the half-heard whisper woke her in the darkness before dawn. 
                                                              Darkness.  How appropriate.  These days, it seemed as if her whole life was in darkness.