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In the original, novelised version of I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan, the killer uses a gun but the cinematic version by Kevin Williamson features a hook-handed fishermen hell-bent on revenge. The Candyman also has a hook for a hand. Recently, outraged internet people were taken in by claims that popular fast food outlet KFC were breeding genetically mutated chickens for their burgers.
While the "shock pictures" were quickly revealed to be fakes, more than one of my Facebook friends were taken in. Foodstuffs often fall victim to urban myths — are MacDonald's burgers really made from earthworms? Will mixing popping candy and fizzy pop make you explode? Don't forget the perennial "dog meat takeaway" rumour.
Food is at the centre of our lives so it's no surprise it's at the heart of our fiction. The Hunger Games presents kids willing to kill for a lifetime of food while Soylent Green based on the novel Make Room, Make Room goes one further and suggests we'll soon be eating people, much like in Matt Whyman's The Savages.
In this popular tale, a scared girl or sometimes an old woman listens to an ominous dripping coming from within her home. She is reassured by the presence of her faithful dog who licks her hand from under the bed. Eventually, she investigates the noise only to find her dog slaughtered and a message written in blood — "humans can lick hands too". This story was actually taken from a much earlier MR James story called 'The Diary of Mr Poynter' in which a character experiences a similar fate. In this tale, a young man is either seduced by a beautiful woman or pays for an escort.
The following morning, he awakens in a bathtub full of ice to find one of his kidneys has been removed for sale on the black market. The moral couldn't be clearer, really, could it? As someone eager to get on the property ladder, I don't know how bothered I'd be to check what my house was built on, but you might want to get a surveyor to have a look. Everyone knows houses built on burial grounds are bound to be cursed, right?
Although ancient Indian Burial mounds are few and far between in the USA, they sure get a lot of flack. From Stephen King's The Shining and Pet Cemetery to Hollywood classic Poltergeist and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer , the message is very clear — don't just look at a home before you buy it, look under it.
You know this one. This urban legend seems to have predicted viral marketing by twenty years or so. Variations of this one see a babysitter being tormented by threatening phone calls that turn out to be coming from a inside the house. The children in her care are often murdered. With advances in mobile phone technology expect this to develop into Snapchat based horror or killers using Tinder to track down their victims.
A truly modern modern myth, Slender Man started online as part of a competition to Photoshop pictures to include a supernatural element. User 'Victor Surge' added a suited, faceless, unnaturally tall figure into two black and white photos which were copied and distributed virally over the net. Since then, millions of authors, mostly online, have shared and spread the story on websites such as Creepypasta. The Slender Man's MO is to abduct people, often children who seem to willingly go with the figure never to be seen again, making him a terrifying version of the Pied Piper.
New urban legends will almost certainly have some sort of viral online element. Jeff the Killer is a similar, facially disfigured internet meme. Bloody Mary Perhaps the most famous modern myth, this tale suggests that if you are to look in the mirror and say "Bloody Mary" a specified number of times, something will happen.
The stuck couple also makes appearances in medieval Europe in exempla. In the versions we present, they become fastened to their lovers and are seen and humiliated by a crowd of jeering or fascinated onlookers. After tracing the history of this legend across time and space, we illuminate how the legend maps boundaries of sexual propriety in the communities in which it is told.
We show that the couple is generally violating a sacred vow such as a marriage vow , a sacred space such as a church altar or the cuckolded husband? We also show that the punishment often comes about by divine retribution, magical revenge from the husband, or both, and explore the implications of this. Furthermore, we focus our analysis on the crowd. We delve into the crowd? One way an urban legend persists over time is by provoking a strong emotional response in the listener or reader , which stimulates a desire to share the experience by passing it along to others.
Fear and loathing work especially well in this regard. No wonder so much of urban folklore explores the darker side of human life? This paper will present a collection of urban legends told in Brussels which reflect an urban imagination crossed with local characteristics. Presented as news items although their truthfulness is questionable, these narratives mentioning precisely Brussels tell of attacks or harm committed against an anonymous person or the friend of a friend.
They feature confrontation with others, machines or nature, and present Brussels as a dangerous place where security is everybody? These legends serve as warnings and allow people to reassert their identity by designating scapegoats. The places mentioned are lures intended to increase a feeling of proximity and identification with the characters. Brussels is featured as having the same characteristics as every big city in industrialized western countries. However, contrary to New York or other big American cities, narratives with a fantastic or mysterious dimension such as Bloody Mary or Candyman do not exist in Brussels.
A sifting of narratives has therefore taken place, and only those which are compatible with the city are told, leaving the supernatural to novels, tales and traditional Brussels legends. In this paper I present some of the results of research about a rumour that circulated in Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico in August, , and according to which members of crime organizations were going to attack schools and kidnap children. This rumour circulated in particular through Twitter and Facebook, generating enormous chaos in the city.
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Parents rushed to pick up their children at primary and secondary schools. Local universities and colleges closed their buildings. Several of the Twitter and Facebook users who spread versions of the rumour were imprisoned for 27 days as? Both government actions were strongly criticized by national and international human rights organizations. The aim of this study is not to analyze whether the rumour is true or false, but to examine its verisimilitude. I am not working with the opposition of terms: rumour or legend versus history, false versus true. I am interested instead in examining the different discourses oral, written, mass media and online multimedia messages that lent verisimilitude both to the rumour in general and to its various local versions.
These discourses are linked with the context of violence and insecurity that at present characterizes life in places like Veracruz and the northern regions of Mexico, places suffering the impact of drug trafficking, state corruption and insufficient information. Importantly, they are also linked with a timeless and universal legend about kidnapped children that likewise expresses the ubiquitous fears and anxiety related to the most vulnerable part of society: children.
Urban Legends, we all know the stories, we have heard them growing up. Watch out near the harbor or Mary Hatchet will come! Stay out of the trails or the Mothmen of Mount Misery will find you. The lady in white roams the roads of Huntington. These stories are just that, stories. They have no basis in reality, yet we all believed them as children, as if they were being told to us by the Pope himself.
As a kid growing up on suburban Long Island, I heard these tales many times, from my mother, my older brothers and the kids I was friends with. Parents used to scare us on Halloween with these stories, and after a while, they gained some sort of truth to them. Teenagers especially told these stories over and over again to try and scare each other while in the woods late at night. Now at the ripe old age of 34, I decided to investigate these legends and I will show you how they are not entirely false. To achieve this, I must examine how these legends begin; there must be some truth to them.
How else would people have come up with the tales? All urban legends share the same format, very few details, no real witness always a friend of a friend, sister's friend, cousin, other distant relation a quick story, a known area, and usually some sort of moral to the story.
She is so well known on Long Island that I can safely say that, I have never personally met a person that grew up here in my generation, whom was not familiar with one version of her story or another. There seems to be some confusion on her story to start with. There are several different variations of the story that have been in circulation for decades. Today we will examine the most famous and notable version, where Mary is raped by her father. Her mother dies during childbirth and as Mary has grown older, her father who is still grieving over the loss of wife, starts to see his wife in Mary.
Mary spends much of her time in the spring house, which can actually been seen in Head of the Harbor to this day, a stone building that would remain slightly warm in the winter and cool in the summer due to the natural spring that ran under it. One day while she was in the spring house, Mary's father molests and rapes her for the first time, she is disgusted by him but remains loyal since she has no other parent. After that afternoon, she is to sleep with him in his bed each night, as if they are husband and wife.
Eventually Mary becomes pregnant from her own father. There are conflicting stories saying Mary has two children or three children by her father. Mary never runs away or tells anyone because her father is a well respected man in the community. A hard working farmer and she feels that nobody would ever believe her. In a fit of rage one day Mary who has an ability to make local woodland animals approach her without fear we assume this is due to the time she spends in the woods and spring house, they seem to know her begins to chop the animals up with the ax that is left in the spring house.
The area will be known as? Mary's Playgound.? She then takes the ax and moves up to the main house. That night she climbs in bed with her father and splits his head open with the ax, she swings repeatedly at his skull. She then kills the children that she had with him. Once the whole family is dispatched with her ax, she crawls under the covers and sleeps next to her father's dead body. She does this every night until one day the townspeople start to wonder where her father is and a few of them rode out to pay him a visit.
It was still early, and as there was no answer at the door, they went inside. They could smell the thick odor of death, something that during those times would have been familiar to most people. The townsfolk went up the stairs after pushing open the bedroom door they found Mary, sleeping peacefully next to her father? The townspeople, horrified and outraged by what she had done; and Mary far too mad now to defend herself against their accusations, dragged Mary from the house and down the hill to the tree, which still stands alongside the road.
There they hung her and put an end to her sad and tragic life. The story goes on to let us know that if you drive by the house at night you will see a light and a girl looking out the window of the upstairs bedroom at the tree. She can also be seen by the tree, at the gates to the main house, and of course in the spring house, where the water runs still to this day. There are several Mary stories on Long Island, along with Mary Hatchet, there is Mary's grave there are two locations for this story one is in Head of the Harbor and the other is at the Melville Cemetery which is nowhere near the Head of the Harbor location.
There is a? There is also one more case of the? This legend goes hand in hand with the? Vanishing hitchhiker? Jan Harold Brunvand titled The vanishing hitchhiker: American urban legends and their meanings. The question must be raised now, why so many different Mary? If we look at popular names of the early settlers Mary tends to come up a lot.
There is not one single cemetery without a Mary buried there. Since we never learn the last name of Mary then it is possible that one of these Mary? Many of the graves have tombstones that merely read? The name Mary even comes over with the legends of European settlers. In England there is a well called? Black Mary's Hole.? Mary is also associated with the Virgin Mary or if you prefer the darker side, Mary Magdalene.
There may or may not have been a Mary that suffered a tragic death in the area. I have found no evidence of this. There are no town records of a gruesome murder via ax happening, no a woman named Mary being hanged. The only Mary? Some were infants that died during or shortly after birth. Some were as I stated, young children that had succumb to cholera, tuberculous, or even scarlet fever. The settlers used stories that contained a moral or frightening idea as a way to keep to people safe. This practice had been going on since history can be recorded.
If you tell children don? Now, tell them that a crazy woman will snatch them up and butcher them, or a monster will eat them, and they will more than likely stay away. Hence the birth of legends and folklore surrounding wells, lakes, rivers, ponds, springs etc..
Think of a classic story we all know in the form of a Fairytale? Hansel and Gretel? Luckily the children escape. The moral of that story is simply put, don? It's a dangerous place for children, due to animals, rivers, springs, and wells, that all pose a threat to human life. The fact that Head of the Harbor is located along the Nissequogue River is a good clue as to how a legend like this may have started to frighten children away from the water.
We can look at a map of Head of the Harbor and easily see how close the water this town is. When I look at the locations of the areas on Long Island that tend to have the Legends of Mary surrounding them, they are areas with wells, rivers, springs, and the Long Island Sound. All are dangerous places for children to be exploring. When looking for a way to trace Mary to these watery areas I notices that there were also tales in England about wells, springs and lakes in an effort to scare children away.
I found in addition that towns on Long Island that are father inland, do not have the legends of Mary attached to them. Mary also is a north shore legend only. There is not a single account of a Mary legend on the south shore of the island. They have their own legends, stories of Indian princesses, and haunted houses the most famous being The Amityville Horror House or to people of Long Island simply: Ocean Avenue, Amityville. The Melville cemetery Mary is also associated with a few legends that all seem to be intertwined, these are: the legends of Sweet Hollow Road, and Mount Misery.
As I stated earlier Mary is sometimes seen near Melville cemetery or has asked for ride, she is known in this area as? Again there are no town records in this area of a woman named Mary in the area that was hung, died tragically in an accident, or executed in anyway. No records of ax murder or even news mention of such an event. One would think this would be a news worthy event during this time as it would be today.
Murder was big news, then as it is now, the news covered extensively the murders in Whitechaple England, by the famous Jack the Ripper. If you prefer to bring the news coverage of murder closer to home, we can look at how the papers covered, and in some cases exploited, the murder of a prostitute in New York, named Helen Jewett in the 19th century.
If a murdered public woman, received so much media attention why not Mary? There are absolutely no records of this ax murder whatsoever. After a conversation with her, she told me that oddly the tales were not being told until that time. She could not trace it back any further in time. I am wondering now if the Legends were born out of pure entertainment in an era of war and protests.
Civil rights and unrest throughout not only the Island, but the Nation and the world. Looking at this new found information of when the Mary Legends began, it is a case of a good story to tell around the camp fire, in the face of adversity all around the world. War, is an ugly thing and people need an escape even if it is just a scary ghost story for a bit of distraction.
There are many legends surrounding this area some of them include the legend of the cop who pulls over cars. Everything seems normal like a routine traffic stop and he will let you off with a warning, until the cop turns to walk back to his car, and you see the back of his head is blown apart by a large gunshot wound.
Again, there is no record of a police officer dying in this area from a gunshot to the head. I have heard this story retold from many people, however, I must note that none of them have seen it firsthand. The story always happened to a friend of a friend, or a cousin or brother, sister etc.. This legend was developed to keep people from speeding down the narrow, winding, country road at night. Again, designed to keep people safe. This is said to be is the highest point on Long Island. The area was settled in the 's and was mainly a farming community, crops and farm animals were produced here.
It is home to some real history including having played host to George Washington and Benjamin Franklin back in their time during the Revolutionary War, and the birthplace of the poet Walt Whitman. The area also claims to be a hot spot for some very impressive unexplained occurrences and sightings or what some like to refer to as? The nickname of the mount or hill if you will, is not what you might think, there was no misery in the form of tragic suffering. In fact it was the early settlers whom nick-named the point mount misery because it was a treacherous area consisting of steep hills and extremely rocky terrain which in turn made it difficult for wagons to pass over.
When Long Island was purchased from the local Indians for a few dollars in today? They claimed that there we're evil spirits, and menacing forces at work on top of the old hill. At the time, this hill was not known as Mount Misery. There were rumors about a? The beast was said to have large red glowing eyes and swooped down silently to attack. Then, in , a hospital was built on top of the mount for the insane or so we are told.
It was the custom at the time to lock the mentally ill away in homes, but we must also note this was done with the sickly as well. TB Homes were all over Suffolk County. The Legend states that, not long after the hospital was built, there was a fire and it was burned down to the foundation. Many patients we're killed in the fire, oh and guess who started the fire? That is right a woman named Mary. About 15 years later the hospital was rebuilt.
It was said that the smell of the burning building and the screams of the victims could be heard at night. Strangely, the new hospital burned down only a mere 5 months after being built. They say the hospital was used after World War II to treat physically wounded and psychologically wounded soldiers. The problem you may ask? There was no hospital there. There are absolutely no town records of a hospital in this area, there are no filed site plans and if this building was built in the 's which are its claims, there would be a record, or map of the facility on file.
Aerial photos of the area do not even show a clearing in that time period, never mind a hospital. The area is about 5 miles around and there are not many places for this hospital to hide. A soldier that has of course never been named claims to have been treated there before being returned to Fort Bragg, NC. The story of this soldier states that upon his return he asked his superior officer what the sign outside the hospital meant when he saw it read? Area 5.? The officer told him? Area 5? So where did this soldier get treated if in fact he existed at all?
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My theory is simple; he was at Edgewood hospital located on the property of what is now called Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center. Edgewood was used as a military hospital during that time and although it no longer stands, it was not located that far from Mount Misery. This hospital was located in Deer Park. There was another? However, this was much farther away from the area in question than Edgewood. Edgewood Hospital has a lot of stories surrounding it and there is hardly any information to be found. The information that I have been able to gather via various telephone calls to the above referenced departments is like a puzzle, which yearns to put back together.
The hospital was used as POW camp, a mental asylum, tuberculosis sanatorium, and eventually hospital for shell shocked veterans of World War II to help them return to a more? My conclusion to this legend is that, a soldier not from here, would not know the difference if he was located at Mount Misery or Edgewood Hospital.
The only way that he would truly know is if the hospital was called? Mount Misery hospital.? Edgewood was used as a medical hospital on the grounds; Pilgrim Psychiatric center stood to the rear of the property and is still there today for the mentally ill patients. At the time Edgewood which was called Mason General Hospital, was broken up into sections or? There are even video files of treatments that took place Mason General Hospital with soldiers links to video are located at the end of this text So it certainly seems that this legend may have a grain of truth behind it, no matter how small that grain may be.
Now let us delve into the maps and ask ourselves why there are two Mount Misery's on Long Island? The other is the one called by nick-name only and not labeled on any map of Long Island, this one is located near Sweet Hollow Road or West Hills Park. So is this another case of confusion? Did early settlers not acquainted with the area very well, misname a point on the map? It honestly makes more sense for the Belle Terre Mount Misery to have this name since there is a large sandy mountain there and it is a coastal spot, where ships may have landed to port to export goods and deliver supplies.
There are no buildings on this area in Port Jefferson but it is worth a mention that there are docks located there. There are trails that offer access to nearby homes in Belle Terre. Although many people visit there for camping and never even know it, they are headed out in boats to camp along Pirates Cove which is part of Mount Misery Point, which goes to show that this area is not as isolated as one may think.
It is said that when you walk down the trails into the woods of Mount Misery, you may hear strange noises, and even be chased out by a large winged man-beast with glowing red eyes! Is the Mothman a guardian of the area? A supernatural entity that watches over the land, keeping nature safe from humans? Probably not. This phenomenon is explained easily enough when I look at the facts. The first stories did not start to circulate until after the John Keel book in the 70's, so where was this creature before that?
There are no recorded sightings of the winged creature until after the novel was published. The people that seem to spot the creature or have had some sort of sighting, all are typically teenage kids out in the woods at night, looking for a thrill. The reports time and time again, are young people who are not avid woodmen, but rather kids who were dared to go into the wooded areas of Mount Misery by their peers.
So what is this beast? After some research on what types of animals live in that area I came upon one that stood out beyond all others. My findings show what they are seeing is a Great Horned Owl or other large bird of prey. These birds can be enormous with wing spans of up to 60 inches across.
They are quiet when they swoop down as not to startle prey and to a novice hiker this can be quite frightening when you are scared in the dark to begin with. Owls also have reflective eyes, where a glowing effect seen if a light is shined at them.
The red part, well that just adds to a good scary story to tell! Urban Legends and folklore are a way to tell a good story. This has been shown all throughout history. Our most famous cases can be retold all over the world, case and point - Jesus walking on water. We tell the story still to this day, yet there is no proof this ever happened. Only the apostles were present and there were no outside witnesses. At the risk of offending many people, it is not impossible that account was made up for publicity for Jesus. We all love a good tale, and in the end there may just be a reason why the story started in the first place.
I hope all of you who may be reading this that are familiar with Long Island's legends, will look at the tales in a new light. In conclusion some of the tales may have been told to keep people safe, some may have been a warning of bad moral behavior. The imagination is a wonderful thing and we should embrace these legends no matter what the reason for them was.
Bugarach inhabitants is a small village of the? Since December the media have disseminated the mayor? Bugarach was to be soon invaded by visionaries believing the world was to end in December , as it was one of the rare locations to be spared in the predicted cataclysm. The post face written by Philippe Marlin , very good connoisseur of the abundant esoteric production of the area, brings light on the origins of this belief. He has centered on the courses and workshops? In these groups the needs of collective validation around an exemplary model on the one hand, of individual religious self-building on the other hand are complementary.
The natural environment here the Peak of Bugarach is made sacred and plays simultaneously an individuating role, with individual appropriation, and a socializing role, with sharing of experience between the participants. Discussing the theories presented on the New Religious Movements, Gottin emphasizes the notion of lived religion , centered on the pre-eminence of the body and of personal development through shared experience in contemporary religious practice. Mythologies about the Peak are reviewed: re-inventions of the Cathars in the 19th century and their contemporary prolongations; influence of the mythology about Rennes-le Ch?
The beliefs spread during the workshops are syncretic and eclectic, mixing: shamanism, tantric, yoga, qi-gong but also neo-pagan rituals or reinterpretations of Catharism. Extra-terrestrial mythologies begetters of the human species living under the Peak or in other close sacred places occupy an important space. The workshops? Their prices, rather steep, partially explain this. His analysis takes the detour of four? They access them thanks to the rituals suggested by the organizers and the collective experiences lived.
The places where the workshops are situated the Peak of Bugarach being the most important are sacred and ensure the personal change longed for. The relationship to nature is one of the vectors of the concretization of these workshops and of the esoteric beliefs situated in the landscape of Aude. One of the great qualities of this book is the active empathy of the author towards his study? This is not the book of a believer but that of an analyst aiming to understand the individual and collective dimensions of the workshops participants? In an additional interview, Gottin specifies that the groups he has studied in the 21st Century belong more to the Next Age than to the New Age:.
Illustrations, numerous, are of a good quality for a book of limited price. They are not only ornamental, but permit to grasp the importance of the natural milieu in the beliefs and rites surrounding the Peak of Bugarach.
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Contrasting with these qualities the frequency of unfortunate expressions, sometimes obscure or yet faulty that impede too frequently the clarity of the complex ideas developed by Gottin. Let us hope that the forthcoming English edition will correct these obscurities and improprieties. The title of this anthology commemorates the fact that, in his own words, Paul Screeton has been?
He is creator and editor of Folklore Frontiers, prior to which as long ago as he reactivated and edited The Ley Hunter. Since then there have been ten books besides this one. By his own reckoning he has published on folklore both traditional and contemporary, earth mysteries, ufology and a lot of other stuff that only fits into the convenient portmanteau term,? On several levels, it is a personal half-century record of one writer? Yet it could stand as a partial record of Forteana? Retrospective anthologies, be they labelled? Best of?? Additionally, there are three?
None of the divisions just listed can be considered exclusive or hermetically sealed off from one another. Many of the pieces would fit as well in several categories as the ones to which the author has decided to allocate them for, as he points out,? Pigeon-holing is anathema to any Fortean.? Paradoxically, it is this elastic kind of arrangement, this refusal to insist that something is this but not that, which helps the contents hang together. And yes, it is a thoroughly Fortean approach.
The articles come more or less as originally published with few amendments but our author has introduced a measure of updating through his bold-type commentaries. These mostly but not exclusively located at the end of the piece in question may give previous publishing histories, observations on how or why the piece came to be written, or offer some afterthoughts, corrections and the occasional self-criticism. Screeton is not afraid to accuse himself of? I now totally dissociate myself from the New Age content I introduced to my article here,?
See how my tone had changed ten years later with the next article?? That his thinking and expression have been subject to evolutionary change is very important to Screeton. It also works against any criticism that reprinting articles 20, 30 or 40 years old is a pointless exercise. Controversy and crackpottery? You had better avoid these topics? On the plus side, you could get a pretty good book out of the quarrels and character clashes that have enlivened the arenas of Fortean debate c. There are speculative archaeologists and eccentric antiquarians, alternative historians and a few jokers, not to mention people who manage to combine all these roles.
Some we have heard of? John Michell, for example, whose? Others, I fear, will be known only to those who specialize in the more outr? File here William Rigby and his Wyrley Stones? Forbidden Theory of Mountain Uplift? Ditto for Brigadier-General William Sitwell who took the application of mystical apparatus even further during a weekend at Carnac, amidst whose prehistoric stones he saw? Yet there are people who believe they are quite capable of seeing things like that more or less whenever they like? These unusual ones we sometimes call shamans.
He once planned a book of that title and here you have a few of the personalities who would have furnished chapters for it. It isn? The Curse of the Hexham Heads, described here in Screeton? Remaining with curses or? My personal favourite, though I cannot say why, is the article on the apparent UFO beaming anomalously down on the Baptism of Christ in an early C18 painting by Aert de Gelder.
But at some time in the s a new bias? Perhaps and without completely ruling out the idea that these things literally and truly happened? This invited a dichotomy most plainly seen in ufology where the? Elsewhere, the words? The Fortean event was viewed here as a kind of fiction attested to by spurious second- or third-person evidence. It was, arguably, a kind of modern or recently-distinguished folklore: And so we picked up a new terminology: contemporary legend, urban legend, urban belief tale and much later and not very accurately urban myth.
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Initially, the vast majority of these contemporary legends did not feature such blatantly supernatural phenomena as ghosts, lake monsters or any of the other anomalous events which Forteans recognized as belonging within their field. They dealt comic mishaps, misunderstandings, sexual irregularities, frantic coincidences and so forth, but within a short space of time they were looking askance at and even ridiculing UFO contacts, cryptozoological animals, mystery attackers.
Nor were they fixated on the purely oral? Thus almost any event that posed as being a little outside the normal limits of credibility might be a modern legend. The more often you came across a particular type of story, told and then retold with only minor variations of detail, which usually were outside your power to verify, the more likely was it that you were confronted not by fact but by contemporary legend.
Paul Screeton had been collecting the folklore of Hartlepool and district for some years. A lot of it would have been recognized and approved of by the more conservative among the Folklore Society. Mock Mayors of Middleton? I fancy it would not have been out of place in one of that learned society? Virgin On The Ridiculous? The Man Who Ate a Domino? But he was also drawn to the more contemporaneous aspects of the subject with which traditionally-orientated folklorists have always had problems: the media? All this and an aside from forteana was a real challenge to anyone for whom Folklore meant Merrie Gestes of Robin Hood and hot cross bun customs.
And of course he was also in the paranormalist camp; as we? Problems there, too: Folklorists and Forteans seemed incompatible even when they made concessions to one another. It became known and admitted that not a few of the narratives which appeared in Fortean Times were contemporary legends while folklorists were prepared to speculate that sometimes legends can come to life, more or less as per the legendary script; that, consciously or not, imperfectly or not, people might act out the plot of an urban belief tale.
The question of whether or not Folklorists and Forteans should regard one another as Friend of Foe was still very much alive in November when Screeton lectured on that topic at the Fortean UnConvention.
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A very early piece,? Elephants, Penguins and a Cosmic Chameleon?? At this time EM books were prone to include folktales in ways that tended to suggest that legends might have explanatory value as sort of unofficial historical data. Stories like the elephant that destroyed a VW or some other small car by sitting on it or the notorious stolen corpse yarn appeared to satirize the idea that folklore had any value.
Interestingly, Screeton chose to reprint the article here? True enough, and quite a few folklorists were feeling very uneasy about the validity of this contemporary or urban legend genre. Did it really have any? Was it really folklore? After all and allowing for a due amount of unlikely-sounding things genuinely occurred from time to time and some of them got into the news; people? And if they did, it was not permissible to claim they were folk-fiction of any kind.
For as Screeton wrote in a piece on? Dubious Transmissions? Then there were difficulties in the flimsiness of some types of the new folklore. They were brief? They were frequently media-driven, fixated upon celebrity and pop culture. All this left the more academically minded folklorists disinclined to involve themselves in contemporary legend.
As a journalist and accustomed to interviewing the transiently famous? Screeton had no problems with seeing folklore tendencies in the media? He could see, for example, how sleeping or undead culture heroes like King Arthur and Charlemagne might transmute into James Dean or Jimi Hendrix who, contrary to reports in the world?
Roll Olympus. See also the article following which suggests an odd correlation between country rock star Gram Parsons and UFO contactee George Van Tassel who built a giant rejuvenating dome on the Space People? Then there were still more who were interested in leylines. Through short pieces like these, Screeton covered the world of rocklore which itself was basically an annex of what could be called Celebrity Lore. The media? How should folklorists respond?
For folklorists, repetition equals falsity,? Friends or Foes?? For Forteans, repetition equals veracity? It will be interesting to see where Folklorists and Forteans go over the next few years. It will be interesting to see where Paul Screeton goes, too. If nothing else, it proves I? As I hope to have shown already, there is a lot to be said for this type of retrospective. We are trying to make this a more dynamic place, and are interested in your input.
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