What is folklore? Is it a fairy tale? A lie made up to appease the masses? No, it is simply a story told by the people. Folklore doesn’t have to mean tales from long ago by unlearned people. Folklore can be anything and anyone can create it. It is like when you played the game Telephone as a child. As time goes on and the story gets heard through different people and told in different voices, things change. And somewhere along the way, you created folklore, especially if it keeps going. And you know one of the coolest things about folklore? Most people have it entirely wrong. So here I am, to give you some tidbits of insight into the world of folklore through some of the most well-known folklore trolls.
Vampires were original very flushed, thanks to the blood they drank.
They could not leave their graves on Sunday, so people would hunt them on the holy day.
Going along with my first point, vampires were often more plump than they had been in life. One way to tell if someone was a vampire was to see if they looked better in death than they did in life.
The term “troll” was originally a word used for any kind of supernatural creature, from fairies to sirens.
Because of this, a lot of what we think to be “troll lore” can actually be credited to something else. But one thing is for sure, no troll was short, cute and had tons of colorful hair atop their heads.
Fairies lived in the hills or in trees. In order to not get turned around by the fairies in the forest people would wear their clothes inside out.
Sometimes fairies would move into barns and live there in peace. Most of the time, they demanded food, beer or milk from their human hosts or they would wind up in a whirlwind of misfortune.
Fairies love music, musicians don’t have to fear. But, one should NEVER dance in the presence of a fairy musician or else you’ll end up dancing yourself to death.
So, what do you think? And if you doubt me, here are some sources, feel free to look up some of these yourself. Read a couple of ghost stories and light a few candles.
Folkloristics: An Introduction by Robert A. Georges
Folklore Rules: Lynne McNeill
Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology by Theresa Bane
In all honesty, there are so many other types of folklore creatures to discuss. And I absolutely love folklore (I even wrote a collection of short stories because of it) but I am not entirely sure how that would be perceived. Let me know what you think.
And if you wonder why I chose this set of stairs for my featured pic, it is simply because staircases are liminal spaces. Places in between two others and in that way, they are both at the same time. It is in these liminal spaces that the supernatural can occur more easily. It is in these spaces where folklore and fantasy can cross over into reality. On another note, if you just think the staircase looks cool, I took this photo while visiting the Morris Arboretum right outside of Philadelphia.