United States Folklore

I’m All Right

We knew right from the start that Johnny was going to be a soldier. Even as a child, all his concentration was on the military. So we weren’t surprised when he joined the Marines right out of high school…

The Headless Horseman

One cold winter night, early in the New Year, a certain Dutchman left the tavern in Tarrytown and started walking to his home in the hollow nearby. His path led next to the old Sleepy Hollow cemetery where a headless Hessian soldier was buried. At midnight, the Dutchman came within site of the graveyard…

The Grave

A young woman lay suffering on her deathbed, her stillborn baby lying against her chest. Her young husband crouched close, stricken with grief. His beautiful wife crooned a lullaby to her dead baby, her voice growing fainter as death drew near. Finally, she looked at her husband and asked him to bury her back East, beside her dead mother. Choked with grief, the young husband agreed…

Ghosts of Ringwood Manor

Ringwood Manor you say? A lovely old house. But no place, my child, to go on a dark night with no moon. Built in the 1700’s, the original house was a collection of smaller buildings patched together to create a Manor. The current Manor House was built by Martin Ryerson in 1807…

Ghost Ship of Captain Sandovate

When Captain Don Sandovate voyaged from Spain to the New World in search of treasure, he found gold in abundance. But among his crew there were many sailors who did not wish to share the new-found wealth with the monarchs of Spain…

Ghost Pilots of Times Square

He had just graduated from Harvard University and was living in Manhattan. He loved the city and was beginning to feel at home on its streets. World War II was raging in Europe, and like all other good citizens, he followed the headlines daily and did his part for the boys overseas…

Ghost Handprints

My wife Jill and I were driving home from a friend’s party late one evening in early May. It was a beautiful night with a full moon. We were laughing and discussing the party when the engine started to cough and the emergency light went on. We had just reached the railroad crossing where Villamain Road becomes Shane Road…

Green Lantern

There once was a lighthouse keeper who had lived on St. Martin’s Island with his children, whom he loved dearly. They were all alone there, for the mother had died long before. Wanting the best for his daughter and son, the keeper had insisted that they continue their education, and for this purpose had purchased a small dory for them, which they rowed across to the mainland each day to attend school.

Round River Drive

Well now Paul Bunyan scouted around the north woods of Wisconsin for quite a while afore he found the perfect spot for his winter lumber camp. It was right next to a fast river, and Paul figured they could pile the logs up right next to it and come spring time it would be mighty easy to tumble the logs into the river and float ‘em down to the mill.

Paul Bunyan Tames the Whistling River

The Whistling River – so named because twice a day, it reared up to a height of two hundred feet and let loose a whistle that could be heard for over six hundred miles – was the most ornery river in the U.S. of A. It took a fiendish delight in plaguing the life out of the loggers who worked it.

Paul Bunyan’s Kitchen

One winter, Paul Bunyan came to log along the Little Gimlet in Oregon. Ask any old timer who was logging that winter, and they’ll tell you I ain’t lying when I say his kitchen covered about ten miles of territory.

Paul Bunyan and the Log Jam

One spring day, the loggers on the Wisconsin River discovered a huge log jam, the biggest they’d ever seen. The logs were piled about two hundred feet high and the jam went upriver for a mile or more. Those loggers chopped and hauled at the jam, but it wouldn’t budge an inch. So they called for Paul Bunyan to give them a hand.

Paul Bunyan and the Frozen Flames

One winter, shortly after Paul Bunyan dug Lake Michigan as a drinking hole for his blue ox, Babe, he decided to camp out in the Upper Peninsula. It was so cold in that there logging camp, that…

Babe the Blue Ox

Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before…

Vision of War

I don’t do battlefields. Oh, it’s not because I am against history. Nope, the truth is I’m psychic and I find battlefields…overwhelming is the best word I can come up with. The fact of the matter is, I don’t deal at all well with being psychic, having been raised in a family of scientists and “seeing is believing” kind of people. I was the only one on either side of my family who had any sort of ESP, and it made things rather difficult growing up. For instance, when my high school class took a trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I fainted as soon as I stepped out of the bus, overhelmed by the smells and sounds of the Civil War battle which I saw raging before my eyes. It was freaky. And embarassing. Pretty much the story of my life. Anyway, after that, I decided to avoid battlefields.

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.

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 came to my shop one year in the guise of an ugly old woman. She entered my shop a few minutes before closing and said: “I wish to have a dozen cookies.” She pointed to my special Saint Nicholas cookies that were sitting out on a tray. So I counted out twelve cookies for her…

Higher Mathmatics

Shmul and Benin, two of the wisest men in the town of Chelm, went one day to take a steam bath. As they relaxed in the luxury of steamy heat, they idly began discussing Benin’s upcoming trip to Dvimsk, debating how long it would take for him to drive to the distant town in his buggy…

Saving Time

Shmul was on his way to the market in Chelm one afternoon when he saw his good friend Bein on the street.
“Sholom aleichem,” called Shmul to his friend.
“Go to blazes,” Bein said without missing a beat.

White Wolf

She snapped awake out of a deep sleep, screaming aloud in terror. In her nightmare, a large white wolf had been chasing her around and around the house, gaining on her with every step until it finally pounced on her and ripped out her throat. She lay shaking for hours, unable to sleep after such a terrifying dream.

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