The purpose of the women's existence also varies, depending on the combination of elements that are driving their legend and the time and place in which the story is being told. Some are looking to rescue or replace the children that have been lost to them. Some appear to herald the deaths of others. And some find themselves stuck in a recursive loop, repeating their deaths over and over again, never resting and affecting nothing.
Category: Urban Legends
#FolkloreThursday: Demons in the Night
Before we understood the nature of sleep, and how our brain and body interact while we're sleeping, it was believed that this paralysis was caused by a literal demon, or night hag, sitting on the sleeper's chest. These night hags, or night mares, would ride the sleeper, leaving them terrified and exhausted come morning.
#FolkloreThursday: The Poisoned Dress
As you can imagine, the idea is relatively simple. An item of clothing has been coated with poison on the inside so that when it touches the flesh of the victim, the poison is absorbed into their skin and they die a horrific and painful death. It's not fun but it's apparently pretty popular.
#FolkloreThursday: What Do You Do When Everyone Wants To Set Fire To Your Workplace?
There are several stories that attempt to explain the loss of the Library of Alexandria. Some stories are very romantic and would have us believe that the library is intact but hidden beneath the sands, waiting for an intrepid librarian/explorer to find it and reveal its knowledge to the modern world.
#FolkloreThursday: The Many Layers of Santa Claus
As I noted at the top, this post in no way covers the entirety of Santa-related mythology. This is a big story and it has more branches than I could ever hope to cover. But I wanted to give y'all an idea of just how expansive and old this legend is.
#FolkloreThursday: Hans Trapp, The Cannibalistic Christmas Scarecrow
My guess is that it was children who began this folkloric game of telephone, because it's almost always the children. They hear a story, it begins to morph, they grow up, they repeat the story to their children, perhaps with a little spice added, and on it goes. Because children, then as now, seem to like to make any urban legend as gruesome as possible and one-up their friends, eventually we end up with a Christmas-themed scarecrow that eats kids.
#FolkloreThursday: Don’t Lick the Blue Star Tattoo
Looking back on this, it seems absurd, right? And it is. The inherent danger, though, is in the fact that law enforcement agencies were so quick to begin passing out warnings when they had no evidence that anyone had ever actually experienced this. Zero investigatory work was done and while Google may not have been possible back then, it can't have been that hard to try to get to the bottom of this. But they didn't.
#FolkloreThursday: Headless Horsemen
The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War...
#FolkloreThursday: Goatman’s Bridge
In the 1930s there was an Black goat farmer named Oscar Washburn who lived in the Denton, Texas area, near Old Alton Bridge. Washburn was an incredibly successful and popular farmer who was known for miles around for the quality of the meat, milk, cheese, and hides that his farm produced. Washburn became so well know, in fact, that he hung a sign near the bridge that said "This way to the Goatman," the better to direct people to his farm.
#FolkloreThursday: Scarecrows and The Harvest
When the fields are full, they stand as protector to the crops. Once harvest comes, once the fields have been reaped, when everything is turning brown and decaying, the figure of the scarecrow stands in the fields alone, forever immobile (we hope!), watching over the land with hollow eyes, waiting for life to return.