Woodpecker Woman

Once there was an old woman living up on the mountain, who kept to herself mostly. The folks down in town all called her "Red Cap" because of the little crimson hat she wore. Some people visited her when they were sick because everyone around knew she could work the plants and heal any disease.... Continue Reading →

285: Witch Animals

Witches have long had associations with certain animals. In the Ozarks we inherited a folk tradition from European, African, and Native sources, so when we talk about witch animals we have a wide variety to mention. First we can talk about white and black animals and their supernatural associations. Often black animals, like crows, ravens,... Continue Reading →

269: The Razorback

Across the world, the wild boar and feral pig (two distinct critters though often overlapping in legend) have been scaring hunters shitless for centuries. As a fiercely aggressive animal it’s no wonder there are so many legends surrounding the beast. Ozarkers inherited much of their razorback lore from their Appalachian ancestors, who most likely their... Continue Reading →

252: The Powerful Mr. Green

Mr. Green was a witch and everyone knew it, although no one on the hill dared ever call him that. They all feared him turning his eye on their crops, or cows, or house, or children. They all whispered behind the man’s back, but as sure as I’m standing here right now they all went... Continue Reading →

245: Jack and the Strangers

Once upon a time Jack was visiting his kinfolks down in Greenbrier Holler. Every year, in the dead of winter, Jack’s aunt and uncle would have a big party at their cabin to fight off the cold, and they would have all the families from the holler over for a night of eatin’ and dancin’... Continue Reading →

244: Ozark Fairies

Fairy lore and beliefs here in the Ozarks has its origin in the folklore and traditions of the Scots-Irish settlers to the Appalachian Mountains. It was in these mountains and hills that the traditional European belief in the “Fair Folk,” “Good Folk,” “Gentry,” “Little People,” etc. mixed with the indigenous belief in the “Little People”... Continue Reading →

239: Jack’s Hunting Trip

This is probably one of my favorite Jack tales. There are many variations on the story. One version, found here, was recorded by Alan Lomax while in the Appalachian Mountains. This is my own version of the story of one of Jack’s famous hunting trips. One time, years ago, Jack set out all alone up... Continue Reading →

238: Jack and the Devil

Based on the Irish story of Stingy Jack. There’s an Appalachian version that was collected by Richard Chase and called “Wicked John and the Devil” that can be found in his book “Grandfather Tales”. The image above is from the picture book version of the story illustrated by Joshua Tolford. Once there was a man named... Continue Reading →

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