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Berserker's avatar

What's your favourite horror related folklore/myth story, how scary was it, and where does it come from?

Asked by Berserker (33394points) April 9th, 2010

There are countless horror oriented short stories…these days, you usually find them in children’s books, and when I was little I read a whole bunch of them. These kinds of tales often seem to survive from one generation to the other orally, or find themselves in books as I’ve mentioned, and plenty of them go through variations…
One of my favourite ones ever is Tailypo, which I’ve read countless different versions of, and in two different languages…ancient spooky tales take all sorts of shape; short stories, urban legends, fairy tales of some kind or another.
So they can be anything, as long as it’s generally known as a ’‘scary’’ story…so, which is your favourite?
As I say I read so many when I was younger but I think I forgot most of them, so perhaps the answers here will ring some bells, or introduce me to new stuff.

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25 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

I’m from the Appalachian region of the United States, and my area is literally loaded with all kinds of freaky folklore. Witches, the mothman, cannibals, freaky mountain rituals, snake handling churches in the hollers that practice exorcisms. We’ve got a little bit of everything here.

Though it’s not a story per se, one of my favorite things from this region is the death crown.

Seek's avatar

Well, when I was little the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight kind of freaked me out, with the Knight putting on his own severed head and walking away.

I used to read the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” series when I was a kid, too. I remember one about a guy in a nursing home or a hospital, who waited twenty years for the bed by the window, finally poisoned the guy who had that bed, and when he got switched over, found out the window faced a brick wall.

TexasDude's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, holy God, I loved those books when I was a kid! I still have them. I was raised from birth on horror movies and ghost stories, and to this day, one of the only things that unsettles me are the illustrations from the Scary Stories series.

Seek's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard They were horrid weren’t they? I love them!

OpryLeigh's avatar

I can’t add much to this thread but will be following as have recently found myself addicted to horror (films, books etc) even though I have had to sleep with the light on on the odd occassion.

Berserker's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Stephen Gamell is the artist for the books, I read all of those too. In fact, one of the stories, ’‘The Toe’’, is a variation of the Tailypo one…but yeah, I loved his drawings when I was little and tried to make my own, it’s harder than it seems haha.

lloydbird's avatar

Real lore is far more scary. And it’s going on today.
And tomorrow.
And may be coming for you next.

TexasDude's avatar

@Symbeline, I tried to emulate his drawings too!

Michael_Huntington's avatar

There’s going to be a fourth book

Berserker's avatar

@Mike_Hunt Is there really? Will they still have Stephen Gamell for the artwork? They better…

Michael_Huntington's avatar

A fourth book is coming on June 16, 2010. Alvin had been writing it when he died. The book will be sold in a collectors box with a movie of all of the chapters.
I hope it comes out, or I’d be really pissed at Wiki

Berserker's avatar

@Mike_Hunt Dude, sweet, that means they might have the Hearse Song on the movie haha.

Arisztid's avatar

As a youth and later as an adult, I read the works of the Brothers Grimm.

Most people think of these as fairy tales.

If so, bypass the watered down movies and sugar coated versions of the stories that the Brothers Grimm wrote and read the originals. Yes, they were written for children but, no, they were not all nice. Even the famous ones, the ones much filmed, are far different from the originals.

@Seek_Kolinahr Oh man, those were bloody fantastic!

Also, when a lad, I got into history and learned about the real monsters, like Elisabeth Bathory.

I was allowed to read anything I wanted my entire life. My father believed that if I was able to read something and had the desire, no restrictions were put on me. When I got into the really scary stuff, my father would warn me what I was getting into and let me go at it.

Blackberry's avatar

Even though I know nothing will happen, I still haven’t said Bloody Mary in the mirror 3 times with the lights off. Ya know what….I’ll just do it now and get it over with.

Berserker's avatar

@Blackberry Let me know if anything cool happens. :D

Blackberry's avatar


HungryGuy's avatar

The antics of Marquis de Sade…

Vunessuh's avatar

When I was growing up, I loved, loved, LOVED Sleepy Hollow, the tale of the headless horseman.

Seek's avatar


OMG, me too! One Halloween my dad took me to Ichabod Crane’s grave. It was so awesome.

Vunessuh's avatar

<————Jealous. I want to go to Ichabod Crane’s grave. Sad panda. :(

Seek's avatar

The original gravestone isn’t there anymore, sadly. I saw it when it was spraypainted, and looked like someone had taken an axe to it. About 10 years ago they replaced it with a new, big, shiny thing… I was already living in Florida by then, though. Only seen pictures of it.

Brian1946's avatar



Oh really? You haven’t posted for 2 days now. :-0
What’s up with that? ;-)

Berserker's avatar

Sleepy Hollow is great, although I’ve only seen the movie by Tim Burton. Which is awesome. But I’d love to read the actual story.

Blackberry's avatar

@Brian1946 I’m still here :)

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