This book examines how Celtic legends were integrated into the setting of
once Europeans began settling in this country. And it does this well. America
I’ve always been fascinated by folklore. Growing up in the
Appalachians, it’s always been a part of my daily life. My poor old Granddad can tell the same story thirty times yet it still feels fresh each time. He told my brother and me about the guys who made a witch’s picture out of dough and shot it seven times, and how the witch’s daughters wouldn’t let anyone see the body because they found seven bullet holes in it. This is a common story throughout the South, yet it always felt like it belonged peculiarly to . We heard about his murder car and the ghost in his backseat. We grew wide-eyed at the transparent old lady in the house window, and shivered over the ghost that would walk up their steps each night. Granddad talked about the “hollerin’ things” in Craig County . (This is the only story I’ve never found a duplicate of, which, quite frankly, makes it that much scarier.) We were always wary of the headless Confederate soldier and knew about the “murder hole” where, supposedly, a man in his carriage was driven to his death. If you live in any type of small town, you simply can’t escape the story telling tradition. And all these stories have origins elsewhere, in much older civilizations. Franklin County
Bob Curran weaves his tales with the skill of a story teller. Although it’s essentially a study in folkloric tradition, it doesn’t read like a textbook. It flows, it has rhythm. And yes, many of the stories were quite familiar.
You have the portents of death, the strange noises from underground. Curran shows how tales of the old gods became tales of demons (which, coming from a Christian point of view, makes perfect sense). He points out how the similarity in landscape played a part in which stories settled where in this country. It’s an absolutely fascinating read.
This is a must for anyone interested in folkore, stories, or just like finding good yarns for the fireside.