9 Interesting English Folktales
History is full of supernatural tales of mysterious creatures that haunt England, from dragons to demon dogs, from fairies to vampires. Waves of immigrants such as Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans have caused countless stories to be told in this region. Historians have worked for a long time to piece together all of these narratives. After the stories were collected, they were published in sets. But until recently, these stories were in the lockers of libraries. Let’s examine together the 9 stories that have come to light and are told the most in history.
1. Ursilla – Orkney / Stronsay
Ursilla, a strong-willed girl, did not marry any of the local noblemen. When she inherited her father’s estate, she married the man she always wanted. The man she married was poor and had no children. After a while, it turned out that this man was an “inadequate” husband. Ursilla was a passionate woman. But her marriage was not going well. For a long time she pretended to be happily married. Sad and dejected, Ursilla landed on the seashore one day and let her tears mingle with the sea. Soon after, a seal-like creature emerged from the sea and asked Ursilla what she wanted from him:
- I’ve had a bad marriage and my bed is a very cold, loveless place. I want to feel strong arms around me. I want to be loved and made love.
- Well, I will come to you and take care of your needs, but I can only take on a human form every seventh stream (tide). Then meet me here.
After this speech, the man got into the waves. In the next seventh stream, Ursilla rushed to the shore. The man stood up, shed his skin, and they embraced. All of Ursilla’s needs and desires were answered that night, and when it was time to leave, she promised to return to him in the next seventh stream.
After that day, Ursilla was much happier and more peaceful. His servants also noticed that he was gaining weight, especially around the navel. As time passed, it was revealed that Ursilla was pregnant. Ursilla was pregnant and had many children. But these children were born with a strange web between their toes. Midwives cut the net after the child was born to keep Ursilla’s secret. Today, in the region where the story is told, all children with anomalies in the skin of the feet and hands are thought to be descended from Ursilla.
2. Witch Rabbit
After a day of disappointment, the hunters came across a woman named Nanny in the woods. She told the hunters, “I can tell you where to find the rabbit you can hunt,” and added: But beware that the rabbit and the black dog are next to each other. There was indeed a huge rabbit lying under the fence that Nanny had pointed out. Meanwhile, the black dog of the hunters escaped from the hands of the people and bit the rabbit’s leg. At that moment, the woman began to run quickly towards her hut.
When the hunters entered the hut, they saw the woman writhing with the wound on her leg. At that moment it became clear that Nanny was a witch. The woman began to cry and beg for mercy. He promised not to get involved in evil and to cooperate with the devil again. He even stated that he would go to church every Sunday. Still, the woman could not avoid being sentenced to lashes. This story was told during a time of witch hunts in Europe. Therefore, it is thought that this supernatural story was written to scare women.
3. Black Shuck – Black Dog
Suffolk Beach is known to be full of supernatural tales and myths. Especially the chilling tale of a ghost dog named Black Shuck is still being told! The beast is said to roam the coastline and countryside of East Anglia. The beast’s name is probably derived from the old English word ‘succa’ meaning devil. For centuries, residents of Suffolk have told tales of a large black dog with malice and flaming eyes. According to reports, the beast is only about the size of a large dog. It has been stated that sometimes Black Shuck appears headless and other times he walks on a fog.
According to folklore, the beast haunts East Anglia’s especially coastlines, cemeteries, by-roads, crossroads, bodies of water, and dark forests. In 1960, an eyewitness described hearing the voice of a gasping presence behind him while riding a bicycle on a stifling summer night. According to his testimony, when he looked back, he saw two red lights approaching him. Then he began to pedal rapidly, feeling the hot breath of the beast on his skin. But the monster quickly turned left in front of the bike and disappeared! The shocked cyclist went to the nearest bar and told his story, and the people living in the area replied that “everyone knows that you shouldn’t go there at night”.
4. Knucker Hole Ejderhası – Sussex
According to the story, there is a dragon that lives in a pond near Lyminster, Sussex, feeding on humans and animals. This supernatural beast is known as Knucker, and his hometown is called the Knucker Hole. The name Knucker is of Anglo-Saxon origin meaning water monster. nicor comes from the word There is someone brave and strong to deal with this dragon: Jim Puttock. Puttock plans to kill the dragon by making a poisonous pie. He makes an enormous pie and offers this food to the dragon. The dragon feels bad after eating the pie. Meanwhile, Puttock hits the dragon on the head with an ax and kills it. Puttock goes to a bar to celebrate his victory. Unfortunately, he forgets to wash his hands and accidentally kills himself by wiping his mouth with his poisonous hands.
5. Devil Dog – Devon
The protagonist of this supernatural story is a priest named Dando. As every Sunday, the priest who goes hunting with his friends on a Sunday is extremely happy. Dando and his friends always drink wine while hunting. However, their wine ends early that day. Locals refer to the land they hunt as “the world”. Meanwhile, Dando wants to make a little joke: “Go to hell if you can’t find it on Earth.” At that moment, a dark-haired stranger appears and hands Dando a drink from his flask. Dando, who liked the taste of the drink, said, “Do the gods drink this wonderful thing?” he asks. “Devils do,” says the stranger. Dando runs towards the stranger to find out the source of the drink. At that moment, the “devil” puts him on his big black horse and gallops away. Fiery sparks erupt from the horse’s heels, and demon-looking dogs follow. After that day, Dando is never seen again. However, the public continues to see and hear dogs.
6. Perillar Galleries – Fairies
According to the story, Welsh nymphs lived in caves and mountains. They were seen dancing on moonlit nights. They never spoke and communicated only by signs. The little fairies were generally friendly. But the larger ones were mischievous and dishonest. The great fairies often smuggled small children into the mountains, leaving them with ugly disfigured people. The faces of the stolen dolls were the same at first. But then their faces would turn ugly, their skin wrinkled, and they would take on a grumpy character. The name of the kidnapped children was sometimes Eilian, sometimes John. Although the names have changed, this supernatural story has been told for centuries.
According to an surviving Anglo-Saxon chronicle, two recently deceased villagers were seen walking along the main street of the village with their coffins on their backs. These ghosts would knock on the doors of the living, calling them by name. Those whose names were mentioned soon fell ill and died. The villagers opened the graves of the two ghouls to find out what was going on. The scene they encountered was quite frightening. The corpses were not decomposed and had fresh blood stains on their faces. Thereupon, the villagers cut off the heads of the corpses and put them between their legs. They also took out their hearts and burned them to make sure they were dead. Then two black birds flew over the village, and the sick people were healed.
8. The Mermaid – Scotland / Galloway
We are familiar with the tales of mermaids who sing in the sea, comb their golden hair and make sailors fall in love with them. But the story told in Scotland is a little more interesting. Gollaway’s mermaid lived in a small waterway. Every evening he would go up to a chair-shaped rock and give medical advice to people who asked him for help. But one deeply religious woman thought it was the work of the devil. To protect himself and other people, he took a Bible and pushed the girl’s rock chair into the pond. When the mermaid appeared the next evening, she called out, “From now on, you’ll look at your empty cradle.” In the morning, the pious woman’s baby was found dead in her cradle. Locals filled the pond with stones and earth in retaliation, and the mermaid was never seen again.
9. Kelpie and the Kids
A group of children wandering near Lochaber one Sunday saw a very large and friendly horse. There was enough room for all of them on the horse’s back. That’s why they went right on his back. But the horse began to gallop. Frightened by this situation, the children wanted to jump to the ground. But they were all stuck. Of these children, only those with a Bible in his pocket survived. As soon as the surviving boy got off the horse, he saw the horse running towards the water. None of the dead children were seen again. However, the next day, pieces of liver and intestines were found on the surface of the pond. The horse in this story is stated to be a Kelpie living in the fresh waters of Scotland. The Kelpie is a mythical beast that changes shape and often takes the form of a horse or a human. Almost every freshwater spring in Scotland has a kelpie story. This supernatural creature is thought to have a relationship with the devil.