jump to navigation
  • A Very Old Carp January 30, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    A Very Old Carp

    This is an uncommonly good fish story. It appears in a curious book entitled: Johann Heinrich Cohausen, Hermippus redivivus, or, The sage’s triumph over old age and the grave. If you want to achieve immortality you should probably give said book a read. In any case let’s move on to a centuries-old carp. It is not only the […]

    Hartlepool Wandering Jew January 29, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Hartlepool Wandering Jew

    This is the record of a Wandering Jew from Hartlepool in the north-east of England. The text is in dialect and a rather difficult dialect at that: it appeared in the Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail (24 Jul 1880), 4. ‘Did ya ivver knaw thot Wandering Jew cam tiv Hertlepol, sir,’ said an old man, a […]

    Wandering Jew c. 1700 January 28, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Wandering Jew c. 1700

    In his Curious Myths of the Middle Ages Baring-Gould describes a Wandering Jew in England. This is his most interesting account of a modern encounter. About the end of the seventeenth century or the beginning of the eighteenth, an impostor, calling himself the Wandering Jew, attracted attention in England, and was listened to by the […]

    Cockney Wandering Jew January 27, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Cockney Wandering Jew

    Beach has recently been interesting himself with sightings of the Wandering Jew in modern times. A friend of this blog Filip Graliński has been himself looking and has found a remarkable Polish record relating to sightings of the Wandering Jew from just before the First World War. Beach, stung by his failure to find anything […]

    Ghost Larks January 26, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Ghost Larks

    Nineteenth-century newspapers are full of ghost reports. One thing that is rarely taken into account in modern ghost books, is just how many of these were larks. Remember that ghosts led to ghost riots and general excitement. Bored in an evening? Throw a white sheet over your head. Here is a typical one: At Felling, […]

    Victorian Urban Legend: Thief at the Theatre January 25, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Urban Legend: Thief at the Theatre

    This is a fine urban legend like-story. The newspaper editor wrote ‘good if true’. A wealthy Englishman had the misfortune to be robbed of his portemonnaie the other day, containing a large sum, with a ticket for a box at the theatre, which he had purchased in the morning, and a carte-de-visite. He went to […]

    Mermaid Lies January 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Mermaid Lies

    Thomas Crofton Croker was an early mid, nineteenth century Irish writer, most famous today for his Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, which appeared in three volumes between 1825 and 1828. Croker was not, in the modern sense, a folklorist. Some of the stories he wrote out he had heard as a […]

    Breaking the Ampoule January 23, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Breaking the Ampoule

    A WIBT moment from eighteenth-century France: the collision of the hoary old with the bright-eyed, metallic and ghastly new. It involves a cathedral, a hammer and the crystal fragments of a Roman perfume bottle, the Sainte Ampoule, one of the longest continuously used objects in world history. This tiny flacon had been made in the late Roman […]

    Richard Cosway Meets the Wandering Jew January 22, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Richard Cosway Meets the Wandering Jew

    This story appears in Cyrus Redding’s Fifty Years in the third volume (1858). Redding is describing a Mr. Beckford, an immensely rich Englishman in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century with whom he was personally acquainted. The following story is not from Beckford but from a friend of Beckford which means, of course, we are […]

    19C Rumours from Britain January 20, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    19C Rumours from Britain

    In his search for Victorian urban legends, Beach has recently been chasing the word ‘rumour’ through the Victorian press. He did not find much in the way of urban legends but he did find lots of inexplicable international gossip. Of course, in the age of the internet the rumour that the Prince of Wales had drowned […]

    The Servant Who Became a Bride January 19, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Servant Who Became a Bride

    Beach has often offered up stories that sound like that they may be urban legends from Victorian Britain. Many of these stories involve crime because crime was acceptable to the reading palate of Victorians: morality, punishment, sometimes redemption… There were unquestionably many sexual urban legends. Unfortunately most of these went unrecorded because of Victorian sensibilities. […]

    Japanese Dragon Hunt January 17, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Japanese Dragon Hunt

    Beach has a busy day, so he offers this story up almost without comment. It would be fun to expand it though. Can anyone help with original sources, or at least ones nearer the fount: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com Thousands of peasants in the province Sessbu [in Japan] are engaged in a dragon hunt. […]

    Best Irish Fairy Books: The Twentieth Century January 15, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Best Irish Fairy Books: The Twentieth Century

    Yesterday we offered the best nineteenth-century writing on Irish fairies. Today the best of the twentieth century: 1911: In this year W. Y. Evans-Wentz changed fairy writing for ever by publishing his brilliantly bizarre The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. Evans-Wentz offered a collection of fairylore for all the Celtic nations (Cornwall, Man, Scotland, Brittany, […]

    Best Irish Fairy Books: the Nineteenth Century January 14, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Best Irish Fairy Books: the Nineteenth Century

    So you have decided to become an expert on fairies. Your eyes wander over the map of western Europe and after some consideration of the different regional varieties you settle on Ireland: English fairies too pompous; Dutch fey MIA; Icelandic elves aloof; Scandinavian trolls stupid… But where do you begin? There follows a list of […]

    Dumb Duels #5: Golf Duel January 13, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Dumb Duels #5: Golf Duel

    A golf duel from the US picked up by a British newspaper in 1927 and so dating to that year? From America comes an account of a strange duel – a combat with golf clubs and balls as ‘the weapons’ wherewith two disputants went out to seek satisfaction. A St. Louis man and a visitor […]

    Page 2 of 8912345...102030...Last »