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Storytelling

The Folklore Podcast

Mark Norman

+8 FANS
Folklore: Beliefs, traditions & culture of the people. Traditional folklore themes from around the world. One episode each month features a special guest from the field of folklore. Recalling our forgotten history, recording the new. The Folklore Pod...Show More
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Episode 60 - MAGICAL HOUSE PROTECTION

0:00 | Aug 1st

Belief in magic and particularly the power of witchcraft was once a deep and enduring presence in popular culture; people created and concealed many objects to protect themselves from harmful magic. Brian Hoggard's book, Magical House Protection exam...Show More
Episode 59 - THE GLASS WOMAN

0:00 | Jun 30th

1686, Iceland. A wild, isolated landscape that can swallow a man without so much as a volcanic gasp, where superstitious Icelanders are haunted by all-too-recent memories of witch trials. Such is the setting for the novel "The Glass Woman", written ...Show More
Episode 58 - ICELANDIC FOLKLORE

0:00 | May 30th

The country of Iceland is both bleak and beautiful in equal measure, and is also home to some of the darker aspects of folklore and belief. In this first of two episodes of the podcast looking at Icelandic Lore through the lens of popular authors, ho...Show More
Episode 57 - TALES OF BRITAIN

0:00 | May 8th

In this episode of the podcast, host Mark Norman is joined by comedian and author Jem Roberts to discuss his new book, 'Tales of Britain'. A number of years in the compiling and producing, Tales of Britain takes 77 well known and more obscure folk ta...Show More
Episode 56 - REDISCOVERING RENAISSANCE WITCHCRAFT

0:00 | Apr 17th

The second of two interviews examining themes of witchcraft. Following on from the last episode of Cunning Folk, in this episode of the podcast Mark Norman is joined by Marion Gibson, Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures at the University...Show More
Episode 55 - CUNNING FOLK

0:00 | Mar 25th

PhD researcher Tabitha Stanmore joins the Folklore Podcast creator and host Mark Norman, and historian Tracey Norman, to discuss her research into the role of the service magician in history. Spanning the years from c. 1350 to c. 1650, Tabitha resear...Show More
Episode 54 - BOTANICAL FOLK TALES

0:00 | Mar 3rd

The landscape that surrounds us is rich in folklore connected with the plants and flowers that dwell within it. Some of these are old and connect with the world of fairy. Some are more modern and relate to invasive species. All are fascinating. In th...Show More
Episode 53 - ROSES ARE RED

0:00 | Feb 18th

In this episode, Folklore Podcast creator and host Mark Norman takes a look at some of the old (and a few of the modern) customs and traditions associated with Valentine's Day. From the medieval period, by way of early house visiting traditions an...Show More
Episode 52: GHOSTS IN CINEMA

0:00 | Feb 5th

Folklore Podcast creator and host Mark Norman is joined in this episode by folklore blogger and film academic Icy Sedgwick to discuss the genre of horror and supernatural in film. The discussion explores the research being undertaken by Icy as par...Show More
Episode 51 - HAPPY NEW YEAR

0:00 | Jan 15th

To kick off Season 4 of The Folklore Podcast, host Mark Norman examines traditional New Year customs and celebrations around the world, noting the many similarities in different cultures as well as the unique aspects found from place to place. To su...Show More
Episode 50 - PERCHTEN

0:00 | Dec 29th, 2018

The Krampus has become a big folkloric figure at Christmas time in recent years. But less discussed and of equal interest are the female figures of the Perchten from the alpine regions. On this, the final episode of Season 3 of the Folklore Podcast, ...Show More
Episode 49 - IN COMES I ...

0:00 | Dec 10th, 2018

In the first of two episodes of the podcast examining festive folklore for December, Folklore Podcast creator and host Mark Norman looks at the history and origins of the Mummers Play and other Yuletide folk plays and traditions. Contesting the broad...Show More
Episode 48 - LORE OF THE LOCKS

0:00 | Nov 14th, 2018

Prejudices against people because of the colour of their skin are unacceptable. And yet, it is often socially accepted to make fun of people because of the colour of their hair. Why should this be any different? And is there any evidence to back up t...Show More
Episode 47 - TALES OF THE LANTERN

0:00 | Oct 22nd, 2018

As beautifully performed and presented as it was, there is far more to the concept of the 'genie' than Disney's manic blue singing version in Aladdin. The genie is the Westernised version of the Jinn, the supernatural being from Islamic and Arabian m...Show More
Episode 46 - HUSH LITTLE BABY

0:00 | Sep 26th, 2018

The lullaby as a song type is found in cultures all over the world. Whilst the familiar interpretation is as a gentle song to lull a child to a restful sleep, in this episode podcast creator and host Mark Norman offers some alternative readings where...Show More
Episode 45 - AN INTRODUCTION TO NORSE MYTHOLOGY

0:00 | Aug 22nd, 2018

The mythology of the Norse peoples is a rich and varied one, but little is found in the archaeological record to tell us much for certain. Some things we speculate about, others we get from primary sources. But what are these sources?In this episo...Show More
Episode 44 - GRIND THE CORN

0:00 | Aug 7th, 2018

A guest lecture from the great British folklorist Jeremy Harte who examines the character of the miller in folklore. Recorded live at the Folklore Society Conference at the Museum of English Rural Life in 2018. Access all episodes of the podcast for...Show More
Episode 43 - WOMEN AND FAIRIES AT WORK

0:00 | Jun 7th, 2018

This episode features two guest speakers, recorded live at the flagship conference of The Folklore Society in 2018, held at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading and examining aspects of rural life and folklore from around the world. Rosalind ...Show More
Episode 42 - A LIVERPOOL CUNNING MAN AND HIS MAGICAL MANUAL

0:00 | May 16th, 2018

This guest talk was recorded at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic's Ritual Magic conference in May 2018. William Dawson Bellhouse (1814-1870) was many things - magician, surgeon and galvanist to name but three. His personal magical workbook, the su...Show More
Episode 41 - WITCH BOTTLES

0:00 | May 1st, 2018

This episode of the Folklore Podcast is the first featuring expert presentations from the Hidden Charms 2 conference in Salisbury - a conference organised by Brian Hoggard of the Apotropaios website with John Billingsley and Jeremy Harte. The confere...Show More
Episode 40 - FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW

0:00 | Apr 4th, 2018

In the winter of 1855, after a heavy fall of snow, residents across a large area of the county of Devon, in the South West of the UK, awoke to find a mysterious trail of prints in the snow. Looking like an hoof, the single-file line of prints alleged...Show More
Episode 39 - CRAVING SUPERNATURAL CREATURES

0:00 | Mar 15th, 2018

In this episode of the Folklore Podcast, creator and host Mark Norman is joined by guest Dr Claudia Schwabe, assistant professor of German at Utah State University. Amongst other things, Claudia teaches classes on fairy tales and in this interview sh...Show More
Episode 38 - MIRROR MIRROR

0:00 | Mar 1st, 2018

Of all the objects in your house, the mirror probably has more superstitions attached to it than any other. It may be used for divination. It may be a portal to another dimension. And woe betide you if it should fall off the wall and break. In this ...Show More
Episode 37 - ALIEN BIG CATS

0:00 | Feb 21st, 2018

This episode presents a recorded folklore talk from the archives of the podcast creator and host, Mark Norman. Alien Big Cats was recorded in September 2013 at the Folklore Society conference 'Beasts in Legend and Tradition'. The talk, presented by ...Show More
Episode 36 - INVESTIGATING GHOSTS: THE ROLE OF FOLKLORE

0:00 | Feb 1st, 2018

There is no doubt that modern day ghost hunting is a big deal. From television programming to participatory events, the search for evidence of ghosts is more prevalent than ever. But how does folklore have a role to play in paranormal investigation? ...Show More
Episode 35 - THE TRUTH ABOUT HANSEL AND GRETEL

0:00 | Jan 15th, 2018

Many fairy tales have their roots in a much darker past, but these origins are watered down to make the tales more wholesome or moral. But did the story of Hansel and Gretel really stem from a case of entrepreneurial intrigue and murder in 17th centu...Show More
Episode 34 - THE CURSE OF THE CRYING BOY

0:00 | Jan 1st, 2018

There is a piece of artwork which has been around for many years and has a long and involved narrative surrounding it. It may be found in thousands of homes in differing prints and is usually known as The Crying Boy. This image has a wonderful and...Show More
Episode 33 - GEF! THE EXTRA SPECIAL TALKING MONGOOSE

0:00 | Dec 15th, 2017

The case of Gef, the alleged talking mongoose, which may or may not have been a poltergeist, or a ghost, or a hoax, or any one of a number of things, took place over a period of around 8 years on a remote farm in the Isle of Man in the 1930s. It was ...Show More
Episode 32 - SPINDLE, SHUTTLE AND NEEDLE

0:00 | Dec 1st, 2017

The skills of weaving, spinning and knitting were vital to clothe and keep warm members of every class, race, religion or social group from the poorest to the richest. And so, we find wool, yarn and thread and the working of those materials rooted ve...Show More
Episode 31 - OPERA WITCH

0:00 | Nov 15th, 2017

This episode of the Folklore Podcast examines the broad themes of witchcraft and the supernatural, but focuses down to look at how they were portrayed in the early modern period; specifically, how witches were represented on the 17th century musical ...Show More
Episode 30 - VAMPIRES: A FOLKLORE PERSPECTIVE PART 2

0:00 | Nov 1st, 2017

In the second part of this two-part examination of vampire from lore from around the world, Folklore Podcast creator and host Mark Norman moves on to discuss ways of ensuring that the recently deceased do not rise again as vampires and, if these meas...Show More
Episode 29: ONCE UPON A TIME

1:02:31 | Oct 15th, 2017

Many of the folk tales that inspire us, teach us or just intrigue us have been passed down through many generations. In some cases we can find a root for the story. In most, we cannot. But they draw on the knowledge, the beliefs and the imaginations ...Show More
Episode 28 - VAMPIRES: A FOLKLORE PERSPECTIVE PART 1

33:16 | Oct 1st, 2017

Most people are familiar with the story of 'Count Dracula' and have more than a good general knowledge of the typical vampire tropes of stage and screen; the fangs, the pale skin, the blood sucking. But to truly understand the motif of the vampire in...Show More
Episode 27 - THE GREAT FOLKLORISTS: HELEN CREIGHTON

1:04:48 | Sep 15th, 2017

Through the early to mid part of the 20th century there were a number of characters, often women, who would travel their parts of the world collecting folk songs, stories and superstitions and recording them for the future. These people are often for...Show More
Episode 26 - VOICES FROM THE DEEP

0:00 | Sep 1st, 2017

Returning from its month off for the summer, the Folklore Podcast takes to the water with an episode on the folklore of the mermaid. From Cornish folk tales to Slavic undead, from TV mockumentaries to outright hoaxes and all points in between, podcas...Show More
Episode 25 - WITCH

53:29 | Jul 15th, 2017

WITCH - Preserving Tradition and Folklore through Theatre. The special guest on this episode of The Folklore Podcast is Historian and Author Tracey Norman. Tracey is discussing her acclaimed play WITCH, which takes as its premise actual events from ...Show More
Episode 24 - EVERYONE NEEDS A HOBBY

00:25 | Jul 1st, 2017

Animal totems as symbols in folk rituals are common and go back probably further than any of us can track. By far the most prolific of these is the hobby horse. Often associated with calendar customs as well as an accompanying figure for many Morris ...Show More
Episode 23 - THE PADDING HORROR

0:00 | Jun 15th, 2017

A deviation from the normal format of the podcast for this edition by way of a change. In this episode, host Mark Norman introduces a reading of a fiction story which he wrote using themes from his research into Black Dog apparitions, and local tradi...Show More
Episode 22 - DEVOURING THE SUN

0:00 | Jun 1st, 2017

Before naturally occurring events were understand by humans, they needed stories in order to explain them, much in the same way as we have seen with physical conditions such as the Old Hag phenomenon which we examined earlier in this season. In this ...Show More
Episode 21: TRACKING THE CHUPACABRA

0:00 | May 15th, 2017

Many people believe that the Chupacabra - the mysterious 'goatsucker' of New Mexico - is a folkloric creature of some age. Yet its origin cannot be traced earlier than 1995 and even then it has been reported in two very distinct forms. In this episod...Show More
Episode 20: TRADITIONAL WITCHCRAFT NOW AND THEN

34:59 | May 1st, 2017

Creator and host of the Folklore Podcast, Mark Norman, examines the lore and practices of those who follow a Traditional pathway of Folk Magic: the Cunning Man, the Wise Woman, the pellar and the wayside witch. This episode examines to what extent th...Show More
Episode 19 - KNOCK ONCE FOR YES

0:00 | Apr 15th, 2017

The topics of spiritualism and mediumship have always been, and will always be, controversial. It is important to note that as folklorists, we should not be judging whether such things are 'real' or 'imagined', but rather the role that the phenomenon...Show More
EPISODE 18: SPECTRAL HOUNDS: A Monster Talk Crossover

1:06:07 | Apr 1st, 2017

In this episode, host of The Folklore Podcast Mark Norman links up with Blake Smith and Dr Karen Stollznow of Monster Talk podcast in the US for a joint episode examining the field of spectral hounds. Monster Talk is an official podcast of Sceptic Ma...Show More
Episode 17 - FOLKLORE IN FANTASY FICTION

0:00 | Mar 14th, 2017

In this episode of The Folklore Podcast, host Mark Norman interviews special guest Carin Marais, a qualified language practitioner from South Africa and writer of specualtive and fantasy fiction, about the ways in which fantasy authors use the folklo...Show More
Episode 16 - INCUBUS AND SUCCUBUS

42:47 | Mar 1st, 2017

This episode of The Folklore Podcast is the second part of our examination of the folklore surrounding sleep paralysis and Old Hag phenomena. This time we focus in on some aspects of the folklore relating to the witch trials, to the sexual aspects of...Show More
Episode 15 - FOLKLORE: MORE THAN JUST A WORD

0:00 | Feb 15th, 2017

MORE THAN JUST A WORD: "Folklore" : What It Meant and What Happened To It. On this episode of the Folklore Podcast, host Mark Norman is joined by fellow Folklore Society committee member Dr Paul Cowdell. In what you might like to consider as a kind ...Show More
Episode 14 - OLD HAG SYNDROME

0:00 | Feb 1st, 2017

In the days before we had a good understanding of many medical conditions, folklore would generate around them in order to reconcile what was happening and provide explanations. Such is the case with sleep paralysis, often referred to these days even...Show More
Episode 13 - FAIRY LORE AND THE WITCH TRIALS

0:00 | Jan 15th, 2017

The witch trials of the 16th and 17th century have many facets within the accusations of the women (and men) involved. One of the most intriguing is the links between accused parties and the fairies. How did these people claim to be convening with th...Show More
Episode 12 - FOLKLORE IN GOTHIC CHAPBOOKS

0:00 | Jan 1st, 2017

Before the rise of the Gothic novel, faciliated by the development of cheap printing systems, the Chapbook and Bluebook were common forms of literature, particularly in the United Kingdom. For a penny or half-penny, members of the public of any class...Show More
Episode 11 - BUNYIP: DEVIL OF THE RIVERBED

0:00 | Dec 15th, 2016

Cryptozoology is an area of 'Fortean' study (or zoological study depending on your views) which can be of great interest to folklorists because of its reliance on anecdote and oral transmission of stories. In this episode of The Folklore Podcast, hos...Show More
Episode 10 - YULE BE SURPRISED

0:00 | Dec 1st, 2016

No matter which was you cut it and no matter how you celebrate it, there is no doubt that Yule is a time of year steeped in tradition. Some of this will be unique to your own family and some will be more generally known. Other symbols and motifs ...Show More
Episode 9 - MODERN FAIRY SIGHTINGS

0:00 | Nov 15th, 2016

Belief in fairies throughout the world is ancient and deep-rooted, and this means that there is much folklore and tradition surrounding fairy in all of its forms: elves, pixies, sprites, brownies ... the list continues. Widespread belief in fairies w...Show More
Episode 8 - OUT OF THE ASHES

27:03 | Nov 1st, 2016

Fire can be a powerful and sometimes all consuming force. Helpful and dangerous in equal measure, the ability to use fire sets man apart from the animals. It should not be too surprising then that fire features heavily in our folklore and traditions....Show More
Episode 7 - GLITTER AND GRAVEDUST

47:47 | Oct 15th, 2016

Hallowe'en, Samhain or Allantide. However you view the time surrounding October 31st, it is an important part of our ritual year. It is traditionally a time when the veil between the worlds is thinned, when magic is more powerful and when spirits roa...Show More
Episode 6 - APPLE OF YOUR EYE

27:15 | Oct 1st, 2016

The Autumn Equinox passes and as the Wheel of the Year turns we enter a state when the world is said to be in balance. This is a time of harvest and of appreciation for the fruits of the land. The Folklore Podcast moves into October with two seasonal...Show More
Episode 5 - PLAYING THE GHOST

38:47 | Sep 15th, 2016

Dr David Waldron, lecturer at Federation University, Australia, and folklore researcher gives an exclusive talk to The Folklore Podcast on the phenomenon of ghost hoaxing and guising in Victorian Times. How did figures such as Springheeled Jack come ...Show More
Episode 4 - BLACK DOGS & THE WILD HUNT

34:11 | Sep 1st, 2016

Host of the Folklore Podcast, Mark Norman, is one of a few researchers specialising in the field of Black Dog ghosts and holds what is thought to be the UKs largest archive of sightings and traditions. In this episode, Mark draws on his extensive arc...Show More
Episode 3 - CONCEALED REVEALED

29:49 | Aug 15th, 2016

Cats ... shoes ... bottles ... coins. At first glance these objects don't seem to have much in common. But these, and many other objects, are all items which have been found concealed within the fabric of old buildings during renovations or other wor...Show More
Episode 2 - COCKSTRIDES AND CARRIAGES

41:45 | Aug 1st, 2016

Ghosts are undoubtedly one of the most popular aspects of folklore stories. But in folklore there are two distinct types of ghost: the folk (or legendary) ghost or the haunting. In this episode of The Folklore Podcast, regular host Mark Norman examin...Show More
Episode 1 - SLENDER MAN

28:29 | Jul 15th, 2016

The inaugural episode of The Folklore Podcast examines the recent development of the Slender Man phenomenon, with folklorist and associate professor, Dr Andrea Kitta. It is a rare event indeed to be present at the birth of a Folklore motif or symbo...Show More