Category Archives: Appalachian Myths

OUT-FOXING A FOX

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Foxes pop up in a lot of myths.  In Cherokee myths, “tsu-la” / “fox” shows up in a story explaining why rabbits have short tails.  Tsu-la tricks the rabbit into getting his tail stuck in a frozen lake.

In Chinese lore, the kitsune are foxes that possess magical abilities.  While they sometimes trick people, they are also shown as being very faithful and are guardians and protectors.  The more tails there have, the older and wiser it is.  They can have as many as nine.

There’s nothing like a little fox tail …

CUJO, IS THAT YOU?

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Beware of dark hounds.   One was spotted in a small town in North Carolina, in Valle Crucis.  A huge dog with glowing eyes and large, yellow fangs will leap out from behind tombstones in the local cemetery and chase cars.

Remember, even if you’re in a car, to demon dogs, you’re just a t-bone on legs.

STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK YOUR BONES …

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,,, but the boogeyman may still eat you.

Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? He is.

“Bloody Bones” is a boogeyman that scared children in England. The stories spread and now are persistent in the South.

Sometimes he goes by the name “Tommy Rawhead”. But you better be good. No matter what you call him, he usually lives near ponds. Sometimes, though, he lives in cupboards. If you’re brave, turn down the lights and and open up the cupboard doors just a crack. You just might see a hunched figure with blood smeared across his face. He sits upon a nest of raw bones, the bones of children that misbehave.

So you better be good. He’s watching.

There really are scarier things in the pantry than the SPAM from two years ago.

APPALACHIAN SUPERSTITIONS ABOUT DEATH

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According to Appalachian Lore, Death always comes in threes.  I heard this one as a child.  If one close friend dies, it won’t be long before two more are gone.

So … Death can count, well, at least to three.

A Dash of Superstition

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Got a ghost problem? Here’s a remedy from Appalachian Lore:

Find yourself a snakeskin bag and put a toad’s eye in it. That’ll do the trick. I don’t think the toad’ll think too much of that, though. Or the snake.

APPALACHIAN MAGIC

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Old tales say that hanging basil over the threshold of your house will keep evil spirits and ghosts away.

And hey, it’ll make the house smell nice. A win-win.

No basil? Legends say that windchimes will keep ghosts and bad spirits away as well.