The Ankou of Brittany

(Originally posted on Patreon and Twitter, September through October, 2021). The following is a translation of the article “L’Ankou, l’ouvrier de la mort” serialized on Twitter: “In Brittany, Death is personified by a fearsome being called the Ankou. The Ankou isn’t exactly ‘Death itself’ but a servant of Death (oberour ar marv) that labors forContinue reading “The Ankou of Brittany”

The Dragons of Saint Ghislain, Belgium

(Selections translated from L’Histoire de la ville de Saint Ghislain (1737). Originally posted on Patreon in April 2021). [Title page]. History of the Town of Saint Ghislain. Containing everything of utmost interest that happened since its beginning. The list of Abbots & their principle deeds, with an ample description of its Sieges, its Ruins, itsContinue reading “The Dragons of Saint Ghislain, Belgium”

Some Dragon-lore of Alsace

The following paragraphs are translated from Revue d’Alsace, 1851. They were originally published on Patreon in March 2021. The serpents that can be seen, sometimes, at night on the banks of the river Mossig in the Kronthal valley, and shine with a phosphorescent glow, are also specters from hell.  The devil also appears in theContinue reading “Some Dragon-lore of Alsace”

“The Bride of the Dead,” Alsatian folktale

(Originally posted on Patreon in October 2020). “La fiancée du mort,” collected by Anatole Le Braz in La légende de la mort chez les Bretons Amoricains, 1902. In Bégard, the title of “handsomest peasant’s son that ever lived” fell to René Pennek, son of Ervoann, and the “prettiest girl in ten leagues around” was DunvelContinue reading ““The Bride of the Dead,” Alsatian folktale”

“The Women of Rouffach,” Alsatian folktale

(Originally posted to Patreon in September 2020). “The Women of Rouffach,” is an Alsatian folktale collected in Les récits historiques et légendaires by Robert Wolf, 1922, found here. Around the 12th Century, the capital of the holdings belonging to the bishops of Strasbourg was Rouffach. There, these prelates had an important fortress built that wasContinue reading ““The Women of Rouffach,” Alsatian folktale”

A Sunken City of Ys

(I found a book about Death legends in Brittany, and I couldn’t resist. Then I encountered a chapter all about a sunken city I had never heard of…and I just had to explore it. Come with me on this trip to the sunken City of Is.) One night, some sailors from Douarnenez were moored inContinue reading “A Sunken City of Ys”

“The Wondrous Scarab,” an Alsatian folktale

Strangely enough, I’ve encountered many Alsatian folktales about scarab beetles. I say strange, because when I think of scarab beetles I immediately picture Ancient Egypt, but here we are instead in the liminal forests between France and Germany, encountering many forms of wondrous scarabs1. This particular folktale is pulled from the collection Révue des traditionsContinue reading ““The Wondrous Scarab,” an Alsatian folktale”

“The Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral”

I translated this particular version of the tale from Récits historiques et légendaires d’Alsace, collected by Robert Wolf. 1922. For a long time the Strasbourg Cathedral clock remained unfinished. The master who had invented it had died without finding anyone capable of finishing his work. At last a foreign master craftsman who promised he could finishContinue reading ““The Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral””

“The Enchanted Armies of Ochsenfeld,” an Alsatian folktale

(Originally posted February 2018) I translated this particular version of the tale from Récits historiques et légendaires d’Alsace, collected by Robert Wolf. 1922. Not far from Cernay lies a great, desolate plain called the Ochsenfeld1 cattlefield. There, come evening, a faint clatter of weapons can often be heard. It is here that the armies of the infamous sons ofContinue reading ““The Enchanted Armies of Ochsenfeld,” an Alsatian folktale”

“Tales of Christmas Horror from Illzach, France”

‘Twas the Wednesday before Christmas…. (Originally posted to Patreon as a Christmas special for my patrons, 2018) From Illzach: The Beast of the Wednesday Before Christmas (oral tradition, recorded in the Revue des traditions populaires, 1901) This phantom animal is the size of a year-old calf; its eyes glow like lightning and are as bigContinue reading ““Tales of Christmas Horror from Illzach, France””