Alongside cats and broomsticks, carved pumpkins have become synonymous with Halloween. Making a jack o’ lantern is no longer related to the important job of protecting hearth and home. Instead, people compete to make the scariest or most artistic lantern. Seriously, check out some amazing carved pumpkin art on Pinterest.
Just as cats are intricately bound up with the image of the witch, so is the broomstick. Widely believed to be the witch’s favourite mode of transport, the broomstick serves as both vehicle and tool. Or does it? Just why is this humble household item so common among depictions of witches? I do think the […]
How many times have you walked past a row of houses, counting the numbers as you go? In the UK, the even numbers are often on one side, the odd numbers on the other. 7, 9, 11, 15 – what? What happened to number 13? It’s weirdly common for builders to skip 13 when they […]
Love them or loathe them, cats are fascinating creatures. And there are plenty of cats in folklore and myth. The ancient Egyptians revered them so much that killing a cat became a punishable offence. The cat deity, Bastet, defended the pharoah, cats, and children. Cats in folklore occupy many roles. Whether they’re stealing souls for […]
Newcastle sometimes gets a raw deal here in the UK. Nearly all talk of the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ forgets there’s still a whole swathe of England north of Manchester. People form their opinion of its inhabitants based on photos of scantily-clad clubbers tottering through the snow in 6-inch heels. It completely ignores our Roman history, […]
Time slips may feel like a product of science fiction. But they bear similarities with folklore. A person journeys to a strange place, sees odd things, and is not always believed upon their return. Sounds a lot like the tale of Thomas the Rhymer and his trip to Fairyland. Time slips also have things in […]