Folklore and Legends

Folklore and Legends
Brown Mountain Lights
by Dodge, Robert J. Brown mountain lights are unexplained phenomena that appear low in the air under favorable atmospheric conditions, grow in size, and then linger for a few minutes before fading away. Brown Mountain [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Brown, Frank Clyde
by King, W. E. Frank Clyde Brown, professor, departmental chairman, university administrator, and collector of folklore, was born in Harrisonburg, Va. His parents were John Michael and Emma Catherine Liskie Brown. [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Burial Customs
by DiNome, William G. Burial Customs by William G. DiNome, 2006 See also: Funerals; Town Creek Indian Mound. The nature of the specific burial customs that may have existed among the people inhabiting the [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Conjure
by Stevenson, George. Conjure is based on the belief that psychical and magical powers can be exercised in such a way that spells may be cast, enchantments made, bad or good luck established, the future foretold, lost [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Dare Stones
by Childs, T. Mike, Agan, Kelly. The Dare Stones By T. Mike Childs (2013) and Kelly Agan (2019), Government & Heritage Library Listen to this entry Download MP3 audio The Dare [...] (from Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.)
Devil's Horse's Hoof Prints
by Barefoot, Daniel W. Devil's Horse's Hoof Prints near Bath are a series of small, saucer-shaped depressions reportedly in existence since 1813. Measuring four to five inches deep with sloping sides from six to ten [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Devil's Tramping Ground
by Hewitt, Kimberly. Devil's Tramping Ground, located ten miles from Siler City in western Chatham County, is a foot-wide bare path forming a perfect circle 40 feet in diameter. Regional legend maintains that Satan [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Doodlebugs
by Powell, William S. Doodlebugs, or ant lions, belong to the order of insects Neuroptera and are found in many parts of the world, including much of North Carolina. They came to be called doodlebugs about 1866. The [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Folklore- Part 1: Introduction
by Baker, Bruce E., McFee, Philip, McMillan, Douglas J., Reavis, Shannon L. Folklore by Bruce E. Baker and Philip McFee, 2006 Additional research provided by Douglas J. McMillan and Shannon L. Reavis. See also: Brown Mountain Lights; Conjure; Devil's Horse's [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Folklore- Part 2: Types of Folklore and the North Carolina Folklore Society
by Baker, Bruce E., McFee, Philip. Folklore by Bruce E. Baker and Philip McFee, 2006 Additional research provided by Douglas J. McMillan and Shannon L. Reavis. See also: Brown Mountain Lights; Conjure; Devil's Horse's [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Folklore- Part 3: North Carolina Folktales and Storytellers
by Baker, Bruce E., McFee, Philip. Folklore- Part 1: Introduction; Folklore- Part 2: Types of Folklore and the North Carolina Folklore Society; Folklore- Part 3: North Carolina Folktales and Storytellers; Folklore- Part 4: Legends, [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Folklore- Part 4: Legends, Animal Tales, and Superstitions
by Baker, Bruce E., McFee, Philip. Folklore- Part 1: Introduction; Folklore- Part 2: Types of Folklore and the North Carolina Folklore Society; Folklore- Part 3: North Carolina Folktales and Storytellers; Folklore- Part 4: Legends, [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Folklore- Part 5: References
by Baker, Bruce E., McFee, Philip. Folklore by Bruce E. Baker and Philip McFee, 2006 Additional research provided by Douglas J. McMillan and Shannon L. Reavis. See also: Brown Mountain Lights; Conjure; Devil's Horse's [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Ghost Train of Bostian's Bridge (from Tar Heel Junior Historian)
by Reevy, Tony. The Ghost Train of Bostian's Bridge by Tony Reevy Reprinted with permission from the Tar Heel Junior Historian. Fall 2008. Updated by the Government & Heritage Library, 12/2010. Tar [...] (from Tar Heel Junior Historian, NC Museum of History.)
Ghosts
by Simpson, Bland. Ghosts by Bland Simpson, 2006 The literature and lore of North Carolina are filled with stories of haunted islands, houses, churches, mines, trains, bridges, swamps, and mountains. The [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Hudson, Arthur Palmer
by Patterson, Daniel W. Arthur Palmer Hudson, folklorist and teacher, was born in the Hesterville community of Attala County, Miss., the son of William Arthur and Lou Garnett Palmer Hudson. Despite the handicap of growing [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Humor
by Mazzocchi, Jay. Humor has played a distinctive role in the lives of North Carolinians from the days of the earliest British explorations to the region. As much as any other aspect of human life, humor can be [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Jarrell, Benjamin Franklin
by Conway, Cecelia. Benjamin Franklin Jarrell, musician, was raised in Surry County on the southern slope of the Blue Ridge, the son of Rufus A. and Susan Turney Jarrell. According to his father, the Scotch-Irish family [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
MacDonald, Flora
by Smith, Maud Thomas. MacDonald, Flora by Maud Thomas Smith, 1991 1722–5 Mar. 1790 See also:  Flora MacDonald Homesite (from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina); Flora MacDonald (from the Tar Heel Junior [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Maco Light
by Simpson, Bland. The Maco Light, also called the Ghost at Maco Station, is one of North Carolina's most well-known and enduring supernatural phenomena. It dates to a fatal train wreck in 1867 at a small rural station [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Madstones
by Anderson, Jean B. Madstones have existed from antiquity in the realms of magic and have appeared at various times in North Carolina folklore. Akin to precious and semiprecious stones, to which fortune or healing were [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Mountain Dance and Folk Festival
by Baker, Bruce E. Asheville since 1928. That year, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, a passionate lover of mountain music and culture and an active collector of folk music, organized a contest for musicians and dancers in [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Ney Myth
by Hill, Michael. The Ney Myth, propagated by several North Carolina writers as fact but dismissed by historians as spurious, held that Rowan County teacher Peter Stuart Ney, who died on 15 Nov. 1846, was the assumed [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Ney, Peter Stewart
by Taylor, George V. Peter Stewart Ney, schoolmaster who died near Salisbury, is believed by many to have been the Napoleonic marshal, Michel Ney, living in hiding to escape persecution. His gravestone at Third Creek [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Nombres del estado y apodos
by . Nombres del estado y apodos Extraído de Libro de hechos de El Viejo Estado del Norte. Oficina de Archivos e Historia de Carolina del Norte, Raleigh, 2011. Nombres del Estado y [...] (from NC Office of Archives and History.)
North Carolina Legends & Myths: "The Duke" of Asheville
by Morton, Chris. He was a man of mystery, this fellow who arrived in Asheville in the fall of 1902. An Englishman with a persistent cough, he was obviously in poor health. He was attended by a nurse who knew very [...] (from Tar Heel Junior Historian, NC Museum of History.)
North Carolina Legends & Myths: The Myterious Mr. Ney
by Jackson, Marhsall. When I was growing up, I listened to older folks talk about Cherokee raids in our community. I heard about the time that Yankee troops chased two wounded Confederate soldiers into the Yadkin River, [...] (from Tar Heel Junior Historian, NC Museum of History.)
North Carolina Legends & Myths: The “Three Sisters”
by Wilson, Sheila. North Carolina Legends & Myths: The “Three Sisters” as told by Shelia Wilson Reprinted with permission from Tar Heel Junior Historian 45:1 (Fall 2005). Copyright 2005, North Carolina [...] (from Tar Heel Junior Historian, NC Museum of History.)
Old Christmas
by Dough, Wynne. Old Christmas, or "Little Christmas," celebrated by some eighteenth- and nineteenth-century North Carolinians around 5 January each year, resulted from the adoption of the Gregorian calendar by the [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Old Quawk's Day
by Stick, David. Old Quawk's Day by David Stick, 2006 Old Quawk's Day, by long-standing tradition, is a day when residents [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Page, Hubbard Fulton
by Malone, E. T., Jr. Hubbard Fulton Page, folk poet, teacher, and composer, was born in northern Sampson County near the old Harnett County community of Averasboro. He was the son of Sion Cephas, a circuit-riding Baptist [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Proffitt, Frank Noah
by Warner, Anne. Frank Noah Proffitt, farmer, craftsman, and singer of traditional songs, was born in Laurel Bloomery, Tenn., the son of Wiley and Rebecca Alice Creed Proffitt. His paternal grandparents, John and [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Root Doctors
by Beck, John J. Root doctors are the traditional healers and conjurers of the rural, black South. They use herbs, roots, potions, and spells to help and sometimes to hurt recipients of their ministrations. Root [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Sandburg, Carl August
by Gohdes, Clarence. Carl August Sandburg, poet, journalist, biographer, and folk song recitalist, was a national celebrity long identified with the Midwest when he moved to North Carolina in 1945 after purchasing the [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Shape-Shifting
by Powell, William S. Shape-Shifting by William S. Powell, 2006 Shape-shifting was one of many superstitions widely accepted by early North Carolinians with little or no understanding of natural phenomena. It was [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Shinn, Terry: High Rock
by Cecelski, David S. One night last summer, Terry Shinn visited my family's campsite next to the French Broad River, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The tall, soft-spoken stranger lived just up a short path, in the faded [...] (from Listening to History, News and Observer.)
Shivaree
by Wright, Marilyn. Shivaree by Marilyn Wright, 2006 Shivaree, or chivaree, was a traditional Mountain folk custom staged during the first night that a bride and groom, following the honeymoon, moved into their [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Silver, Frankie, Murder Case
by Yancey, Noel. Silver, Frankie, Murder Case by Noel Yancey, 2006 See also: Silver, Frances "Frankie" (from Tar Heel Junior Historian) On 12 July 1833 an estimated 10,000 people crammed into a space behind [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Southern Folklife Collection
by Baker, Bruce E. The Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is among the leading folklife archives in the country, containing extensive documentary material for southern [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Sutton, Maude Pennell Minish
by Patterson, Daniel W. Maude Pennell Minish Sutton, teacher, folklorist, and journalist, was born in Lenoir, one of three children of Anna Pennell and Walter Lafayette Minish. Her father was a prominent local businessman, [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony: Fact and Legend
by Boyd, Sandra O. Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony: Fact and Legend by Sandra Boyd Reprinted with permission from the Tar Heel Junior Historian. Spring 2000. Tar Heel Junior Historian Association, NC Museum of [...] (from Tar Heel Junior Historian, NC Museum of History.)
Walker, Carleton
by Engstrom, Mary Claire. Carleton Walker, British-born collector of the Port of Wilmington, paymaster of troops in the War of 1812, and Cape Fear planter and lavish speculator, was the youngest of three sons of James (d. [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Wampus
by Stonestreet, O. C., III. Wampus is the name of a semimythical creature believed to inhabit Iredell County and adjacent counties. It was a source of particular concern in the early 1930s. Sightings and hearings of the [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
White Doe, Legend of
by Barefoot, Daniel W. The mysterious disappearance between 1587 and 1590 of the English colonists on Roanoke Island, known as the "Lost Colony," spawned numerous legends and ghost stories among the people who later [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Williams, Cratis Dearl
by Jones, H. G. Cratis Dearl Williams, folklorist, ballad collector and singer, linguist, professor, and college administrator, rose from humble beginnings in the Caines Creek community of Big Sandy Valley in [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
Williamson, Sonny: Ain't Love Wonderful?
by Cecelski, David S. One of the great pleasures of my life has been getting to know Sonny Williamson and his wife, Jenny. Born and raised in Sea Level, a remote fishing village in Carteret County, Sonny had a short [...] (from Listening to History, News and Observer.)
Witchcraft
by Powell, William S. Belief in witchcraft influenced people for hundreds of years, and many unexplained occurrences were considered supernatural in origin. In America, the New England colonies were the scene of notorious [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Woolly Worm
by Patteson, Angelyn H. The fuzzy brown and black creature commonly called the woolly worm or woolly bear is the larval form of the tiger moth (Isia isabella). Woolly worms appear in early fall, when they feast on common [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Work Songs
by Baker, Bruce E. Work Songs by Bruce E. Baker, 2006 See also: Menhaden Chanteymen. Work songs are sung as an accompaniment to work, primarily manual labor. They are usually traditional in nature, [...] (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press.)
Wyche, Richard Thomas
by Powell, William S. Wyche, Richard Thomas by William S. Powell, 1996 25 July 1867–5 May 1930 Richard Thomas Wyche, lecturer and storyteller, was born in Henderson, the son of Benjamin and Sarah Elizabeth [...] (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, University of North Carolina Press.)
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