This obscure creature from Irish folklore was believed by some to be the cause of mysterious thinning illnesses and abdominal pain. Crawling into its victim's mouth while they are asleep by a stream, this being makes a home in their host's belly and feeds on any meals they should eat.
Considered a weed, dandelions are surprisingly versatile and nutritious. Learn how to make this delicious treat made with the flower heads.
Armed with a magical mantle, a pipe, and timpan, this Chief among the Aos Sí would come each year at Samhain to burn Tara. Were there any among the men of Ireland that could stop him?
Described in "The Silva Gadelicia", there is an obscure musical instrument, favoured by the Aos Sí and master musicians of Ireland past. With various descriptions, what actually was it? In this article, I attempt to find out.
Lovely Merrows, irresistible to mortal men, dwell in the seas off Ireland. This story tells of what happened when one poor fool fell in love with such a creature.
Ireland's Mer-folk often interact with us simple mortals. But beware, for Merrows may have a tendency to collect human souls!
A Scottish Brownie with an appearance to give you nightmares. They say he is a good grafter though!
Wreaking havoc, tempting monks into bad behaviour, and other general mischief, the Abbey Lubber is one fairy that won't be tamed with bread and honey!
Throughout history, humans have sought ways to be rid of the accursed toothache - some are more unusual than others!
Having seen ionizing shower-heads advertised, I was a little skeptical. Claiming to filter hard water & reduce chlorine and fluoride, whilst improving your skin & hair condition, they seemed too good to be true. I purchased one to see for myself if there was any truth to the benefits they claim.
When visiting England, you can enjoy the opportunity of wandering sweeping fields of soothing lavender hidden within the Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty. Only open to visitors during the summer months, read here about how to get the most out of your visit!
Tomatoes are a staple crop for the allotment, and also grow well in containers in the garden or on a balcony. But which varieties are the best for creating your own delicious fresh sauces?
A brief tour of some of Britain's most intriguing mazes, including Troytown, Tintagel, the Mizmaze of Winchester, Saffron Walden, and more!
Marking the end of Christmas, Twelfth Night is celebrated with various customs and traditions.
Kids love making and playing with slime! These easy recipes will keep them busy for hours.
Shape-shifting sewer rats and treasure seekers beneath London's streets. The story of Queen Rat is one of London's more unusual myths.
We're a superstitious lot, and we do love our little rituals. New Year is a big celebration and we all want to make sure we bring in good luck for the coming year.
Fast-paced and exciting, there is nothing quite like riding with the pack in the beautiful forests in the Pyhä-Luosto region of Finnish Lapland. Hold on to your hat!
Deep in the forest, a secret is to be found. Experience a Reindeer Safari, traditional cuisine, fishing, snowmobiles, a taster of Sámi culture, and much more at Jaakkola Reindeer Farm!
Treasure hunting in the Land of the Midnight Sun! Blazing along a snowy trail on a snowmobile to an amethyst mine on a hilltop overlooking the pristine forested Pyhä-Luosto National Park was quite an unforgettable experience and one well worth participating in if you ever visit Luosto in Lapland.
Reputed to be Birmingham's most haunted building, Aston Hall's troubled history is revealed through dark tales of its history... and its ghosts!
In the 1800s, a terrifying being with supernatural powers began to attack women in the city of London. Was this devilish creature myth or man; and what could be done to stop him?
Annascaul's gentle giant, modest adventurer, animal lover, and publican. The incredible inspiring story of Tom Crean is on that should be read by all.
This folktale from Shropshire describes how villagers were saved from drought by a fairy cow, until a wicked witch stepped in.
Coughton Court in Warwickshire, is one of England's finest Tudor houses. Local folklore tells of how the crest falling marked a moment of great tragedy for the House and the Throckmorton family.
Graham King has carefully compiled a book of traditional folk magic from the British Isles. I share my thoughts on this intriguing tome.
This chilling and hilarious movie has all the makings of a cult classic. I review this not-to-be-missed horror comedy, filmed in the UK, at a screening with cast and crew.
The summer solstice was celebrated in England on 11th June, before the switch to the Gregorian Calendar. Learn about old customs of how this day was celebrated.
Around the landscape of Denmark can be seen evidence of trolls. Their caves, mounds, and holes dot the landscape. Are they really fierce savage monsters though?
Bad weather was disastrous to communities of old, and weather-related calamities occur even in modern times. Can people really charm the skies?
Bleigiessen, a form of molybdomancy, is a traditional New Year's Eve activity whereby molten lead is dropped into water. The shapes formed are believed to foretell what the coming year will bring.
Praised as a gentle and friendly breed, the Platy is a perfect starter fish for anyone setting up an aquarium. But what do you do when one of your fish becomes aggressive?
These traditional corn dollies are simple to create, and make wonderful decorations for jackets or hats during harvest festivals. Learn how to make one of your own in this easy guide!
A curious relic can be found in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter known as the War Stone. Legend tells us it was left behind after an epic battle between two giants, but it may also reveal a lost castle.
Corn dollies are a traditional craft using straws from wheat, rye, and other grains. Learn how to make a beautiful Harvest Heart in this easy tutorial. If you can plait or braid, you can make one of these!
The virtues of Rowan, also known as Mountain Ash, have long been celebrated in folk-magic. This article teaches you how to make your own necklace from the berries.
A Tactical Squad of the Ultramarines Fifth Company is sent forth on a mission on Calth to escort a troubled repair crew. A short story set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
I'd always laughed at accounts of ghostly cars or trucks spotted late at night on lonely roads. Until that is, it happened to me...
There are many harvest festivals around Britain & Ireland. Learn about Guldize, a festival from Cornwall, and how it is celebrated.
This chilling folktale from the Dales of Derbyshire in England, describes a fearful character that preys on unwary travellers. Only the Fair Folk can save the day!
This legend from Herefordshire pits the wits of the locals against a mermaid, when their church bell goes missing. What makes it unusual, is that the mermaid lives far from the sea, in the River Lugg.
The Severn, Wye, and Ystwyth, weave their way to the sea from the Elenydd plateau in Wales. Folklore tells how their journeys began.
An astonishing piece of Viking period art was found in the churchyard of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, in the 19th Century. Who put it there, and why?
A rare opportunity to study the buried history of Lich Street in Worcester was granted in 2015 thanks to streetworks in the area. I was lucky enough to view the site before it was buried again.
This is a personal tale of my family, and how my grandfather's decision to leave Ireland paved the way for a better life.
Irish legend tells of a fifth century saint setting forth on an incredible voyage. Did he discover the Americas before Columbus or even Leif Ericson?
Rhuddlan Castle in Wales is said to be haunted by the spirit of a maiden who refused her father's wishes to marry. The story of the Knight of the Blood Red Plume tells how her ghost came to be.
We take a look at the legend of a spirit of a German soldier that is said to haunt a tank museum in Dorset.
The Straw Man is a simple corn dolly, made during May Day festivities in North Wales. Learn about the folklore behind this item, and follow simple instructions on how to make your own.
Sightings of a giant grey man pursuing mountaineers have baffled and terrified the Cairngorms since the 19th century. Does Scotland have its own Yeti?
A brave holy knight who rescued a fair maiden from a dragon is England's patron saint. But are we getting our Georges mixed up? Was he a man of peace, or a figurehead of the Crusaders?
Located in one of the city's most picturesque streets, Tudor House on Friar Street is a must-see historic attraction of Worcester. With free entry, it makes for a perfect family day out.
Mysterious runes on the back of an Anglo-Saxon brooch have been baffling the experts for decades. Could it possibly bear a curse?
This is a Scottish folktale set during the times of Viking raids around the Western Isles—pitches Norse magic against that of the local Gaelic inhabitants.
This folk tale from Cornwall describes how a witch not only terrified the locals, but had a remarkable ability to turn into a hare.
The Vernal Equinox of 2015 was extra special. The British Isles experienced a partial solar eclipse. I was lucky enough to observe the event and take plenty of photographs.
A solar eclipse was once seen as a portent of doom, indicating that the end of the world was near! We look at some of the superstitions around this astronomical event.
Also known as the Thames Scramasax, this Anglo-Saxon treasure is inscribed with runes from the Anglo-Saxon alphabet. One of Britain's great treasures from the 10th Century could it be a magical blade?
A boy and a girl get lost in the woods and find a goblin. Inspired by the Brothers' Grimm, this short story is all about not wandering off, and talking to your parents if you find any dangers.
Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras... the Tuesday before the start of Lent is known by many names. See how it is celebrated in a selection of different countries.
One of the Wassailing traditions is to toast the apple trees and scare away any blight lurking in the orchards. I headed to Worcestershire, England, to take part in a traditional orchard wassail.
Follow these simple instructions to make a beautiful cross, traditionally made for St. Brigid's Day & the festival of Imbolc. So easy to make, even children can have a go at this fun activity.
Cornwall is a region of the British Isles that is rich in folklore & superstition. Here is a selection of some of the more chilling tales featuring The Gump, Jan Tregeagle, & Portreath's giant, Wrath.
Mumming takes place mainly during the Christmas period in Britain. This costumed custom of performing is a part of folk tradition that dates back centuries. I visited one such play to find out more.
Hogmanay is the name given to the New Year festival by the people of Scotland. We look at the origins of this, and some of the customs around it. Could the Vikings have brought it over with them?
Why do people kiss under the mistletoe? We look at the origins of this custom, the kissing bough, prophetic dreams, & other traditions around this festive plant now associated with Christmas.
Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, prides itself as England's mistletoe capital. An annual event in the run-up to Christmas celebrates this festive plant which grows in abundance in this region.
Many modern Heathens choose to wear a hammer pendant as a symbol of their faith. But what does it mean? And what is the history behind it?
Appearing in Norse mythology, a Fylgja is a creature that is said to accompany a person throughout life. We look at this rather complicated being in this article to try to understand its role.
Situated near Clochan, in Kerry, Ireland, the Lough Adoon valley at Ballyhoneen contains rock art, wedge tombs, ancient settlements, & monuments from the Bronze Age to Early Christian times.
A small town on the coast of County Cork, Ireland, is making waves when it comes to Halloween. Youghal be mad to miss this!
The gwiber is a monster that features in Welsh folklore which is described as a giant winged serpent. This article looks at the beast in more detail, giving an example of its appearance in North Wales
Anyone that knows me will be aware of my love of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, and M. R. James. The two come together in this tribute piece; a chilling tale of Burgling in the Barrow Downs.
The River Severn is the longest in Great Britain and it has its own goddess—Sabrina (also called Hafren, Habren, Habrenna, and Unla). In this article, we'll learn about the legends of this great river and its goddess.
Around the British Isles, there are numerous old houses that contain a human skull. Some act as a talisman, whilst dire warnings are given about removing others. We investigate these macabre trophies.
Vampires in British and Irish fiction are well known; Bram Stoker's Dracula being the most familiar of all. But tales of vampires in folklore are rather rare indeed. Read about some of them here.
How do the English celebrate Halloween? A personal look at some activities and party games that were popular in the 20th Century on the night when all things spooky are celebrated.
29th September is an important day in the British Folk Calendar. There are many events and traditions around this date, including mop fairs, feasts, and the devil's spit!
King Puck is crowned in this annual Irish festival. Did I mention he's a mountain goat?
Referred to in the Sagas of the Norse, the vardlokkur was sung during the rite of a Völva;a type of seeress. This article explores what it actually is and the purpose it serves.
Seiðr (also known as seidhr, seith, seidh, seidr, and seithr) covers a broad range of magical practices within the Norse myths. But what exactly is it? And is this art strictly limited to women?
One of Ireland's best early Irish Christian settlements, Riasc (Riaisc, Reask) boasts a fine collection of inscribed stones. One of the hidden gems of the Dingle Peninsula, who built it and when?
The Shakespeare Morris Side, keepers of the Bidford Dances of the Cotswold tradition, are a regular sight in Stratford, England. I caught up with one of the dancers to learn more about Morris Dancing.
We look at some of the strange things that dwell beneath Welsh waters including Llyn Tegid's monster Teggie, Afanc of Llyn Glasslyn, & the beautiful but deadly Nelferch of Llyn-y-Forwyn.
Often depicted as a lost Pagan god of Britain, Herne is sometimes compared to the horned god, Cernunnos. We explore this character in more depth to see if there is any truth in these assumptions.
The Long Mynd in Shropshire is a stunning area of natural beauty, and is rich in legends. Wild Edric's myth featuring Elves, wild hunts, and true love, is one of Britain's lesser known fairy-tales.
Exploring the iconic Icelandic magic staves and their origins.
It would be impossible to visit Ireland's Dingle Peninsula without seeing a clochán, more commonly known as a beehive hut. Who built them, and how old are they?
Cahergall Stone Fort, near Cahersiveen in County Kerry, Ireland, is home to more than the shadows of the people that once dwelt here.
Tucked away in the Dingle Peninsula of South West Ireland, Gleann na nGealt hides a mysterious secret. The spring waters are supposed to be able to heal the mad. Is there any truth to the folk tales?
It is said that whoever kisses the Blarney Stone is granted the Gift of the Gab. We explore further lore of Blarney Castle, including links with the Celtic Goddess, Clíodhna.
A little-known dialect from the Midlands of England echoes the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons.
St Kenelm's Church near Romsley, is nestled in the Clent Hills in Worcestershire. Home to a holy well, this article explores the legend of a young Saxon prince, murdered by those sworn to protect him.