10 votes
Accepted

Zombies and ways of stopping them?

Jiang Shi meaning "Stiff Corpse" is a kind of zombie from Chinese Mythology. The Jiang Shi can be stopped by throwing rice or coins on the ground, as they will not pursue their target until they ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
9 votes
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Does Pippi Longstocking have mythological roots?

Explicitly, no. (I will have to start by apologising, as I will only quote sources in Swedish for this). Vivi Edström, in Vildtoring och lägereld, analyses several of Lindgren's books. A lot of ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 6,006
9 votes

Cows adapted to life on a steep hillside

I think the animal is a sidehill gouger. Sidehill gougers are North American folkloric creatures adapted to living on hillsides by having legs on one side of their body shorter than the legs on the ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,265
9 votes

What are the origins of the snowman?

Snowmen were a phenomenon in the Middle Ages, built with great skill and thought. At a time of limited means of expression, snow was like free art supplies dropped from the sky. It was a popular ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,265
9 votes

What are the origins of the snowman?

Bob Eckstein is the author of a the book The History of the Snowman. In the book, he says that the first documentation of a snowman that he found was in 1380 in an illuminated manuscript, where he ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
8 votes
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Were the grottoes of the Mitcham Fair in South London really connected with the veneration of St. James of Compostela?

Image taken from Chambers' book of Days. The calendar of liturgical feasts or celebrations may have different dates of celebration for a particular saint or mystery. These differences may be due ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
8 votes
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What was the first example of a "Only true love can awake" in folklore?

Yes, the Grimm brothers tale is based on earlier works and folklore. As a rule, the Grimm brothers fairy tales were all existing folk tales. The Sleeping Beauty (which I'm focusing on instead of Snow ...
femtoRgon's user avatar
  • 9,198
8 votes
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What is a Planetnik?

This is the abstract a paper published in an (apparently) respectable academic journal (2010): the russian original 'planetnik' is rendered as 'hobgoblin': In the regions of Orawa and Podhale, ...
sand1's user avatar
  • 96
8 votes

What is the oldest traditional children's game?

I'M GONNA SAY SENET The games that kids played included a game like checkers as well as Senet and their game pieces were made of small stones and knucklebones (which were really sheep ankle bones). ...
Fey Ray's user avatar
  • 433
8 votes
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What is the specific term for those creatures that exist because people believe in them?

If I understand your question correctly, you are referring to things becoming real because people believe in them. The term you are looking for is tulpa, also known as "thoughtform" (follow the link ...
Ralf B's user avatar
  • 396
7 votes

Does any folklore of Pictish origin survive in Britain or Ireland?

Actual folklore is stuff folk still say & do. It can be very hard to establish the origins of folkloric material. The linguistic connection is probably your best bet. You might find this book ...
barry's user avatar
  • 318
7 votes

How old is the belief that spilling salt is unlucky and should be followed by throwing a pinch of salt over the shoulder?

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable claims the superstition dates to the Romans, when salt was used in sacrifices and spilling it from the head of the victim would be considered a bad omen: ...
femtoRgon's user avatar
  • 9,198
7 votes
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What is the folkloristic origin of cats having 9 lives?

It may not be possible to trace the exact origins of the phrase that a cat had nine lives. Nevertheless there are a few sources from which we can find a possible origin of cats having nine lives. ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
7 votes
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Are there parallels between Ymir/Auðumbla and Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox besides the obvious?

In a sense - but while Bunyan and Babe actively change the landscape, Ymir is chopped up by others (Odin & Co) to make the world. Both Bunyan and Ymir are associated with cold - PB with the "blue ...
solsdottir's user avatar
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7 votes
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Are there any stories that present solar eclipses as a good sign?

It is true that the vast majority of solar eclipse folklore, myths and superstitions are looked upon in less than favorable light. Throughout history, solar eclipses have been viewed with dread ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
7 votes

Are there any elf like creatures in non-European folklore?

There really aren't any that I can find. Elf-like creatures are pretty stricly Germanic, however there is the duende. A duende is a fairy- or goblin-like mythological creature from Iberian, South ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,265
7 votes
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Why did Rumpelstiltskin want the baby?

In most tales, as in Rumpelstiltskin, there is no reason given for fairies or goblins wanting to take human children. I would like to note, though, that in some tales similar to Rumpelstiltskin, the ...
Sarah's user avatar
  • 473
7 votes
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Crystal taped to radiator?

There are many myths surrounding crystals. They are held by many to be capable of channelling positive energy and so promoting health and wellbeing. Your picture looks like quartz. Quartz in ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 1,066
6 votes

Are there any stories that present solar eclipses as a good sign?

There appears to be a folk belief in Italy that "flowers planted during a solar eclipse are more colourful than those planted at other times of the year"1. I'm afraid that although there's a ton of ...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
6 votes

Myths/folktales/fairytales of areas/buildings/objects that disappear and reappear at fixed intervals?

My sense is the Smurfs were probably inspired by Brigadoon, a famous Broadway musical (Lerner & Loewe) that was adapted into a very famous film starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. The story ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 14.1k
6 votes

Myths/folktales/fairytales of areas/buildings/objects that disappear and reappear at fixed intervals?

This sounds reminiscent of Vineta, a city on the coast of the Baltic sea, which was supposedly flooded as punishment for the inhabitants' ungodly ways. Some versions of the story have the city ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 6,006
6 votes

Where do Leprechauns live?

From livescience.com In his collection of Irish fairy and folk tales, W.B. Yeats offered an 18th-century poem by William Allingham titled "The Lepracaun; Or, Fairy Shoemaker" which describes the ...
A Lambent Eye's user avatar
6 votes

What is the specific term for those creatures that exist because people believe in them?

So I actually looked the mob psycho episode 2 season 2 as I said and actually, I've been a bit deceived. The answer I give to you here is really simpler than what we could expect: Urban legends ...
Calaom's user avatar
  • 595
6 votes
Accepted

The unreadable book: Voynich manuscript?

Since the V.M. has been extensively studied, as far as its physical properties go, I don't think much can be said for "mythical origins" of the book. It's known to be old and most likely made in ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 623
6 votes

What's the secret behind the infamous 'Backrooms' creepypasta?

It is indeed 4chan, per Know Your Meme: On April 21st, 2018, an anonymouse 4chan user posted the image in the /x/ forum in a thread about cursed images (shown below). On May 12th, 2019, an anonymous ...
rek's user avatar
  • 388
5 votes

Who's afraid of steel? Is iron different?

All the sources I've looked at do indeed say that iron repels fairies, and horseshoes, nails and shears have all been used to keep travellers and the newborn safe. There are many theories as to why ...
solsdottir's user avatar
  • 5,896
5 votes
Accepted

The Origin of Werewolf: Deities Cursing People into Animals?

A possible candidate for the story you have in mind is the legend of Lycaon: In Greek mythology, Lycaon (/laɪˈkeɪɒn/; Greek: Λυκάων) was a king of Arcadia, son of Pelasgus and Meliboea, who, in the ...
yannis's user avatar
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