THE DEFINITION AND ORIGIN OF BANSHEES
In a country, such as Ireland, that is characterised by an arrestive and wildly beautiful scenery, it is not at all surprising to find something in the nature of a ghost harmonising with the general atmosphere and surroundings, and that something, apparently so natural to Ireland, is the Banshee.
The name Banshee seems to be a contraction of the Irish Bean Sidhe, which is interpreted by some writers on the subject "A Woman of the Faire Race," whilst by various other writers it is said to signify "The Lady of Death," "The Woman of Sorrow," "The Spirit of the Air," and "The Woman of the Barrow."
It is strictly a family ghost, and most authorities agree that it only haunts families of very ancient Irish lineage. Mr McAnnaly, for instance, remarks (in the chapter on Banshees in his "Irish Wonders"): "The Banshee attends only the old families, and though their descendants, through misfortune, may be brought down from high estate to ranks of peasant farmers, she never leaves nor forgets them till the last member has been gathered to his fathers in the churchyard."...
From "The Frog King" to "The Golden Key," wondrous worlds unfold—heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique—they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes's introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes.
A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.
Whether all that constitutes man's spiritual nature, that is to say, ALL his mind, is inseparably amalgamated with the whitish mass of soft matter enclosed in his cranium and called his brain, is a question that must, one supposes, be ever open to debate.
One knows that this whitish substance is the centre of the nervous system and the seat of consciousness and volition, and, from the constant study of character by type or by phrenology, one may even go on to deduce with reason that in this protoplasmic substance--in each of the numerous cells into which it is divided and subdivided--are located the human faculties. Hence, it would seem that one may rationally conclude, that all man's vital force, all that comprises his mind--i.e. the power in him that conceives, remembers, reasons, wills--is so wrapped up in the actual matter of his cerebrum as to be incapable of existing apart from it; and that as a natural sequence thereto, on the dissolution of the brain, the mind and everything pertaining to the mind dies with it--there is no future life because there is nothing left to survive.
Such a condition, if complete annihilation can be so named, is the one and only conclusion to the doctrine that mind--crude, undiagnosed mind--is dependent on matter, a doctrine confirmed by the apparent facts that injury to the cranium is accompanied by unconsciousness and protracted loss of memory, and that the sanity of the individual is entirely contingent upon the state of his cerebral matter--a clot of blood in one of the cerebral veins, or the unhealthy condition of a cell, being in itself sufficient to bring about a complete mental metamorphose, and, in common parlance, to produce madness.
In the deepest of sleeps, too, when there is less blood in the cerebral veins, and the muscles are generally relaxed, and the pulse is slower, and the respiratory movements are fewer in number, consciousness departs, and man apparently lapses into a state of absolute nothingness which materialists, not unreasonably, presume must be akin to death. It would appear, then, that our mental faculties are entirely regulated by, and consequently, entirely dependent on, the material within our brain cells, and that, granted certain conditions of that material, we have consciousness, and that, without those conditions, we have no consciousness--in other words, "our minds cease to exist." Hence, there is no such thing as separate spiritual existence; mind is merely an eventuality of matter, and, when the latter perishes, the former perishes too. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can exist apart from the physical....
“California, Labor Day weekend . . . early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades and greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners and cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo and East Oakland, heading for the Monterey peninsula, north of Big Sur. . . The Menace is loose again.”
Thus begins Hunter S. Thompson’s vivid account of his experiences with California’s most notorious motorcycle gang, the Hell’s Angels. In the mid-1960s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up and down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history, when the biker lifestyle was first defined, and when such countercultural movements were electrifying and horrifying America. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy, and brutal honesty, and with a nuanced and incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, “For all its uninhibited and sardonic humor, Thompson’s book is a thoughtful piece of work.” As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hell’s Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” With Bill Moyers, one of America’s most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit.
This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell’s work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
THE CASE OF A HAUNTED HOUSE IN RED LION SQUARE
I am not a psychometrist--at least not to any great extent. I cannot pick up a small object--say an old ring or coin--and straightway tell you its history, describing all the people and incidents with which it has been associated. Yet, occasionally, odd things are revealed to me through some strange ornament or piece of furniture.
The other day I went to see a friend, who was staying in a flat near Sloane Square, and I was much impressed by a chair that stood on the hearthrug near the fire. Now I am not a connoisseur of chairs; I cannot always ascribe dates to them. I can, of course, tell whether they are oak or mahogany, Chippendale or Sheraton, but that is about all. It was not, however, the make or the shape of this chair that attracted me, it was the impression I had that something very uncanny was seated on it. My friend, noticing that I looked at it very intently, said: "I will tell you something very interesting about that chair. It came from a haunted house in Red Lion Square. I bought it at a sale there, and several people who have sat in it since have had very curious experiences. I won't tell you them till after you've tried it. Sit in it."
"That wouldn't be any good," I answered; "you know I can't psychometrise, especially to order. May I take it home with me for a few nights?"
My friend smilingly assented.
The chair was put in a taxi, and in less than half an hour was safely lodged in my chambers. I was living alone just then, for my wife had been suddenly called away to the country, to the bedside of an aged and ailing relative. I say alone, but I had company--a lady tabby that, apparently abandoned by her lover, persisted in showering her attentions upon me. For hours at a time she would perch on the writing-table in my bedroom, whilst I was at work, and fix me amorously with her big green eyes....
Like no other book of the twentieth century, Manly P. Hall's legendary The Secret Teachings of All Ages is a codex to the ancient occult and esoteric traditions of the world. Students of hidden wisdom, ancient symbols, and arcane practices treasure Hall's magnum opus above all other works.
While many thousands of copies have sold since its initial publication in 1928, The Secret Teachings of All Ages has previously been available only in oversized, expensive editions. For the first time, Hall's celebrated classic is now published in an affordable trade paperback volume. Literally hundreds of entries shine a rare light on some of the most fascinating and closely held aspects of myth, religion, and philosophy from throughout the centuries.
More than one hundred line drawings and a sixteen-page color insert reproduce some of the finest illustrations of the original book, while reset and reformatted text makes this edition of The Secret Teachings of All Ages newly accessible to readers everywhere.
Corpse Candles and Fire Coffins
Death portents, evil boring beetles, and flickering ghosts move across the shadowy pages of this ultra-freaky collection from Irish supernaturalist Elliott O'Donnell.
Beware the death bogle! A sighting of this fearsome creature will likely lead to sudden illness and untimely death. Folklorist Elliot O'Donnell warns of this relative of The Bogieman and all that lurk at the crossroads in this Edwardianera collection about the notsofair fairies of old.
Rich with storytelling, history, and folklore, The Lakota Way expresses the heart of Native American philosophy and reveals the path to a fulfilling and meaningful life. Joseph Marshall is a member of the Sicunga Lakota Sioux and has dedicated his entire life to the wisdom he learned from his elders. Here he focuses on the twelve core qualities that are crucial to the Lakota way of life--bravery, fortitude, generosity, wisdom, respect, honor, perseverance, love, humility, sacrifice, truth, and compassion. Whether teaching a lesson on respect imparted by the mythical Deer Woman or the humility embodied by the legendary Lakota leader Crazy Horse, The Lakota Way offers a fresh outlook on spirituality and ethical living.
Perhaps the most feared creature in Irish fairy lore, the Banshee is the ghostly, female apparition whose shriek portents the demise of a loved one. Elliot O'Donnell explores the terrifying Banshee-equivalents of cultures around the world-- from the Highland Castles of Scotland to the seaside villages of Italy-- and his tales of these creatures make the Irish Banshee look like nothing more than a cherubic Christmas-caroler.
From angels to demons, The Mythology of Supernatural explores the religious roots and the ancient folklore of the otherworldly entities that brothers Sam and Dean Winchester face on the hit television show Supernatural-and that have inhabited the shadows of human imagination across countless cultures and centuries.
Not all banshees are created equal. Most commonly thought of as mournful beauties, the malevolent banshees give demons a run for their money. An encounter with one of these beings will leave you weak-kneed and wretched for life. Noted Irish ghost expert Elliot O'Donnell brings the hideous creature to life in The Malevolent Banshee.
As a girl, Kingston lives in two confounding worlds: the California to which her parents have immigrated and the China of her mother’s “talk stories.” The fierce and wily women warriors of her mother’s tales clash jarringly with the harsh reality of female oppression out of which they come. Kingston’s sense of self emerges in the mystifying gaps in these stories, which she learns to fill with stories of her own. A warrior of words, she forges fractured myths and memories into an incandescent whole, achieving a new understanding of her family’s past and her own present.
“An unusual combination of true crime journalism, rock and roll reporting and underground obsessiveness, Lords of Chaos turns into one of the more fascinating reads in a long time.”—Denver Post
A narrative feature film based on this award-winning book has just gone into production.
Since its original publication by Little, Brown and Company in 1942, Edith Hamilton's Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the word and established itself as a perennial bestseller in its various available formats: hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, and e-book. For 75 years readers have chosen this book above all others to discover the thrilling, enchanting, and fascinating world of Western mythology-from Odysseus's adventure-filled journey to the Norse god Odin's effort to postpone the final day of doom. This exciting new deluxe, large-format hardcover edition, published in celebration of the book's 75th anniversary, will be beautifully packages and fully-illustrated throughout with all-new, specially commissioned four-color art, making it a true collector's item.
Fantasy romance with fae, vampires, shapeshifters and witches.
This compendium of magical creatures explores the history, folklore and mythology of fascinating beasts throughout all the magical worlds. Including stories, celebrations, traditions, and amazing facts, the book spans every major culture across the globe.
Many of the fantastic creatures described in the book have appeared in the fictitious worlds of the Brothers Grimm, Lewis Carroll, J.K. Rowling, Tolkien and countless other writers who have stirred our imaginations since childhood fairytales. From unicorns, giants, fairies, elves, goblins, dwarves and trolls to nymphs, mermaids, sphinxes, ogres, cyclops, dragons, salamanders, basilisks, banshees, werewolves, griffins, centaurs, satyrs and gremlins – this is the ultimate reference book on creatures from the magical world.
Organized from A to Z for easy reference, the cross–cultural focus spans from the most ancient of creatures to those which have come to prominence more recent ly. Discover everything from obscure magical beings to everyday animals that carry magical symbolism.
Find out more in The Fantastic World of Magical Creatures.
But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.
Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons—Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.
Driven by a detective's curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.
From lycanthropic creatures found on television and film such as Teen Wolf, Twilight, and True Blood to the earliest folklore of shape-shifting creatures, The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shapeshifting Beings is an eye-opening, blood-pounding tour through the ages of monsters with the most amazing camouflage capabilities—they hide among us! Along the way, you’ll land at the doorstep of creatures like hirsute mass-murderer Albert Fish, and Fritz Haarman, who slaughtered and ate his victims—selling the leftovers as steaks and roasts in his butcher shop—as well as visits to mythical shamans, sirens, and skin walkers.
Covering 140,000 years of legend, mythology, and fact, The Werewolf Book provides hair-raising evidence of strange and obsessional behavior through the centuries. Learn the basics of becoming a werewolf and the intricacies of slaying the beast. A true homage to werewolves and other full moon beasts, it includes topics such as …
• Bear, tiger, coyote, and other shape-shifting people
• Classic and modern werewolf movies
• Gargoyles, totem poles, and Internet depictions
• Serial killers and sadistic rulers
• Sorcery, spells, and talismans
• Television shows, songs, and computer games
Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire Trilogy defies categorization—or perhaps creates its own. It is a passionate, razor-sharp, lyrical history of North and South America, from the birth of the continent’s indigenous peoples through the end of the twentieth century. The three volumes form a haunting and dizzying whole that resurrects the lives of Indians, conquistadors, slaves, revolutionaries, poets, and more.
The first book, Genesis, pays homage to the many origin stories of the tribes of the Americas, and paints a verdant portrait of life in the New World through the age of the conquistadors. The second book, Faces and Masks, spans the two centuries between the years 1700 and 1900, in which colonial powers plundered their newfound territories, ultimately giving way to a rising tide of dictators. And in the final installment, Century of the Wind, Galeano brings his story into the twentieth century, in which a fractured continent enters the modern age as popular revolts blaze from North to South.
This celebrated series is a landmark of contemporary Latin American writing, and a brilliant document of culture.
Q. How can I increase my chances of survival?
A. One simple step is to keep away from other people. Without people there can be no zombies.
Q. What is the connection between the Voodoo zombie and the flesh-eating zombie of popular culture?
A. Other than a shared name, absolutely nothing.
Q. Will zombies actually eat me, or will they just bite and chew?
A. Research suggests the neuromuscular activity required for swallowing may be too complex for a zombie.
Q. Will we see any warning signs before the dead rise?
A. Unfortunately, entire populations could be infected with the zombie sickness before anyone even knows there’s a problem.
Q. How come Zombie Awareness Month is in May and not October?
A. Unlike witches and vampires, zombies are not otherworldly creatures. They are made of flesh and blood. Don’t forget to wear your gray ribbon.
* Many more questions about zombies—including why not all of them are undead—are answered inside the book.
They live in shadows—deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them: werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits.
In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves. Aaron Mahnke invites us to the desolate Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where the notorious winged, red-eyed Jersey Devil dwells. He delves into harrowing accounts of cannibalism—some officially documented, others the stuff of speculation . . . perhaps. He visits the dimly lit rooms where séances take place, the European villages where gremlins make mischief, even Key West, Florida, home of a haunted doll named Robert.
In a world of “emotional vampires” and “zombie malls,” the monsters of folklore have become both a part of our language and a part of our collective psyche. Whether these beasts and bogeymen are real or just a reflection of our primal fears, we know, on some level, that not every mystery has been explained and that the unknown still holds the power to strike fear deep in our hearts and souls. As Aaron Mahnke reminds us, sometimes the truth is even scarier than the lore.
Praise for the Lore podcast
“Truth can often be much scarier than fiction—something Mahnke proves as he dives deep into the world of folklore and the darker side of history in a quest to root out the fragment of truth at the bottom of our fears.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Unlike so much horror that needs over-the-top viscera to scare you, this podcast leans on history—folklore, myth, the stuff people once thought was true—to tell its tales.”—The Atlantic
“Narrated by Mahnke in a style that evokes spooky campfire stories, Lore is a history lesson like no other.”—Esquire
Kullervo, son of Kalervo, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. “Hapless Kullervo,” as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.
Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanōna, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruelest of fates.
Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was “the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own,” and was “a major matter in the legends of the First Age.” Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, the tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. Published with the author’s drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.
“A fascinating read.”—NPR
Cronus liked to eat babies.
Narcissus probably should have just learned to masturbate.
Odin got construction discounts with bestiality.
Isis had bad taste in jewelry.
Ganesh was the very definition of an unplanned pregnancy.
And Abraham was totally cool about stabbing his kid in the face.
All our lives, we’ve been fed watered-down, PC versions of the classic myths. In reality, mythology is more screwed up than a schizophrenic shaman doing hits of unidentified…wait, it all makes sense now. In Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, Cory O’Brien, creator of Myths RETOLD!, sets the stories straight. These are rude, crude, totally sacred texts told the way they were meant to be told: loudly, and with lots of four-letter words.
Skeptical? Here are a few more gems to consider:
• Zeus once stuffed an unborn fetus inside his thigh to save its life after he exploded its mother by being too good in bed.
• The entire Egyptian universe was saved because Sekhmet just got too hammered to keep murdering everyone.
• The Hindu universe is run by a married couple who only stop murdering in order to throw sweet dance parties…on the corpses of their enemies.
• The Norse goddess Freyja once consented to a four-dwarf gangbang in exchange for one shiny necklace.
And there’s more dysfunctional goodness where that came from.
In Gods in Everyman Dr. Bolen presents us with a compassionate and lucid male psychology that will help all men and women to better understand themselves and their relationships with their fathers, their sons, their brothers, and their lovers.
Through these chapters students are guided toward a working understanding of the field, learn basic terms and techniques, and learn to perceive the knowledge base and discourse frame for materials used in folklore courses. Folklore Rules will appeal to instructors and students for a variety of courses, including introductory folklore and comparative studies as well as literature, anthropology, and composition classes that include a folklore component.
Breton - Peter Berresford Ellishas included popular myths and legends, as well as bringing to light exciting new tales
which have been lying in manuscript form, untranslated and unknown to the modern general reader.
The author brings not only his extensive knowledge of source material but also his acclaimed skills of storytelling to produce an original, enthralling and definitive collection of Celtic myths and legends - tales of gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, magical weapons, fabulous beasts, and entities from the ancient Celtic world.
• Reveals the symbolism and divinatory significance of the 24 rune "staves"
• Provides clear instructions on how to craft your own rune stones
• Explains the role of runes in the Norse wisdom tradition and its influence on such works as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
Nordic runes are a potent and profoundly transformative magic system that gives contemporary readers access to the ancient wisdom tradition of Northern European cultures. The runes have deep resonances within the pagan Norse world of gods and goddesses, giants, dwarves, warriors, and wizards, which have greatly influenced the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, among others. Norse tradition attributes the discovery of the runes to the "All-Father" Odin--a god of inspiration and secret wisdom and the mythical prototype for runecasters, who established the pattern for gaining his knowledge.
Nordic Runes addresses three major areas: Runelore, the history of this 2000-year-old Norse oracle; Runestaves, the meaning of the individual runes of the Elder Futhark alphabet and their powerful mythological, magical, and practical lessons for daily life; and Runecasting, a comprehensive guide to the oracular application of the ancient runes, including their crafting, divination, and self-development. As Nordic Runes shows, the runes do more than simply reflect the path of fate; they help develop and enhance intuition. By learning to cast and interpret the runes, the user becomes receptive to the energy currents in material reality and empowered in the arts of its transformation.
The wellspring of modern knowledge of Norse mythology, these sagas preserved the Vikings' narrative style from an invading European influence. Iceland's great literary genius, Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241), combined oral traditions, genealogical records, and old songs to immortalize his country's glorious past. Edda means "poetic art," and Sturluson's guidebook for Icelandic poets has been a timeless inspiration for generations of writers around the world, including Wagner, Borges, and Tolkien.