21.11.14

CREEPY TALES

Joshua P Warren and Andrea Saarkoppel. It Was a Dark and Creepy Night: Real Life Encounters With the Strange, Mysterious and Downright Terrifying. New Page, 2014

This collection of about 150 brief “told as true” stories, shows how folklore in the US (and I assume elsewhere) is increasingly mingling traditional themes such as crisis apparitions, haunted houses, premonitions etc., with themes derived from popular media, examples of the latter including shadow beings, reptoids and I think I detect a hint of Slenderman in some stories.

The lack of any attempt at verification means these stories will have little value for the psychical researcher. There are also issues for the folklorist, in that the role of the authors (note not editors) clearly goes far beyond a simple tidying of language, grammar and spelling, to “slight embellishment could be provided to flesh out descriptive details”, so that we don’t know if the drama in some of the more dramatic stories comes from the original narrator or from the authors/editors.

That being said, this collection really is for entertainment only and lies in the honourable tradition of the folk storyteller and there is no doubt that many of these tales are appropriately creepy! - Peter Rogerson


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