Spooky Folktales Just In Time For Halloween
By: United Benefit Partners
Everyone loves a scary story or folktales told around the bonfire, especially for Halloween. We reveal some of the scariest folktales from around the world to get your heart pumping with adrenaline for Halloween.
The Ghost Train Of Stockholm
According to Swedish urban legends the Silverpilen train had strange properties that gave an eerie feeling towards passengers. Rumors started spreading in the 1980s that Silverpilen is a ghost train and legend says if a passenger is picked up by the train that they would disappear forever.
Well not forever, but most people who have experienced this firsthand would resurface weeks or even years after taking the train with no memory of what happened or where they had been. This is said to be connected to an abandoned train station, Kymling, with train cars that are empty or full of ghosts. There is a phrase, "Bara de döda stiger av i Kymling "translated into, “Only the dead get off at Kymling.”
The Peony Lantern- Botan Doro
This chilling story starts as a love story with origins beginning in the 17th century in Japan on the night of Obon (the Japanese festival honoring the spirits of their ancestors). A widowed samurai, Ogiwara, meets a beautiful woman, Otsuyu, that was always accompanied by a girl holding a peony lantern. The lovers would meet in secret from dusk to dawn, only seeing each other at night that drew suspicion from Ogiwara’s neighbors.
It turns out that Otsuyu was a skeleton and Ogiwara was shocked at the discovery but his love for her was too strong to see past this dilemma. The story ends with Ogiwara dying wrapped in Otsuyu’s skeleton. This chilling story has been passed down for centuries being adapted into several films, paintings, and even a kabuki play.
The native Hawaiian tradition of the Nightmarchers (orhuaka'i pō) which means “Spirit Ranks” is quite spooky as the legend tells of the ghosts of Hawaiian warriors who rise from the grave on sacred nights to march out to re-enact previous battles. The marching occurs traditionally around sunrise or sunset with the legend stating anyone who sees the Nightmarchers will die unless one of your ancestors is among the ranks, then you can be spared.
Legend also states that people will be spared if they avert their eyes or in certain regions lay face-down on the ground in a showing of respect. Those who show respect are spared and those who don’t, won’t live to tell the tale.
The Deer Women
According to the mythology of Native American tribes, the Deer Woman stalks the Mid-to-Pacific Northwest land that is most notable in the Chippewa tribe. The form of the Deer Woman alters between deer or an old woman but takes a unique form as a beautiful, young woman with the feet of a deer.
The Deer Woman is said to stand right off the hunting trail, hoping to lure young men with her magic to trap them. Legend states she enjoys dancing, entering dancing circles to dance the night away while using her movement and beauty to entice young men out into the forest. Chippewa legend says that the Deer Woman can be detracted with tobacco, chanting, or noticing she has the feet of a deer.
Beware of who you tell these stories to as they will be in for a scare. The research for this article was sourced from Bustle.