Supernatural Tales and Spooky Folklore

Posted by Cybil on October 16, 2017
Aaron Mahnke is the writer, host, and producer of the spooky hit podcast Lore (which is now also a TV show) as well the author of The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures. Here Mahnke shares his favorite supernatural tales.


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Every writer has an origin story. It's that nexus of chance and passion, where some event or experience in the past set the wheels in motion that led them to where they are today. For me that moment occurred in the fifth grade, when I was given a book of weird and unusual tales.

Those stories—call them legends or folklore or whatever else you want—had a sort of supernatural power. They pulled me in by being so bizarre and unlikely that I simply couldn't look away.

Even today, decades removed from grade school, I haven't lost that enthusiasm. And while I've made a career out of researching and retelling dark historical events and the people at the center of them, it's the stories on the edge of possibility that still keep me coming back for more.


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Passing Strange
by Joseph A. Citro

"These are stories from New England, where so many unusual things have taken place over the years. Maybe it's the deeply rich history in that region of the country, or maybe it was just the perfect mix of cultures that melted into one. Either way, New England will also be my favorite source of tales that send a chill down my spine."



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American Monsters
by Linda S. Godfrey

"People who believe in undiscovered creatures tend to get a sideways glance from the rest of society. But if firsthand accounts and physical evidence are enough to make you believe, this book is a fantastic journey into the wonderful world of cryptozoology."



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Mysterious America
by Loren Coleman

"Coleman is the godfather of bizarre expeditions and the search for real-life cryptids. While his catalog of works is extensive, this book is a wonderful starting point for anyone willing to follow him into the woods, no matter how dark and unsafe they might appear."



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The Science of Monsters
by Matt Kaplan

"While not necessarily a book of creepy tales, this is a powerful examination of the birthplace of all monsters—the human mind. Why we tell stories of otherworldly creatures actually says more about us than it does about the stories themselves."



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Ghost Hunters
by Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren

"We have the Warrens to thank for so many of the stories at the heart of the biggest horror films of the last three decades. The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring, Annabelle, and so many other chilling stories were born from the research and investigation of this dynamic couple. Read at your own risk."



See the complete coverage of Horror Week including:
Top 50 Favorite Horror Novels on Goodreads
Stories That Delve into the Darkness
Exclusive Excerpt: The Creepy Thriller 'The Chalk Man'

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Breslin (new)

Breslin White I live close to New England. Passing Strange should interest me.


Olivia "Don't Blame Me I Voted for Hillary" All of those books sound interesting to me.


message 3: by Ana (new)

Ana The Science of Monsters was great! Recommend it to anyone that wants to dig a little deeper into our fascination with monsters.


message 4: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Olivia "Don't Blame Me I Voted for Hillary" wrote: "All of those books sound interesting to me."

Agreed, Olivia! I love this stuff.:)


message 5: by Janice (new)

Janice Bolick I skip 'em. I don't do scary and/or gruesome.


message 6: by Jan (new)

Jan Wilson Janice wrote: "I skip 'em. I don't do scary and/or gruesome."

What about funny? If you do funny, you might like Bruce Golden's new novel "Monster Town"Monster Town


message 7: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Nice to see Joseph A. Citro on this list.


message 8: by Sharonh (new)

Sharonh A book by the Warrens? Seriously?


Sameena Thanks for the suggestions!


message 10: by Eric (new)

Eric All of these sound good as I'm close to New Jersey the
"Jersey Devil" always makes an appearance or mention during these times. But Philadelphia has Eastern State Penitentiary and the Mutter Museum for the Ghosts and the Ghouls


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