This case study of a legend cycle, extending from Norway to Wisconsin, argues that American folklorists, preoccupied as they have become with adolescent legendry, still know far too little about the sustained relationships between legends, old country hearths, and new world regions—particularly those regions where peoples of other than Anglo-American descent dominate the cultural landscape.
Hispanic Americans -- Texas -- San Antonio -- Folklore.
Railroads -- Crossings -- Folklore.
Folklore -- Texas -- San Antonio.
Linda Dégh's concept of ostension—the process through which people enact legend—has been generally applied to criminal activities, yet there is substantial evidence that ostension can also transcend horror and inspire a sense of wonder in those who bring legends to life. One legend-teller's account of a group "pilgrimage" to a legend site in San Antonio, Texas, reveals the complexity and depth of her community's relationship with the supernatural. The haunted railroad crossing, often simply a "gravity hill" phenomenon when experienced or narrated by non-Hispanics, becomes for one narrator and many members of her Mexican-American community a site where beliefs concerning the dead, the innocence of children, and the necessity of reverent behavior intertwine as legend-trippers both imitate and interact with the ghostly victims of a railroad-crossing wreck.
College students -- New York (State) -- Binghamton -- Folklore.
Mirrors -- Folklore.
Folklore -- New York (State) -- Binghamton.
This article analyzes college students' legends of apparitions in mirrors in relation to the "Bloody Mary" ritual that is most common in preadolescence. Through a modified Jungian analysis of their legends, it is possible to identify patterns of self-discovery in later adolescence that are underdiscussed in the literature. By telling legends about gender transformations, ghostly lovers, suicide, and violent death, college students undergo a quasi-initiatory experience that facilitates their development of a more complex sense of self.
This article examines typical narratives of healings and blessings that appeared in Miracle Magazine during the 1960s under evangelist editor A. A. Allen to show how mass media preachers exploit folk beliefs. The testimonies in Miracle Magazine included, among other miracles, accounts of exorcizing bosom serpents, miracle fillings, supernatural healings of invalids, divine cures of cancer, and blessings received for pledging money to Allen's ministry. Features in the magazine also dealt with visions, divine voices, prophecies, and the evils of other evangelists and denominations. Studying these printed narratives, as Linda Dégh suggests, "opens an untrodden path" for folk narrative scholars.
Arab Americans -- Michigan -- Detroit -- Folklore.
Folklore -- Michigan -- Detroit.
Computer networks -- Social aspects.
This article examines one instance of a widely spread rumor (incipient legend) circulated via e-mail in northwest Detroit that Arab employees at a Middle Eastern restaurant cheered when they saw television footage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It argues that rumor and legend scholars, especially those examining alternative communication paths including Internet transmission, should work to retain the complexity of performance-oriented studies in their comparative analyses. It takes "the middle road" in building a case for examining, whenever possible, the complex intertwining of localized and globalized "folkloric space" for readings that are richly textured and evocative of a variety of social conditions.