Horror Folklore (Scary Stories)



Horror stories appeal to the internal fears of people. A good horror story can make the hair stand up at the back of your neck and give you Goosebumps. Yet listeners are entertained by the stories even though it makes them uncomfortable. We have collected two types of horror folklore: campfire stories and urban legends. We collected the folklore using video and audio. Most informants were interviewed on the Dartmouth College campus, while some were interviewed through Skype. In collected these folklore items, we discovered some interesting qualities of the stories. We have heard some of the stories before collecting them from informants, but the stories had variation. In addition, the stories often were scary because of the informant’s low tone of voice when recounting the story. Emphasizing certain words or speaking louder in certain places of the story were more likely to create the suspense and fear of a good horror story than the story itself. In collecting these horror stories, we have learned that horror folklore is abundant around campus. But you just need to be brave enough to listen.

Presentation: Horror Story Folklore Presentation


Collectors: Andrew Alini, Alexandra Collins, Roko Glasnovic, Sarah Perez, Sydney Zhou

Tags/Keywords:  Horror Stories, Children’s Folklore, Campfire Stories, Urban Legends