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The National Trust is calling for people across the UK to share their local folklore tales in a bid to ensure these are preserved for future generations.
Trust staff say they have noticed a surge in interest in traditional stories in recent years, especially at this time of year; when nights are getting longer and Halloween festivities hint at older beliefs.
Dee Dee Chainey, author of A Treasury of British Folklore and co-founder of online folklore magazine #FolkloreThursday, said: “Autumn was traditionally seen as a dark, mysterious time when the veil between the worlds was thin. It’s a time when the light of summer begins to fade, and the darkness creeps in – along with reflections on the more shadowy side of life.
“The advent of modern technology, and a move away from an agricultural lifestyle, means that a lot of folklore is now being lost and forgotten, but it’s fascinating and helps us understand how our forebears understood their world.
“We’d really like to get people thinking about their own local folklore, and the traditions and superstitions that have been passed down through their families. We want to make sure we don’t lose folk histories and we can hold onto the wonderful stories that often accompanied them.”
Folklore and superstitions help provide an insight into the past and what it was like to live in a particular time and place, Ms Chainey added. “But it’s still very much a living thing. By talking about and sharing our folklore we are creating new connections, new communities, and celebrating those ties we have to each other, and the places we live in.”
People can share their tales by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and joining the conversation on the charity’s social media channels @NationalTrust.