Mysterious Celtic Mythology in American Folklore
Pelican Publishing (2010)
Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views (10/10)
I consider myself a master when it comes to reading horror. While other kids were reading “The Hardy Boys,”,I was getting lost in the worlds created by Stephen King and R.L. Stine. Still, I found a treasure of little-known knowledge within the pages of “Mysterious Celtic Mythology in American Folklore.” Throughout the ages and across the globe, people have imagined all kinds of horrors that lurk in the darkness. Mr. Curran introduces us to many of these creatures that have either been lost in the past or changed with the times.
Each chapter provides information on a different category of supernatural entity and draws comparisons between the legends of the Celtic lands and those of the United States. Do these comparisons indicate that similar ghostly forces were at work on both sides of the ocean simultaneously or are they merely an example of how Celtic traditions melded with American ones when settlers traveled to the New World in search of a new life? Mr. Curran leaves it up to you to decide, but he provides a lot of information along the way to help you draw your own conclusions.
From lost and fabulous kingdoms to devil creatures, we are taken on a journey through history that provides insight into mythology and folklore and how these tales of terror have affected people throughout the ages. While it would have been easy to deliver this information in a dry textbook fashion, the author wisely chose to entertain as well as inform. Each chapter is filled with stories that have been handed down through the generations, sharing both personal and second-hand accounts of supernatural events that may have transpired. More than a few of these stories rival some of the best-selling horror plots that are on bookstore shelves and will have you forgetting that you’re actually reading a non-fiction book. While I found all the stories to be entertaining, my personal favorite was found in the chapter that discusses ghosts, spirits, and the unquiet dead. The story of Rhode Island’s Sarah Tillinghast provides edge-of-your-seat suspense that is sure to please anyone who enjoys a good vampire story.
Fans of myths, legends, folk tales, and horror stories will definitely want to add “Mysterious Celtic Mythology in American Folklore” to their collection.