The ICH office, and the Bay Robert Cultural Foundation, are starting a project to document folk beliefs, superstitions, charms, and cures in the Bay Roberts area. We'll be doing a series of recorded interviews with locals, and we've also started a project with Level I students in Ms Welsh's English class at Ascension Collegiate
We visited the school earlier this week, talking about local folklore and supernatural belief. We talked with the students about doing primary research, and going out and asking questions. To help them out, we developed a one-page questionnaire, for them to take home and use while interviewing parents, family members, friends, or neighbours.
We are heading back to Ascension on Friday morning to see what the students collected, and to help them write up some of their folklore findings.
Here are the questions the students are using:
1). Is there a place in your community that people say is haunted? ....a haunted cemetery, a haunted walkway, a haunted cliff or rock, a house, or other building? What are the ghostly stories connected to these places?
2). When you were growing up, were there any places you were told not to go because the fairies would get you? Where was this and what are the stories you were told?
3). What are the local stories about shipwrecks? ...buried treasures? What about ghost or weather lights seen on the water?
4). Are there any people who are believed to be witches in the community? Why do people think this? What kind of powers does this person have?
5). Have you ever had a visit from the Old Hag while you were sleeping? What happened and do you believe that this experience was real or just a dream?
6). Do you know of any special charms, superstitions, cures or remedies that are used in your community?
Teachers, librarians or museums: you can download a pdf of these questions right here.