Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Body In The Box

This is one of my favourite old ghost stories from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. The story involves a young bride who goes missing, her heartbroken husband, and a terrible secret that emerges some time later. I've told this story over the years on the St. John's Haunted Hike, and it is always a favourite. This version was recorded live at The Rooms, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, on (appropriately enough) Hallowe'en night, October 31, 2007! Listen here, if you dare!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Away: An Evening with the Faerie Folk

The tradition of fairy stories in Newfoundland is most likely as old as European settlement on the island. The hidden people of Norway and Iceland, the gentry of Ireland, the little fellows of West Country England, and the bogles of Scotland all came together in Newfoundland to create a new fairy race, similar to their European ancestors, but very much their own people, with their own stories and their own way of interacting with us larger, clumsier folk. Storyteller Dale Jarvis talks about his most recent storytelling show, "Away: An Evening with the Faerie Folk" on CBC Radio Noon, St. John's, NL, August 3, 2007. Listen here

Friday, 1 June 2007

Jack and The Little Man Under the Stove

For the past few months, I've been telling stories and teaching grades 3 to 6 the basics of storytelling at Holy Cross Elementary School here in St. John's, Newfoundland. On May 31st, 2007, we had our final night storytelling competition and concert, and the kids told their remarkable tales.

At the end of the night, I was asked to tell one final story, and this is it. In the story, our hero Jack takes on a job as a cook in the house of a rich man, and discovers that he is not alone in the kitchen...

Sunday, 29 April 2007

The Mother-In-Law

A terrible tale from the Brothers Grimm, recorded in a live performance by storyteller Dale Gilbert Jarvis in 2004. A king rides off into battle, leaving his wife and two infant sons with his extremely hungry mother. This tale was found in a compilation by folklorist Maria Tatar, and is based upon a story fragment recorded by the Brothers Grimm, but which was not included in their book of tales in a finished format. Enjoy it (with relish). Listen here!

Sunday, 1 April 2007

World Storytelling Day Concert 2007

Started in Sweden in 2003, World Storytelling Day has grown in a few short years to a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling, celebrated every year on the first day of spring. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night. Participants tell each other about their events in order to share stories and inspiration, to learn from each other and create international contacts. World Storytelling Day 2005 had a grande finale on spring equinox, Sunday March the 20th. There were events from 25 countries on 5 continents, and 2006 saw the program grow further. 2007 was the first time a storytelling concert was held in Newfoundland to commemorate World Storytelling Day. The concert featured Corner Brook storyteller Elinor Benjamin with host storyteller Dale Jarvis, and was sponsored by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, The Rooms and The St. John's Storytelling Circle. Recorded live at The Rooms, St. John's, Newfoundland, March 21, 2007. Running time 1:04:05. Listen here!

Friday, 2 March 2007

The Devil and Mr Kinchler

A story from Fortune Harbour, Newfoundland, about a man named Kinchler who dearly loved playing cards, and who once boasted that he would play a game with the Devil himself. Recorded live July 30 2004 at the Newman Wine Vaults Provincial Historic Site, St. John's, Newfoundland. Listen here!

Saturday, 10 February 2007


The wicked Count Rinaldo loves a young girl's long golden hair, and wishes to marry her. But Goldenhair loves a peasant lad by the name of Pietro, and refuses to marry the Count. Storyteller Dale Jarvis tells the traditional Corsican ghost story and folktale "Goldenhair" and relates what happens when Count Rinaldo's love is spurned, and how desire is very hard thing to kill. Listen here!

Thursday, 11 January 2007

The Whistling Ghost

The true story of a whistling ghost from the community of Cartwright, Labrador, Canada, read by author and storyteller Dale Jarvis from his book "Haunted Shores: True Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador" (Flanker Press, 2004). Recorded January 11, 2007. Listen here!

The Origin of the Fairies

There are many legends and tales about where the fairies come from. This tale, borrowed from the Scandinavian storytelling tradition, gives one explanation. Listen here!

The Fatal Peat Ember

A traditional fairy story from the Isle of Skye, originally collected by W.Y Evans-Wentz in the early part of the twentieth century, and which was published in his book "The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries." It includes references to the fairy practice of abducting human children, and also of the fair folk's gift of prophecy. Listen here!

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

The House on the Fairy Path

A traditional tale from the Southern Shore of Newfoundland, Canada, concerning a young married couple who discover they have built their house on a path used by the good people, and the steps that couple take to rid themselves of fairy mischief. Recorded by Dale Jarvis, September 3, 2006, St. John's, Newfoundland. Listen here!