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Widdershins Stories

Storytelling Podcasts

Widdershins Stories is a storytelling podcast delving into the darkened pathways of folklore, fairy tales, mythology, legend, and beyond. Each tale is accompanied by a sparse and haunting live composed score, setting the mood for a journey deep into the woods. Before the episode comes to an end, join both Narrator and Bard as they peer into their process and explore the importance of story.

Widdershins Stories is a storytelling podcast delving into the darkened pathways of folklore, fairy tales, mythology, legend, and beyond. Each tale is accompanied by a sparse and haunting live composed score, setting the mood for a journey deep into the woods. Before the episode comes to an end, join both Narrator and Bard as they peer into their process and explore the importance of story.


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Widdershins Stories is a storytelling podcast delving into the darkened pathways of folklore, fairy tales, mythology, legend, and beyond. Each tale is accompanied by a sparse and haunting live composed score, setting the mood for a journey deep into the woods. Before the episode comes to an end, join both Narrator and Bard as they peer into their process and explore the importance of story.




28. The Maiden-Tree

“The Maiden-Tree” by Catherynne M. Valente is a dark look at the classic Sleeping Beauty. What attraction does a spinning wheel have to a sixteen year old girl? What comes from a hundred years kept preserved after the first blood soaked stab of the needle? The prince is not really coming, at least not for what you think he wants. And really, who is to say what happens when the briars take over the castle and are hungry for more? Take care that the roses don’t take you too. CW: this episode...


27. Midnight Wren

“Midnight Wren” is the second story from the Tales of Wolf Hollow by Allison Carr Waechter. A young girl abandoned at a second-rate boarding school wonders about her empty future when she stumbles one day upon a glossy raven black feather. As more appear, she collects them up in woven baskets only to find when the moon shines upon them, they feel alive and she begins to hear a strange song upon waking up to talon claw in sleep. Where is the song coming from, and why does it sound so familiar...


26. The Nightingale and the Rose

A surprise bonus episode for you all for Valentine’s Day! “The Nightingale and the Rose” by Oscar Wilde is a bit of an anti-Valentine’s Day tale but we couldn’t resist sharing. A student bemoaning his lack of a red rose to give his love is overheard by a nightingale who believes she has finally found purity of love. Attempting to help the lovestruck student, she makes the ultimate sacrifice to bring the most perfect red rose into existence. Alas for her, our student’s heart is not quite as...


25. The Truths of Wolf Hollow

“Come out of the dark night and sit by my fire.” This week, we have the dark and enchanting tale, “The Truths of Wolf Hollow” by Allison Carr Waechter. A retelling of the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood with a twist that the Grimm’s never would have dared to discuss. What happens when a village is divided by an ever growing wood and the wolves aren’t the only things to be frightened of in the dark night full of whispering winds? You’ve come this far, why not stay for the whole...


24. The Siren And Russalka

Two tales of treacherous maids of the water, this week we have “The Siren” by F. Antsey and “Russalka” by Maurice Baring. “The Siren” tells of a siren upon an island who uses her power upon men without heed, when one day a stranger comes unbidden to her shores and makes her question her ways and learn the meaning of love. In “Russalka” a young couple in love run afoul of the powers of the rusalka when on a whim, young Petrushka leaves his work on the river’s edge and finds himself in the...


23. The Weird Violin

A curious tale by an unknown author, “The Weird Violin” was written in a monthly magazine in 1893 in the tradition of Victorian Christmas ghost stories. A virtuoso musician, right before a major performance stumbles into a music warehouse when he encounters a strange and somewhat menacing violin. Upon his horror when he plays it, he is greeted with visions of the past sending him into a stupor mid performance. If you’ve been enjoying these, we’d love if you’d give us a review on Apple...


22. The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton

This week we are bringing some classic Dickensian cheer with “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton.” With a similar arc to “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens tells us the story of a glum and grim sexton who delights in suffering, who through a long night with a band of goblins learns of the delights of nature in the world. And just in time too, as we’ll be doing a live streamed reading of “A Christmas Carol” on Christmas Eve at 8pm EST. You can join us over at...


21. The Phantom Coach

Cozy up with a blanket for the chilling tale of “The Phantom Coach” by Amelia Edwards. An unfortunate man gets caught outdoors in the middle of a snowstorm after a day of lackluster hunting and, while in search of shelter, finds an old man with a lantern who reluctantly brings him back to his master’s farmhouse. There, he has some curious conversation with a recluse who upon realizing it has stopped snowing bids him goodnight with a warning of ghosts on the road to town. Unfortunately, the...


20. The Man and the Snake

“The Man and the Snake ” by Ambrose Bierce is a grim tale of an eccentric bachelor who goes to live for a short time with a doctor who has a peculiar fascination with reptiles. A chance encounter with one of the beasts leaves the man full of fear and trepidation and to an untimely fate, but upon his discovery a twist turns in our tale. A slight deviation from our ghost stories of late, but a good deal of fun! To learn more about Widdershins, please visit: www.widdershinsstories.com For more...


19. Bloody Chambers

A special pre-Halloween episode and two-parter! This week we are focused on some classic grim and gruesome tales from literature and fairytale. Our first story is “Fitcher’s Bird” by The Brothers Grimm. A sorcerer disguises himself as a beggar to bring unsuspecting beautiful young women to his sumptuous home. They are able to live there with all their wants provided for, as long as they do not go into the one forbidden chamber opened by a small key which they are given with an egg for...


18. The Ebony Frame

“The Ebony Frame” by Edith Nesbit is a delicious ghost story with whispers of witchcraft and consorting with the devil. When our narrator inherits a comfortable fortune from his aunt, he discovers in the attic an old set of portraits that fit an ebony from which captivates his attention. Entranced by the gaze of the woman in the frame, it soon is all he thinks. When pleading for her to come out of the frame one day, he has a thrilling encounter which leaves him changed forever. To learn more...


17. The Death Of Halpin Frayser

“The Death of Halpin Frayser” by Ambrose Bierce is a gothic ghost story set in a disjointed narrative following the ordeals and life of one Halpin Frayser. At the ripe age of 32, we enter the story with Halpin Frayser dead. Over the course of the narrative, we begin to unravel his life and what led to his untimely demise with a brief drift into a dream or perhaps the afterlife. Scenes and sounds of unearthly horrors beg the question of what precisely happened to our man Halpin Frayser? To...


16. Moments Of Madness

In this episode we bring you two short stories of macabre horror and madness. In our first tale, “August Heat” by W.F. Harvey, we find an artist in a fit of creative inspiration drawing a man he has never seen before but feels compelled to keep the illustration by him while he wanders in a daze through the oppressive August heat. Stumbling into the yard of a marble worker, he is shocked to find the man he drew finishing a tombstone with his name on it. Both men fumble through an awkward...


15. The Body Snatcher

“The Body Snatcher” by Robert Louis Stevenson is a tale based in history. Inspired by the murders of Burke and Hare in 19th century Scotland, this tale tells us of those lowly beings: the body snatchers. We begin with old friends round a fire in a pub when one finds himself face to face with an old colleague. Through deduction and prodding, we learn of their relationship. While in school together learning of the anatomist’s work, they maintained the stock of materials: corpses for...


14. The Premature Burial

A classic from Edgar Allan Poe and a fear we all know, this week we bring you “The Premature Burial.” Our author begins with a recollection of the fear and terror that deep down strikes us all: the fear of being buried alive. He recounts many instances historically of such cases and how the subjects were found trying to escape, or alas, found in death’s grip too late. We then hear the chilling recollection of our author reliving his own moments in the grave for a much feared almost untimely...


13. The Old Nurse's Story

Written as a recollection from age to youth, Elizabeth Gaskell’s “The Old Nurse’s Story” is a chilling tale of a child growing up in her care. Upon the death of the parent’s they go to the next of familial line: a manor house with cold and regal relations with covered up family history. As mysterious music is played more and more as the seasons turn to winter, our nurse learns of a great family secret that nobody wishes to talk about until the day young Rosamond is lured out into the snow...


12. Transformation

We pay homage to the mother of Gothics this week with “Transformation” by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Although her masterpiece is clearly Frankenstein, “Transformation” offers us something of that tale as we follow our narrator trying to reclaim his place in society. Squandering his wealth and inheritance, he is ultimately banished and while witnessing a horrible shipwreck he finds himself face to face with a creature, some monster who offers him a way out of his current predicament. Is...


11. The Ash-tree

In this episode continue in the realm of the Gothics, although now we follow down the path of the ghost story. “The Ash-tree” by M.R. James is a curious tale beginning with witch trials and ending in perhaps their unintended consequence. A woman is accused of witchcraft, of going to an ash tree and clipping the branches, and is condemned by a first hand account from the owner of the estate. At her hanging, she utters an ominous phrase and soon after the owner is found dead in his room by...


10. The White People

Episode 10: The White People In this episode we have another Gothic for you-this time a classic tale of Gothic horror: “The White People” by Arthur Machen. A tale that begins with a discussion on the nature of good and evil with a curious recluse and an excited listener. We then delve into the found story of a young girl who since she was young, has been told stories and increasingly indoctrinated into occult mysteries by her old nurse. As she questions what is real and what is imaginary,...


9. The Yellow Wallpaper

Episode 9: The Yellow Wallpaper We are delving back into the gothic this week with “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. A feminist classic with a delicious and dark twist-join us for the story told by our narrator writing in her journals when not on bedrest or tended by her physician husband or his doting sister. What could be amiss with our ailing narrator? As the summer goes on and she vacations in an old mansion, she cannot help but notice something behind the awful yellow...