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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.




35. Cupid & Psyche by Josephine Preston Peabody

Celebrate love this Valentine’s Day with a retelling of Apuleius’ “Cupid & Psyche” by Josephine Preston Peabody. When a princess rivals the goddess of beauty, Venus sends her son Cupid to punish her for her charms. But when Cupid’s arrow strikes himself, he falls in love and protects her from the wrath of his mother in a royal home where she is treated like a goddess herself although never seeing this prophesied “creature” who is now her husband. When her sisters visit, in their jealousy...


34. A Christmas Ghost Story

“A Christmas Ghost Story” by an unknown author is a tale much like the Dickens classic. A miserly old man heads to bed on Christmas Eve only to find himself face to face with a ghost who offers him all the gold he could wish for-which comes with a hard price to look back on his life’s mistakes. He cannot undo the past, but perhaps he can learn from the bitterness he sewed along the way. ***Content Warning*** While in the tradition of Victorian ghost stories for Christmastime, this tale does...


33. October in the Chair by Neil Gaiman

“October in the Chair” by Neil Gaiman is a dark and whimsical tale. What do the months of the year do to harken the change of their time? Why tell stories, of course! And with October in the chair, you know it’ll be something to give you a bit of a shiver. Special thanks to Neil Gaiman for his affirmative tweet giving our lowly little podcast permission to read one of his works. Neil Gaiman is the much beloved author of such great pieces as The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, The...


32. Madam Lucifer by Richard Garnett

“Madam Lucifer” by Richard Garnett is a bit of a divergence in our tales of fairy and nature, offering a peek into the whimsical fantasy realm from his classic, The Twilight of the Gods, written in 1903. Lucifer sits with Man, playing chess for his soul when, hearing his lament for his beloved, decides to keep her company. Smitten upon sight with Adeliza, he gets it into his head to marry, but to do so would have to leave Madam Lucifer and lose his dominion over Pandemonium...what’s a devil...


Daughters of Darkness Special: She by Allison Carr Waechter

On this special episode for Salem Daughters of Darkness Festival, we have created a virtual wander through the woods to go along with our tale. To celebrate the dark and strange, we chose “She” by Allison Carr Waechter for our tale. Listen on to this queer and dark tale of a curious entity taking over the body of another. A tale that brings us the fey strangeness of changeling tales and the wild feral nature of Other. Join us on YouTube to enjoy the visualizer that accompanies this episode...


31. Wild & Sacred: Poems By Tom Hirons

A special diversion from the normal stories this week, we have a journey into the woods for you to read two brilliant poems by Tom Hirons. “Sometimes a Wild God” and “The Worship of Place” both speak to our relationship with nature both in a feral and wild sense as we have, many of us, become domesticated things and also to the awe of the sacred beauty of the world around us. It was an absolute delight to read and perform these poems, and a special thanks again to Tom for giving us...


30. Ecdysis by Christina Rosso

“Ecdysis” is retelling of Rapunzel from Christina Rosso’s She is a Beast. What if the damsels in distress you read of in fairy tales, those ladies in waiting of a prince to come, were a bit more beastly and self-reliant than you thought? After being locked in a tower and sold out to lusty suitors, Rapunzel decides to take matters into her own hands through blade and escape from the Enchantress that has locked her away for so many years. Content Warning: This episode mentions rape and sexual...


29. Little Wildrose by Andrew Lang

“Little Wildrose” is a Romanian folktale that was collected by Andrew Lang in his Crimson Fairy Book but otherwise given no authorial identification. We love this tale for its little bits of absurdism that you find weaving their way in and out of folk stories, especially where the narrator has a little bit of cheek. Wildrose is a girl “born” of longing and a bitten apple who grows up in an eagle’s nest only to be spotted by a prince and longed for so badly, the emperor calls for a place at...


Aural Narrative - A rainy evening in the book stacks.

You have returned home after a long day and take off your rain sodden boots, for now it's time to wind down in the study. Settle in with some books from your personal library stacks and while away the evening as the rain pours down over roof and windowpane. In the other room, you overhear the hushed sounds of your reclusive neighbor gently playing their guitar like a personal concert just for you. Brew a cup of tea, light your candles, and let the cloak of night richly settle upon your...


28. The Maiden-Tree by Catherynne M. Valente

“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 by Allison Carr Waechter

“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 by Oscar Wilde

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 by Allison Carr Waechter

“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 - Tales by Antsey and Baring

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 by Unknown

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 by Charles Dickens

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 by Amelia Edwards

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 by Ambrose Bierce

“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 - Tales by Grimm and Poe

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 by Edith Nesbit

“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...